Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center located in beautiful Thailand

Rak Tamachat crazies

Rak Tamachat would be nothing without the support of our community, special thanks goes out to the group of pioneers pictured above who worked hard to make Rak Tamachat a reality. No praise is enough to thank them.

Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center is a broad scale working 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 King of Thailand’s “Sufficiency of Economy Theory”.  We practice Permaculture on a broad scale with integrated animal systems. We have a core community of Thais and Westerners living and working together to make the transition from a monoculture rice and corn farm to an Integrated Dynamic Permaculture Farm. This is the basis for our Education Center. We all 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. The large farm and daily operations and transition give us the perfect classroom environment to educate others on how the transition from a monoculture to a sustainable “Permanent Agriculture” is done. 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 are 75 acres supporting 13 community members and hosting guest and students year round.  Our facilities have been designed based on Permaculture principles to deal with our large community. We aim to spread communal living, learning, and earning with local Thais who live off of subsistence farming. 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.

THE RAK TAMACHAT LIFESTYLE

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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 a garden, 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.

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To learn more about our lifestyle here at Rak Tamachat and how we make it possible, please follow the links below. We love sharing our lives with others!

Our Community   Our Actions   Our Beliefs   Our Choices   Our Goals

Our Permaculture   Our Communal Cooking    Our Communal Gardening

Our Facilities   Our Entertainment   Our Natural Products   Our Projects

Our Farm’s Rules

COMMUNAL GARDENING & ANIMAL HUSBANDRY (Integrated Farming)

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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. We have an independent Nursery building for giving or 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. For a more in depth look at Communal Gardening at Rak Tamachat.

COMMUNAL COOKING

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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, kambucha, 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.

RELAXING TOGETHER

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  • Pizza parties in our adobe oven
  • Making Natural Products
  • Seed saving
  • Cards and games together
  • Playing a relaxing game of pool
  • Enjoying homemade wines and beer together.
  • 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
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Morning runs
  • Biking around the local villages
  • Playing drums and music together
  • Just discussing life while we wait for our seeds to grow

For a more in depth look at Relaxen and Chillin together at Rak Tamachat.

NATURAL HOMEMADE PRODUCTS

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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

FAIR SHARE AND EQUALITY

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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.

PDC’s COURSES

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Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center in beautiful Thailand is proud to host Permaculture Design Certificate Courses. We are happy to share our knowledge, skills, and lifestyle with others. Our PDC (Permaculture Designers Certificate) course is a full 72 hour course as prescribed by Bill Mollison the founder of Permaculture. The course curriculum will be based upon the Permaculture Designers Manual. The course will take place over 12 days at our custom designed education facility at the Rak Tamachat Permaculture Farm. Our course is split into hands-on action learning in the mornings and classroom instruction in the afternoons. Upon the completion of the course you will be presented with a fully certified “Permaculture Design Certificate”, which entitles you the rights to practice Permaculture and use the name “Permaculture” and teach the course to others if you desire. For more info on our PDC’s please see our Permaculture Design Course Page.

NATURAL BUILDING TRAINING COURSES

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Here at Rak Tamachat we have been focused for many years on studying the simplest practices and elements of Natural Building and crafting better ways to take the earth beneath our feet and turn it into beautiful, lasting and inexpensive buildings.

Permaculture practices design techniques which allow for the focused study of the area and environment surrounding a building. We are looking for ways to design a system that not only further supports the inhabitants of these beautiful and functional structures, but also cares for the total environment. What could be better than surrounding yourself with beauty while living in a natural building?

Through Permaculture design we will also discover how we can extract food, fiber, fuel, beauty and community from the very same elements that create our natural buildings, it’s by bringing it all together and working with the interconnected systems that we will be able to create the sustainable environment we are all searching for. Permaculture has the answers and we hope we will be able to share and teach with you. A natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on “local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users.”

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environmental. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are on-site handling of energy acquisition, on-site water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse. If you would like to learn more about the Natural Building Training courses on offer by Rak Tamachat, please see our Natural Building Training Courses Page.

PERMACULTURE EDUCATOR INTERNSHIPS

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Rak Tamachat is also proud to offer an Educator Internship program. This program is meant to train the participants in how we run Rak Tamachat Natural Living Education Center and in teacher training for their possible teaching or consulting career. The program is only open to four interns at a time. We limit the size of the program so that the each intern gets the most out of it. We do not do this for an income but feel that by teaching future educators and showing them how to run a Permaculture Education Center we are following our principle of “Pay in Forward”. As such the program only has the cost of covering food and communal overheads of 250 Thai Baht per day. The interns housing will be provided to them at no additional cost. The help that the intern gives to the Rak Tamachat educators with the running and teaching duties of the Rak Tamachat Education Center is a Fair Trade. Each intern will be allowed to co teach portions of the PDC to gain first-hand experience in teaching a PDC. The interns will also be shown the systems used to manage the day to day operations of Rak Tamachat; these include Website Operations and Design, Marketing of the Courses, Visitor Relations. Garden Management, Communal Kitchen Management and cooking. Planning & budgeting for a large group. Planning for large rises and falls in the community population due to course spacing. You will be taught to lead morning communal gardening sessions independently. The internship daily work schedule is six days per week with Sundays off. You will be expected to help cook with the community and work in the gardens in the mornings; in the afternoon you will be expected to work on a management or education creation task for two hours per day. You are then free for you to explore your creativity or personal goals in your free time. The program is for six months. There is a three months joint review with each intern on their progress and a decision is made as to whether they would like to further train with us. All applicants will need to write a letter to Rak Tamachat on why they would like to train with us, what their future goals are in Permaculture and how they best feel Rak Tamachat can help them meet these goals. Only applicants with a prior PDC certification will be reviewed. Please include a copy of your certificate or any other credentials with your letter. What Rak Tamachat is not looking for: any person who does not take the Permaculture lifestyle seriously, does not want to learn the Thai Culture and Lifestyle, and is looking for a cheap place to live. We want to train future educators and will review all applicants with this view in mind. All Education Interns will receive co-teaching certificates for any course they help teach or facilitate.If this program is of interest to you, or you would like further information, please contact us at visitors@raktamachat.org.

SHARING IS CARING

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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

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