Concept

Green community dedicated to saving seeds from all over the world

Internship/Volunteering

The Pun Pun farm is open for volunteers willing to learn how to grow their own food, for a few weeks to 6 months.

An hour away from the beautiful city of Chiang Mai, exists a small community of around 60 people, dedicated to the conservation of seeds from all around the world.

Back in 2003, the place where we met the members of the community was a gloomy place full of rocks. Sixteen years later, it is unrecognizable. Here stands beautiful trees, houses built out of mud, and a great variety of fruits and vegetables. 

We met Mandy and Top . Top is a volunteer who has been working at the farm for over one month whereas Mandy is one of the twenty community members. It means that she gets to live at the farm permanently, get a vote during the meetings taking place twice a year and can also get paid a small salary if she needs, to provide for her family and cover her expenses. A lot of the volunteers coming to the farm are Thai people. They often stay for a year to learn how to be a farmer and be able to cultivate their own plot of land in the future. 

The first mission of the community is seed conservation. They consider that big companies are preventing the people from their right to grow their own food, and that people lost contact with nature. Which is why they stand as guardians of the diversity of the seeds.

The name Pun Pun, in Thai, means “a thousand varieties”, referring to the numerous seeds collected, stored and grown in Pun Pun farm. Corn, mango, long beans, mexican sunflower, cosmos, chia seeds… These vegetables, fruits and cereals are nearly enough to feed all the residents of the farm. They sell the excess when they have some and buy some vegetables and fruits when needed.

Indeed, all the funds they get from the volunteers, their workshops and their shop is redirected to the seed conservation. To buy new seeds, from far away, test them, plant and multiply the seeds. In the end, the goal is to empower people by giving away seeds to farmers all around south east asia.

Around 100 letters full of seeds are sent every week. This way, Pun Pun wants to give back the power of growing food to the people and free themselves from the big companies selling seeds that can’t be harvested and planted again the year after to keep you dependant from those.

In 2003, Peggy and Joe bought this land to build their house and grow vegetables and fruits. As people kept coming, a small community assembled around them and their way of life. 

Pun Pun farm isn’t only growing, collecting, storing and giving away seeds. They also build their own houses out of bricks and wood and respect the environment in all the aspects of their lives. The members explained the concept of “appropriate technology”, which refers to the use of technology only for certain purposes but never only for comfort. For instance, they produce their own biodiesel, filter the water from a nearby pond and heat their water with solar energy.

The life in the community is quite simple. Everyone has its own responsibilities. Caring for a certain plot of land, sending the seeds or cooking the meals for everybody. They believe that with no rules, people feel responsible for their actions and are driven by their common sense. This way, the community grows healthily with people coming and going with no restraints.