As you may know, we've recently started our first small crops growing in our new high-tunnel green houses. Without this protection, growing things like zucchini and cauliflower in Kauai can be quite a challenge. Although these plants are still small, we've just successfully harvested several batches of zucchini. This little squash is greatly enjoyed by Satguru and our monks. Our first harvest gave us 10lbs of picture-perfect zucchini which Chinnu later transformed into a delicious curry. Aum.
Today we bring you a garden update!
Our High Tunnels are progressing steadily and we now have plants growing in the first of them. Zucchini and Cauliflower are two notable veggies that we can't easily grow out in the open. Thankfully these two plants are starting to gain speed in their acquiring of new growth and we hope to eventually produce enough for our needs without having to purchase them elsewhere. In other departments we've started some new eggplants to replace our older bushes and off to the side of the garden you'll find a happy pumpkin patch. Aum.
Today we visit our greenhouses for an update. The last time we brought you to our newest hydroponic tomato greenhouse, the plants weren't more that a few feet tall. Now we have four full rows of abundantly producing tomato varieties. With this crop in full production we have hundreds of pounds coming in every few weeks. We've been using them in a verity of ways. we of course use them in curries, soups and chutneys, but we have also been dehydrating them for sauces (including some homemade ketchup!). The system can seem immensely complicated, but once the basics are down our monks of the Siddhidatta kulam can work quite efficiently at keeping this operation going. We of course have our other greenhouse as well. It produces many other veggies and greens, including our constant supply of (the world's best) lettuce as well as our daily greens used for our lunches.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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