We are Caitlin Thurrell and Jason Chandler, young teachers and farmers who want to undertake a journey to the remote, high altitude Himalayan desert of Ladakh. We want to be of service, and to learn; it's our intention to study farming practices and local living skills in communities there for the next two years. We plan to return to Maine together, build a home, and start school that teaches the skills of living in place! We need your help in funding our travel to and from Ladakh.
photo: E. V. DeCleyre (evdecleyre.wordpress.com)
Ladakhis are village people of the Himalaya renowned for their joy in life and deeply grounded culture, who have raised strong families and built soil with scarce water and resources for thousands of years. Most are practicing Tibetan Buddhists. Farming is a community affair: people of all ages work together; understandings and practices are continually renewed and passed down. With only four inches of annual rainfall, the resourceful people of Ladakh irrigate with glacial meltwater through ancient stone channels, the walls often carved with prayers. Sgnampe (roasted barley flour), tagi (wheat bread), paba (boiled bread of pea and barley flours), tsod ma (vegetables), thukpa (noodle soup), cha kante (butter tea), oma (milk), zho (yoghurt), and chuli (apricots) are standard fare.
We are fascinated by the culture and religion of this place, and we see three major opportunities for us:
- to learn effective, efficient, hand-powered farming practices that are rooted in deep, old relationships with the land
- to assist farmers who are practicing traditional methods of agriculture (now threatened by the curse of agricultural poisons and the mixed blessing of mechanization) that have sustained their people for thousands of years.
- to create cultural connections and build solidarity between rural people in Maine and Ladakh
To keep in touch with us, please visit our blog at
Living in Ladakh
We go to Ladakh to search out and be a part of joyful, earth-centered, life-renewing human communities. We thank you for your support in realizing our dream!
- Philip Payson
- Laura Chandler
- Wendy Mersch
Jason M Chandler