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Annual Fruit Tree Fertilizing

Fruit trees are to be given extra nutrients right when new fruits start forming, a boost for vigorous growth. A lot of mulch from local tree trimming projects is delivered to us regularly, so after it breaks down for a while, the Siddhidata Kulam applies a pile of this dark, nearly-soil material around the base of each tree. They are running several weeks late due to soggy ground, but now it's dry enough for the tractor to drive through the orchards without creating ruts (which would then make things difficult for the lawn mower).

Outside the New Siddhidata Kulam Building

Now that the new metal building is finished on the outside, including gutters and drain pipes to move rainwater away from the building, the Siddhidata Kulam is adjusting the surroundings. The ground is now sloped away on three sides, with a slightly lower pathway cut to channel water further away. Narrow concrete pipes already in our possession were laid next to each other to form a wide culvert for diverting a large amount of water out into the nearby orchard. The road over this culvert is the main route for coming to and from the new building. A round catchment tank is being installed as another source of rainwater storage for emergency use, and we also just purchased a used, large, stainless steel tanker as another source of backup water. A mound of dirt and mulch is established around the south side of the building to grow plants for a visual barrier.

Power Generation Shed

In order to occasionally provide Internet access around Iraivan Temple area, we need a electrical power station for hardware to receive a WiFi booster signal from our Media Studio building. We've purchased a set of batteries and somewhat quiet gas-fueled and solar-fueled generators to be used in tandem. Our employee just built this shed for holding the equipment, and three solar panels will be mounted on top. Soon we will place this shed in Rishi Valley below Iraivan Temple area, which will minimize sound pollution.

Books Unboxing and Latest Monk Candidate Arrives

We mentioned him briefly in the last post about visiting Waimea Canyon, but here's a bit more. Lucas Brzozowski, age 18, arrived from Massachusetts just days ago to begin a six-month resident visit because he is interested in monastic life. He also briefly stopped by a couple months ago for one morning while he was visiting from Maui island. Here he is helping Shanmuganathaswami and Vatshalan unpack MC trilogy books to store in the new back room of the Pillaiyar Kulam building. This back room is the more affordable replacement for the warehouse space we were renting on the mainland.

Small, Big and Bigger Pumpkin Growth Cycle

The Siddhidata Kulam reports that on June 9th we planted two Atlantic Pumpkin vines and 2 local pumpkin vines ( Japanese Variety). They were harvested a few days ago. The single Atlantic pumpkin on the cart transport is 120 lbs. This variety is usually grown for size competition in state fairs. The local pumpkin produced 211 lbs from about 33 pumpkins.

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.

Our Cedar Room Table, Part Two: On the Home Stretch

This is the second of two posts about the creation of the conference table for the Media Studio. It is a table made of Formosan Koa in an unusual style. Here is a look, over many months, into the building of the table base, the completion of the top, and the adding of the copper end plates to the top cross members. Enjoy.

Glories of the Greenhouse

Jai Ganesha!

Today we take time to appreciate the monasteries greenhouse, from which so much of our fresh produce is sourced. As some may know, tomato plants can only go do long before they must be replanted in order to continue their usual production. This month we are just beginning to see the fruits from our newest tomato plants. Also our lettuce and other greens are being produced continuously.

Ladies Working for Siva

While the monastery has no female residents, and non-monastic members (both men and women) leave the property by 6PM, the ladies are actively involved in Sivathondu in the public areas. They are in immense help to the monastery. Being clerks at the MiniMela and being temple hosts. They also help the Pilliyar Kulam with tags for items and other chores related to the Minimela.

The members take take turns dealing with the tide of visitors, which has grown to over more than 3,000 month every day from 9-12 noon. They have to answer questions of the wide-eyed tourists who know nothing about Hinduism, "What is that Dancing God?" Answer serious queries about the monastery from Hindu pilgrims, "What sampradaya does this temple follow?"

And act as polite policewomen. "No photos allowed the temple... Can you please put on a sarong? Don't put your feet out while sitting. No, you can't do go Iraivan, to do that come on a tour day...." This list of questions go on and on. They have become quite the diplomats.

All the monks really thank you all for this service. You have no idea how much it is appreciated! Thank you!

Abundance Galore

The end of the summer and beginning of fall is a incredible time if abundance in tropical fruits, as we have shown you before. Here is more!

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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