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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ISCOWP October 09 Newsletter Update

Dear Friends,
We discussed with you the emergency to fix the barn water system for the cows in the current ISCOWP News. You can read about the water emergency HERE.
Due to your donations to date, a little over $2000, we have been able to begin digging out the area around the frostless hydrant and meter pit next to the water tank in the small barn.
We had rented a jack hammer and the initial 4 inches of cement took a few hours and then 2 feet of dirt were easily removed. The problem then arouse when we hit cement again and discovered this cement was about 12 inches thick. We had forgotten that before we rebuilt and enlarged the small barn we had another water system in place there. So, the cement removal now took 2 days instead of the initial 1 day. Janardana, the young man we hired for this phase of the project, finished digging the hole to a depth of 5 feet and was glad this phase of the project was finished.
Tejo, our plumber has inspected the work and is satisfied with phase 1. We discovered that to replace the frostless hydrant with the same brand will now cost $950 for the faucet and $140 for shipping. Our plumping supplier was outraged with this news. He won't buy any for his company now and has also discovered that the distributor in Pittsburgh will also not stock this frostless hydrant due to the outrageous price. The last time we bought this brand of frostless hydrant we paid $147 in Wheeling. So we will try and fix the old hydrant and if that is not possible we will purchase the next best brand of frostless hydrant for $99 from our supplier.
Phase 2 is to remove all of the broken concrete and dirt from the work area and to bring in gravel for backfilling the hole and approximately 30-40 bags of cement to seal the hole. If all goes well this phase of the water project will be completed next week
The approximate funds needed to replace this water system in the geriatric barn was $1500. Due to your generosity we have that much. We need $1000 to do the maintenance that would prevent another system breakage before winter and $5000 to replace the cows favorite broken watering tank in the barnyard. So, please send what you can to help the cows. You can read about how you can
Donate and our organic produce gifts to you for your generosity. Thank you.
Janardana breaking the first 4 inches of cement in the left photo on the first day.
In the right photo Janardana has broken a good portion of the 12 inches of cement.
The finished hole is approximately 4 ft. wide and 5 ft.long and 5 ft. deep.
Approximately, half of our herd is in old age. In old age, both with humans and animals, the body becomes worn out and disease and death eventually occur. Since you received the current newsletter, two of our cows have left their bodies.
Jaya enjoying the spring pasture surviving last year's winter.

Jaya has passed away. After over 5 years of fighting cancer in his eyes, he sat down on September 16 and could not get up. That following day his soul left his body. It was a quick and fearless departure. He had been so fortunate to keep pasturing with the herd throughout his illness and we hoped that when he did go down he would leave quickly. When we found him down we immediately placed a tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting near him and gave him holy water from the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. We suspected that he would leave us quickly as he had been loosing the fight against the cancer for several months.

Always a good natured ox, Jaya was pleased to see anyone. Even after 3 operations to remove the cancerous growths he liked people. When we took him to the veterinarian hospital in Columbus for his last and most extensive operation a year an a half ago, the doctors and students were amazed at his cooperative attitude and at how large he was yet so sweet. He was a little over 6 feet at his shoulder and weighed about 1 ton. Since the time he was discovered with eye cancer, which we have been told is common for white faced cows, we tried alternative medicines like homeopathy which appeared to help but never cured him.

When Bhumi, who also died of eye cancer this spring, came back from the Columbus hospital after having her cancerous growth removed, it was Jaya who comforted her. He would visit her in her stall as if to assure her that he healed and so would she. She became calm after his visits.

His partner Nanda passed away this year also. Both were 14 years old which is equal to 70 years in a human's life. Both Nanda and Jaya made the team Jayananda, named after the present day Vaisnava saint. When they were young, their main service was logging.

We are sad not to have Jaya's association any longer, but at the same time we are glad that he passed swiftly with enough time to receive sanctifying holy water, hear the chanting of sacred mantras and have the association of the herd till the end.

Ujala in the spring and in the barn yard during the winter.

Ujala passed away. As you know, she had a great deal of trouble with her hip. This problem had been going on for about one year. Sometimes she seemed excellent and sometimes she would sit down for a long time and not get up. Then she would surprise us, get up and walk very well. The vet had said that she incurred a hip injury and with rest she may get better. Even though she received much rest and would heal, she had the habit of jumping other cows when they were in heat (fertile period) which gave her more trouble with her hip. In fact, we believe this habit of hers was the cause of her hip injury.

A month ago we moved all the cows from one side of the farm to another. She did not want to move from a very nice spot near a stream and in the shade. At this spot she could sit down and have grass and water to eat. We convinced her to move with the other cows. A few weeks later she was missing when we counted the cows as we do every day. We looked and looked for two days. On the side we were looking there are innumerable places along the creek and in the forest where she could have sat down. She was not to be found. Then it occurred to us that possibly she could have pushed through the fencing to get to the other side of the farm to the spot that she did not want to move from a few weeks ago. This would be highly unusual, as cows are very herd conscious and do not like to be separate from each other. We took a look and there she was already passed away.

She had to be greatly determined to get to this spot. We could not find any broken fences. It is as if she made up her mind that it was time to leave and she knew exactly where she wanted to do that. It still amazes us that she would do this. She was always the one to make a huge fuss over any other cow that went down and could not get up. She would bellow and bellow to tell us something was wrong. We would then follow her bellowing and find the needy cow or ox. However, she would also bellow at other times and we never knew if she just wanted to let off steam or there was something actually wrong.

We will miss her bellowing and her beautiful face.

We plan on maintaining a herd size of approximately 20 to 25 cows. At the present we have 20 cows. We have enough space to acquire one or two more cows.

Visiting Australia by Balabhadra

On Aug. 28 I departed for Australia to visit one of the ISKCON farms there. My trip was hosted by some of devotees there who wanted my input on the development of cow protection at their farm. The name of the farm is New Govardhana and it is located on approximately 800 acres of hilly land on the Eastern side of Australia about 1 1/2 hours from Brisbane. There are approximately 80 cows/oxen on this farm.

The devotees have recently opened a new Govinda's restaurant on the Gold Coast about 45 minutes from the farm. The restaurant has been doing a brisk business of very tasty prasadam (food offered to Lord Krishna). The Temple President, Ajita das, made a pledge to Lord Narasimha dev in Mayapur that any profits from the restaurant would go to the cows and developing the agriculture at New Govardhana. He is keeping his word and the cows and farm are undergoing better care and a facility facelift.

When I was there new fences were being built and roads repaired to access remote parts of the farm where some of the pasturing grounds are located. In the repairing of one road a dam was repaired to the joy of the cowherds.

The old facility for the cows will be undergoing a complete make over in the very near future to make it more user friendly for the cows and cowherds as well as visitors.

Ajita das would like to see the farm become an accredited educational facility for all aspects of Krishna conscious education for all of Australia.

Ajita das has been the Temple president for 10 years at New Govardhana and has slowly but surely been working to develop a catering business which has 3 traveling catering trucks that cater many concerts and other events on the East Coast of Australia distributing great prasadam and Srila Prabhupada's books.

I look forward to New Govardhana being a great rural community spreading cow protection and Krishna culture in Australia.

On my return trip I had an overnight stop in Auckland, New Zealand. I was hosted very graciously by Bilvamangal das and his wife Krsodari devi and daughter Anuradha devi. Although the plane arrived at midnight we were able to go to the farm the next morning...... which was a 45 minute drive from town. I was able to meet Ananta Krsna dasi ( she has been taking care of the cows there for at least 20 years) and speak with her briefly about the cows and the farm's plans. My plane left for Hawaii at 11:00 a.m. where I visited my 93 year old mother and twin sister for 3 days. I returned home on Sept 12th very tired but assured that the cows and direction of New Govardhan farm and rural community are progressing nicely under the leadership of Ajita das.

Overlooking the farm from the men's ashram. The farm has a small herd of Gir cows
West Virginia Northern Community College
Two classes came from the West Virginia Northern Community College to visit New Vrindavan. The field of education that they were perusing was culinary arts. It was quite an experience for them to look at where their hamburger came from. One man said; " I'll never see a hamburger in the same way again."
Students from the first class of culinary arts get a hands-on experience (note the barn has been painted).
A demonstration of working with an ox was given to the second class.
Julia visiting her adopted ox Priya. Members of the Vaisnavi Retreat visiting Amrita and Sri.
This year the garden production was erratic due to the unpredictable weather conditions. The sweet peppers did absolutely nothing at all. Only 1/2 of the 200 tomato plants had a relatively good yield. The beans did nicely both for eating,freezing and harvesting mature beans for soup and planting next years planting. The carrots were small and tasty. In the early spring we had spinach, snow peas and lots of lettuce as well as beets. The cucumbers did well and the potatoes have been feeding us for the past 5 months. The Bitter Melon has been producing profusely and we have dried a lot of it for winter use and for gifts for our members. Zucchini has been prolific as usual. We lost 95% percent of the Acorn Squash to the ground hogs and about 50% of the Butternut Squash went to the ground hogs as well. In the spring we had decent rain and in the summer the rains were marginal at best with periods of 2 weeks or so without rain. The area had the coolest July in recorded history with little rain as well. The fall has come quickly and we have already had 3 frosts by Mid October....but still the killing frost has yet to come. We still need to finish harvesting carrots and the last of the beans for seed. The last of the Tuberose will be harvested today. The marigolds are still going strong but will be finished when the killing frost hits, unless we cover them with plastic to extend their season.. All things considered it was a fair garden season.
Chaitanya Bhagawat harvesting Butternut Squash. Dharani harvesting apples and carrots.
We pray this letter finds you all well.
Your servant,
ISCOWP Co-Managing Director
P.S. If you would like to stop receiving this update letter please click reply and put unsubscribe in the subject line. Thank you.
ISCOWP and the Lotus/Cow symbol are service marks
of the International Society for Cow Protection, Inc.

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