Sustainable Agriculture at the Mother Ashram
Growing with the Community Garden!
Yes! A group of us are working towards creating Sustainable Agriculture for our Mother Ashram here in Espanola!
Our focus is to grow an abundance of yummy and delicious organic vegetables for our ashram as well as for all the folks that the Siri Singh Sahib predicted we would host in the future. That is what our Sustainability Group is working towards!
Our Mother Ashram has large garden fields at her heart! But in order to raise nutritious food on that land, we need to improve our sterile desert soil over time. Raising a few cover crops (e.g. winter rye, hairy vetch) per year and then turning them under while they are still green is the major method that we are using to inject much needed nitrogen into our soil, as well as adding organic matter that can better hold water in this arid heat. And the organic material also hosts fabulous micro-organisms!
The basic pH salts that occur in our barren desert soil lock in the soil’s abundant minerals, making them unavailable to our crops. But when these amazing micro-organisms consume both the organic material and the soil, what they give off actually changes these basic salts to a neutral pH, making the soil’s minerals available to our veggies! Those minerals in turn provide good, supportive nutrition to us humans. Without this process, our veggies would be weak and nutritionally insufficient to sustain us.
We also plan to bring in large loads of compost, which is material that has already been broken down by micro-organisms’ magic action to feed our soil. And to reduce the weed seeds in these long-fallow fields, we also plan to first turn over the soil to let those weeds sprout, then turn them under before they produce new seeds—thus interrupting the weed cycle. This old trick is pretty clever, don’t you think?
By Guru’s grace, we expect to prepare our blessed fields over time to be ready to sustain all of us when the need is upon us!
HERE’S WHAT WE NEED!
Now, in order to prepare all these fields well, we find that we need to buy a used tractor—about $4,000; put in sufficient irrigation piping called “gated irrigation”—perhaps $6,000 or more; purchase cover crop seeds; and someday hire an experienced farmer who can work with others to really turn our fields into a great thriving garden!
OUR OTHER PROJECTS TO DATE (July 2009):
- Created a beautiful composting area to receive vegetable matter from our lungar kitchen.
- Until the soil in our fields will sustain crops, we are raising vegetables in one of the open greenhouses. We have begun selling them to the community, and we contribute 10% to our ashram langar program!
JOIN US IN THE GARDEN!
And of course we would love to have you come share in working with Mother Earth with us, as we do on a regular basis. And we also extend to you an open invitation to join our Sustainability Group. To find out when we gather for these sweet activities and for more information, please contact our lovely facilitator, Ravi Har Kaur at [email protected] or 753-4847.
GET YOUR VEGGIES FROM OCTOBER THROUGH MAY!
To get really wonderfully alive vegetables from our fine farmer Gurujiwan Singh of Khalsa Organics from October through May please contact him at [email protected] or 505-747-1415. He grows those veggies in the covered greenhouses and actually plays the Narayan shabad to them to exponentially increase their prana!