The land is quite steep and variated in the sense of soil quality. Parts of the land are difficult to farm because of poor soil and stones, but that is part of the challenge and our goal. We want to prove that growing valuable crops on rugged land is possible by slowly building up quality soil in a long-term ongoing project.
When Biloba Farm was established in this land in 2017, it was pretty barren as trees had been regularly cut for wood and firewood, and the grass was typically used to feed goats and buffalo.
We left to grow most of the native trees to increase the amount of organic matter and bind the soil to avoid erosion. Since the start, we have been making compost from all field wastage and feeding it back to the field. We have seen a slow increase in better soil and biological variety as the plants and trees have increased in numbers. Today you can see a great variety of local and non-native trees in the field.
Coffee is a main focus and we aim to develop plants that adapt well to our environment, are solid and resistant to diseases, and have an outstanding flavour profile.
The picking season is February to April. We do all the processing at the farm and experiment mostly with washed and naturals. Sample roasting and cupping we do year around.
Gingko Biloba is our signature tree. Also called the Temple tree, Fossil tree, or Maidenhair tree, the gingko is known to be the oldest existing tree on our planet, being around for 270 million years. We choose it as our signature tree because of the strength and longevity it represents. In the field, you find 12 Gingko Biloba trees, the oldest planted in 2017. We also nursed many Gingko trees and distributed them to different parts of Nepal.
Citrus The land is located in an area where is found a great variety of native citrus varieties. Our imported varieties also doing well. The varieties includes orange, clementine, round lemons, lime and Meyer lemon.
Cardamom we have planted in the shady and wet parts of our field. Himalayan black cardamom has a rich and aromatic flavour profile.
Chilli “dalle korsani” is a nepali favourite , a very spicy and hot round chilli variety. The variety is perennial and fruits seasonally for up to 5 years
Hibiscus is a annual plant of Jamaican origin that we been planting since 2018. It makes a tasty herbal tea for cold winter days and a refreshing juice on hot summer days. The leaves is also used in cooking and has a acidic flavour.
Lapsi Among the trees in the field you find the Nepali hug Plum. The plum is sour but tasty and made into pickle or sweets. Our 10-15 tall trees produce up to 1000 kg per year.
Amala Indian gooseberry is another local tree that has sour but very nutritious fruits. They are eaten fresh chewed slowly, or made into a tasty pickle.
Timbur or Tibetian pepper (Sichuan pepper) is a very aromatic spice that, specially by Sherpas and Tibetian, it is used in cooking , soups and dishes like Thukpa and Thentuk.
Nibuwa and Yamire are examples of local citrus fruits. Place names around here like Bhimire and Jyamire are named after local citrus varieties and confirm that citrus has a very long history here in the Himalayan mid hills. The juice of those large lemons are boiled down to a black concentrate called “chuk”, which stores for a long time and used in cooking to give citrusy flavour to the dishes.
Amba is a local Guava that grows very well in our field. It is commonly picked and eaten just before it is fully ripe.
Kafal Bayberry fruit, a wild, small edible fruit much loved by Nepalis.
Rudrakshya tree is associated with the Hindu god Shiva and necklaces and bracelets made of the seeds are worn by worshippers. The seeds are valuated by size, shape and “mouth”. A very rare single mouth seed or 21 mouth seed can have an very high value. We have 11 trees in our field that we grow as shade trees for coffee.
Buddha Chitta (Ziziphus budhensis) is a holy tree for Buddhists and the dried seed is used as beads in necklaces and bracelets. The seeds are valuated due to size and shape. Its endemic to Kavre district in Nepal, we have 2 trees here , planted in 2018.