Wingbeans and Double Digging

With the extra help from taskforcers and karma yogis, the Siddidatta Kulam has been making steady progress in a variety of areas, including the upper and lower gardens. On Sun 1, the team did their weekly upkeep of the garden and then proceeded to weed the wingbean fence, which has started its abundant cycle of production. Another important project they've been working on is the preparation of our newest raised garden beds. While having raised beds has proven to be one of the most effective gardening techniques for use in our environment, it can have issues. When heavy rains fall, the beds have the potential to fill up with water, unless the hard clay beneath them has been properly broken up. We call this clay-breaking-up process "double digging." It is an excellent way to get your day's exercise.

"What is Saivism? We are devotees of Lord Siva and we are doing Sivathondu--that is Saivism" Yogaswami

Pumpkin Planting

Today, Vel and Roshan planted a Mauritian pumpkin plant. After placing some fresh mulch over the garden bed, and putting the young plant in the earth, Vel performed a short puja, giving it a blessed start to a productive life. This variety is known to grow very big, and it is prized because of its thick skin which protects it from kauai's hungry bugs.

"Whatever work you have to do, do it well. That in itself is yoga." Siva Yogaswami

Continued Windbreak Planting

Trade winds come in off of the Pacific and are funneled up the valley of the South Fork of the Wailua River. At the end of the valley, our 200 acres of land receive strong winds throughout the winter and spring. This necessitates planting windbreaks to protect our future hardwood trees. On Friday an intrepid team went over to plant 600 eucalyptus trees as part of the future windbreak. Shown here are Nirvani Adinatha, Vel Mahalingam, Tandu Sivanathan, (who has just planted the last tree) Aran Veylan, Sivarathna Manick, Manickam Senthivel, Guarav Malhotra and Dasan Mahadevan. Not pictured were Mayuran  Muttulingam, his two sons Balu and Chandipati, Acharya Arumugaswami and Nirvani Tejadevanatha. Thank you all for your hard work!

Harvesting Burdock

The Siddhidata Kulam grows and is constantly harvesting many wonderful things from the vegetable garden. They've recently harvested this Burdock plant, part of our ongoing initiative of trying out new vegetables to add variety to our diet. The roots of these plants can be harvested and eaten and are common in east-asian cuisine. Its seeds and roots are also said to have medicinal properties, primarily being good for the blood.

Fifteen Hundred Trees Planted for Wind Break

The monastery is back in full swing after a three-day full moon retreat. We were fortunate to be able to view the full "Blood Moon" here in Hawaii during the full lunar eclipse. The previous day, last day of last phase, was a Guru Thondu Day. This is a day we have each quarter during which all the monks work together on a project that Bodhinatha has chosen. He asked all the monks to work on out Himalayan Acres forestry project.

For many years Sadhaka Adinatha has been working with the state agencies to get support and finally this year grants have been given to moanstery by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife to plant more trees on the land across the river from the temple. These grants are strictly managed and the land owners receiving support must fulfill their plans in a timely manner.

Phase One involves the planting of 3,000 or more Mahogany trees which will serve as a future endowment of the monastery and in the meantime provide valuable habitat for the wildlife in our area. Trees also secure the soil from erosion over time, which is very important on a small island like Kauai.

Wind breaks are a key element in the plan and the monks worked on Guru Thondu Day to plant 1200 Areca Palms and about 300 or more Spinach trees. These are fast growing species and will buffer the young mahogony seedlings which will go in the ground later this year. The leaves of the Spinach tree are edible (if well cooked) so we also have bushels of greens if we ever need them!

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