For the week of June 2nd-June 8th 2008
It was hot hot hot! We finally were able to devote a lot of time up top at the Garden of Seven Gates, and we are happy to report that we have pretty much everyone of our crops in the ground and ready to bloom and prosper.
What we got done
-Our dearest HG Shanka Prabhu (Prabhupada's "flower boy") began his yearly seva of planting in front of the main temple building. This week he put down a series of canna plants for our aesthetic pleasure.
Prabhupada's flower boy
-Up top at the Garden of Seven Gates we put down rows of cucumbers, which are struggling right now due to a possible fungal problem. We also put in a few different kinds of peppers, including bell, cayenne, and some chilis.
Tom lays down posts with authority for our tomato plants
-Topping the week off within the Seven Gates saw us putting down a whole bunch of summer and winter squash, and we put up fences for our tomato plants.
If we were a pro wrestler, we'd be called "The Rotovator"
-In the Teaching Garden we harvested a bunch of bundles of lettuce, mustard greens, and cilantro, which have been appearing in our morning kichiri and lunchtime salads, to the delight of all devoted tongues.
-We also planted beets, chard, and our first bitter melon crop in the Teaching Garden this week.
-The kids from Gopal's Garden had an exciting tractor ride during their visit this week, and then harvested some mustard greens for their family prasad.
-Tapahpunja also renewed our arrangements with local charities in the greater Wheeling area to receive some of our surplus crops for their public outreach programs to the hungry and needy.
What we realized
Everyday with hands dirty, feeling the wind blow, eyeing the sky for storms, sweating in the heat...our connection to the elements is like any intimate relationship, a rollercoaster ride of joy and frustration, dependence and blessings. One begins to feel his or her place in the whole scheme of things, and the education is subtle. Every scoop of dirt, every piece of green has its own personality and its own way of teaching you how to react and how not to react.
This is our small but inspired contribution to the overall environmental, social, and spiritual good, or in other words, our effort to help bring about the other 50% of Prabhupada's mission...varnasrama-dharma. Real culture....this is what we must provide in our efforts. Not only for devotees truly committed to the path less-traveled (outside the techno-industrial sphere), but to all those who want to live by the higher ideals. Our efforts must help to build the framework to provide the opportunities, inspiration, and leadership to create the environment that is best conductive for "high thinking." We must communicate in such a way that we can learn from those willing to help us on the practical side, the external side, while we provide in return the deeper knowledge on the internal side.
Please help us out! Your hands, heads, and hearts can help us restore Srila Prabhupada's vision of self-sufficency here at New Vrindaban Dham. We're out shining and even in the rain in the Teaching Garden across the street from the RVC Temple, or up the hill at the Garden of Seven Gates. See HG Tapahpunja Prabhu for all the details.
Click here for more info on the Small Farm Training Center.
Stay tuned for next week's update! Hari Haribol!