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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Simple Living, High Thinking #6

For the week of July 7th-July 13th, 2008

Join us now for yet another enriching and inspiring look into the go-go farm-farm world of the Garden of Seven Gates and the Teaching Garden, all part of the Small Farm Training Center here at New Vrindaban Dham.

(Apologies for no original pics this week. We are having some computer problems in the Club 108 office. We'll have a picture post for your viewing pleasure later this week.)

What we got done
-We are into the final planting phase of the season, and up top at the Garden of Seven Gates we've been busy re-planting cucumbers, squash, chard, and lettuce in places where they haven't come up well, due to the unusually cool and rainy weather we've been having.

-We removed the floating row cover from our winter and summer squash, as they are coming up nice and tall and need the breathing and growing room (especially to get above the reach of the pesky groundhogs).

-The solemn sounds of nature included the necessary buzz of the weedwhacker, as we shaved up the encroaching invaders and vines from the edge of bean, squash, and tomato plots. Bhakta-Chris, in charge of this ecstatic service, was told he "looked like a monster" afterwards, as he was covered head to toe in grass shards.

-In order to encourage our young crop of chard and lettuce to grow and grow, we spent a lot of time this week carefully removing weeds and other non-desirables from the patch. Tapahpunja continues to take the greenest members of the chard-and-lettuce team into Wheeling as donations to our friends in the local soup-kitchen charities (We'll have a special in-depth look at our charity runs in the near-future).

-Down below at the Teaching Garden, Tom is making rapid progress on the extension to our shelter area, which will eventually house a brick oven. The foundation is nearly dug out, and we are surrounding it with earthship-style tires (filled with dirt). Each tire weighs nearly 300 pounds, and with two people filling it it takes 15-20 minutes per tire.

-Tad Dejarneut and his family stayed with us in the SANTEE House for a short visit this week. Tad is an expert signmaker, and he made an awesome Garden of Seven Gates sign in his effort this week. Him and his family will soon return for more artistic service to our project.

-Come on in when you get a chance and check out the beauty of the Teaching Garden in full bloom, from stinging nettles to amaranth to stevia and beyond. Don't forget to ask for a free sample of the chocolate mint.

What we realized
Das anudas anudas anudas....
Like hearing the Holy Name loud and clear, the true spiritual art of the land also directly connects you to Krsna. One can see the deft design aesthetic of the Lord in a beautiful rose or gardenia, and one can also understand that we are dependent upon Krsna for all the necessities. Krsna is giving us the land, water, air, and intelligence to actually cultivate Mother Bhumi in the proper way. It is up to us to unwrap these gifts and not break them or misuse them in a childish way.

We are not only serving our society-at-large by these efforts at spiritual self-sufficiency, but we can even go to a deeper level. The potent potato and the purposeful pepper on the Lord's offering plate, the fragrant flowers we have grown now laid as a garland around Srimati Radharani's neck, and even the countless little pieces of grass used by Mother Cow for her midday meal are all living entities offering devotional service, and making spiritual advancement.

From fulfilling our duty to help these entities in their service, we can practically understand the connection of all things in Krsna's embrace and realize the presence of the Lord in everything we see, making the endlessly meditating yogis envious of our easy and sublime process.

In all aspects of our devoted lives to the land and cow, we must create a devotional mentality at the core, as we see in New Vraja Dham in Hungary, in which the nonsalaried resident devotees are always cultivating the realization that everything they bring forth from the ground, whether its houses or lettuce, belongs to Radhe-Shyam. It's that heartbeat which must now resound in our fledging farm communities and beyond in order to insure the future. The fruitive mentality, with all its gross and subtle snags, only creates a whirlpool in which the community gets dragged down in.

Finally, the torch has to be passed! For all younger devotees and personalities interested in this mission, now is the time to be trained up. To keep our projects in Prabhupada's family, and to insure our momentum continues to build and build, take a chance and join us to offer your hands and heart in our very bountiful sacred effort.

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!

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