Upper Hamlet (for men)
The Happy Farm Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is a small organic vegetable farm located on the brothers’ grounds in Plum Village. It brings together farming and the mindfulness practice of Plum Village Upper Hamlet.
Upper Hamlet is situated about 3 km from Lower Hamlet and is the home of around 60 Buddhist monks, 10-20 male long-term lay interns and various retreatants who come for one or two weeks to live and practice together with the community.
In 2013 the first Happy Farm was founded in Upper Hamlet. It is the realisation of a long-held wish to produce local, seasonal, organic vegetables within Plum Village and go in the direction of sustainability and food security for the Plum Village community.
We have around one acre of land in cultivation comprising more than 40 beds 35m long and 1.2m wide and a large polytunnel greenhouse with 6 beds which are 27m long. These are used for our main annual crops, and in addition to those we have other plots for perennials: herbs, berries, asparagus and also some fruit trees.
The project is currently in its fifth year. The farm continues to grow and flourish in beautiful and unexpected ways. Since the farm began we produce an average of around 8000kg of organic produce each year, worth approximately €30 000.
Last year we hosted our second Happy Farm retreat, this time with Wake Up. Around 500 young adults got to experience working in mindfulness on the farm with us.
Lower Hamlet (for women)
The Happy Farm Lower Hamlet is a small organic vegetable farm located on the sisters‘ grounds in Plum village. It brings together farming and the mindfulness practice of Plum Village Lower Hamlet.
Lower Hamlet is situated about 3 km from Upper Hamlet and is the home of around 60 Buddhist nuns, 10-20 female longterm layfriends and retreatants who come for one or two weeks to live and practice together with the community.
In 2013 the first Happy Farm was founded in Upper Hamlet. In 2016, 3 years later, based on the concept and experience of our Happy Farm brothers, the Happy Farm in Lower Hamlet was started. It is the realisation of a long-held wish to establish a Happy Farm for the nuns and female layfriends.
In 2016 we started to cultivate 14 beds and a small herb garden. 2017 we expanded to 24 beds. The beds are 35m long and 1.2 m wide. We grow vegetables like zucchini, pumpkin, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, lettuce and many more. The first year we harvested more than 1000 kg of vegetables. The food we grow is all offered to the Lower Hamlet Sangha.
This first year we had two farm co-ordinators who stayed the whole year to plan and lead the developments. The project was supported by several short-term volunteers. The second year could start with a stable group of five female interns to help the Happy Farm to develop further.
As the farm is still in its infancy it is an exciting project to be part of. It is wonderful to see how our joy in learning about farming and mindfulness practice bloom together. Small steps are taken and the Happy Farm unfolds in miraculous ways.