After several months of trial and error, the monks have learned a system to successfully grow Shitake mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms have many great health benefits as well as being quite tasty!
After having several of these fascinating cactus plants in the aadheenam gardens for more than a few years, we've finally had one of them fruit. Just recently our monks found this bulky dragon fruit on one of these unique climbing cacti. And it was TASTY! This, usually subtle, airy-sweet fruit was full of tasty natural sugars which several monks were able to enjoy. We hope to see more of these colorful treats next time the plant fruits.
Recently Sannyasin Yoginathaswami and Nirvani Tejadevanatha returned from a trip to California. The two travelers were there to attend a two day seminar presented by AmHydro of Eureka, CA. The seminar focused on bringing a total beginner in Hydroponics up to speed with strong knowledge and practical experience. The first day of the seminar was held at the Ingomar Club, a victorian style building in the Bay Area. This building was ornately constructed with amazing wood work. While there, our monks were given an overview of the Hydroponic industry, general plant growth and the science behind growing. As well as information on the components of a successful greenhouse.
The second day took place at a working greenhouse (Humbolt Hydro farms). This Hydroponic Greenhouse was truly amazing. It has a fully automated nutrient feeding system and a fully automated climate control system that opens and closes cooling vents as needed. Our monks were given step by step hands-on experience in planting seeds, transplanted seedlings and harvesting lettuce. Nutrient managements with discussed at great length. The final presentation was quite interesting and was focused on marketing and starting a hydroponic business. In our case we simply plan on producing food for the monastery. Our thanks to Am Hydro for educating and inspiring Yoginathaswami and Tejadevanatha.
Before returning to the monastery Swami and Nirvani had the opportunity to see some huge red wood trees in Humbolt Redwood state park, feeling very small when standing next to these majestic trees. The two then walked on the Golden Gate Bridge.
That evening Swami performed a Siva Puja for the Golden Gate Mission church members. Everyone enjoyed a short meditation and then Swami gave an update about Iraivan temple construction. Swami touched on the importance of daily puja and the esoterics behind it. The members cooked a vegan feast. Thank you Golden Gate Mission for taking such loving care of our monks. Mahalo Nui Loa Aum Namah Sivaya.
The Siddhidata Kulam successfully harvested the first batch of monastery corn today, bringing in a total of twenty-five pounds. During the past three months the stalks have been growing in our lower garden, waiting patiently to flower, fruit and develop. While not the first ever corn production for us, it has been years since the monks have seen corn pass through the kitchen!