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An innovative Chiang Mai community is leading the way in growing organic vegetables, and getting fit at the same time.
Projects in the village of San Ton Haen in the Doi Saket area have seen old bicycles adapted as watering devices for the vegetables, reports Daily News.
All members of the community take part – older people during the day and children after school – to pump water to feed the plants. Suphachai Chaithep, the village leader, said it was not just useful in growing plants but helps to keep everyone fit too.
“We used old bikes adapted with old spare parts,” said the “phu yai ban” “so it is beneficial in many ways and inexpensive too. We don’t need to use fuel anymore either.”
The water bikes are part of a big initiative in the village that has seen grants and prizes from development organisations come into the village. Suphachai said that 80 per cent of all households were behind the scheme to grow vegetables organically.
“We grow our own, it is much healthier than using chemicals and there is a real feeling of community in the village,” he added.
Some 200 out of 218 households are involved. Cooperation has extended to those who do not have land to grow vegetables to use other people’s land that would otherwise just be waste ground.
And rather than burning leaves and adding to the prospect of worsening the haze situation, villages are making their own fertilizer. They receive financial help from the local authority who do not need to send teams into the area to clear up leaves anymore.