The Himalayas are the youngest mountain range on earth. That is both a good and a bad thing. They are prone to dramatic earthquakes, landslides, and devastating floods like we saw last summer. But the mountains also thrust up fresh, nutrient rich soil that makes this an
extremely productive place to farm.
When I first arrived in late December, the fields in the Mandakini valley were ablaze with the brilliant yellow of mustard flower. Actually the mustard is a cover crop, planted along with winter wheat.
In the past few weeks, the mustard has been harvested by hand from amongst the wheat which has now shot above waist high.
The thick crop of wheat will be ready for harvest by the end of April.
Then the earth will be quickly turned to plant a rice crop just after the monsoon. Three crops from one field, very hard work, but the land supports them well. No wonder people are so happy to stay here despite harsh conditions.