By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
Sawasdee ka (hello) from Thailand! Megan here, reporting on my immersive experience in SouthEast Asia. The last two weeks I have been blessed by the warmth of the sun and a full belly of fresh street food. No, I’m not trying to make you jealous – but sparking the hope that the Spring sun and the gardening season is just around the corner for us Northeasterners.
During my travels, I rode a motorbike to the top of the highest peak of Thailand, Doi Inthanon. On this journey I was excited to find the vast mountain side was being used for farming. The glimpse of corn and strawberry rows was refreshing and quite a different site than our Valley farms. The mountain side was carved out for terrace farming practices! These terraces looked like never-ending steps weaving through the jungle. This ancient practice not only looks like a beautiful, tropical dream but it helps to prevent erosion of lower terraces and ensures higher ones get enough water. In the wet season, these terraces fill with water like kiddie pools and are optimal for growing rice. On one trip down the mountain I was even part of a rice delivery to someone’s street-side restaurant!
I met such innovative and caring farmers on my trip. Even with the language barrier they shared such similarities to those in our community. I was grateful for the reminder to work with the land I have, not against it and I will forever remember the scene of those terraces every time I eat fried rice. Now, I settle back into the winter air, but dream of the delicious freshness that awaits this next growing season!