Uncle Ree’s Worm Farm Owner Charee Boonyavinij. Charee is the founder of Uncle Ree’s Farm where he turns vegetable scraps and worms into something worthy. Prior to being known as a city farmer, Charee had various jobs as a graphic designer, art director and chef. Three years ago, the 26-year-old developed the farm at his house and has encouraged other Bangkokians to take up farming with his worm-made fertiliser. What inspired you to take up worm farming? I worked as a training chef in LA (Los Angeles – not R/Loi Et), preparing ingredients. There were lots of veggie scraps in the kitchen and I thought there should be a way to make it useful. It is excellent food for worms. After I returned [to Thailand] and was ordained as a monk, I realised that I like to teach people and give back so I decided to raise worms and grow my own farm. These two events are the seeds of Uncle Ree’s Farm.
Having Your Own worm Farm in Bangkok
Why Worms? I like working with them. I can go out and I don’t need to watch them work. They work all the time and don’t ask for OT (OverTime). Even while I sleep, they work. By work, I mean they digest vegetable scraps that I feed them and produce compost. What Products Do You Offer? Organic fertiliser, vermicompost (the result of the breakdown of organic matter by worms) and worm tea (the liquid form of worm compost). They have been proven to enrich both plants and the earth. They don’t smell so it’s suitable for city farmers. I’ve received positive feedback from customers who used them to grow their plants, saw good results, and went on to grow more. I introduced the worm farm kit later. Many families have called it the “DIY fertiliser maker” because the nutrients (in the fertiliser) depend on what kind of scraps they feed to the worms. I told my worms more and more city people know about them.
Who Are Your Customers?
Most of them are people who live in Bangkok. They are open to new ideas. Some like farming so much they later develop actual farms in provinces. The other group is those who want to be more self-sustainable and healthy by growing their own food. What Are Your Future Plans? I want to turn my farm into a learning centre in cooperation with Thai Cityfarm group to offer inexpensive courses and welcome more people who want to visit my garage farm. I’m also working on a how-to book on worm farming in the city. It’s due around August. Join his workshops at Uncle Ree’s Farm (19/29 Moo 14, Phetkasem 46 Road, Pasricharoen) or check out his online outlets (www.unclereefarm.wordpress.com, fb.com/uncleree.farm, IG and LINE: @unclereefarm) for more information.
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