Farm at the Himalaya
The family run farm in the Himalaya is located at an altitude of 2000-2500 meters above sea level. It is around 30 minutes outside of the town of Shimla in a rural area. Fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, Capsicum, eggplant and pears are grown, along with wheat and corn. The farm employs 3-4 staff, but during the harvest the various farmers are supporting each other. The work is carried out traditionally and manually, as the small cultivation areas located at steep slopes don’t allow the use of any machines. Oxen are used for ploughing. The produce is being sold at the wholesale market of Solan, the district capital; if there is a big harvest, the farmers are joining forces to arrange transport of their goods directly to the city of Delhi where they can achieve higher prices.
The work on the farm is determined by the seasons and the monsoon which is reaching the region from Juni/July to September. From the beginning of the year until April seeding is taking place. The annual harvest of fruits and vegetable starts after the Besaki festival on the 14th of April and continues until the arrival of the monsoon in June or July. After the monsoon, in October and November the harvest will continue. Wheat and corn are being harvested from October to February.
Volunteers can participate in all agricultural work carried out. The farmers are also regularly attending workshops of an agricultural research and resource centre in Shimla where they also buy their seed. The centre is doing research to optimize agriculture in high mountain altitudes, if you are interested you can take part in these workshops. You will live at the Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre from where the farms are reachable by foot.
Location: near Shimla/Himalaya, India
Duration: min. 1 week
Costs: none, the trouble-free package is optional
Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Not included
Included: Placement in the project; if you opt for the
trouble-free package the whole range of services which is part of the
trouble-free package is included
Not included: Travel to India, health insurance