This is Alice and this is Alice's farm.
Alice was the first USDA NOP and EU certified organic farmer we got to call our "supplier", and we were so happy to find each other through a mutual friend! We want to share stories about the people who make Mekhala possible, and since everything starts from the farm, Alice is befittingly first on the list!
Alice's story is truly fascinating. She's Taiwanese and, having lived in many places, including Australia and Vietnam, speaks 5 languages fluently - Mandarin, Thai, English, Hokkien and Vietnamese. Her husband, a botanist and agricultural expert, was also Taiwanese, and was instrumental in The Royal Project, which was started in the 1960's and described as "a non-profit organisation founded by His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej to solve the problems of deforestation, poverty and opium production by promoting alternative crops in Thailand" (source: wikipedia).
Because of his valuable contributions to this project, the couple was allowed to become owners of these fertile agricultural lands in the north of Thailand (foreign individuals are usually forbidden to own land in Thailand), which Alice painstakingly turned into an organic farm years after his death. It was hard at first, and she was not a young woman anymore, but Alice was determined to continue her husband's legacy and make something sustainable and valuable out of the land he had been bestowed.
Alice practices organic farming and plants crops strategically. For example, macadamia trees give shade to pepper plants; lemongrass is planted in and amongst other crops to keep mosquitoes away. She supplies her fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs to five star resorts around the country, and runs a thriving organic macadamia nut business on the side. And of course, she supplies her organic crops to Mekhala, a little company from Singapore (where her daughter lives, incidentally), and we are so grateful we met!