The infrastructure has emerged from the floodwaters at the Bhutanese Community Farm relatively unscathed, but many weeks of work have been washed away.
The damage is chiefly to the garden beds, some of which had plants setting fruit, and others which had vegetables ready to harvest. Only the garlic plants remain.
Snow peas and the nets covering them were completely washed away, with netting found tangled in the perimeter fencing. Although torn in places and full of mud, ranger Tilak Chettri says the community will clean them up and sew up the holes to re-use them.
Twenty garden beds which had been seeded with summer vegetables will need to be resown. This will set back the harvest by at least a month and mean the growing period will push further into summer – meaning more hours of watering ahead.
In addition, some of the seeds will be difficult to replace in the quantity needed. All seeds used in the garden are organically produced and some of the rarer vegetable types are quite hard to find.
On the bright side, Tilak has a small number of seedlings growing in trays already, the ground is ready to plant and watering will not be required for some weeks yet!
The wet season has also given a boost to the pasture in the paddock surrounding the garden beds. This is being mown and utilised to make large amounts of compost for the vegetable beds. As the season warms up, the composting process will speed up. Tilak expects to be using this rich resource within 45 days of cutting the grass.
Anyone who would like to help out with the garden recovery is most welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0260236714