TALES FROM THE GARDEN: Brijabasi Spirit newsletter – April 29th, 1974

Madhava Gosh New Vrindaban

Madhava Gosh at a New Vrindaban Village Self-Sufficiency Meeting, 2014.

Below is an article transcribed from the second (ever) Brijabasi Spirit newsletter, published April 29th, 1974.The author is “Bhakta Mark,” who is none other than New Vrindaban’s very own Madhava Gosh prabhu.
This article was published in April, 1974 and Gosh was formally initiated by Srila Prabhupada at Bahulaban just a few short months later in July, 1974.
Here’s proof positive he really has been a garden and cow activist in New Vrindaban for over 40 years.
The next time you see him please take the time to thank him for his years of dedicated service.
– Bhakta Mark (aka Madhava Gosh)
New Vrindaban will come another step closer to self-sufficiency this summer due to a large increase in the amount of space and time devoted to gardening. Although more increase will be needed to bring us to the point of meeting the year-round demands of the devotee prasadam program, enough will be produced and stored to enable us to offer the Deities a vegetable preparation year round.The temple gardens have expanded to 1 1/2 acres this year. Progress in these gardens shall be reported in Brijabasi Spirit weekly. Many householders have also enlarged their gardens. What is most encouraging is the number of grihastas that have taken up gardening for the first time. The best gardens are usually small plots where each plant entity can be given more intensive care.The temple gardens were plowed and disked by horsepower this spring. Planting began with asparagus seed and rhubarb roots. These are perennials that won’t be ready for another 3 and 2 years respectively, but one established, are the first to produce in the spring before most vegetables can even be planted.Next planted were peas, followed by beets, carrots, and radishes. These root crops were planted between where the rows of tomatoes, peppers, and fall cabbage will be transplanted later. By the time the late maturing plants grow enough to need the room these early crops will have already been harvested. Fall root crops such as turnips and rutabagas will be planted where the spring peas were and should benefit from the nitrogen that peas, a legume, fix in the soil.

Krishna has amply provided us with sufficient wild greens such as mustard, dandelion, burdock, and chickweed so only a small amount of lettuce and spinach for the Deities has been planted. Swiss chard, which last year proved to be a big yielder for the space required, has been planted & should be a regular companion of the abundant wild greens.

The peas and radishes are now both up and growing vigorously after this past week’s welcome and needed rain. Radishes should be ready in 4 to 6 weeks depending on the weather.

This past week’s activities included planting more beets, carrots, and radishes as well as 150 feet of kohlrabi.

The main project was preparing for the transplanting of the cabbage family: cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Holes were dug in a grid pattern with rows 36″ apart and 18″ from hole center to hole center for cabbage and broccoli, 20″ for cauliflower (making marks 6 inches apart on a shovel or other tool handle serves as a handy guide for spacing). These holes were big enough so that a part forkful of rotted manure or compost could be put in and after the hole was filled in again it would be about 2″ below the level of where the plant’s roots will be after transplanting. Each hole center was then marked with a twig.

This year the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants were ordered from a professional nursery in Georgia and should be arriving by UPS any day now. Anyone who wants some and have not yet placed an order should contact Adi Patit immediately.

Anyone having any helpful suggestions is encouraged to share them through this column. Also, questions regarding gardening will be welcomed and answered to the best of our poor fund of knowledge (with maybe a quick peek in Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening or hopefully the advice of some local longtime gardener to fill our gaps).

All glories to the Sri Krishna Sankirtan!

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