Welcome to Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center
As a part of Permaculture Thailand, we proudly offer :
Permaculture Design Courses and Natural Building Courses
Promoting Sustainable Lifestyle’s and Holistic Living
Our communities mission is to educate through Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s) and Natural Building Courses
We owe our beginnings to the special group of Permaculturists below.
They “Paid It Forward” to make Rak Tamachat a reality.
No praise is enough to thank them. The world only needs more Permaculturists!
Pictured Above the Rak Tamachat Pioneers
Rak Tamachat is a broad scale Permaculture farm, located in rural Northeast Thailand.
Rak Tamachat means “Love Natural” in Thai
We feel our name sums up our Thai lifestyle in the simplest form for both international and local Thais to understand. We follow both Permaculture Principles & Ethics, and the:
- We practice Permaculture on a broad scale all the while striving to holistically integrated animal systems into our Permaculture Design.
- We have a Core Community of Thais and Westerners living and working together on the farm to make the transition from a mono-cultured rice and corn farm to an Integrated and Dynamic Permaculture Farm. The transition from a destructive farming system to a holistic systems, is the basis for our Permaculture and Natural Building Education Center.
- We strive to educate anyone who comes to the farm be it a student, guest, a day visitor, or a Thai member of our local village. We believe in “PAY IT FORWARD” to make the changes you want to see in the world.
- We work to do this every day with our choices and actions.
- We like to think of this as “Our style of Permaculture”, we value diversity and love to know that there are so many other successful prospering examples of Permaculture ranging over and infinite scale from balcony gardens to thousand acre farms.
- We aim to spread communal living, learning, and earning with local Thais who live off of subsistence farming. Some of our guest have refereed to Rak as the world’s first “Perma-sort“, we still feel of it as our home and we are thankful of the hard work that has been put into Rak by the many loving hands that made it possible with Permaculture, their hard work has made Rak into to amazing place it is today. Check out Our Home and Our Farm.
Rak Tamachat is comprised of 75 acres; supporting 13 full time community members and hosting guest and students year round. The large farm and daily operations and transition give us the perfect classroom environment to educate others on how the transition from a mono-culture to a sustainable “Permanent Agriculture” is done. Our average community population is around 20 but goes up and down with the seasons. Our facilities have been designed based on Permaculture principles and built with Natural Building Techniques to deal with our large community. We would love to share our lifestyle with you and hopefully help open your horizons to what is possible, when people live and work together in harmony with guiding Ethics and Principles and a common goal. Check out Our Permaculture Master Plan to learn more about Rak.
The Rak Tamachat Lifestyle
Our lifestyle is actually quite simple. We don’t believe life needs to be complicated. Our typical day involves communally working in the gardens in the mornings, communally cooking the harvest at meal times, and relaxing after a rewarding days work. At Rak Tamachat we work every day to make the lifestyle we want a reality. Yes, you can live in Natural Buildings surrounded by gardens, not eat chemicals, grow your own food, work with your friends and share meals and entertainment with them without ever leaving your home or more importantly spending huge amounts of money. We wake up every morning fresh with the hunger to do our work for our daily bread, or in our case fruits and vegetables, though we still love baking bread in our pizza oven. We enjoy many things and as a varied group of international people and local Thais we have the blessing of learning new things from our everyone who walks through our door. We love to explore the many flavors and ways cooking can enrich our lives. We like to say, you can save it, plant it, grow it, harvest it, cook it, eat it, ferment it, and make fertilizer (the cycle of life). We understand this simple principle and structure our lives around it; it governs most of what we do. From saving seeds, making gardens, cooking our meals, sharing them and finally returning the nutrients to the gardens through our composting toilets. We have truly found the secret to life, the one that the corporations don’t want you to know, you can do it yourself! But we have found that working alone is very hard and working with a community is a much better way to make the work fun, we like to think that work is play. If it is not fun than we are doing something wrong, with this guiding our lives it truly makes for a wonderful and rewarding life.
- We enjoy sharing our meals communally with our family and friends;
- We enjoy kicking back together after a fulfilling days work;
- We enjoy the sense of accomplishment we feel after a successful days work with our friends;
- We enjoy sharing the joys of work on a shared goal which will enrich our community with our friends;
- We enjoy sharing our lives with others;
- We enjoy sharing our knowledge and learning from others.
At Rak Tamachat we believe that everyone regardless of where they are from, their background, social standing, economic circumstances, education, etc have basic rights as humans. We understand that sometimes these people do not know or understand that they have basic rights as the conditions they are in or were brought up under does not allow for them to believe they can have these. We do understand that everyone has these rights and further that it is our responsibility to speak up for or defend them. We feel that at the most basic level people have the right to prosper. They have the right to raise their family in peace and harmony. They have the right to live a healthy life free of war, famine, chemicals, slavery. The unequal distribution of resources is the real source of most people’s problems at the bottom of the economic pyramid. The inability for the poor to have access to land and resources such as water and seeds to plant and grow their own food, forces them to become economic slaves to the system designed to create wants and desires that make them rats in a maze. They do not know how to escape from. We feel that we have the obligation as persons who have had the education, upbringing to understand the problems and the solutions to show and teach the less fortunate how to break out of the cycle enslaving them to the corporate systems.
- We believe that everyone should have the right to economic freedom to provide a basic life for themselves and their family;
- We believe that everyone has the right to food security;
- We believe that everyone should be allowed to have a place to grow food for themselves and their family;
- We believe that everyone has the right to be happy and that the environment to provide that happiness is a right;
- We believe that everyone has the right to raise their family in social harmony and peace without undue economic stress;
- We believe that everyone should be afforded the right to earn a living to provide for themselves and their family;
- We believe that every family should have a home without the burden of a mortgage;
- We believe that education is a right.
At Rak Tamachat we know that the choices we make will drive our outcomes. We know that some of the things being told to us by the main stream are not right. We can feel that their needs to be some changes, but don’t see the answers to these concerns being promoted by our governments, or large businesses. While we fully support the green movement in business to promote renewable resources and recycling we also realize that the goals of making the most money severely hampers the effectiveness of these operations and slows the development of these much needed industries. We know that we have the choice to wait and hope the fats cats can fix the problems they made or we can choose to limit our consumption of their products or in some cases stop using them altogether. We make choices everyday at Rak Tamachat by limiting our consumption and thus reducing the waste and destruction of nonrenewable resources. Not allowing the use of chemicals on our gardens and thus working to break the chain of chemical agriculture. We choose to live our lives closer to nature as westerners, so that the local Thais can see that not all western people are what are shown on the movies. We limit our lives to share with others; we choose a different path to show that the consumerism promoted through the media is not the only way.
- We choose to grow our own food without chemicals;
- We choose to use natural building in our shelters;
- We choose to build our shelter without mortgages;
- We choose to live together in community and foster social harmony with each other and nature;
- We choose to corporate with nature instead of fighting against it;
- We choose to share our knowledge and abundance with others;
- We limit the consumption of meats to only what we grow ourselves on our farm in a humane manner assuring our animals full lives and a humane deaths;
- We chose to limit the consumption of scares resources such as fuels by sharing our transport and appliances by living in a communal way;
- We choose to eat locally when buying vegetables or other food stuffs from outside Rak Tamachat;
- We choose to cook and share our meals together to reduce the waste from cooking;
- We choose to follow the Ethics and Principles of Permaculture.
Goals Articulation Statement Summary:
The farm will provide a dynamic, abundant life for the local family, resident community, guests, interns and students while providing a safe haven for learning and expanding one’s horizons.
- The farm will be a thriving Natural Living Education Center full of activity, providing inspiration to locals and international visitors, while allowing the educators to share and expand their knowledge base.
- The farm will serve as a model of profitable Permaculture Design in action and Regenerative Agriculture, showcasing the power of Integrated Sustainable Farming Systems utilizing Holistic Management techniques with diligent Animal Husbandry practices.
- The activities on the farm will require less economic and fossil fuel inputs over time, as an outcome of the Integrated Sustainable Farming Systems following Permaculture Design Principles and ethics, utilizing Regenerative Agriculture and Holistic Management techniques with diligent Animal Husbandry Practices.
Goal 1: The farm will provide a dynamic, abundant life for the local family, resident community, guests, interns and students while providing a safe haven for learning and expanding one’s horizons.
- The environment of the farm provides an ideal place to raise children, with a wide variety of stimulation and activities which help them have a strong physical and mental development and to stay healthy.
- The farm promotes respect for each generation and is home to meaningful activities for everyone, such that all participate in creating the abundance of the farm.
- There is an atmosphere of encouragement and engagement in the social and productive activities of the farm for all.
- Production from the farm and gardens provide the residents with a wide variety of delicious and healthy food free of any chemical inputs.
- The food forests are perennially producing and have an ever changing variety of fruit, nuts, fiber, fuel and timber while also providing habitat for many wild animals as well as our holistically raised chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows.
- The gardens have an overabundance of fresh food coming from them year round, providing a stable source of healthy food allowing for reduced stress from food security.
- All of our meat, fish needs are supplied on-site through our holistically managed humane animal husbandry systems, while producing the fertilizers from their waste to feed our gardens and thus ourselves.
- The aquaculture systems provide an abundance of fresh fish and a emergency supply of edible tubers, for the nourishment of the community, while also providing habitat and food sources for our integrated animal systems.
- The farm produces enough timber and bamboo for all the natural building needs of the community.
- The surplus produced on the farm earns us enough income to pay for the day-to-day needs of the residents and the upkeep of the farm in a subsistence manner.
Goal 2: The farm will be a thriving Natural Living Education Center full of activity, providing inspiration to locals and international visitors, while allowing the educators to share and expand their knowledge base.
- The farm hosts Natural Living Education Courses, to share our knowledge and systems with as many people as possible, running on a break even cost structure based on providing a living wage for the resident teachers and offsetting the lost agricultural revenue to the farm for the area utilized by the center, throughout the year.
- The farm is a thriving community made up of the local family, farm staff, resident educators, guests, interns, and students.
- The farm allows for the many residents to participate in the rewards and abundance of their work.
- The farm is part of a larger worldwide movement, both here in Thailand and beyond to promote sustainability through Permaculture principles while demonstrating that a community of like minded people can live in harmony with the land and each other and prove that they can do so in an economic efficient manner.
- The farm’s systems continue everyday to evolve and become more efficient and interconnected with the local and world communities.
- The systems on the farm provide the residents with endless opportunity for creativity and invention, they joyfully and playfully utilize these opportunities to find new ways to increase efficiency, beauty and sustainability on the farm.
- The farm utilizes a Permaculture Master Plan which is a living document, easily updated and revised, enabling the farm and its residents to adjust the plans to ever-changing natural conditions.
- The farm has a steady stream of passionate people, who bring ideas of their own and who take with them valuable experience and inspiration when they leave.
- The residents of the farm interact with the local community in a way that respectfully invites them to learn Permaculture farming techniques and ideas about successful permanent agricultural practices.
- The farm gives the residents the opportunity to feel thankful and to share our good fortune with the local community.
- The farm provides low-cost Natural Living courses to the local Thai community and international students from around the world.
- The farm and its actions help the people that live in our village and Thailand to view us with respect and camaraderie.
- The residents of the farm work together to create social systems that promote individual growth and group strength.
Goal 3: The farm will serve as a model of profitable Permaculture Design in action and Regenerative Agriculture showcasing the power of Integrated Sustainable Farming Systems utilizing Holistic Management techniques with diligent Animal Husbandry Practices.
- The farm is able to reach break even after five years on the invested capital for the Regenerative Agriculture and Permaculture techniques utilized in its transition from a commercial corn and rice farm to a Integrated Sustainable Farm.
- The farms systems provide the world with another real example of Integrated Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture systems utilizing Holistic Management and Animal Husbandry as being economically feasible.
- Through implementation of the Integrated Permaculture Master Plan, the farm has reduced costs, improved quality, and connected with new markets.
- The Integrated Permaculture Master Plan helps guide the farm, allowing it to be well-managed and focused on the future. In the short term, medium term, and long term, the Integrated Permaculture systems implemented on the farm are practical and easily replicated by the local communities.
- The farm connects with the Worldwide Permaculture community and shares what we have done and what we have learned through our website and movies.
- The farm experiments with different agricultural techniques utilizing proper scientific methods and construct and builds them with a thorough understanding of the engineering behind the projects.
- The farm is a demonstration center of Permaculture systems and Natural Building practices for the local and international community, where people can come to see and learn how these systems work and how they can implement them on their farms, “Action Learning”.
Goal 4: The farm will be a thriving Natural Living Education Center full of activity, providing inspiration to locals and international visitors, while allowing the educators to share and expand their knowledge base.
- The farm will shift from energy intensive activities, like conventional tillage agriculture, to more progressive modes of passive production, like perennial crops and aquaculture.
- The farm will experiment with and implement different alternative energy systems. The systems include solar, wind, bio-gas and farm made bio-fuels to work to the goal of sending power back to the grid to offset our energy cost.
- The residents constantly refine and re-evaluate the farm’s techniques to become even more efficient and effective.
- By abiding with the Principles of Permaculture and Integrated Farming, the farm’s systems have become much more synergistic. This synergy helps to ensure the health and abundance of the farm and reduce waste thus producing a larger overall return on each system.
- Every element of the farm is benefiting the system in multiple ways, the residents work to make the interactions as efficient as possible.
- The farm strives to mimic nature in her diversity, stability, fertility and productivity.
- The “waste” from one element fits seamlessly into the needs of another. Throughout the farm we are reducing waste, and improving the health of the overall system.
We know that our actions are the result of our beliefs, choices and goals. We know that to create the world and lifestyle we want we will have to do something to make our dream a reality. Our actions are the manifestation of our choices. We choose our lifestyle and work to create our own destiny. The Integrated farming activities on the farm are the actions that we use to create our environment. We love to work to build new systems and maintain the ones we have, learn how they interact and how they can be improved. We never stop learning how the synergies play upon each other to always find a higher state of being. Like the synergies we as a community, through our actions together, bring our combined lives to a higher state of being than we could achieve alone. You can explore below, how we make our actions our reality: Master Plan Media Gallary
Rak Tamachat is made up of a group of international people who have come together to work to change their lives and the lives of others by choosing to follow a different path than the one laid out by the consumer economic driven global economy. We currently have 12 residents living on the farm together full time and a constant stream of Guests, Interns and Students forming our larger community. We wish to live our lives in a more natural way, closer to nature and respecting life. We feel the Thai Culture is close to the way we see the optimal lifestyle revolving around raising our own food in peace. We strive everyday to build the environment we need to keep our lives at a basic level through providing for our food, shelter, medicine and clothing. Once our base has been established we can then work to help others to learn the techniques, ideas and practices we use to make our desired lifestyle possible. We know through our combined hard work we can share in the bounty that nature was designed to provide for its people. We take care of nature and rest assured that we will thus in turn be taken care of. You can learn more about the residents of Rak Tamachat below and what made them choose to find Rak Tamachat, what makes them stay and how they are working to make the world a better place.
LIVING IN COMMUNITY AND HARMONY WITH NATURE
The Rak Tamachat Community
At Rak Tamachat we like to grow our own food free of chemicals. We like to raise our animals humanely. We look at our animal systems in the same way we look at our gardens. We get sustenance and a yield from both and believe that there are cycles that connect the animals with the land. These cycles are connected and give us the organic fertilizers we need to make or garden prosper. We believe these integrated systems allow us to close the loops and make our gardens as dynamic as possible. One system’s waste fuels another and cycles keep repeating. Through observation we are able to help them along and create more abundance. Our Bees, worms and plants are our workers at Rak Tamachat, our life is spent facilitating our workers and waiting for the trees to grow, this affords us the free-time to explore ourselves and the world. We have an independent Nursery for giving our seedlings, juvenile plants, and young trees the head start that they deserve before planting in the gardens or across the farm. At the Nursery, we also make our special blend potting soil and practice Seed Saving of mainly Thai acclimatized seeds.
We like to create and eat delicious meals from the fruits of our labor with our friends and family. We like to make natural food products for our enjoyment, economic saving, and honestly, we think they are better naturally. Some of the products we make include homemade wines, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, jellies, cheese, tofu, dehydrated snacks, long-term sauces and dressings, and smoothies made from the fruit from the farm with love on our bicycle blender. Our lifestyle values diversity and personal choices and our kitchen reflects this. We have Raw-food, vegetarians, vegans and gluten-intolerant guest all the time; we strive to accommodate food sensitivities, however, you should inform us about your dietary needs and we may advise that you bring specialty snacks as we live far away from any major cities and we may not have access to certain food items. Keeping snacks in the tropics is very hard, therefore flexibility and open-mindedness is highly advised. All efforts are made to get locally grown chemical-free foods. We always have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand so going hungry is never an issue. Trying to find different ways to cook or preserve bountiful harvest is our major issue. But, this is the fun of growing food, experimenting in the kitchen is some of the best times we have and we all enjoy the beautiful Rak Tamachat kitchen immensely. For a more in depth look at Communal Cooking at Rak Tamachat.
Once you make the lifestyle you want a reality you free up your time for the things that really matter, relaxing with your friends, sharing good food, discussing life while we wait for the trees to grow!!!! We enjoy spending our time:
- Having Pizza parties in our adobe oven
- Making Natural Products
- Seed saving
- Playing Cards and games together
- Playing a relaxing game of pool
- Swimming in the Pond
- Bar-b-que’s (Both Thai and Western Styles)
- Day Trips to local attractions
- Reading in the Library
- Watching movies for education and entertainment
- Practicing Yoga
- Practicing Meditation
- Going for runs around the rice fields and local villages
- Biking around the local villages
- Playing drums and music together
- Relaxing in a hammock
- Just discussing life, while we wait for our seed to grow
Natural Homemade Products
We really like to make soaps, mosquito repellents, organic fertilizers and pesticides, If you would like to learn any of these skills, read further to see if our lifestyle is a good fit for your personal motivations. For a more in depth look at the wide assortment of Natural Products we make at Rak Tamachat check out Our Communal Cooking page.
Fair Share and Equality
We believe and practice many Permaculture principles associated with communal living such as; communal cooking, communal gardening times, communal cleaning of common areas, but especially Fair Share and Equal Value. Put simply, Equal Value means that we value everyone’s work equally. On any given day at Rak Tamachat you may find instructors teaching in the classroom, people working in the garden, community members creating delicious meals in the kitchen, students constructing natural buildings, managers or interns conducting email correspondence, or Thai members of our farm community involved in daily farm and family tasks. In all honesty, we learn about gardening, building, and farm lifestyle from our Thai family members just as much as we would by practicing solely on theory learned from books or trial and error. When we have questions about how or if something will grow under certain soil and climate conditions, we always seek out our Thai brothers and sisters for advice.
Sharing is Caring
We care about all people and want to share our lives and good fortunes with others. We hope this will allow you to make an educated decision about your future and ensure that the Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center is right choice for you. Contact Us Sincerely, The Rak Tamachat Family