Over the past 7 years, Everything Organic Nursery (EVON) has provided trainings in organic agriculture to over 1,000 individuals, both Nepali and foreigners. Many of the trainees from rural Nepali communities (and village members who did not have an opportunity to attend trainings) are requesting additional trainings, discounted tree seedlings, as well as consultation site visits to their rural villages. At this point there is a contact group of 50 communities that are good candidates for additional technical assistance. The SPARKS initiative will form a network of these communities in order to connect agricultural resources, people, and markets. Initially, the project will focus on 8 of the most active of these communities to scale up their efforts (in Sindhupalchowk, Solu, Baitadi, Palpa, Dolakha, Khotang/Sotang, Kavre, and Helambu). EVON will utilize the expertise and resources of a number of complementary agriculture and marketing groups that will support the project. In addition, SPARKS aims to develop a centralized website for the network, for all project partners and others working in agriculture in Nepal, to access information, contacts, and ideas.
One year after the massive earthquake which shook Nepal in April, 2015, we visited some of the OmaHomes constructed around our area with Margie Smith from the Mattole Valley Community Center (MVCC) in northern California. The OmaHomes were designed by the late Jim Danisch, as simple but sturdy structures which could provide immediate shelter for families whose homes had been damaged so severely by the earthquake that they could no longer live in them. The MVCC supported the construction of these homes as part of earthquake relief.
Early this morning, Margie Smith, a member of the Mattole Valley Community Centre, Judith Chase, director of EVON, and Shyam Pyakurel, EVON staff member, walked up to Phulbari Community to meet with Shree Krishna and Ram Dhital. We visited seven or eight water catchment ponds, some of which were newly constructed, and some constructed last season and still containing water. One site was selected so that rainwater could easily be channeled from the house roof to the pond, and in turn the pond water could be run directly to a faucet by the house where is could be used for watering animals and for washing clothes. Other sites were selected to preserve current land use on cultivated terraces. Shree Krishna's project has established one hundred ponds in the last two years. The Mattole Valley Community Center has contributed to the construction of forty ponds as part of earthquake relief.
EVON offers their basic Nepali bio-intensive training two or three times per month. Please check here for scheduled events. EVON also welcomes unscheduled tours of their gardens and orchards. For group tours please contact Binod Puri Ph 9841860033 or Shyam Pyakurel 9849325002