Growing and selling vegetables is a very reliable and sustainable way of earning an income in Nepal and as people get to learn about healthy eating there is more interest in organic vegetables. Some times people think that in Nepal we much grow all our vegetables the organic way and in the old times our forefathers did. More recently though there has been widespread use of pesticides and fertilisers and we have to learn the old ways over again.
I (Kopila) was so proud of three of our ladies Deepa, Ranjana and Ganga who established a flourishing vegetable plot on a small piece of land. They had one day theory course but thought this was not enough. Even so they enthusiastically implemented the lessons they learnt. They started with little amount and starting months of planting the seeds and organically fertilising and looking after the growing vegetables. It was not easy and there were lots of challenges like testing soil, and watering and using natural fertiliser like cow dung.
Even sometimes I was a little sad when i looked at the vegetables and was not sure if they grow or not. Wendy didi and I had been thinking how to make it easier and to give these hard working ladies more confidence and knowledge in Organic gardening. Then Wendy didi found out about Khumultar Agricultural Training Centre in Kathmandu and we decided to send these three very interested ladies for three days theory and practical training.
After doing the training they came home with ideas to apply to their previous garden. They kept looking and using the tools and techniques they learnt and now their small plot is so productive! They have grown 50kg of tomatoes, different kind of saag (like spinach) and 5 kg of chillis. They are still growing beans and pumpkins and so many more ideas to plant more efficiently. They have learnt about seasons and temperatures and what are the suitable crops for the different seasons.
Now they have a wish list for things like water piping, bamboo tunnel and shades. They are planning on building a glass house and we would like to support them. We want to say a special thank you to two people. Firstly to Sarah Bartram who donated many packets of the seeds that the ladies planted. These turned into our productive garden. And also we want to say special thank you to Binod Basnet. In my role, can’t do what I do without the support of this man, my husband. He encourages and helps me. When I am worried, he is always with me and uplifts me. And now, when we are dreaming about having some more land for the ladies to grow their garden, he gives us access to some of his land without rent to turn our dreams into a garden! Dherai Dhanyabad!!!