Mother Earth is calling out for our love and farming is a practice of meditation on our love and connection to her. Cultivating the land, transforming the elements, harvesting the fruits of the season, and observing the rhythms of nature are all practices of understanding, love, and mindfulness. With mindfulness and concentration, we can come in touch the earth, the sky, and the wonders of life. We feel our intimate connection with the planet as a living breathing being and cultivate our gratitude and reverence for this miracle. From this process, we also touch healing and transformation within ourselves and gain a sense of our place and responsibility to the planet. Peace within oneself; peace on Earth.
Happiness is the harvest
farming in the present moment
“There is no way to the harvest; harvest is the way” is a teaching that was taught by our teacher, Thầy, to our three lay residents of Happy Farm during the TET New Year’s festival. Farming is not about the future, about plans and waiting for the fruits to arrive. Happiness is a fruit that we can harvest each day, each moment as we practice with the land. When we sow the seeds, cultivate the land or water the plants, we can be happy right in the present moment; and the quality of the harvest depends on our peace and happiness. The quality of our being, our peace and freedom is crucial to the practice of farming.
Togetherness is the farm
community and practice
We have observed many young people are increasingly interested to live in community and to practice organic farming. Happy Farm brings these two elements together under the umbrella of the mindfulness practice. Happy Farmers practice to live together in harmony, building brotherhood and sisterhood while cultivating their own spiritual growth. The harvest, the plans and the projects are secondary to the practice of living in harmony and mindfulness. Happy farming is a collective effort. We practice to farm as a family, as a spiritual community;taking care of each other’s wellbeing and spiritual growth. We share the same space and practice to observe the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Six Harmonies while we farm with the community. Spiritual cultivation and mindfulness training are essential aspects of Happy Farmers. Interns are asked to make a one year commitment and come initially for the Three Month Winter Retreat and stay onwards for the continuing nine months. At the moment, interns are not paid but may receive some pocket money as needed.
West Lake Hamlet
transforming the land
Happy Farm is located in a hamlet adjacent to Son Ha Temple and at the foot hill of Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The land has enough open space to potentially provide for the entire Plum Village community, a large pond and spring source for irrigation, and a modest house to accommodate the Happy Farmers, interns, and volunteers.
education and training
The vision of Happy Farm is to significantly grow all our vegetable foods (vegetables, fruit and possibly grains as well), to eventually provide for all three hamlets of the Plum Village Community, and to use permaculture and other sustainable methods that respect the local environment. In our first year we were already able to provide about 20% of the monastery’s vegetable needs, which is remarkable given how many hundreds of people visit every month.
Happy Farm aims to be a model for our other practice centers worldwide by providing opportunities for visitors to learn and have direct and concrete experience of organic farming, community living and mindfulness practice; as well as other ecological explorations. Our motto:
Togetherness is the farm
Supporting Happy Farm
donate and support
The farm had its first harvest in Spring 2013 and continues to grow from strength to strength. We have had many lay friends show their support for the project, contributing to the cost of upstarting the farm as well as to the physical labor. One major supporter from England helped us purchase equipment, seeds, and other farming items; and also to have a small stipend for their personal expenses. We hope to continue to invest more into the infrastructure of the farm to allow us to expand our cultivation.
All donations and support of any kind are deeply welcome.
Here is a little clip of the Happy Farm team thanking our donors in 2014:
Plum Village Happy Farm
Ley Pey, Thenac 24240
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