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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Simple Living, High Thinking #13

For the week of September 15th-21st, 2008

The chill of the fall night soothes and refreshes the soul. Let us refresh your browser in the same way with this week's updates of the goings-on here at the Small Farm Training Center here at New Vrindaban Dham

What we got done

-Click here to read this week's report from our Farm Circle gathering, as we canned tomatoes at Yudhisthira's one-of-a-kind stone cabin. Here's some more pics of Yudhisthira's humble woods abode.

Yudhisthira cranks it

At next week's Farm Circle, we will be heading up to Radha-Kunda, in the association of HH Varsana Swami, to share wisdom and freshly pressed apple cider. Here are some of the pics of the cider press, rescued from Bahulaban and now being oiled, washed, and repaired for next Thursday night.

-The fall harvest continues to abound up top at the Garden of Seven Gates. We need help and hands to finish off our green bean patches, chard patches, and to pull some of our tomato plants out of the ground to prepare the way for next year's growing season. See Tapah or Chris if you would like to help, and they will be more than happy to share the seva.

-In what is becoming a project akin to building the Great Pyramids, we put into place a big, 400-lb log this weekend in our Workshop Extension, moving one step closer to being able to begin construction on the roof. The whole shebang included skinning the bark off the log, in which Chris remarked that it made him "feel like a manly man", and then hoisting the log using the combined brainpower, willpower, and musclepower of Tapah, Tom, and Jay Murari. Big thanks to the Glendale flea market for providing the large tripod that also did some of the actual lifting. Here's some pics of the death-defying ordeal.

-We were asked what was the position of Club 108 on the proposal to allow natural gas drilling on New Vrindaban owned land. Right now, like the rest of our community, we are cautious and trying to educate ourselves as to the benefits and side-effects. Above all, at the present moment, we would hope a final decision isn't rushed into without considering all the possible angles.

Here's some links to websites with information on the process and effects of such drilling:

And click here to read the notes from our community this past Monday, the 15th, on the drilling issue.

What we realized

As Yudhisthira put it, his place and his life is "back to basics". To most "civilized" people, ensconced in IPhones, Obamamania, and Vogue magazine, the basics seem primitive, alien, and a big fright. But Prabhupada said...

That is our mission: Cow protection and agriculture and if there is excess, trade. This is a no-profit scheme. For the agriculture we want to produce our own food and we want to keep cows for our own milk. The whole idea is that we are ISKCON, a community to be independent from outside help. This farm project is especially for the devotees to grow their own food. Cotton also, to make their own clothes. And keeping cows for milk and fatty products.
Our mission is to protect our devotees from unnecessary heavy work to save time for advancing in Krsna consciousness. This is our mission. So there is no question of profit, but if easily there are surplus products, then we can think of trading. Otherwise we have no such intention. We want a temple, a gosala and agriculture. A community project as in Europe and America. We are making similar attempts in India in several places.
(Letter to Yasomatinandana dasa, 28th November, 1976)

In creating a culture of care, we must support and take part in our rural projects in Srila Prabhupada's vision, if only to serve our fellow devotees by making their path back to Godhead easier. For devotees of this generation and generations going forwards, to create transcendental village atmospheres will give the sublime alternative of lifestyle choice as opposed to the utter entanglements of the ugra-karma world. It's our duty!

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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