A Khao Maikaew woman proved to herself that money cannot buy happiness, never looking back after quitting her well-paid engineering job to farm vegetables full-time.
Patcharee Pungon, 27, said her life got so much better after starting Patch Garden, a small organic vegetable farm located outside her Malia Café, opposite Wat Khao Maikaew Community School. While she earned 50,000 baht a month as a production engineer, her days were long and filled with stressful meetings.
Now she spends her time doing what she loves, gardening and running her own business that is doing so well she plans to expand.
Patcharee is a mechanical engineer by training, not a farmer. She learned how to cultivate vegetables by watching YouTube videos and trying her green thumb on six garden plots. Patcharee found that not only was she good at gardening, she really enjoyed it.
She invested 100,000 baht into her new venture, focusing on growing salad vegetables, such as green oak, red oak, cos lettuce and butterhead.
Her farm uses only natural compost and bio-fermented water with no chemicals or insecticides.
Once her crops are ripe, she contacts health-food restaurants nearby and also sells from her Patch Garden Facebook page. Vegetables are picked by 8 a.m. and delivered that day. Any orders placed after 8 a.m. are delivered the next day.
Patcharee guarantees her produce is free of chemicals, saying she has a Good Agricultural Practices certification that allows them to be sold at retail stores as organic.
While the new coronavirus outbreak has impacted her, Patcharee said the effects have been minimal. Cafés are ordering fewer products, as they have fewer customers, but people still want organic vegetables, so sales from her page have offset the business-to-business losses.
In fact, business has been so good, she plans to expand beyond the original six plots to more vacant land she has nearby.
For more information on Patch’s Garden and Malila Café call 080-835-2536.