R.I.P. Eggplant Crop 2017

Growing organic produce, like these purple Japanese eggplant, is easy, profitable and a sober reminder of the temporary nature of material existence. The young plants suffered through 15 weeks of rainy weather amidst days of scorching summer heat.  Next came  repeated infestations of  flea beetle attacks which skeletalized the leaves, Somehow the plants survived those onslaughts and eventually grew to nearly six feet tall. Beautiful magenta colored flowers attracted pollinator bees and wasps.  flourished and yielded bushels of marketable eggplants. Continue reading “R.I.P. Eggplant Crop 2017”


Edible Seed Oil Breakthrough

One of Srila Prabhupada’s direct instructions to the pioneer residents of New Talavan Community in 1975 was to grow castor beans. Traditionally. in India, castor is grown for its multiple medicinal values as well as for lamp oil and that’s specifically why Prabhupada wanted it grown: to harness a renewable source of lighting. Finally, in 2014 Radha Maha Laksmi Devi Dasi donated the funds to purchase a Swedish designed state-of-the-art seed oil press capable of extracting fine oil out of any seed. The press was so expertly engineered that the initial efforts to master its use all failed. Finally, Croatian born Nanda-suta Dasa tinkered with the machine and made it function properly. He and Dvi Bhuja Dasa, the founder of Blue Boy Herb Co., immediately pressed a batch of okra seeds only to yield a beautiful flow of golden green okra oil. Okra oil is known as the ghee of Africa. In 2018, New talavan residents are teaming up to plant a one acre plot of castor beans in pursuit of Srila Prabhupada’s 1975 order. Better late than never.