Boys weeding and prepping the plots
Your investment in the farm and the children are visible in the new farm plots and the fresh vegetables we can put on the table. We are seeing the output rising steadily and our soil is improving with use and added homemade biochar soil amendments and biofertilizers.
The COVID19 shutdowns started in March in Chiang Mai. First, any child with a fever or cold was sent home and we had almost a full house because it was the weather transition for cool winters to hot spring and the child and staff were catching colds. Luckily they were just colds and we had everyone well by the time school year ended in mid-March. Some children went up to the mountains to help in their villages during the hot, dry school break. We always have our core of children that stay year-round - no families to go home to; they are ours. We were feeding about 20 people a day and then the shutdowns started at the hotels and universities. So we have leveled out at around 30 mouths to feed, 90 meals a day.
We've quarantined anyone coming back from the cities and our neighbor is the village monitor for any visitors to the area, brandishing his thermal thermometer. For all of April and May, everyone stayed in place and settled into a routine.
Every day the children have a schedule that includes working with their tutors to stay on top of their Thai language and math skills. They study English with one of our volunteers and they help work on the farm. There are plenty of chores to go around with annual facility maintenance and preparing the farm for the rainy season coming in June. The clothes drying sheds were re-built, along with repairs to the dorms and bathrooms. The gutters on all the buildings were cleaned out, along with the fish pond. We discovered the reason for low water flow- roots had taken hold in the water pipes!
In preparation for the planting season, we've made lots of compost with kitchen scraps, leaves, clippings, and added biochar to help he process along. In the dry months we;ve had a crop of tomatoes and plenty of eggplant and chilies and garlic. New small plots tucked around the dorms and kitchen yield lots of lettuce for salads. We have enough to share with our elderly and disabled neighbors and trade with other farmers.
We're all looking forward to the travel restrictions being loosened and the return of the children for the new school year due to start July 1.
We hope you have been safe and well. Many thanks from all the children and staff at Warm Heart for your enduring support!
Girls water the fields after school
Making bio fertilizer
Lettuce from one of the new plots
Fixing the dorm bunk beds
New crop started in the blue net
All hands needed to clean the gutters