A Bumthang Farm

On Friday we went on a FEX (field exercise) to a farm in nearby Tang valley. It was, as you can see from the pictures below, absolutely picturesque.

We have been learning about food security and self-sufficiency in Bhutan recently, and this visit put a face to what we have been learning about the complex dynamics between native land use and agriculture, international development money and agricultural schemes, and the tension between locally-grown organic food and imported, processed food.

We spoke with the farmer, with the help of our professor as interpreter, and heard about his own experience being a “progressive farmer” in the area – meaning he has accepted Swiss brown cows (which produce more milk than the indigenous breed of cow) from the Swiss Development Agency and he has joined a honeybee cooperative through which he sells his honey.


The vegetable garden




A butter churn – the first one I’ve ever seen in real life


Our professor (right) speaking with the Bumthap farmer


The family also makes ara, which is a traditional alcoholic beverage consumed in Bhutan. This is one of our SFS/UWICE staff, Rinchen, demonstrating how they make ara.

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One thought on “A Bumthang Farm

  1. A very interesting farm, Julia. I milked Brown Swiss cows years ago at Shelburne Farms, and they are a very pretty, mild mannered cow — and produce wonderful milk and cream for incredible butter and cheese. I used to love to pour that wonderful, raw milk straight from the bulk tank into a bottle and drink it cold and delicious. Interesting the farmer makes an alcoholic beverage, too, along with his other products. Reminds me of the colonial farmers (in the US), who often made hard cider as part of their range of products. Beautiful green pastures in your photos!


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