A NEW micro organic market and community is slowly but sustainably disseminating its established yield in Bangkok.
If you drive straight from Sukhumvit 69 (Ekamai) onto a bridge crossing over Phetchaburi Road, turn left onto Rama 9 at the first intersection and keep right to make a U-turn at the first traffic light ahead, you will reach Rama 9 soi 17 (Soi Rama IX 17 on Google Map) with a 7-Eleven convenience store at the corner where, after turning into the soi, you should start looking for an old school building with straw bales, you read that right, lots of straw bales in front of it.
This weekend market/learning community opens from around 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. where you shop for all fresh happy agricultural yield (e.g. eggs from happy free-range hens) from happy farmers. Organic rice, garlic, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, chili, basils, beans, sesame, jackfruit, coconut, mango, cantaloupe as well as a whole lot of other good produce.
The salad vegetables are fresh but do not look all flawless, tiny holes here and there just to prove that no dangerous chemical pesticides were used with the crop, only the ones produced from herbal ingredients were employed to get rid of the bugs, or even by hand.
If you want to know how sweet a non-industrialized, chemical-free fruits could be, you’re welcome to try them out first. In short, these farmers eat and share their own produce.
Branded value-added products and by-products are also available, such as honey, bee wax, ointment, balm, spray and soap,
These farmers took the time to travel from their faraway home-grown farms in different regions throughout Thailand and come to Bangkok with all they could carry just to gather at this facility, which used to be a school named Chanwit Witthaya School.
The reason for them being happy farmers is not because they can make a lot of sales, one can easily calculate from their considerably cheaper price for organic products, their time, distance, and cost of traveling (not to mention their labor) that they are not going to see profit in terms of money.
It is clearly apparent that they are happy and eager to answer all kinds of questions. They even encourage you to try and grow some of your own vegetables plus give free consultantion. Wondering about certain natural food preservations (for example, “Is that kind of jam possible?”), simply ask.
There was no middleman at all in this market. Chances are you would be talking to the farm owners or family members of the farm owners themselves, sometimes a friend from the adjacent shop because the owner may be went to the restroom.
The community aims to support self-reliance, sharing and growing as a community regardless of their geographical locations, all for self-sustainable future of the society, a proof of the concept of His Majesty the late King Rama IX’s Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy.
Some areas of the school (market) will also be used as a demonstration of His Majesty the late King’s developed ideas of how to efficiently design and run a fully integrated self-reliant ecosystem on almost any given piece of land.
Different workshops are also being rolled out every week for you to get your hands on. They range from homemade cookies, jam, green beans soya milk (no, not a typo), to preparing your own soil and fertilizer and many more, just check out their Facebook page (link at the end of article) for the event next weekend.
While you were in awe of how a small marketplace could be packed with such variety of products and types of knowledge, you would be already getting hungry by the constant nice smell which remind you that something is always cooking.
By the way, the handmade clay house coffee shop has been completed and in operation and the coffee price is up to your judgement.
Top, in-text and below: Lots of organic farm products and by-products at the new weekend market on Rama 9 road.
Report and photos by Piboon Awasdaruharote