The Ithaka Institute is piloting its very first educational odyssey where travelers will not only experience the beauty and splendor of Nepal, but will learn how Nepali farmers are improving resiliency and creating new rural jobs through climate farming and biochar based forest gardening.
Over an 8 day period, travelers will see parts of Nepal which are definitely off the beaten path. Though we will begin and end the journey in the capital of Kathmandu, we will travel to remote villages such as Nalang (Dhading) and Ratanpur (Tanahu) where Westerners are rarely seen. En route to Ratanpur we will visit the magnificent old-world charm of Bandipur, a mountaintop village 143 km West of Kathmandu.
Thanks to restorative agricultural practices developed by Ithaka, a growing number of Nepali farmers are engaged in climate friendly farming and agroforestry and have achieved significant successes in improving yields while reducing costs. Travelers will learn how farmers have thrived, despite an embargo on mineral fertilizers, by creating their own well balanced, organic fertilizers using biochar, livestock urine and bones. They will learn how these slow release fertilizers are made and applied and may even try their hand at ploughing with water buffalo! Tours through agroforestry projects will highlight newly created best practices for tree planting and review the basics of carbon credits for such projects. Those that join this journey will also learn how essential oils are produced using a Kon-Tiki biochar kiln.
Through collaborative workshops and shared lunches with local farmers, travelers will have plenty of opportunities to exchange ideas on farming techniques, ask questions and share stories. Evenings will include local music, storytelling and dancing while tending fires and making biochar. Low key morning treks will provide time to admire beautiful views of the Himalayas while seeing terraced farming up-close.
This first foray into educational travel will have a limited number of spots (minimum of 8; maximum of 12 participants). We are particularly interested in travelers with an adventurous spirit that are willing to interact with local farmers by exchanging their experiences and questions related to climate farming and who are interested in helping us shape itineraries for future Ithaka Odysseys!
sorry, our first trip is already sold out - the next might be in November
Please check the Ithaka website for further information.