Thursday, January 3, 2013
New Year's eve was spent in our toasty dining hall, with many of our community members sharing their talent as an offering and expression of love, straight from the heart. Our Music of the Heart Festival has been running for 12 consecutive years now, initiated by one of our Leaders, HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami. Yasodamayi has been taking primary responsibility to organize and facilitate this wonderful event, bringing everyone together to ring in the new year with joyful and grateful hearts!
Here are some of the presentations - apologies for the inferior quality pics :(.
Gaura, Vraja & Abhay have been spending much time (on their own initiative and selflessly) during the fall researching, evaluating and physically treating our uncared for apple and pear orchard with a view to either revive it or establish a new orchard. We are very inspired by their enthusiasm and forward thinking approach. Here they are in action!
Bali, Gauraraya & Dhruva spent many days building new feeding stalls for our cows. The previous wooden structures were strong but over the years, our herd love to lean and scratch against the beams, therefore calling for the beams to be replaced.
We got some good quality hardwood from our Amish friend, Sam, and built a sturdy structure. The cows are gradually getting used to this new set up. We were ready to bring therm all in to the barn by Dec 1st. We spread comfy bedding - soft spelt straw, which all of them love, even Bala, Madri and Kunti (our donkey and goats) who when separated show their unhappiness in various ways. Hence they all reside happily together.
Friday, December 21, 2012
We constructed a 2000sqft high tunnel this past summer. This is a little different to the conventional greenhouse in that it has a single layer of plastic covering the frame and has no heat source except for energy from the sun. It also has roll-up sides which will help with heating and cooling. We plan to grow vegetables in this tunnel. Here are Gaura, Lee and Rupert in action!
This summer, we dug a 3500 ft trench 3 ft deep and installed 6 inch and 4 inch pipes in this trench for an irrigation system. This trench began at the Tuscarora Creek (our Yamuna River) and ran all the way up to orchard hill, across the hay fields. The plan is to irrigate 20 acres to grow vegetables, and to also expand our orchard, where irrigation will also be required, for our berry bushes and for the early growth of the fruit trees. We also "T-ed" off the system to irrigate our greenhouses and high tunnel.
It was quite a big project, especially to dig that distance and then cover the pipes, as well as to pour concrete around each riser (where we "T" off to different parts of the system). It also involved a lot of planning (on paper and on screen) to ensure that the layout of the system corresponded to our field map. We hope to irrigate 14 acres through the drip system and 6 acres with overhead irrigation system.
Here come the pipes and the trench diggers - see pics above!