The Earthducation team traveled in Nepal from May 4 through May 6. On 4th May, the team visited to Mountain View Eco Farm.
Here’s what they have to say about their visit :
Day 6: May 4
On Sunday morning we headed out early on a 30-minute taxi ride to the Mountain View Eco Farm (MVEF) on the outskirts of Pokhara. Director and founder Mr. Bedraj Paudel, whose nickname is Govinda, met us at the road and we trekked up the mountainside to his farm. It was situated beautifully, with a view overlooking downtown Pokhara, Lake Begnas, and the Annapurna Mountain Range. Unfortunately, however, with it being the start to monsoon season, banks of cloud covered the sky and so we were not able to see the tall peaks of the Annapurnas. Next time!
Govinda’s mission with MVEF is to maintain a farm close to the city as an education and training center committed to organic farming as a route to sustainability and healthy food production. He spent several hours with us showcasing the more than 30 species of plants he is growing. We were amazed at the variety: bananas, cabbage, onions, corn, chili peppers, carrots — the list goes on! Govinda explained how farms near big cities in Nepal are using more and more chemical pesticides and, in addition, often do not use organic seed. Although his own crops, which are grown organically, don’t necessarily bring more money at market, they are purchased more frequently because of their healthy look and size. He went on to share some of his expertise in organic farming, describing how certain species planted next to each other help fend off bugs and diseases from the plants around them. He also noted that manure from his cow and chickens is used to fertilize the gardens, with the chickens also providing eggs for human consumption.
A fascinating additional use of the cow dung is that it feeds a biogas system in which the dung is mixed into slurry with water and human waste. This slurry is pumped into a holding area under the ground, from which it generates a gas that is piped into the home, providing gas to cook by. This biogas system is a prime example of Govinda’s desire to create a sustainable lifestyle. Most homes in Nepal use wood fuel for cooking, which, in addition to contributing to health issues from the smoke generated, is not a sustainable source of fuel without proactive measures to replenish the trees being consumed in the process.
This biogas system is a prime example of Govinda’s desire to create a sustainable lifestyle. Most homes in Nepal use wood fuel for cooking, which, in addition to contributing to health issues from the smoke generated, is not a sustainable source of fuel without proactive measures to replenish the trees being consumed in the process.
During our time with Govinda, he described the vital importance of education in his life and how his education has afforded him the knowledge of his profession. He attended college in Pokhara and also worked with NGOs, from which he learned many of his sustainable farming practices.
We were also able to speak with Govinda’s mother, Ms. Sharada Paudel. She shared that her favorite thing about living in the Pokhara region is the connection with nature. She described how proud she is of Govinda and what he has established, as it provides a model for how people can stay and work in the region where they are raised to provide for their family, rather than moving, for example, to another country to earn an income, which is a common practice for young men in Nepal, in particular. At the end of our interview with Sharada, she sang three impromptu poems about the environment. It was unexpected and beautiful. A big thank you to Govinda and Sharada.
Read full article at : http://lt.umn.edu/earthducation/expedition6/2014/05/06/community/