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Spring Planting in the Spiti Valley

  • Joan Pollock
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Once the snow melts from the fields, the preparation for spring planting can begin. It’s very late this year as its been a very cold winter with a lot of snow still lingering in the fields. To help the melting process very often ash from the fire is spread on the land to speed up the thaw.

The preparation of the fields begin with the soil being ploughed with the help of Yaks and Zho’s. Spiti still uses a hand plough made locally by the blacksmith. After that it is fertilized by the waste from the houses over the winter.

The women get together and dig the furrow for the crops to be planted. This is done in unison and they chant their up and down the fields, it’s a wonderful site to see.

The whole village work together to help each other field by field on each other’s land. The Spiti villagers have a wonderful community spirit which is refreshing to see and makes us realise what we have lost to a large extent in the West.