Who are the makers?
The people who make our beautiful Teak spoons and spatulas are the villagers of Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai. This small village is located in the North of Thailand, on the hills that are the beginnings of the Himalayas.
Thirty years ago the villagers were nomadic, moving from one spot to another, cutting and burning the forests, farming on the cleared land and hunting in the surrounding forest, then moving on once the land could not sustain crops and repeating the process. The people were poor, with young people moving to the cities to work, often in demeaning jobs and the land was degraded, with recurring floods and droughts.
Queen Sirikit on visiting the area resolved to do something about it and set up the pilot project. Army rangers and other people with expertise were sent to show the villagers how to grow organic crops, live sustainably in one place and to restore the surrounding environment. Funding for lathes and other tools was provided and skilled wood turners were sent to teach the people how to make the different utensils.
Villagers receive funding to replant hillsides, as well as to farm organically, and to re use and re purpose Teak from old furniture, housing, building sites.
Many of the people making the utensils are women, they take a major role in the work.
Buying from the Village
We buy direct from them. They inform us the price and that is what we pay. .
Who is helped?
You help people like Khun Wittisuk, who is able to stay in the village and care for his aged parents, and not have to stay in Bangkok, far from them, driving taxis 12 hours a day.
Why Teak wood ?
Why should you buy wooden utensils, and especially why Teak ?
Teak wood is not well known in NZ, maybe known for use in furniture. But In NZ terms perhaps the closest wood we have in terms of quality is Kauri.
Teak wood has a very high oil content, giving it a very high decay resistance. It is incredibly durable and is water resistant. It does not crack or turn black when in contact with metals and it is resistant to termites and other pests. For these reasons it is used in a wide variety of ways, boat building, yachts, exterior construction, indoor and outdoor furniture, veneers and carvings. And of course kitchen utensils.
Care of wooden utensils
Most important is not to put them in the dishwasher. That will over time severely damage the wood due to the chemicals used in dishwashers. To clean simply hand wash in warm soapy water, rinse off and pat dry, then leave out to dry completely.
You may re oil from time to time with any food safe oil.