Here is an important message from Max Lindegger:

Dear all,

Apologies in advance if you receive this email twice as it is being sent to all my mailing lists – the Gardening List, The Bee List and the Musings List. Sorry for cross-postings. Normal content will resume soon.

I have been travelling to Cambodia since 2007 with the aim of supporting Ockenden, a local NGO, as a volunteer. You can read about its activities here :

Ockenden is doing amazing work assisting the poorest of the poor farmers to improve their livelihood. Farmers are being taught the nutritional and water conservation benefits of using their rice stubble and animal manures as mulch and compost materials. Improvements on participating farms are proof that their approach works.

Like most NGOs in the South, Ockenden depends on support from generous donors and this support is not easy to gain. Naturally these donors have preferred projects they like to support and these may not always match the local vision or needs.

Many NGOs have realised that they need to be at least in part be self-funded. Ockenden is no different. In recent years they have, funded from staff money, built a piggery and are working in establishing a rice seed growing enterprise which would grow superior seed rice for farmers. Ockenden hopes to realise a revenue stream from the sale of this superior rice seed. They also host Overseas Students and give them an insight into live in Cambodia.

I would like to help them establish an another enterprise – a training farm.

Let me explain.

Ockenden has secured 3.2 ha of land about 45 min from Siem Reap. Siem Reap is a popular destination for western tourists and is on the “Bucket List” of many as it is the town nearest to Angkor Wat – one of the most amazing places in the world.

The land it has secured is quite an amazing little farm as it has all-year-round surface water.

The idea is to develop an experimental farm (the closest description I can think of) which would demonstrate sustainable Cambodian farming for all to learn from – including fish-farming, orcharding and the production of vegetables and rice.

The farm would offer accommodation and a learning centre which would be offered to tourists during the peak season, to paying volunteers during the shoulder season and local farmers during the rest of the year and any lean periods.

The tourist and paying-volunteer programmes would finance the profitable running of the place.

Late in 2017 I conducted a design charrette where ideas from locals where assembled. Ockenden now has a property design / construction plan for the farm.

In early 2018 a group of 8 of us from Australia visited the site.

There was general agreement that this proposal would tick all the boxes:

–          Fill an educational need for locals and tourists

–          Offer advancement in agricultural and horticultural practices through innovation and trial

–          Create a sustainable income for Ockenden

To take this idea further Ockenden needs your help. To pay off the land and commence construction to establish the vision takes $$$.

While Trudi and I have given some targeted financial support (eg to build a school or pay for a teacher’s salary) we generally believe that “no strings attached” donations honour the local knowledge more appropriately.

Thus we are seeking donations with “no strings attached” but to be used only for this project.

Like to help?

Donations can be made by sending cheques to Max and Trudi Lindegger, 59/65 Kilcoy Lane, Crystal Waters 4552 or transferring money to: MO and TK Lindegger, Acc No 200168224, Maleny Credit Union BSB 704606.

Please send us an e-mail if you transfer and donation so that we can acknowledge your generosity.

I personally will guarantee that all money donated will be used for the purchase of this piece of land and the development of the training farm.

I do plan regular visits to Cambodia and will report back to ALL donors upon my return to Australia.

Thank you.

Max Lindegger, Crystal Waters