Poly house (greenhouse) was for the first time tried/piloted successfully in Lunana by a teacher Namgay Dorji of Lunana school. He mobilized the needed plastic at his own expenses. Dzongkhag awarded him the 2016 Annual Good to Great Gasa Award to him in recognition of this outstanding contribution of his. Then following The Royal visit to Lunana in 2016, poly houses were Soelrad (gifted) to schools and other government offices. Thereafter Dzongkhag pursued this programme and today we have 149 poly houses in operation in Lunana.
Photo credits: Younten Phuntsho, Agriculture staff of Lunana
Additional News of Greenhouses in Lunana
Greenhouses enable Lunaps to grow more varieties of vegetables
Not so long ago, the people in Lunana could grow only radish, potato and spinach. But now they grow a host of other vegetables, such as beans, cabbage, chilies, and even maize thanks to greenhouses.
What’s more interesting is how this is changing the diet of Lunaps.
Challenged by the harsh climate at over 4,100 meters above sea level, the villagers of Lhedi, Tshojong, Thangza, and Tenchoe in Lunana earlier survived on a limited diet of mainly barley, radish, potato, spinach and yak meat.
But ever since the first greenhouse was set up at the Mendrilthang Extended Classroom in Tshojong two years ago, the food habits of Lunaps changed.
Cabbage, cucumber, broccoli, chili, and maize are now a part of their daily diet.
“In winter we can’t grow anything. In summer, from March till August, we grow radish, potato, and spinach. And now with the greenhouse, we grow onions and other vegetables as well,” Rinzin Dema from Tenchoe said.
“We can even grow chilli if we work hard. The vegetables grow big if you tend them well. If not, they don’t grow well. It’s all in our hands.”
Tandi, also from Tenchoe, said in the past, vegetables are off the menu after August in Lunana.
“Now with greenhouse, we have vegetables until November. It’s also easier to grow vegetables in greenhouse. What is hard is to build one due to lack of wood nearby. After that, it’s easy,” he said.
Eating a variety of vegetables certainly means more nutrients. “It’s good especially for those who are anemic. Green vegetables help them,” Tandi added.
It’s not easy to live in a high altitude place like Lunana. Winter is extremely harsh. Some migrate to Punakha and Thimphu in winter to escape the biting cold.
Others who stay up make sure to buy food supplies enough to last them through the long cold winter.