Farmers’ Handbook

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. – Chinese Proverb

Worldwide, mainstream aid projects tend to deal with the symptoms of problems, rather than the problems themselves. In fact, often aid projects actually exacerbate the root issue, by supply free food and clothing that undermines the ability of people on the ground to make a living. In other words, we put them out of their low carbon business, forcing them off the land into cities where they must become part of the consumer treadmill, or perish.

But, sometimes, people with clear heads and unselfish hearts manage to help in much more substantial ways. The links to follow are to individual chapters of a Farmers’ Handbook created by Chris Evans (UK) and Jakob Jespersen (Denmark), who have spent considerable time in Nepal, helping to develop locally appropriate methods and technologies that can help the people of Nepal live better lives, and sustainably so.

Although the information is specifically tailored for Himalayan conditions, almost everyone will find some useful ideas and information in this comprehensive work. The whole handbook is 50 chapters in 5 volumes – a total of 792 pages, including 170 pages of colour photos and illustrations.

Aside from gleaning valuable ideas for your own region, I post this work, with permission, in the hope it will inspire others to do likewise for their own region and climate zone. This is the kind of information sharing that will move humanity onto a sustainable platform of peace and low carbon prosperity.

Please note: These files are free for personal use and circulation (please just link to this page), but can not be used for commercial purposes. They are copyright of Chris Evans and Jakob Jespersen. The Farmers’ Handbook is also still in a draft form and any suggestions of improvement are welcomed. Chris has the original editable version – if people are interested to translate this production into another language, or offer other suggestions, please contact Chris on: cevans (at)

All files to follow are PDFs.

Farmers’ Handbook
© Chris Evans and Jakob Jespersen
Not to be used for commercial purposes

Introductory Pamphlet

Volumes are organised by zone-appropriate subject.

Volume 1: Inside the House (Zone 0)

Volume 2: Near the House (Zones 1-2)

Volume 3: Near the House (Zones 1-2)


Volume 4: The Fields (Zones 3-4)

Volume 5: Zone 5 & issues across all zones or without a zone