• restaurant owner
  • grade school teacher
  • psychiatric doctor
  • small scale farmer
  • biology professor
  • high school teacher
  • college administrator
  • US military special forces
  • mushroom farmer
  • housewife
  • business entrepreneur
  • student apprentice
  • county extension agent
  • youth counsellor
  • ag sales representative

The assembly of people pictured above are the building blocks for varnashram. They represent a cross section of professions in academia, business, the arts, state government, the clergy, medicine, blue collar labor and agriculture. The group’s reason for visiting New Talavan Community was to participate in workshops highlighting organic farming strategies as jointly demonstrated by the Small Farm Training Center and the Hancock Co. Cooperative Extension Service.

The event was organized by the Alliance of Sustainable Farms, an independent Mississippi based non-profit focused on empowering small scale growers. That’s the power of the local food movement. It has the pulling power to attract Christians, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, Native Americans, Muslims and Gaudiya Vaiṣṇavas around the issues of food independence,

The lesson here for devotees is simple: If our farms are producing and distributing foods worthy of being sold, shared and offered to Lord Krishna, we have the “street cred”  (credibility) to broadcast the ‘plain living, high thinking’ formula far and wide.

Food is the centerpiece. Growing and distributing sanctified food is the conduit through which preaching strategy evolves from theory to practice. And that explains why Srila Prabhupada said, “The purpose of our Hare Krishna farms is to grow food.”

The photos and captions below illustrate how we’re navigating through the intersection of farming and outreach. And that’s the real harvest, spirit souls who want to jump into the boat of devotional service. [to be inserted]