In 1947 a bill was passed creating 16 conservation districts in Hawaii and outlining their powers and duties. to administer and conduct soil and water conservation activities within the State of Hawaii. These are legally constituted self-governing sub-units of the Hawaii state government and are controlled by a board consisting of a board of five directors, three elected by agricultural land-users or land-owners and two appointed by the SWCD directors.
At their annual meeting of all the districts in the state, this year held on Kauai, they visited and were visibly impressed by the monastery's Koa plantation on our land across the river. Because of our efforts to develop a conservation plan to change degraded cane land into rich forests of mahogany and Koa and to use cover crops and other methods to enhance our plantings, Saiva Siddhanta Church was selected as the "Conservationist of the Year" for the second time.
Today our Siddhidata Kulam receive five units of Pyramid Aeroponic planters. There were gifted from Nagarajan Pillay and his family from Victoria, Canada. Our Siddhidata kulam is in the process for building a green house to grow vegetables in, utilizing various methods such as Aeroponics, hydroponics and grow bags. We were also gifted grow bags to experiment growing our vegetables in! We are excited about this and just need to few dry days to finish the greenhouse construction!
It is amazing how well vegetables grows in these Pyramids! http://www.pyramidgarden.com
The monks recently attended a day-long meeting of the Tropical Fruit Growers Association which was held on Kauai. Highlights of the day included a lecture on avocado cultivation by an expert from Japan. A quality avocado sells for $10 a piece in Tokyo! He had developed sophisticated pruning and support methods based on the guideline that the tree should be no taller than the owner. One such tree was producing 300 fruits a year. At the back of the room was a table with 75 different tropical fruits grown in Hawaii--the monastery has about 50 of them, and there were at least a dozen we had never seen before.
After months of toiling and research, Acharya Arumuganathaswami was ready to test out his recently-crafted barrell washer. Our method of cleaning the freshly harvested fruit heretofore was entirely manual. While effective, it isn't entirely the most efficient. Automating some of that process will aid in the overall production.
This past retreat, father and son duo Nagarajan and Divyesh Pillai joined some of our monks on a noni harvest. Acharya Arumuganathaswami along with Natyams Nandinatha, Rajanatha, and Jayanatha made up a full group of six and managed to pick just over 1,800 pounds (820 kg) of the magical medicinal fruit. This fruit will eventually become noni juice and serve as the highly beneficial organic elixir sold by the monastery.
Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.