Hawaiian Heirloom Orange Tree
Some 70 years ago Uncle Manuel, who used to be the caretaker of the Aadheenam lands back in the 40s and 50s, brought a special orange tree he was give by the native islanders on the West Side of our island. He planted it on the land, not far from the current Rudraksha Forest, in a pasture.
The tree was famed both for its sweet taste and the fact it gives oranges all year long. It spent its years happily in the sun, munched on occasionally by our cows. But it is getting old, covered with lichen, and suffering from cow abuse. So we set out to graft it and save the genetics.
Yesterday Sean Kelly and Eilene came to help, both experts in grafting. They brought a robust root stock well established in pots, and they cut from the famed tree and grafter three copies.
Hopefully one or more will make it and we will start fresh with a new long life of oranges.
December 2022 Greenhouse Update!
Today we wanted to show our cyber cadets some of the wonderful vegetables growing in our greenhouse. We started green snap peas a few months ago, most of the plants are flowering and some are even starting to fruit. Hopefully they can be harvested soon so the monks can enjoy them on their banana leaves! We also wanted to showcase our tomato plants, particularly the rare, yellow beefsteak variety that we are growing for the first time. All of our tomato vines (that were planted a few months ago) are fruiting and the first harvest will happen within the next month or so.
Aum Namah Sivaya!
Small, Big and Bigger Pumpkin Growth Cycle
Walk Through Wai Koa Plantation
A couple of our monks visited this 500+ acre plantation recently to walk beautiful public trails through its 82,000-tree mahogany hardwood farm, the largest of its kind in the USA. The Wai Koa Plantation was founded in 2006 by Bill Porter, founder of ETrade, and his wife Joan. The plantation also includes multiple food produce farms.
After walking through the mahogany trees, the trail leads to the beautiful Stone Dam and swimmable area above it. The property used to be a sugar plantation and the dam was created to provide irrigation at the time.
New Rudraksha Malas
Relocating Noni Trees
On our agricultural land across the Wailua River, we have a large planting of Noni trees for making our Wailua River Noni Juice. In a previously planted field, several rows of young trees are starting to outgrow their space. It's time for us to remove some and plant them out in a recently prepared field. Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Sannyasins Saravananathaswami and Tillainathaswami, Brahmachari Akash and Doug all joined forces to amend the soil and relocate the new trees. Aum.
On Taskforce in the Greenhouse
Today our father-and-son taskforce team have been participating in some relaxing work at the greenhouse. Mayuran and Chandipati have been helping Yogi Dayanatha to plant out new channels of baby greens. Each day our monks enjoy the fruits (or veggies, rather) of these labors. A whole tub of greens are cooked down for our lunch greens, be they baby bok choy, swiss chard, red kale, mustard greens, beet green or any of the many others. Om.
Building a New Kind of Beehive!
Earlier this year we began construction on a prototype for a kind of beehive known as a horizontal or "topbar" hive. While it's new for us, this is actually a classic style of hive that has long been common throughout much of Eastern Europe and Serbia. Today, it is becoming more popular throughout the world for its ease of use, especially for the non-commercial beekeeper.
Unlike the common Langstroth hive, where heavy bee boxes are stacked to form space for bees, the horizontal hive is a stationary long box. Here, the bees are encouraged to build their comb across more than up, much like they might do in a horizontal log. The top bars are laid down across the space for the bees to build on. There is a follower board so that one can control exactly how much space the bees have at any given time. Too much space and they have trouble regulating the temperature for the their brood, and aren't as able to defend themselves against other insects (like hive beetles) which have the potential to collapse their whole operation.
On one end is the entrance, which the bees build their brood nest near. As they build down the length of the box, further from the nest, they begin to build the further comb purely for honey storage. So all you have to do to harvest some is open up one end of their hive and remove the furthest bar. Aum.
Click through the slideshow to see the process.
From Our Gurus' Teachings
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