Organic mushroom farming is a great way for villages around Khao Yai to make a living, as an alternative to cutting trees or poaching wildlife from the park.
Last month, FREELAND brought in a group of experts from the Phra Dabos Foundation’s Mushroom Cultivation in Sufficiency Agriculture Program to help Kok Sa-ard Village, just north of Khao Yai, further increase productivity and markets for its small-scale mushroom growing enterprises, set up with FREELAND’s help.
21 villagers participated in the three-day training, which covered everything from the basics of mass mushroom pack preparation, through to natural preservation methods to create ready-to-eat snack products and extend the shelf-life of produce.
Trainers also explained how to recycle materials to eliminate waste; and provided advice on dealing with changes in climate, such as the current cold snap.
Boonlert Thaitatkul, the lead instructor from Phra Dabos with over 35 years experience in mushroom cultivation, provided villagers with design plans and supervised the first stages of construction of an improved model cultivation house.
As this new knowledge is shared, it is hoped that low-impact organic agriculture will become an even more attractive option for villages on the edges of Khao Yai, ensuring a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with the forest.
FREELAND thanks the Phra Dabos Foundation for their time and expertise, and the Blue Moon Fund for making this training and the projects possible.