The Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation
In 2013, KRMEF purchased degraded farmland that was previously farmed using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In the years since, KRMEF has rejuvenated the land by transforming it into a biodynamic farm.
The biodynamic farming method takes a holistic, ecological approach to agriculture by focusing on improving soil fertility to produce healthier plants and, in turn, healthier individuals. Like organic farming, it uses natural composts as opposed to artificial chemicals, however the biodynamic method strives to create a balanced ecosystem within the soil itself, which enhances the nutrition, quality, and flavour of the food being grown. A number of biodynamic practices have been implemented at KRMEF. The abundant vegetables grown in our farm are used in our restaurant, Leela’s Eco Cafe for locals and visitors to enjoy.
It is KRMEF’s mission to bring this environmentally sustainable, effective farming method to the local community and throughout Nepal. Villagers from remote areas can attend seminars at the foundation to learn about biodynamic farming practices, which they can then bring back to their own communities. Krishna, KRMEF’s Founder, travels throughout Nepal to spread the practice by offering free seminars, sometimes accompanied by Hans Mulder, an internationally renowned expert on biodynamic farming. We also accept a few agricultural majors from mid-Western Nepal to intern with us each semester.
KRMEF is active in manufacturing bio briquettes, a high energy organic fuel source. Traditional stoves are still widely used in rural Nepal, which are essentially no more than cooking fires contained within a clay oven. The main fuel for these stoves is wood. Firewood is inefficient since heavy bundles are collected far from the source and are time-consuming to carry home. This practice also contributes to the problem of deforestation in Nepal, as more and more of Nepal’s forests are being destroyed.
Our bio-briquettes are made on-site from a mixture of sawdust, shredded waste paper and cow dung. We employ locals and those affected by leprosy to mix the paper with sawdust, which is therapeutic and promotes blood circulation in their hands and feet. Cow dung is then added to the mixture, made into briquettes using a special hand-press, and dried. The resulting biofuel is light, easily transportable, cost effective and eco-friendly.
This project has generated great interest from schools both in Nepal and abroad. We have welcomed many visitors to the foundation to learn more about manufacturing bio-briquettes since it is a promising model of fully sustainable energy.
We are engaged in the production of biogas, a renewable methane gas produced from the fermentation of cow manure and urine. The waste is placed into an anaerobic digestion tank where it is mixed into a slurry. Gas is released and piped into an underground holding tank where it can then be used as fuel for gas stoves. The leftover slurry by-product is used both as a fertilizer for our biodynamic farm as well as a mulch for preserving soil in the dry season.
There are two parabolic solar ovens on site that act as a no-cost alternative cooking method. These devices use the energy of the sun’s rays and are low-tech, yet highly efficient and completely sustainable. KRMEF primarily uses these ovens in the refining process when making natural liquid soap, however they are also used to prepare honey and other foods.
KRMEF is active in providing free workshops throughout Nepal to teach villagers about the use and production of eco-friendly energies so they may have the opportunity to develop their own alternative cooking fuel from locally sourced materials. We seek to bring these methods into full sustainability and look forward to a future where all have access to renewable energy sources that preserve our healthy green earth.
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We developed our eco-building method in 2010 as a solution to Nepal’s outdated and environmentally-unfriendly traditional architecture. Our structures have a bamboo frame, thatched roof, recycled car tire base and walls made from plaster using shredded recycled paper, clay, sand, straw, and cow manure. Glass bottles, which would otherwise be disposed of in the streets, are recycled to serve as bricks which are both strong and decorative. As a result, these eco-buildings are much cheaper to construct, and follow a flexible structural system which will sway, but is less likely to crumble during an earthquake. We have also implemented a straw bale technique, using dried local rice straw, bamboo reinforcement, wooden windows and doors, plaster made of lime and clay, and paint made with lime. For more information on how our natural buildings are sustainable and safe solutions for communities across Nepal, please visit our Post-Disaster Recovery page.