Bok Choi Farm

At the Bok Choi Farm, Mae Wang National Park 2018

Mae Wang National Park is mainly home to members of the Karen, Palong, and Hmong tribes. They earned their living from what the forest gave them. With the appointment of the area to the National Park, conditions followed. The clearing of the forests and the cultivation of vegetables was regulated. As the area is above the groundwater level, treatment with pesticides would contaminate all the water in the area. The king himself, therefore, established a royal project for the cultivation of organic vegetables in order to secure an income for the residents.

The vegetables are grown purely organic, on limited acreage. The inhabitants are taught about the use of natural fertilizers and sustainable cultivation. From the field, the Pak Choi is brought directly into the hall for further processing. Here it is mainly women who inspect the plants, wilt out the leaves and then pack the vegetables for transport and sale. It is a joint project of the residents with a common breeding station, from which the farmers receive their plants.

Pak Choi is a close relative of Chinese cabbage and popular throughout Asia. He makes loose heads with bright leaf ribs. The leaves are darker green, similar to those of the chard. Sometimes Pak Choi with smaller heads is also colloquially called Baby Pak Choi. In its country of origin, China, Pak Choi is grown on a large scale. It prefers tropical climate but also grows in temperate European regions.

 

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