Getting Back to Nature: Farm de Lek

10 February 2015, BKK Kids

As city dwellers, many of us yearn for open pastures, fresh air and natural surroundings. Farm de Lek aims to give us just that – and more. We spoke with Khun Gaye Pantrat, owner of the farm (and granddaughter of the original owner, Lek). “Farm de Lek is an opportunity for city children to come and spend time outdoors,” she explains.  “Playing and learning through outdoor activities not only gives kids more freedom but also helps them build skills, and experience happiness among nature.”

Located in Klong 15 Rangsit of Nakon Nayok province, about an hour drive from central Bangkok, Farm de Lek is situated in an area known for having one of the largest plant nurseries near Bangkok. Khun Lek was a part-time gardener himself, operating a mango farm. After years of farming, Khun Lek turned to pine and gum trees that unfortunately, later burned down in a fire. This land was subsequently left unattended for years, as Khun Lek’s descendants mostly live in Bangkok.

These days, Khun Gaye has revived some of the farm’s commercial activities. “I wanted to re-develop some of this land into agricultural grounds, as in the past. It is now a working farm, with a fishery and plant nursery,” she says.

In addition, Farm de Lek serves as a “play farm” for children, creating enriching new outdoor experiences. The menagerie includes horses, goats, pigs, hens, ducks, rabbits and fish. “They all have their roles in making this farm a pleasant place and a learning ground for young visitors,” explains Khun Gaye.

Children can take riding lessons, as well as enjoy basic rides on the farm’s two ponies. They can also gather eggs from the chicken coop, learn about how organic fertilizer is made from animal and vegetable waste, and get up close with goats, rabbits and pigs. Moreover, kids can do some gardening in a 3-rai vegetable plot that uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, experiencing first-hand how their food is grown.

There is also an outdoor playground for active play and skill-building. The highlight includes a tree house that overlooks an expansive grassy field. Other activities include swimming, canoeing and zip lining.

Khun Gaye aims to develop more workshops in the future, teaching visitors about sustainable farming methods, how to make natural fertilizer, cooking with indigenous ingredients, and making pottery from farm by-products.

She adds, “Farm de Lek also promotes farming among kids, which has long been the lifeblood of this country. As technology has gradually taken over, we simply forget where our basic food comes from. We want to bring back a-nearly-lost agricultural culture to our children’s community through fun, engaging experiences.”

To visit Farm de Lek, advanced bookings are required. The farm offers set day programs, which include hands-on farm activities, lunch and play time. Customized itineraries and birthday parties can also be organized. For more information, bookings or directions, please visit www.farmdelek.com.

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