As mentioned before, many local people leave the village to look for work. We aim to offer opportunities to local people and to be an example on how to grow profitable permaculture products, such as coffee. We are continually trying out new projects, new crops, new processing methods. We are looking for volunteers to help us achieve our goals and with whom we can exchange ideas, share knowledge, research and learn together.
Since 2015, after the earthquake, we have been taking on volunteers. Having learnt a lot about how volunteers can contribute to and live in our environment, we know that everyone has something to share that benefits the project and the local community in one way or another. Therefor, everyone with interest, knowledge and/or experience in organic farming, permaculture or community development is more than welcome. The only prerequisite is that volunteers are proactive, independent, self-motivated and interested in learning about various skills and topics.
As a volunteer, you will be treated like a family member and valued guest. We are proud to build a good relationship with our volunteers and provide a fun mutual learning and cultural exchange.
Your skills and ideas are very welcome. We love it when volunteers take the lead and if you see something that could be done or you have your own project, coordinate with us and we are more than happy to listen and learn. If you want to learn a specific skill, try something new, or apprentice someone, please feel free to ask any of us!
Work from day to day may vary a lot, depending on the time of year. The days will be active but to the level that is comfortable for each volunteer.
Tasks given to volunteers include:
June to August – Monsoon : Cutting grass with a sickle ( the sickle is a low-tech traditional tool that is effective on steep land, you will learn the technique),weeding, compost making, helping with tree care (we will direct), tree planting, nursery work, helping with projects around living quarters, vegetable garden maintenance.
September to November – Autumn : Weeding, herb and fruit picking and processing, tree care, cutting grass with sickle, helping with projects around living quarters, nursery work, compost making, mulching, vegetable garden maintenance.
December/ January – Winter : Tree care, mulching, field design, watering, nursery work, vegetable garden maintenance, helping with projects around living quarters, construction work and tree felling with saw/axe.
February to April – Spring : Coffee picking, sorting and processing, planting coffee seeds, tree care, field design, watering, weeding, mulching, nursery work, vegetable garden maintenance, helping with projects around living quarters, construction work.
Also, theoretical work like field mapping, field and product research, organisation development, website updating, can be given to interested volunteers and interns.
Please let us know if there is a specific type of work you are interested in.
Work regimes are either 15 hours per week or 25 hours per week, with an adapted daily fee to pay. Depending on the work regime, expected working times are 3 (15 hours) or 5 (25 hours) hours a day, 5 days a week and 2 days off.
A typical working day is organised as follows: breakfast 08-09, work from 09-12, lunch and rest 12-14, 2 more hours of work between 14-17, snacks at 17 and dinner around 20.
You will work with Nepalese and live closely with us during your stay. There are many opportunities to watch how we work, to try engaging with language and to communicate in other ways. You can see the general lifestyle of village members as you walk around and explore. You may find yourself eating with local families, working with Nepalis in the field, going for walks around the village with local people or even going on a day-hike to a monastery or stupa and see the “White Mountains”.
Regarding learning experiences, you will see our organic methods for increasing soil fertility and managing pests and diseases, see how coffee is made from seed to roast, learn how to harvest and process the different crops – such as hibiscus and nepali hog plum (lapsi).
We have planted our trees to suit local microclimates. You can learn about these Nepali crops, black Cardamom, Szechuan pepper, citrus, herbs, coffee, or Western orchard crops.
The temperatures in our area are similar to Kathmandu. Winter is cold, especially at night. Summer is rainy and warm. Autumn is warm during the day, but colder at night.
We recommend you bring warm and/or light clothes accordingly, enough socks, a hat, a raincoat and gumboots. Also flip-flops or other easy-to-wear house sandals (you don’t want to wear your hiking boots the whole time) and – in general – clothes you are okay with getting dirty. Apart from your personal hygiene items, make sure to bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Bed linen and blankets are provided, towels need to be brought. A head-torch light and heavy duty garden gloves, as well as a water bottle are also highly recommended.
It is important to consider that you will be far away from a big city, so if you want to buy things that can only be found in a big city, we recommend you bring them from Kathmandu. In the nearby village there is not much available.
ATMs for money withdrawal are available in Kathmandu only. Bring enough cash money (NPR). The daily fee will need to be paid in cash NPR.
Because it takes time to travel here, as well as to fully experience our place and the local area and get into the farm routine, we recommend and give priority to longer stays. Minimum stay is 2 weeks. Our previous experiences show that a period of 2 weeks or more gives the volunteer and us time to have a good learning and cultural exchange.
We don’t permit alcohol on the farm.
During working hours, we appreciate it if mobile phones are turned off or left in the room.
In the evenings, we kindly ask for silence from 23h00.
small household tasks ( sweeping the floors, cleaning the toilet, doing the dishes..) will be executed by everyone.
At the farm, it is ok for both men and women to wear shorts and sleeveless tops. Shoes are not permitted inside the house or covered outside areas. Bring easy-to-wear slippers/sandals.
Volunteers are requested to support the project by contributing:
Volunteers/internship – work 25 hours a week – USD 42 per week (6,- per day per person)
Volunteers/internship – work 15 hours a week – USD 63 per week (9,- per day per person)
USD 6 = NPR 800 / USD 9 = NPR 1200
Our fee is carefully adjusted to how many hours you work. It is important that each volunteer completes the requested hours. If you like to have a day off within the work schedule, you are obliged to pay an additional fee of USD 5,- per day (5 hour day) or USD 2,- per day. (3 hour day) Total USD 11,-
USD 11= NPR 1450
Why a fee?
Biloba organic is an Impact investing project. “Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”
Our farm is located in a developing part of the world. Nepal is one of the least developed countries in Asia and the money-value of work is very low. 25 hours of work is paid less than USD 15 here.
Life for many people is a struggle, with poor living conditions and a low economy. The infrastructure, natural disasters, and other factors make running a project like ours both difficult and costly.
We aim to be a resource for the local community and for sustainable agricultural development in Nepal. Most of our seedlings and products are being distributed for free or for a very low nominal cost to farmers.
We provide good facilities for our volunteers. The fee helps us to provide you with excellent and plentiful food (mainly local high-grown organic food), free coffee and herbal teas, seasonal fruits, clean and comfortable accommodation, hot water shower, wi-fi, library.