Post Event Workshops
Post-Conference Tour Options
Maejo University Natural Farming Research and Development Center (Half Day)
Located on the outskirts of Maejo University, the Center is currently engaged in three different activities, which are Smart Organic Farming, Vermicomposting (worm composting), and IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements)-standard composting. Smart Organic Farming will demonstrate a type of farming under environmental control for growing plants in EVAP (Evaporative Cooling) Systems. This system utilizes greenhouses, controlled temperatures, controlled lighting, and controlled organic fertilizers. The Vermiculture Center feeds worms with agricultural wastes from vegetable packing centers in Chiang Mai and turns the waste into high-value vermicompost and liquid vermicompost. The IFOAM composting Center makes high-quality compost that meets IFOAM standards using mushroom waste. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 a.m. and return to the hotel about noon.
Mae Tha Sufficiency and Sustainable Community (Full Day)
This visit will include tours of family farms in a small, lovely valley to the southeast of Chiang Mai. This farming cooperative of several hundred families is a leader in northern Thailand related to natural farming practices designed to revitalize their community, recover their ecology, and produce healthy food for families, neighbors and organic consumers in the city. Farmers will share about their sustainable agriculture ideas and practices, and the process of how they created a cooperative to aid in their community’s development. Participants will also learn about how one generation is passing on the idea of sustainable agriculture and sustainable community development to the next generation. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 a.m. and return to the hotel in the late-afternoon.
Green Manure Cover Cropping and Agroforestry (Full Day)
Hilltribe farmers in the Pang Daeng Nai community (Chiang Dao district) have relay cropped green manure cover crops in field corn in their permanent hill fields for almost 35 years. Participants will visit fields in which lablab bean, rice bean, black bean, and peanut are being relay cropped with field corn. Additionally, agroforest plantings that incorporate indigenous forest crops (e.g. rattan, tea, bamboo, forest pepper, fishtail palm, wild perennial vegetables, etc.) along with common tropical orchard and field crops will also be visited. Finally, participants will have the chance to see home gardens, backyard animal production, and other backyard farming techniques. The tour will involve a moderately strenous 2 km hike over hilly terrain. Appropriate footwear, possibly raingear, and water are recommended. A pack lunch will be provided. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel in the late-afternoon.
Coffee Production and Processing (Full Day)
As a producer of organic highland coffee, Suan Lahu strives to bring the intricate culture of the Lahu people into the growing, processing, and slow-roasting of one of the best Arabica coffees in the region. Driven by the desire to see organic farming become a viable lifestyle in the highlands, the farm also endeavors to rehabilitate and preserve, through the sale of coffee, both natural and cultural resources in the area. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel in the late-afternoon.
Sustainable Farming and Earthen Buildings (Full Day)
The Pun Pun Center for Self Reliance is a small organic farm and learning center in northern Thailand that practices sustainable living through seed saving, natural building, and appropriate technology. During this site visit, participants will see and experience how Pun Pun strives to find more ways to live a more self-reliant lifestyle by growing organic food, building their own natural homes, and experimenting with low-tech appropriate technologies. Especially important is their desire to bring back the tradition of seed saving among farmers and growers by collecting, propagating, and exchanging indigenous and rare varieties. Their overall purpose is to seek to live simply and continue to learn. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon.
Preserving Local Heritage and Agricultural Practices (Half Day)
This tour will include visits to a small organic vegetable farm and an agritourism-based farm run by local community members in San Kampaeng. This community seeks to remind its neighbors that farming and agriculture related professions are admirable and can be profitable and suatainable too. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel about noon.
Agriculture, Chickens, and Backyard Gardening in a Peri-Urban Environment (Half Day)
Participants on this site visit will see how a small backyard in a peri-urban setting can utilize sustainable agriculture practices to help increase self-reliance and create clean, healthy food. This tour will demonstrate chicken rearing that utilizes self-made silage feed, uses different methods to make IMOs (Indigenous Micro Organisms), and creates liquid fertilizers from chicken manure; see aquaponics and and an IAVS (Integrated Aquaculture and Vegetable System); see no-till garden beds; see small-scale permaculture principles; and see raised wicking beds in action. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel about noon.
Maejo University Renewable Energy Center (Half-Day)
Built in 2016-2017, the Maejo University Renewable Energy Center focuses on research and demonstration in four different areas: ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle), Wind Turbines, Solar Ovens, and Biogas Digesters. The Rankine Cycle is an idealized thermodynamic cycle of a heat engine that converts heat into mechanical or electrical work while undergoing phase change. The heat is supplied externally to a closed loop, which usually uses water as the working fluid. The center also demonstrates how to produce electricity from various wind turbines, how to dry agricultural products with solar ovens, and researches and demonstrates various biogas systems. Tour participants will experience the center and some of its demonstrations and pilot projects. Group transportation will leave the hotel at 8:00 AM and return to the hotel about noon.