Continuing the tradition we have started in the past few years, the New Vrindaban Farm Circle commenced its 2008 summer series with a warm and inspiring program last night (July 31st) at the humble abode of Raghu Prabhu and Yamuna Prabhu.
Beginning with a mellow kirtan led by Rupanuga Prabhu and Caitanya Bhagavat Prabhu, we then, as a group, dove into our introductory topic as we shared all the different practices and aspects of our devotional lives that are in tune with Srila Prabhupada's vision of simple, village style-life here in New Vrindaban.
The question was: What are we doing in this simple mood, and how we can build this mood in our community? The practical suggestions flowed and moved. Patrick plans to make homemade detergent so he can continue his yatra of washing clothes by hand. It was suggested that devotees could start a Village Garden Parikrama in order to increase the visibility of our many, varied garden projects.
Madhava Ghosh and Soma both shared the benefits of tree-growing, especially fruit trees as an excellent way of creating a strong, sustainable source of foodstuffs. Ghosh also highlighted the growing of perennials like rhubarb and asparagus in one's garden. Yudhisthira shared the immediate necessity of creating a Vedic Village to fully live by Prabhupada's vision of self-sufficient community, and Madhupati shared his own plans for such a village, while also adding that community is the essential word. Without community, self-sufficiency can be just simply selfish.
Tapahpunja shared all the latest developments with our Small Farm Training Center, while Tom brought down the house with "haribols" by sharing his simple but deep realization that our main duty here is to serve each other. Jamuna shared an idea that we create a timeline to a point in the future where our community would be more responsible to the land and the cows, and to work together on the gradual and needed steps to take us to that point.
Jayasri shared her own practice of reducing utility usage, in which her electric bill is now only $6 a month! Raghu shared plans of restoring Bahulavan to its original splendor, rising again as an example of what Prabhupada originally intended for New Vrindaban. He also added that we shouldn't be put down by our various struggles, as "there is a lot of hope in this community."
We then adjourned to delicious organic prasad from our various gardens (vegetable soup, Gauranga potatoes and zucchini, brown rice cassarole, apple crisp) and we offer our thanks to Yamuna, Patrick, and Tulasi Manjari for cooking.
Next week the Farm Circle will commence in the Small Farn Teaching Garden, across the street from the temple, next to the RVC Goshalla. We will meet on Thursday, August 7th, at 630 pm. HG Tapahpunja Prabhu will be the featured speaker. Prasad will be served, and feel free to bring your own offering. Jaya Prabhupada!