The cottage is a typical Sri Lankan village style house. The original house had square walls built from rock stones fixed with mud and was built around 50 years ago. Over the years small improvements have been done, such as adding the veranda and enlarging the two front rooms.
Previously it was the home of Malika. She must have loved plants as she left a great variety of fruits and flowers in the garden around the house. Mallika left the house to her son and since he decided to move to Kandy to secure better schooling for his children, the house got neglected. In the last years the house functioned more as a storage for coconuts, fruits and pepper. In this condition the house was bought by Marga and Nihal in 2016 and gradually transformed and upgraded into The Pepper Cottage as it is today.
To our great surprise the house came together with a small estate. A field of more than half an acre north of the house, with pepper trees in the upper part and rice terraces in the lower part. In the middle is a small creek (called Pita Ela) crossing the field, holding water in the rainy season and a two meter deep well with very good water all year round. According to local stories, this well was used by many villagers, until the public water supply got installed in the village. In the corner of the land the remaining threshing floor ‘Kamata’ and two or three brick holes for irrigation are the silent witness of former paddy cultivation.
This historical fact has its consequences: the field has been registered as ‘paddy field’ and we are not allowed to grow trees. In consultation with the Agricultural Department we choose to grow Ayurvedic herbs, spices and vegetables, adapted to the wet soil conditions. Assisted by local neighboring farmers we are building up and managing the small estate.