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A Tractor Upgrade For Himalayan Acres

Jai Ganesha!

For some time now our monks have been looking for a good replacement for our primary tractor that we use on Himalayan Acres. With several hundred acres of land to care for—which included our mahogany forests and noni orchards—it's a big job to keep it all maintained. Several years ago we replaced our older Landini tractor with a newer John Deere model. Unfortunately, the new tractor utilized a fully computerized system that turned out to be easily broken and expensive to repair. Thankfully we were able to find this Branson tractor as a replacement. Though used, it's well-built, isn't computerized and should hold up very well in our challenging environmental conditions. A few days ago the monks held a blessing for the new machine. Aum.

Our New Variety of Tomatoes!

Aum Sivaya. Here is our latest tomato variety to come online, ready for our monks to enjoy. These are Climstar Tomatoes. They grow in big clusters like this and, as you might expect, are super delicious. Jai to our veggie-growing monks!

Celebrating our First Tomatoes!

Jai Ganesha!

Recently we've harvested our first tomatoes from our new hydroponic greenhouse. A great achievement after a lot of care and hard work to create an advanced system for growing our fresh vegetables. In celebration, the first tomato to ripen was given to Satguru on his Jayanti day. It was cut up and each monk had a slice. Aum.

Tomato Update!

Aum.

It's been a little over a month from our planting blessing in our new greenhouse and we already can see our first burgeoning bunches of beautiful tomatoes. Today these happy plants received a trim off their lower leaves, allowing natural sunlight to reach the fruits. The direct light will help increase enzymatic activity in the fruits, degrading acids and enhancing sweetness. Not long and our monks will be enjoying these wonderful tomatoes with their meals. Jai!

A Big Blessing for the New Greenhouse!

Jai Ganesha!

Today we celebrate our official first "planting" in our new hydroponic greenhouse. This morning at 9am Satguru and many of the monks met out at the greenhouses for a Ganesha puja, an arati and a first planting of our tomato plants. This new greenhouse has been under construction for some time. It is built to withstand high winds and, like our initial greenhouse, it will allow us to grow plants we otherwise couldn't in our sub-tropical environment. Its main crop, currently, will be tomato plants which will free us from our dependency on canned tomatoes and other store bought ones. Of course, it's not just about what you grow, but also about how immensely "mo betta" (as Hawaiian's say) these fresh, home-grown fruits and veggies are to eat. They are full of life, energy and a fantastic heirloom flavor. Aum.

Priming the Greenhouse Floor

Recently the monks of the Siddhidatta Kulam spent the day sealing the floor of the new hydroponic greenhouse. Please enjoy this timelapse of the process. Gurudeva always stressed that the monks cultivate self-sustainability. With this new greenhouse we'll have another powerful tool for maintaining and producing our own fresh, organic food supply. Aum.

A Big Day for the New Greenhouse

Jai Ganesha!

A few days ago our monks moved tomato starts into the new hydroponic green house. This officially marks the near conclusion of what was a complex building and setup process. This also heralds the beginning of a long and prosperous chapter of an abundance of delicious vegetables (though, yes, a tomato is technically a fruit). Yoginathaswami, Vishvanathaswami, Tejedevanatha and Dayanatha all worked together to move the starts into their new home and properly set up their liquid nutrients. Not long and our monks will be enjoying a wealth of tasty tomatoes. Aum.

A Green and Growing Garden

Jai Ganesha!

Today we take a look at the progress in the vegetable garden. The high tunnels our coming along well, with the three primary ones in place. The monks of the Siddhidatta Kulam have been pouring footings for the structures. Also, many wonderful vegetables are producing well in our current warm and wet weather. We have an abundance of gourds, eggplant, okra and more. Aum.

Growing Papayas

Jai Ganesha!

In our steady march along the path of self-sufficiency and natural abundance, one oft overlooked but prolific plant is the humble papaya tree. These wonderful fruit trees give plenty of fruits in our climate, but they don't have very long lifespans, living at most four or five years. This requires an ever-repeating propagation of them. Recently the monks of the Siddhidatta Kulam have been placing the seedlings in larger pots, out in the direct sunlight next to the monastery kitchen. This round of little trees is doing quite well and are immensely enjoying our recent dry and sunny weather. As it turns out Papayas are quite a healthful fruit, being high in vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, digestive enzymes and more, all the while being very low in sugars.

Growing Giant Gourds!

Jai Ganesha!

In another wonderful report from our world of vegetables, we've recently harvested some of our first crop of what is officially our longest gourds. These green-snake gourds are a type of Calabash gourd which are typically grown on trellises, and which can grow as tall as a person. Just one of these could make a decently sized curry! Aum.

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