Friday, December 21, 2012

A Balmy Day at the Farm - Fall 2012

Our High Tunnel is Built!

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!

Building our Infrastructure: Irrigation System for Crops

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!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


delicious breakfast with family from DC

Caitanya Jivan - serving as always

Rasamrta, Anand & Mayu decorating the cart

children decorating the cart

Haridas, Dineswar and others in kirtan

Vilasa Manjari, Haricakra and others look on and join the kirtan

Visnugada - serving as always

While it is in the 40s right now here in Gita Nagari, we all somehow found ourselves fondly reminiscing about our vibrant yet sweet country style festival of chariots this past summer, where the  temperatures were in the 80s, and always cooled off with a cloud burst just near the end of the festival.

The sweetest part was the willing and harmonious co-operation of many wonderful people, both from our Gita Nagari community, and from our sister Projects too.  As usual, our Harrisburg family of devotees practically "made it happen" and our cooks from DC led by Puspavan and Kunti and Padma were a hit, as well as our well wishers from Philadelphia and New Jersey and New York and actually everywhere :) - they all made it a colorful and wonderful festival!  We were especially excited to welcome guests form our Port Royal, Mifflintown and Lewiston communities too!  We remain grateful for everyone's incredible support!

Looking forward to our next one - mark your calendars - always last Saturday in July - for 2013, it will be on July 27th and this will be our 35th one!!!


Set in the scenic Tuscarora Valley, framed by mountain ridges, boundaried by the Tuscarora Creek on the east side, inhabited by melodious birds and other creatures, home to 6 joyful volunteers, 18 peaceful cows/oxen, a couple of goats, a donkey and a rooster, and a carefree flock of about 40 peacocks, Gita Nagari Organic Farm of 350 acres of rolling green hay fields, pastures and diverse woods engages in compassionate farming, above all its other activities.


We at Gita Nagari Organic Farm have understood that as an intentional community, we can be profitable and sustainable. This is because our core values rest on community and compassion where we are stewards of our people, land and animals. This is exemplified through our Organic Systems Plan, Forest Stewardship Plan, Conservation Plan, Nutrient Management Plan, Community Activities and and Cow and Ox Protection Plan.

Our goals are to balance lifestyle and agriculture through organic farming integrated with renewable energy sources. While our current practices are not there yet, we are making significant progress towards this. We would love to share with you our various projects in this regard such as biofuels, green buildings, and ox power.

Core to the above are people - people make things happen! Personal and community values are rooted in love, care, respect, compassion, and above all, engaging the talents and hearts of each other in loving service - service being a word we deliberately use to describe our daily activities as opposed to “chores” and “tasks”.

Given this backdrop, we offer to our qualifying interns the opportunity to:
  • learn the fundamental principles of organic farming side by side with us - the format is theoretical input and conversations accompanied by hands on farming. This begins with understanding the natural elements used to grow wholesome food, planning your season, to germination techniques to planting techniques and up to harvesting, followed by preparing your garden for the next growing season
  • learn the fundamental principles of caring for and protecting cows and oxen - their value, how to engage their gifts of milk, manure and urine, and training oxen
  • learn core leadership competencies including planning, organizing, leading, managing self, others and tasks/services, business planning and strategic planning through real Projects as case studies
  • become Project Team members on Agriculture and any Project of interest for you here on the Farm - we have many Projects in progress, constantly. This is underpinned by the principle that farming is not an isolated activity but rather the heart beat of the community, with active inspired people being the heart of our farm
  • lead any community event/activity regarding the youth, festivals, cleaning, re-organizing, introducing enhanced systems, and much more
  • learn diverse vegetarian cooking, yoga, meditation, and broaden your knowledge on applied wholesome lifestyle

The above is structured into the daily activities of the Farm.

You can apply to intern for one month up to one year - a duration that meets your needs and that of the farm. We do request that there is consistency please so as to enhance your learning experience and meet the needs of an active and developing farm.

Our core value proposition to you is compassionate farming coupled with empowerment and zero bureaucracy to lead and/or participate in the multitude of development Projects.

Being a compassionate farm, our residents and guests while on our Project practice vegetarianism and intoxication-free habits.


Please apply on-line at - submit your biographical details, a brief background, your goals regarding sustainable farming, your needs and expectations to and call 717 527 4101 to chat further!

Let’s partner for a compassionate and sustainable future together.