It's still festival season in Chiang Mai! For a family-friendly fest with a cause, check out the 2nd annual Harvesting Melodies Festival, organised by the Sangob Foundation, a unique local charity seeking to spread self-sustainability and permaculture by establishing Thai Food Forests in remote and impoverished areas of Northern Thailand.
"Our projects consist of collaborating with the most remote ethnic minority schools and creating together a Food Forest on the grounds of the school that eventually will provide children with fresh, organic food while reforesting the area," said Laurent Chiarelli, Sangob Foundation project manager.
The educational portion of the project consists of three distinct phases: composting; vegetable and medicinal herb gardens; and trees and animals. All materials will be donated directly to the school after the project is completed.
"This month, we will go back to Khun Mae Ruam School in order to accomplish the second phase," said Chiarelli. "Therefore, the profits from our festival will be used towards the final phase of that project and possibly towards more projects around that area."
The festival itself will be a celebration of traditional music and culture, with a key focus on supporting a variety of different local and international musicians, giving them an opportunity to earn a decent salary through music and preserving the continuity of their traditional styles. The colourful lineup will include a Karen harpist, a Brazilian/Italian guitarist, several Lanna ensembles, Isaan musicians, a Bulgarian/Georgian polyphony choir, and a variety of Shan and Lahu music and dance performances. Locally-produced vegetarian food and organic coffee will be served along with tours of the farm, badminton games and more.
Held at the Sangob Foundation near Mae Rim, the Harvesting Melodies Festival will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. on Saturday, 9th February. Presale tickets are available at Anchan and the Spirit House restaurants.
For more information and directions to the site, visit www.sangobcm.blogspot.com.