Dear Friends, 27 January 2009
We are writing to ask you to help us establish our first Krishna-conscious farm in Michigan. With great pleasure, we wish to inform you that on January 11, 2009, our non-profit organization, The Michigan Society for Cow Protection (MISCOWP), signed a sales contract to purchase a beautiful 80-acre farm in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.
This farm project will be called Vedic Village. Our inspiration comes from Srila Prabhupada’s desire that devotees establish spiritually centered farm communities based on cow protection and agricultural self-sufficiency. We believe that this farm, working together with the Detroit Hare Krishna Temple, presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand the culture of Krishna consciousness and attract the hearts, minds, and souls of a great many people. Vedic Village is strategically located, far enough from suburbia to be nestled in peaceful farmland, and close enough to major cities to be a convenient drive. It is less than a half hour from Ann Arbor and Chelsea, and less than an hour from Lansing, Flint, and the Metro-Detroit area. We plan to interface with society on all levels, especially the education system and agricultural community. Before long, we would also like to develop a chain of sit-down, drive-thru vegetarian restaurants.
To help finance this project, and to provide the best produce and milk products possible to the Detroit Temple, our congregation and the general public, this Spring we plan to develop a 15-acre garden on the farm where we will cultivate over 40 types of organically-grown heirloom vegetables and fruits. By early summer, we also plan to have our first milking cows. We will offer community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares to at least 108 families for our first season. This means that people can redirect to our project some of the money they normally would spend on commercial produce, and thus receive a 10-15 lb box of fresh produce each week for 21 weeks during the growing season. Please see the attached 7-page CSA packet for more information and to get a good general understanding of our goals for Vedic Village.
Srila Prabhupada has pointed out that every major endeavor requires four things, namely land, labor, organization and capital. By Krishna’s grace, we have the land. Now we are asking for your help with labor, organization and raising capital. Please allow us to present our “wish list,” which includes some of the volunteer service and donations we need for our project to get off to a good start. Remember that because MISCOWP is a federally recognized (501)(C)(3) non-profit organization, all in-kind service and monetary donations are tax-exempt.
Volunteer help: In brief, we need help with fund raising; financial planning; grant research and writing; recruiting CSA members; garden design and construction; farming; carpentry skills to renovate the barn and outbuildings; care for the cows and oxen; and help with secretary, treasury and public relations.
$1,000 a month to cover the $12,000 rent for the first year
$2,400 for the cost of purchasing organic, heirloom vegetable seeds
$900 for 30 fruit trees
$600 for 100 blueberry bushes
$450 for professional help to formulate a business plan
$1,500 for liability insurance for the first year
$500 for an assortment of garden tools and several wheelbarrows
$500 for 120 specially-made durable reusable Vedic Village CSA boxes
$3,500 for four 6-7 month old Zebu bulls at $800 each, plus $300 for transport expenses
to pick them up in North Carolina and bring them to our farm. (Two are a pure Indian
breed called Gyr, and the other two are American Brahmans, which are a mix of several
Indian pure breeds. Please see the attached photo of the two Gyr calves. In mid
February, we would like to bring them from North Carolina to a friends heated barn
near Vedic Village where they will receive much loving care. Eventually, we will learn
from Balabradra prabhu (co-founder of ISCOWP) and other experts how to train them
for agricultural purposes.
$1,500 to purchase several beehives, bees and equipment. We need bees and other flying
insects to pollinate our open-pollinated vegetable and fruit plants.
$2,000 for equipment to use for ox plowing and hay cutting.
$15,000 for a 3,350 foot long 8 foot high deer fence to protect the garden.
By May we will also need a sizable walk-in cooler, a delivery van, and a mini bus to transport people back and forth from the Detroit Hare Krishna Temple and Vedic Village.
We have faith that Krishna will help us every step of the way to develop this farm for the benefit of as many people as possible. The overall goal is to demonstrate to the world a healthy God-centered lifestyle that can be replicated anywhere. We believe humanity and Mother Earth needs Krishna consciousness more then ever and we are dedicated to develop a model educational farm community that everyone can appreciate.
If you would like to donate your time, join our team, or have any questions, please either call or email me at (313) 823-3815 / email@example.com. According to your inquiry, you may be put in touch with either one of our two vice presidents, Antariksa dasa and Navadvipa dasa. If you would like to contribute towards any of our projects, please make your check out to MISCOWP and send it c/o Adiraja dasa, 313 Newport, Detroit, Michigan 48215. You will receive a receipt within two or three days. We also accept payment by credit card. In closing, we would like to thank you again for your interest in the success of Vedic Village and we look forward to your participation. Hare Krishna!
With warm regards,