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!
The Siddhidata Kulam has completed the hydroponic tent, along with all of the small sheds surrounding the area, and installed the Annapurna Garden Ganesha in the new facility. Our vision is to one day leave the planting of the soil and grow completely in this new system--in the future. For now we must run tests, collect data and actually grow veggies to determine what our highest yield crops will be and what is most logical, practical and edible. Enjoy the slideshow detailing the installation puja and first seed planting.
Over at the monk's tree gardens we were able to catch some photos of a tree planting operation for our next batch going in the ground. Nirvani Haranandinatha reports:
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