ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 10/21/2018

ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban ISKCON cows gardens Prabhupada ISKCON

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 10/21/2018

Mission Statement: ECO-Vrindaban promotes cow protection, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON New Vrindaban’s Founder-Acharya.

Participating Directors: Chaitanya Mangala (chair), Jamuna Jivani (board secretary), Makara, Ranaka, and Vraja.

1. Ranaka’s Monthly Report

Lalita Gopi (Temple Barn Cow Care):

  • We are currently milking eight cows (Usha, Lakshmi, Anjali, Malati, Surabhi, Jamuna, Subhadra, and Sriya)
  • There are four calves at the barn (Lalita, Gaurangi, Gopi Katyayani, and Jayasri). They have all been weaned.
  • The elderly mother goat passed away and now just the younger goat remains. She is adjusting to her winter home, and often associates with the calves.
  • Usha gave birth to a stillborn calf on September 29th. It was a female calf who appeared to have suffocated during the birth due to complications.
  • Rama was trained as an alternate milker and covered two evening milkings.
  • Lalita Gopi is organizing a Cow Festival on November 8th for the children at Gopal’s Garden and village residents
  • The demand for butter has increased in the Deity kitchen as a change of cooks has allowed the kitchen to improve the standard of only using New Vrindaban protected dairy products.
  • Milk production is at 25 gal per day. We are producing 20 gal of yogurt and 30 lb of butter per week. One of the Deity cooks, Srinam prabhu, is making the ghee.
  • Ananta Sesa’s class from Youngstown University visited on October 14th and Anandavidya spoke to them about cow protection.

Ray (General Farm Work): 

  • In addition to normal maintenance and repair duties, Ray finished the hay harvesting for the year with an additional 43 bales of second cutting. The total is 530 800-pound round bales for the 2018 season that have been harvested and stacked in the barn for storage.
  • The Community Garden potato harvest is complete. A grand total of 1,750 lbs were dug, loaded on the potato wagon and brought down to the Valley grain storage building where they were washed, sorted, and bagged on the wash line, and then delivered to the temple.
  • We had potatoes in two places this year: the Community Garden and the valley bottom next to the creek. The latter produced approximately 1,000 lbs. These still need to be washed and bagged.

Caitanya Bhagavat (Nandagram Cow Care):

  • the two young oxen, Bhadra and Sesa, were moved from Bahulaban to Nandagram.
  • prepared for winter by clearing the dung out of the Nandagram barn and added it to the compost pile.
  • Fence line maintenance: cutting trees off lines and repairing wire.
  • Mowing and weed whacking at the Nandagram and Bahulaban farms.
  • Daily cow care, cow head counts, vet checks, and farm maintenance.

Suchandra (Gardening):

Crew consists of Monique, Moriah, Madri, Ryan, and Shyama.

Vegetables produced at the Community Garden:

  • Tomatoes: 218 lb
  • Beans: 65 lb
  • Green peppers: 18 lb
  • Hot peppers: 3 lb
  • Okra: 11 lb
  • Winter Squash: 119 lb (just what was brought to temple)
  • Carrots: 6 lb
  • Zucchini: 3 pcs
  • Bitter melon: 21 lb
  • Yellow Squash: 28 lb
  • Lettuce: 4 lb
  • Potatoes: 1,750 lb
  • Watermelon: 10 pcs

Flowers Produced at the Community Garden:

  • Zinnias: 545
  • Lg. Marigolds: 5462
  • Sm. Marigolds: 6135
  • Carnations: 10

Flowers produced at the Teaching Garden:

  • Dahlias: 319
  • Gladiolas: 35
  • Zinnias: 50

Harvested from Vidya’s garden:

  • Tomatoes: 30 lb
  • Bitter melon: 100 lb
  • Green peppers: 40 lb
  • Hot peppers: 50 lb

Over all Productivity:

  • Harvested Community Garden twice a week.
  • Checked on Vidya’s garden and harvested as needed.
  • pulled up dead marigolds at the Community Garden and the Teaching Garden.
  • Removed plastic at the Community Garden where marigolds were growing.
  • Braelyn cleaned the shed at Community Garden.
  • Moriah mowed the Teaching Garden and Ryan mowed the Community Garden Towards the end of the month we started clean up of both gardens and stored hoses.
  • Covered green beans when it was cold to extend harvesting.
  • Ordered fall bulbs (lilies, hyacinth, etc.)
  • started bulbs for winter flowers with Radhanath
  • Shyama checked bulbs for watering every day and occasionally harvested tomatoes and peppers from Vidya’s garden
  • Planning for next year and will soon be ready for tilling at the Community Garden.

Lila (Nandagram Garden):

  • Pulled out old plants, cleaning up beds, and covering with hay.
  • Weed-whacking

Harvested and delivered to the temple kitchen:

  • Kale – 2 lb
  • Hot pepper – 26 lb
  • Bitter melon – 36.75 lb
  • Green Beans – 3.75 lb
  • Roma Tomato – 17 lb
  • Cherry tomato – 5 lb
  • Okra – 5.5 lb
  • Green bell pepper – 8.25 lb
  • Big Rutger tomato – 54.75 lb
  • Winter squash – 14.5 lb
  • Grape tomato – 66.75 lb
  • Cucumber – 1.5 lb
  • Marigold – 300 pc

Ranaka (General Manager):

  • Tejo and his team installed and buried the two new 1,500-gallon storage tanks on the hill above the Valley Barns, located and repaired water leaks, added meter pits and new shut-off valves, and installed a new water pump and its controls next to the well itself. They plan to be finished with the project in October.
  • Since Rama left ECO-V and New Vrindaban, there is a lack of a replacement ox trainer. The ox program is on hold until a qualified candidate comes forward to take up the position.

2. ISKCON European Farm Conference Report

Jamuna Jivani reported on her experience at the ISKCON European Farm Conference:

Setting: The conference was held at ISKCON Scotland, situated on eight acres of land on the outskirts of a small town just 30 minutes from of Glasgow. Their organization for the conference and care for the guests was superb.

Attendees: 43 devotees, mostly from Europe (UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Hungary,
Bulgaria, among others), plus two delegates from other continents (Australia and U.S.-

Theme: The Turning Point – a focus on how to gain momentum on current initiatives and how to leverage our strengths.

Highlights included presentations by:

  • Kapila and Sitaram prabhus, from the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation, about their project in the U.K. They report they have a waitlist of 1,000 people for their milk who are not deterred by the cost; only half of those receiving milk are ISKCON devotees. They are trying to expand through the creation of micro- and nano-dairies.
  • Ajita prabhu, the temple president of New Govardhan in Australia, speaking on their Krishna Village. It includes a WWOOFing project and various programs that attracts people through bridge preaching and cultivates newcomers slowly through a systematic process. The various programs include farming, yoga teacher training, massage training, and retreat experiences. Krishna Village earns $1M annually.
  • Devotees speaking about their respective projects. Jamuna Jivani gave a 20-minute presentation on ECO-Vrindaban that was well-received by the participants.

3. November Appreciation Gifts

300 fair-trade, organic cotton ECO-V logo tote bags were ordered as gifts to distribute during the weekend gathering. Also, Lakshman prabhu agreed to make burfi with New Vrindaban dairy for the participants.

4. ECO-V President Subcommittee Update

The subcommittee made a presentation on their discussions regarding searching for and hiring a president for ECO-V. The subcommittee plan to write a job description, produce an article for ISKCON News, and promote the job opening.

5. Staff Meeting Recap

  • The Board discussed some follow up items regarding the previous week’s meeting with staff members:
  • Ranaka will address safety concerns at the Temple Barn.
  • Lalita Gopi was tasked with outlining protocols for visitors to the barn (what to do and what not to do).
  • Concerns with go-puja and fundraising practices can be addressed with INV management in the coming year.
  • The board/staff meetings might be switched to the summer and winter dates to distribute them more evenly throughout the year
  • Moving forward, board/staff meetings may be proposed for weekdays (rather than on weekends) to encourage increased participation from staff members

6. New Vrindaban’s 50th Anniversary Reunion Event Recap

Many of those who organized and/or attended the festival reported it was a successful event. Some highlights include:

  • The number of participants made the event feel both festive and intimate
  • Coordination was smooth
  • Prasadam was plentiful and appreciated
  • The opening event at the Vrindaban farmhouse set a nice mood for the weekend
  • The “Baby Talk” presentation made by Ambudhara dasi was highly appreciated
  • Participants had the opportunity to share stories and speak about their experiences
  • Very positive feedback from guests

Here’s a link to the ECO-Vrindaban website.

For regular updates, please visit, like and follow the ECO-V Facebook page.

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