CROP INVENTORY

“Perennial staple crops are basic food stuffs that grow on perennial plants. These plant sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can be harvested non-destructively – that is, harvest does not kill the plant or kill future harvest…These trees, palms, grasses, and other long-lived crops offer the unique possibility of crops grown for basic human food that can simultaneously sequester carbon, stabilize slopes, and build soils as part of no-till perennial agriculture systems.”  -Eric Toensmeier

 

We have collected an array of perennial and annual crops that we think is most resilient to the harshest environment of the mountains.  These crops have each been tested, they could also be crops that have existed in the village and tried by our ancestors; and are most possibly the crops in the future when changing climate will affect the rains and temperature.

We are able to tell you about how each of these crops should be grown from our experiences.  Our environment is harsh.  There is a drought in the spring every year and the main growing season in the summer is hit by the destructive rains of the monsoon.  All the crops listed here are either drought tolerant or specialized to grow in a specific season. Most of them are perennial, making them most resilient to harsh climates.  Where 60-day varieties of succulent vegetables fail, the perennials can thrive without irrigation, weeding, or tender love and care.

Contact us for any seeds or consultation of these plants.

 

  • Air Potato –
    • This is a yam that produces edible tubers on the vine
    • The gitthas requires damp areas for good production
    • Reep has three varieties of which one is a fibrous wild type called bhyakur. It is said that eating bhyakur will kill stomach parasites
  • Pepinio Dulce –
    • Perennial Bush
    • Will grow in moist areas
    • Unripe they taste like cucumbers, and when ripe have the taste of honeydew melons
  • Pea Eggplant –
    • Perennial Bush
    • Very efficient producer
    • Especially tasty when cooked with meat or fish
    • Frequently used in Thai cooking
  • White Eggplant –
    • Superior taste of all wild vegetables
    • Very rare

 

  • Jilo [Bitter Eggplant] –
    • Produces a small bitter fruit that is not good once it turns red
    • Very tasty when cooked with bacon
    • Fruit MUST be cut and soaked in salt and washed before cooking
    • Texture is similar to eggplant but better
    • Perennial bush
  • Perennial Tomatoes-
    • Far superior in taste to big, juicy tomatoes when used in cooking
    • Far superior in production to hybrid varieties for agriculture
    • It will continue production during the wettest months of the monsoon.
    • It will continue production during the driest months
  • Perennial laotion Eggplant –
    • Looks similar to a traditional eggplant, but is strongly perennial
    • Mild taste
  • Chinese Lantern –
    • Very resilient plant
    • Can spread on its own when planted in ideal conditions
  • Tomatillo –
    • Known as green tomato
    • Can survive dry conditions
  • Thai Green Eggplant –
    • Superior taste of the perennial eggplant varieties
    • It will survive in extreme dry conditions
  • Ground Cherry –
    • Sweeter variety of tomatillos
    • Can be made into excellent preserves and jam
  • Tamarillos –
    • Tree tomato
    • Excellent in recipes requiring cooked tomatoes
    • When eaten raw as a fruit, it tastes like a sour mango
    • Excellent in recipes requiring monosodium glutamate
    • Great natural alternative to MSG
  • Amaranth –
    • Edible greens and grain
    • Grows in harsh conditions
    • Especially tasty if blanched before cooking
    • Tiny grain can be popped like popcorn.
  • Grain Amaranth –
    • Amaranth variety selected for grain
  • Job’s Tears –
    • Perennial Grain, soft shelled, edible Japanese variety
    • Smells like a combination of hazelnut and chocolate when roasted and made into flour.
  • Sorghum –
    • Perennial grain in the tropics
    • Will ratoon back next year
    • Can be made into flour
    • Stalks can be pressed and the juice boiled to make sugar
    • Grain can be cooked similarly to rice or popped like popcorn
    • Sorghum flour makes superior chocolate cake
  • Foxtail Millet [Mochikibi]-
    • Ancient Grain
    • We are trying to revive it
    • Edible seeds
    • Can be farmed the same way as corn
  • Laotian White Corn –
    • Corn kernels are white but turn yellow when nixtamalized
  • Niger Seed –
    • The most resilient crop – will grow in any soil, including highly disturbed, poor soils
    • Will produce even if no nitrogen is added to the soil
    • Excellent oil crop
    • Excellent crop biomass
    • The seeds can be roasted and ground to be used as a sesame substitute
    • Excellent addition to pancakes and cookies
    • Oil-rich seeds are high in fiber and protein
    • Niger seed oil can be used raw, it is a great substitute for olive oil
    • By far the easiest crop to grow for the mid-hills of Nepal
    • Requires no weeding
  • Perilla –
    • Edible leaves have a very appetizing flavor. Can be used to wrap barbecues.
    • The seeds are a valued crop and are used as a sesame substitute
    • One of the easiest crops to grow for the mid-hills of Nepal
    • When steam distilled, the essential oil contains a substance called Shisonin which is a sweetener
  • Mashyang –
    • One of the indeginous crops of patiswara
    • Very important crop due to its late planting season
    • Traditionally intercropped with corn
    • Beans can be used like lentils
    • Fried bean paste is called battu and eaten during festival times
    • In the picture mashyang is being intercropped with buckwheat and Niger seed
  • Perennial Lemon Basil –
    • Perennial Bush
    • Produces seeds that are a substitute for chia seeds
    • When seeds are soaked in water, they form a gel and can be put into drinks, salads and deserts
  • Malabar Chestnut –
    • Trees will thrive in wet environments
    • Produces pods with peanut-like nuts inside
  • Inca Nut –
    • Perennial vine
    • Will produce year round
    • Produces nuts which can be roasted and eaten like peanuts or made into and oil
    • Potential oil crop of the future
    • Needs moisture year round for production
  • Macadamia Nut
    • Produces nuts which are rich in oil
    • Tree crop that has high production
  • Buckwheat –
    • Fast producer of food in times of need
    • Can grow in poor soils
    • Self seeding
    • Edible greens
    • Seeds are high in protein
    • Easy to hull if coarse ground and winnowed
  • Canna (Achira) –
    • False Arrowroot
    • Produces the biggest starch grains of any plant, so big they can be seen by the naked eye
    • Edible tubers, crisp and sweet
    • Used in producing starch such as arrowroot flour
  • Canna (Maracas) –
    • This variety produces round black seeds used in musical instruments
    • Edible roots
  • Violet Stem Taro –
    • The stem is an excellent alternative to eggplant
    • During the wettest part of the monsoon, when the eggplants stop producing they are in full production
    • Makes great moussaka
    • Stems can be dried and preserved as a winter food when eggplant is not in production
    • Tubers are edible
  • Taro –
    • Leaves and stem can be cooked into a soup
    • Very good source of iron
    • Has an edible root that is high in carbohydrates
    • Leaves are water repelling
    • Can grow in shade
  • Yacon –
    • Roots taste similar to apple
    • Leaf makes an insulin substitute
    • Roots can be juiced to make a sugar substitute; will not be sweet unless kept outside for a few days after digging
    • Very efficient producer
    • Can be grown in dry parts of the mountain
  • Kattike Bodi  –
    • Creeping bean
    • Will not climb a trellace
    • When used well, it is a excellent ground cover
    • Taste of beans are supurb and because they produce in the end of autumn when other beans are not available, they are a supplementary protein food
    • Annual bean and is weak against insects
    • In Reep we are trying to develop a strain that is stronger against insects
  • Sweet Potato –
    • Perennial creeping vine
    • Can grow in poor soils
    • Excellent ground cover
    • The leaves are a green vegetable
  • Pigeon Pea
    • Tall, perennial bush
    • Will ratoon
    • Produces rahar dal, a popular staple in Nepal
    • Excellent soup
    • Excellent nitrogen fixing plant
  • Tora –
    • A type of brassica that is grown for the oil seed
    • Excellent source of vegetables for the farmers of the mid-hills of Nepal who farm with oxen
    • Can be sown directly in the field and plowed to produce giant leaves that taste like cabbage
    • This should be a primary crop for areas in Nepal where vegetables are not grown
    • It will get through the vegetable shortage in the mountains of Nepal
    • One of the easiest crops to grow
  • Roselle –
    • Edible leaves can be made into a jam
    • When tender stems are cooked in water and sugar, it makes a pink syrup
    • Young leaves are specially good with fish in curries
    • Raw leaves eaten with sugar have a ripe mango taste
    • Calyx are dried to make hibiscus tea
  • Rocket (Arugula) –
    • We have found that this plant is very suitable for cultivation in the mid-mountains of Nepal
    • Easily accepted by villagers because of its sesame like flavor
    • Will tolerate extreme conditions
    • Will grow continuously for 8 months in subtropical upland climates
  • Chatyal –
    • Perennial Vine
    • Yet to be discovered by the west
    • Momordica foetida
    • Very efficient producer
    • Fruit have hairs and are orange when they are ripe. When cooked they taste like potatoes
    • Not to be confused with Gac by stupid academic people
    • Has deep tubers
  • Chayote –
    • Edible fruit, shoots, and roots
    • Fruits can be eaten raw – tastes like cucumbers
    • Very versatile cooking vegetable
    • Roots are especially tasty – like a giant potato
    • Perennial vine
  • Malabar Gourd –
    • Shark fin squash
    • Perennial pumpkin
    • Sends off roots from the shoots
    • Edible shoots and fruit
    • Seeds are especially tasty
  • Loofa –
    • Great vegetable; especially tasty when cooked with sukuti, a dried meat jerky
    • When fruit are mature they can be made into a sponge
    • The stem produces a viscous fluid when broken which can be used as a very superior lotion, very effective for sunburns. Very nutritious and moisturizing
    • Loofa leaves can be used when pots and pans are difficult to clean
  • Culantro [Sawtooth Coriander] –
    • Perennial cilantro
    • Far superior to cilantro in making achars and salsas
  • Bottle Gourd –
    • Can make bowls and bottles from dried, older fruit
    • Young fruit is eaten like a vegetable
  • Malabar Spinach
    • Perennial vine
    • Very efficient producer of vegetables, leaf and tender shoots are edible
    • It is so efficient, it is hard to keep up with eating during the hot summer
  • New Zealand Spinach
    • Partner to the Malabar Spinach in that NZ Spinach will produce during the cooler months
    • Very efficient producer of palatable spinach
    • Can only be eaten cooked due to the high presence of calcium oxalate
  • Japanese Leek –
    • In old Japanese, it was called ‘Lazy Grass’ due to it being a perennial crop.
    • Very useful in cooking
    • Leaves are a garlic substitute
    • A patch of Japanese Leek is superior to having a garlic patch
    • Can be harvested all year round
    • Will not produce a bulb
  • Agave
    • Can be milked for pulque before flowering takes place
    • In the height of pulque production, it will produce roughly two liters two times a day
    • Pulque is so nutritious that it is fed to pregnant women and elderly in countries where it originated
    • Can be harvested for the heart which can be processed into agave syrup and tequila or mescal
    • Produces superior fiber which can be processed into rope and cloth
    • Can grow in the most harsh conditions in the mid-hills of Nepal
    • It is a highly underutilized crop in Nepal
  • Fennel –
    • Perennial Bush
    • Seeds are eaten after meals in Nepal as a ‘mouth freshener’ and thus is a cash crop
    • Will clump to reproduce
    • Can resist extreme dryness during the dry season
  • Pumpkin
    • Excellent groundcover
    • Excellent source of vitamin A
    • Will keep unrefrigerated for more than one year
    • Produces a popular vegetable called pharsi munta
    • Shoots are a superior vegetable
    • Seeds are edible
  • Lemongrass –
    • Can grow in very harsh conditions
    • When steam distilled, it will produce citronella oil which repels mosquitos
  • Artemisia Indica –
    • Highly medicinal crop
    • Makes essential oil
    • Artemisia tonic can be made from it which is medicine for arthritis
  • Banana –
    • Perennial Plant
    • Variety grown here is a wild variety from Chitwan
  • Edible Velvet Bean [Kause] –
    • Perennial vine
    • Tastes like fava beans
    • Grown for the beans
    • Very efficient producer
  • Lablab Bean –
    • Leaf juice can be used as tattoo ink
    • Perennial bean
    • Will produce beans year-round in upland tropic climate
  • Burma Beans –
    • Superior taste of the perennial beans
    • When cooked after soaking in water, they taste far superior to kidney beans.
    • Makes excellent chili
  • Chestnut –
    • Perennial, starch producing tree
    • Variety grown here is Chinese Chestnut
    • We are currently doing research on grafting high producing chestnuts to our large chestnut forest
  • Elephant Foot Yam
    • Perennial crop
    • No weeding needed
  • Wild Quinoa-
    • A type of lamb’s quarter
    • The tender leaves are an excellent vegetable
    • The seeds can be washed and rinsed of saponins to produce a quinoa substitute
  • Black Cardamom
    • Perennial cash crop
    • Prices are extremely high for the dried seed pods
  • Papaya –
    • Fast growing perennial fruit
    • Currently have two varieties: local mountain Papaya which lives for many years and produces a large fruit, but is not so sweet, and Hawaiian papaya which produces a small sweet fruit.
  • Ginger –
    • Perennial cash crop
  • Apples –
    • Surprisingly, in Reep apples and mangos can grow next to each other and fruit because of the subtropical highland climate
  • Mandarin Orange –
    • 360 trees in the orchard
    • main ‘cash crop’ of Patiswara Village
  • Chilaune Tree –
    • Makes strong wood
    • Fodder can be fed to animals
    • Bark powder can be used to stop bleeding on deep wounds
  • Forage Peanut –
    • Great ground cover for fruit tree orchards
    • Leguminous plant
    • Great for areas affected by imperiata cylindrica infestations
    • Low maintenance
    • Can be used for chicken forage

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