Somewhere There Is an Ocean of Squash: Harvest News 2006

submitted by Tapahpunjah dasa

Braving a steady rain, two graduate students and two professors from West Virginia State University assisted Bhakta Jason and Tapahpunja Dasa in harvesting 50 bushels of winter squash from the site called the Garden of Seven Gates. The harvesting crew counted, weighed, measured and recorded production data on thirteen squash varieties. The purpose of the experiment–called the Organic Seed Partnership–was to pair farmers with colleges who study what happens when organic seed strains are grown under organic conditions. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Barbara Liedle, a research scientist at West Virginia State University, SANTEE Farm and Gardens was chosen as one of five participating West Virginia farming operations to conduct the trials and receive a $1,500 grant.

During the 2006 growing season, SANTEE also grew and collected research data on eight types of cucumber which yielded about 15 bushels. The produce has been donated to RVC temple kitchen as well as the Greater Wheeling Soup Kitchen. On a morning walk, Srila Prabhupada once pointed with his cane to a urban skyline and said, “You see this city? This city and all cities will collapse soon. Do you know why?” Everyone hesitated, wondering, but Tamal Krsna quickly said, “Because these people don’t know how to grow food.” Everybody else was searching for some esoteric reason but Tamal gave a practical reason. Prabhupada said, “Yes, growing food is the whole purpose of our farm communities.” (Memories Vol. 3, page 338)

Many thanks to the New Vrindavan residents (especially Bhakta Jason) who served in this year’s core community’s gardens and growing sites. May you be blessed to be in New Vrindavan and eat luscious squash prasadam for many months to come.

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