|Patiswara Village, Tanglichowk VDC, Gorkha, Nepal|
(projects i'm involved in)
Address: Patiswara Village, Tanglichowk VDC, Gorkha District. From Chumkhola on the Pokhara Highway, approximately 3 hrs bus or walk to the village.
Reep Gaira's integrated permaculture system focuses mainly on perennial vegetables and grains, a young 300-tree orange orchard, and reduced tillage farming. Currently, we are growing crops such as sorghum, wild grains, grain amaranth, perennial beans, peanuts, various annual & perennial vegetables, and harvesting wild foods when in season. Our main inspiration is the writings of Masanobu Fukuoka (One Straw Revolution). We maintain the orchard in a wild fashion, also described by Fukuoka. Our goals are to eventually establish a self-sustaining, subsistence system with side projects as sources of income. We have a small side business involving steam distilling Artemisia indica (mugwort) for various herbal medicinal products. Our farm is located just outside of a 76-household Gurung village in Gorkha district. We are at 1400m elevation, and have views of the surrounding hills and valleys. We have an upstairs area that can sleep two visitors at a time. Village life here is peaceful, with plenty of interaction with neighbors. We always have a variety of small projects going on at one time, in all seasons. Staying here and working with us is a great way to get to know the mountain people's culture and way of life from the inside, but also to learn about our alternative farming methods, and subsistence-scale production. Our goals are not to sell produce or grains, but to eventually create a completely off-the-grid system.
The way to reach Reep Gaira is to ake a bus from Kathmandu (from Kalunki) towards Pokhara, and get off in Chumkhola (3hrs). Cross the bridge and take the bus there (everyday at 3pm, except during the monsoon), up the mountain 3 hours to our village. We will meet you at the bus stop. During the monsoon we can make arrangements to get you up the mountain once you reach Chumkhola, either by walking or with a friend's vehicle.
What we are looking for in volunteers: Because of the time required from Kathmandu to travel to Reep (6hrs), and volunteers who can stay for a week or more. We do not charge for your stay, but do ask that you work with us with our current projects throughout the day. We cannot host more than 2 people at one time, and we prefer WWOOFers have a serious interest in agriculture and subsistence living. The two of us are fluent in English (Samantha is from America, Mai from Nepal), and that would be the primary language of communication with volunteers. In the village, most people do not speak English, but we can help translate. Our main goal in hosting volunteers is to meet and work with people of similar interests in sustainable agriculture and integrate living as us, to learn from them, and to share what we've learned.