A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about organic farming

Work in the silk factory - Pokhara

and how to keep children happy with a nice fire!!!

sunny 30 °C

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Today we got awoken early at 7.45 by our bus friend as we said we would help them today at the silk factory.... Today is a big day as we have to collect all silk cocoons and bring them to the governmental office to get them weighted so they can be paid. As I said before they by the caterpillars for 50 rupees a box and with that they aim to collect between 60 to 100 kg of cocoons which will then fetch 250 rupees a kg. All that in 40 days precisely...
The operations they have up in the mountain is pretty goo, they have fields of mulberry trees which provide the best nutrients for the caterpillars whilst they are growing...When they are growing the work is hard as you have to feed them every day and the walk up hill is tiring under the heat... The temperature is also crucial as too sold and they die, to wet and they die ... so precise science is required here.
It reminded me of when I was a kid and my mum brought back one day from school (as she was a science teacher) some silk caterpillars and we made our own silk cocoons... That was great....

So today we decided to take a cab to get up the mountain.... just let me tell you that this must have been the eeriest drive I have had in a long while. The car was the usual bashed up little car they all have as taxis, and the road... well.. let just say that it would not have been called a road anywhere else but here in the Indian continent......The road had massive holes, landslides had taken some of it off .. Bref weary and definitely not again!!! plus is cost me a bomb.

So anyways we arrived at 9 up there and the associate was already there... so we started to pull the cocoons of the leaves, newspapers and wherever they had attached themselves... It is fine in theory but there were a lot of dead caterpillars with those at various stages of decomposition so it was let say a little tummy turning!!!... You have to do 2 piles, one with the strong nice and clean cocoons and the other one with anything that has some silk in it .. so the silk cocoons not finished or partly finishes, the bits that holds the cocoons etc... The clean ones are nice to touch but the others are not so nice.. sometimes squidgy, sometimes stuck with some decaying caterpillars ... yuck!!!!

The kids helped for maybe 30 minutes and then they turned their attention to the fire our bus friend had made to prepare organic tea... So the kids were helping bring the twigs, and wood, and went to get the lemon grass and the mint... They were given a tube that helps blow on the fire... They went to collect the ginger we used for cooking and they helped with the lunch.

We had chicken with ginger, vegetables, bread and rice and it was absolutely delicious... even the kids liked it .. It was just a little spicy so they did not finish but they did well...

We left at 4.30 after a nice cup of mint tea and went the jungle way down the hill.. This is the quickest way and we were home by 5.30...

We had a fun day .. the kids smelled like wood and they were exhausted....and I managed to get sun burned on my shoulders .. just shows you how hot it is here!!!

Posted by ealonso 22:28 Archived in Nepal Tagged pokhara silk_factory organic_farming Comments (0)

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