The Charis Teaching Farm was established by The Charis Project in 2014 as a means to model creation care and provide jobs to the migrant communities with whom we had formed relationships. In the farm’s first year, we implemented SRI in our rice fields. It was an overwhelming failure. But rather than be discouraged, we learned what we could.
Our initial discovery was that the land was dead. Years of over-farming and overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides had left the ground inert. We focused the next seven months on building up the organic matter of the fields, while at the same time inoculating the ground with naturally produced, bio-active fertilizers.
At the end of those seven months, we would find that our land was not only better than when we started, but strong enough to produce rice at levels competitive with Thai national levels.
In the short time that our farm has been in operation, we have been able to provide permanent and seasonal jobs to local residents. We have provided our produce to at-risk families through the outreach done by the Charis Project in local villages. And we have also provided teaching and resources by means of tours and giving away seed from our stores. Finally, we are serving as a model of how a farm can restore relationship between humanity and the earth.