ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 05/21/2017

ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban ISKCON cows gardens Prabhupada

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 05/21/2017

Mission Statement: ECO-Vrindaban promotes simple living, cow protection, engaging oxen, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

Participating Directors: Anuttama, Chaitanya Mangala, Kripamaya, Ranaka, Sri Tulasi Manjari and Vraja.

Participating Advisors: Devala, Jaya Krsna, Makara, Olivia, Venkatachalapati

Participating Managers: Nitaicandra

Recording Secretary: Jamuna Jivani

1. Ranaka’s Monthly Report

  • Temple Barn: six cows are being milked daily (25 gallons per day); Manjari the cow has been retired from the milking herd
  • Festival of Inspiration: the Milking Barn supplied all the milk, yogurt and cream for the prasadam
  • Valley Barn: Ray has the hay equipment ready and will begin harvesting once there are three consecutive days without rain.
  • 1,500 lbs. of seed potatoes have been planted. These need to be cultivated and weeded from now until the Fall
  • Ranaka met with Kalakantha and Bhakti Caru Swami during the FOI.
  • Fil and Sukhayanti arrived and moved into the field house at Nandagram. Fil began constructing a bullpen there.

2. Nitaicandra’s Monthly Report

  • Flower Garden: the production garden at Vidya’s house is about 80% planted now with marigold and lily starters. Also, vegetables (carrots, radishes, lettuce) have been planted there.
  • Teaching Garden: the garden has been prepped for the starts to be planted.
  • Vegetable Garden: hundreds of starts are being transplanted; Triticale is doing well as it approaches the “soft dough” stage; the seed potatoes were planted
  • FOI: ECO-V presented five workshops:
    • Composting and Soil Building
    • Seed Starting and Transplanting
    • Planting a Garden of the Four Sisters: Beans, Squash, Corn, and Sunflowers in a Bed of Rolled Triticale.
    • Butter-making/Cow, Ox and Bull Care/Milking
    • Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Identification Walk
  • Cows: Nandagram barn is being cleaned out; the new cows at Bahulaban are very gentle and are adapting well to their new home; Bahulaban barn has been cleaned out; currently working on opening the gate up again so guests can visit the cows.

3. 2017 Farm Conference Update

Sri Tulasi Manjari reported on the previous month’s activities:

  • Ranaka, Nitaicandra and Sri Tulasi Manjari met with Kalakantha during his visit and they refined the presentation topics:
  • Ox Training
  • Organic Farming
  • Milk Production
  • Flower Production
  • Ahimsa Dairy Education
  • Grow Ohio Valley has been invited to give a presentation on CSAs
  • The flyer is finished and has been shared through social media. The promotion for the conference is being enthusiastically received by interested participants.

4. Festival of Inspiration Review

The ECO-V members who presented at FOI reported that their workshops were well-received and they felt inspired by teaching them. Both the children and parents were thrilled with the Kids’ Camp that was led by Sri Tulasi & Olivia.

5. Meeting with Kalakantha and Bhakti Charu Swami

During the meeting with Kalakantha prabhu and Bhakti Charu Swami, the topic of ahimsa milk was discussed, including the realities of how increasing the milking herd would affect the overall herd, and what facilities and resources are needed to care for a herd of 200 cows over twenty years. Also, a possible processing facility was discussed. A sub-committee of Nitaicandra, Ranaka, Venkatachalapati, Jaya Krsna and Ananda Vidya was formed to research the topic.

6. Wall Street Journal Article featuring Gita Nagari Farm

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article on the movement in the U.S. to improve the treatment of dairy cows, which featured Gita Nagari’s cow protection program. Overall ECO-V is very pleased to see its sister organization get such prominent mainstream recognition. One point of concern is the article referred to Gita Nagari as “the first slaughter-free dairy in the U.S.” Chaitanya Mangala is working to correct this misnomer, as actually New Vrindaban was the first. He is requesting Gita Nagari adjust their claim to “the first certified slaughter-free dairy in the U.S.” Clarifying this is especially important as devotees in New Vrindaban begin early preparations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON cow protection in 2019.

7. Kalakantha dasa as Advisor

WHEREAS: The ECO-V Board wishes to maintain a team of advisors.

RESOLVED: The Board invites Kalakantha dasa, in his role as the ISKCON Minister of Agriculture & Cow Protection, to participate as an Advisor from May 2017 to the January 2018 Annual Meeting.

8. Talavan Property

Jaya Krsna addressed the topic of the housing shortage in New Vrindaban. The Land Advisory Committee had previously discussed possible locations for a small village, and they determined a potential location to be on one of ECO-V’s properties in Talavan, where 15-25 houses could potentially be built. He inquired as to whether ECO-V would be willing to relinquish the property for this purpose. Nitaicandra and Devala will look into this prospect and develop a proposal.

For regular updates please visit the ECO-V Facebook page.

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