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Welcome to the 2010 Guerilla Girls Blog! We are the Guerilla Girls! We are 13 Hao Ran Foundation volunteers (all females!) and we will soon get to deploy our wings in different countries of the world to work with various non-governmental organizations and social movements as a way to reinforce social justice and solidarity. We wish to open communication and share our experience with the rest of the world, because we strongly believe that ‘ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!’ Read More

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2011年8月29日 星期一

I want to be a farmer, is it easy?!─The story of two young farmers


I was responsible for a course called “Plant your own vegetable” in my ex-job. And this course was very popular and filled to capacity soon. Because the teacher of this course supply free land let student use it, and this also the reason why makes this course popular, this is a part that fulfill the desire of city people who want to have their own land to plant something.

City people want to back countryside
Now, more and more city people want to back to countryside to live their own life . In Taiwan, every year has more and more people joint the project that promoted by Council of agriculture which is educated city people about the knowledge of agriculture; A new book called “A journal of abandoning jobs” published in this February, the writer shares her experience about work in the countryside, and in half year this book already became most popular book in every chain book store. In Thailand, a TV program called “I want to be a farmer” which produce by a retired actress her name is Siriyakorn, this program also became very hot after it showed in April. And this program’s skill consultant –Khao Kwan Foundation received a lot of phone call that people said that they want to buy the land, and they said, ” I want to be a city farmer like Siriyakorn. ”

In these three months, I knew two young man who just became fresh farmer this two year, I am curious about their story.

The story of Chiang Rai ’ s woman ,Kwan
Kwan,she is 34 year-old,she has her own land in Chiang Rai, and now she work in Chiang Mai. I met her in May, because of I interview the Farmers’ Market in Chiang Mai, and she and her boyfriend was the youngest producer in that Farmers’ Market, they sold the organic To-Fu, and organic Coffee there. She quick form ISAC(Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Community, above called ISAC),and prepare to be a farmer.

Because of ISAC is an organization which promote organic agriculture, and Kwan was tired of talking farmer change their chemical farming to organic farming but the fact is Kwan even is not a farmer, and there is a little voice that talk to her that” I want to have my own farm now, I don’t want to have it when I retired.” Because her parents also are farmers, so she decided to do this decision.

I asked Kwan: why you decided to sell organic To-Fu in Farmers’ Market?” She told me that because of many consumers want to buy it, but no farmer sold it. In 2003 she ever went to ARI(Asia Rural Institute)in Japan learn about agriculture,and she learn about how to make To-Fu in that time, that is why she tried to sell To-Fu at beginning. They also sold sticky rice balls, because the rice can bought from ISAC, they just need to cook and made it; they sold coffee because of her mother plant coffee for a long time ,before her mother will sell to the middleman after harvest. and now she think that maybe she can learn how to sell it, so she start to learn how to roast, package ,and she also sent their coffee to examine ,and now they already passed examined ,so now their coffee are organic. When the day I met he, she told me that she already change a new roast factory, because of their quality is more stable, so she accept the higher price to pay it.

Kwan and her mother are pick up coffee fruit


About the future, Kwan mention that she are considering that whether she stay in Chiang Mai or she go back to Chiang Rai, live with her paren. If she stay in Chiang Mai, her way will focus on progress products of agriculture, and if she go back to Chiang Rai, their house located in National Park, there is a lot of natural resource, so she has another way to complete her dream. She told me that compared with their neighborhood effective arrangement, the amount of their 600 coffee trees were very few, so she plant 400 coffee tree in August ,and the selling was made by herself. After tree year until these coffee tree grow up, there comes out coffee fruit, and then they can have coffee bean. So far she still needs to do freelancer, having some case to balance her expenses. Because of now she can’t survival by being a farmer.

These are Kwan hand made TO-FU

The story of Bangkok man,Nakorn
Another young man who live in Bangkok, he is an example that he is a urban farmer.
He is 28year-old, and he changed his career to become a part-time farmer two years ago. Because of his master major in agriculture, and his first job was researched about agriculture in community, too. Therefore he has more experience than general city people. After he finished his first job, he wanted to a farmer and he didn’t separate with his family, although he lives in Bangkok, that’s why he built a city garden in a house, and he became a city farmer.

Nakorn, he wants to be a farmer still under some pressure from his family that his parents afraid that he is unable to supply their couple own expenses,as the third generation of Thai-Chinese. Nakorn, in the beginning he joined the Green Market .He sold some selling of vegetable, and also taught people how to make kitchen waste become compos, and then he started to plant his own vegetable and learn to sell them. And now there are two customers became his client. His client will receive a week twice vegetable ,a week 3-5 kilogram, and the variety of vegetable he supply is depend on what he plant in that season, in another way, Nakorn also planes to establish a City Farmers network in the future. He hope this network can let farmer who join this organization can support each other, and this network will hold some courses, let fresh farmer have chance to learn about agriculture, he also hope through this network can bring up customers who has customer’ conscious, and let producers and customers have good interactive.

This is Nakorn's city farm-1


This is Nakorn's city farm-2

Nakorn do selling by himself

When Nakorn 26 years old,he decided to be a urban farmer


I ask Nakorn,”How many people want to be an urban farmer?” He replay me “a lot of people want to follow up.” Now, he is trying to find the model that how big garden can supply how much consumers. He also talking about that he hope he operate his farms in a social enterprise’s way, for example, he can teach the community which need some help, how to make kitchen waste become compos, or teach them how to plant the selling and then they can sell to the urban farmers, city people, and this is a good model of social enterprise.

New generation farmers are easier to choose a sustainable agriculture road
From the above, we will found that, now new generation farmers, maybe the way they will be is they are part-time farmers; in the part of skill, it’s a basic equipment of a farmer, you need to fill a vacancy by yourself, whatever you can get it from any kinds of tract to add your own knowledge about agriculture ,marketing, and the best is you need a support network which can support you when you have a question or any problem; and the most important part is choosing a sustainable agriculture road. After all, new generation farmers has information advantage than before, they are very clear about that the old farming use chemicals are bad to the rice field, and the advantage for environment of sustainable agriculture.

Now, they are plant their crop in sustainable way, even now their income and expenditure still can’t balance, I believe that they’ll find their way, and they will make their dream come true in the future.

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