Opportunities to Share

It’s nice to be reminded from time to time of the reason that we are called The Charis Teaching Farm.  We recently had the opportunity to offer knowledge and insight to a new farm that is being built up across the border in Burma.  Our guests were the English translator/assistant to a Burmese Major in the local military and two of their farm managers, both Burmese Karen.

farm tour
Myself on the left, our mutual friend in the middle and our guests.

Due to the political upheaval over the past years in Burma, there are many displaced groups of people.  A local military Major just across the border is in charge of an upland hill area 100 acre in size that they are purposing as a home for these displaced families. They are attempting to use the land as a farm to help subsidize their living.  There are currently about 400 families according the translator/adviser with many more homes being built.

We started the tour talking about the basis for all that we do: soil enrichment.  We then looked at our main cover crop, Sunn Hemp, and took a tour of the fields.

After having worked this farm for the past 10 months, I’ve began to start taking for granted many of the plants we have established here.  Having fresh eyes on the field helps to remind me of the many resources we have.

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Chaya: useful as a vegetable, a pest deterrent and in the production of bio-diesel.

One such resource is Chaya.  Toxic if not cooked properly, this leafy perennial is packed full of nutrients.  It, as well as the Moringa tree are some of the more recent vegetable development projects in international food relief programs.

I was very proud to show off the progress we’ve made in establishing our tree rows.  Our Pigeon Pea appears very hardy due to the hard work put in by our farm workers.  And we now have a handful of pineapple, two tamarind and one pomegranate cutting in the fields.

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Jack Beans: a great covercrop.  This is our newly harvested seed.

After viewing our new compost piles, we viewed the worm bins.  I strongly encouraged our new friends to begin setting up their own infrastructure for worms on their farm with a promise that we would provide them with a kilogram of worms for them to start.  As a parting gift, we gave them pigeon pea seed, jack beans, two rose apple saplings and a bottle of EM (effective microorganisms) for them to use and replicate in their own practices.

We love to share all that we have, knowledge, seeds or otherwise.  For any in the Maesot area looking for environmentally sound and proven ways to enrich their farm, please don’t hesitate to come by.  You can contact us at our facebook page.

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