Life in the countryside
The majority of Nepal's population gain their living from subsistence farming. In the lower valleys relatively large terraces can be farmed. In winter months wheat and barley are grown and in the summer months rice. In the many steep-sided valleys narrow terraces cling precariously to the hillside and can be washed away ( along with the farms ) in the frequent landslides. In the higher valleys that lie in the rain shadow of the Himalayan range villages may perch on hilltops and farmers rely on irrigation in order to cultivate. Farmhouses differ in style according to the tribe of the local people, some are quite big, whereas others are very basic. In spring there is little greenery in the higher valleys and farmers prepare the land - backbreaking work for men and women alike with only the most primitive wooden implements. Women, in fact, do the majority of the work - barley is usually cut by hand, sometimes with scissors. One of the pleasant discoveries was the proliferation of apple orchards in the valleys near the Tibetan border up to a height of well over 3,000 metres. Marpha has developed a good reputation for its cider! To see the photos click here.