News Reports

Working through Heat and Smoke

Two months into a drought, we have adjusted our daily life to the heat, dryness and smoky air.  Forest fires have caused poor air quality, worse than China, Mexico and Los Angeles, in our valley and our entire province.  We have focused on our activities in the cool forest and in the greenhouse, where is the air is cleaner thanks to plants and trees. Forest management continues as we sort through the thick forest, transforming fallen and crowded thin trees into fences and other building materials. Forest floor "waste" is being raked up for use as mulch in the Eco Village Gardens Venu Gopal prabhu has joined our village and morning program.  He is helping prepare the land for transplanting 108 fruit trees and is sharing his permaculture knowledge with us.  An important permaculture practice is mulching, putting plant matter, compost and tree chips on the top soil to preserve moisture and…

Saranagati VIllage Rathayatra 2017

Saranagati Rathayatra filled the air with kirtan this weekend.  Despite the smoky air and threats of fires closing the highways, devotees from Calgary and Vancouver came. The word "yatra" means journey, or tour. For Lord Jagannatha's ratha yatra, the means of transport for Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhardra is by way of chariot, or 'car'. This chariot vehicle is known as "ratha". Those who have the good fortune to view the Jagannatha deities, or who help to pull the chariots along on their ropes, are benedicted by the Lord during the ratha yatra parade. Srila Prabhupada very simply explained the meaning of Ratha Yatra. He said that Ratha Yatra is the meditation on bringing Krishna back into our hearts.

Mercy in the forest fire of material existence

Work on the Gurukul colony land continues.  Clearing of the forest and roadways are our priority now and the land is starting to take shape.  We purchased a profession chainsaw to assist with forest clearing and cutting up fallen trees.  These trees are being used to build the colonial fence and some will be used for gates and future building projects.  The left over pieces of trees and branches are being pilled up to be used as soil builder in garden areas.  Kishora prabhu setup a "Colonial fence factory" where the fences pieces are being crafted, then assembled and put into place. The village exchange and market was busy this week, as we have more produce in the garden and greenhouse. The forest fire north of us continues to burn and move further north, thankfully. Some of the highways have been re-opened and we can now see the blackened fields left behind by the fire.  The local fire…

Report on July 22, 2017

As the fire rages on north of us, we continue with our forest clean-up.  We are using fallen and thinned out trees to build the fence around the Gurukula Colony and cow grazing areas.  For now, we are marking off the important plots in the colony with thin rope, soon to be replaced by our new "Colonial fence". We are continuing our Morning program and Srimad Bhagavatam class in the cabin.  Attendance is small, but consistent.  In the garden, cucumbers and zucchini are now in season.  After many weeks of eating abundant greens from the garden, we are observing a fast from spinach and lettuce for the first vrata (month) of Caturmasya.  There are many items that are not allowed during Caturmasya, such as leafy vegetables in the first month, yogurt in the second month, milk in the third month, and mustard oil in the fourth month. Besides this, throughout all four months, tomatoes, eggplants…

Report on July 15, 2017

Our summer brings hot, dry weather.  This week a lightning storm launched hundreds of fires in our dry province.  The biggest fire started near our neighbouring town of Ashcroft, where the fire remains very active and continues to grow and burn out of control.  Fortunately for us, the southern winds are blowing the fire away from our village.  However, our valley is often filled with smoke which is being carried thousands of miles away due to the magnitude of the fires. The best prevention for forest fires is to remove dry tree materials.  Our Brahmacharis have been clearing and sorting through the forest debris every day, now with more reason.  We are also running sprinklers to keep the area wet, in case a fire sweeps through.  Another preventative measure is to create a buffer zone around our living spaces, removing trees for about 10 meters. Summer is not only a time for fire, but…