Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2009 07 14. Tuesday.

2009 07 14. Tuesday.

This morning after breakfast I had to go to the compost shed to get some items. The cows were in the field but luckily the path to the compost shed was pretty clear. I'm only slowly getting used to walking near the cows by myself. If I'm with someone else its no problem.

This morning I went with Br. Mukhunda and Aduren to the wood shop and metal shop to get some items made for the compost work. I had some drawings they wanted to get made. Since Mukhunda is in yellow robes and has been here 20 years so he can easily ask to get something done and they'll do it quickly. The wood and metal shops are pretty big operations! They're doing a lot of new construction around the ashram and they need to make all kinds of metal and wood items for all of it. Structural pieces, furniture, windows, doors, frames, you name it and they can make. I got to see the main pile of wood chips where we get our supply for the compost area. It must have been about 20 feet tall and about 100 feet in circumference at the base. Many tons of wood chips! We'll never run out. We use a lot of wood chips for the compost so it was good to see we essentially have an infinite supply.

Lakshmi was in the compost field all afternoon while we were making today's compost pile. She spent the whole time with a rear leg chained to a palm tree bouncing her head up and down and apparently happily chewing on a big pile of fresh green palm leaves. At the chai break one of the yellow robed brahmacharis fed some of the delicious puff pastries to Lakshmi. I didn't say anything but I was not happy to see them feed my our treats to the elephant! As long as they didn't give Lakshmi any of the chai I guess its OK.

As I was wrapping up the compost work they told me to go over to the kitchen area and talk with Dr. Aravind. He's a PhD agricultural scientist for one of Amma's universities in Tamil Nadu. We had a nice talk and he told me about all the composting he's doing at his school. He said he only does organic farming. Cool! There's a small but growing interest in organic farming in India. He'll be a good resource when I start doing soil testing and other data collection on the compost piles.

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