ISKCON European Farm Conference 2010

The conference was attended by about thirty persons with participation from twelve different farming projects. Some of those present represented ISKCON projects and others were representing their own farm initiatives.

Day One.

There was a report by Syamasundara dasa from a farm survey for the year of 2009 and this was followed by a presentation of the strategies being developed over Europe. This survey (see attached file) outlined the quantities of produce in different categories and will serve as a measurement for the coming years. A number of farms did not submit their results and consequently the survey is not fully complete. One of the significant elements measured is the number of ox working hours done by each project. For the whole of Europe it was reported that over 7,200 ox hours have been done. This will increase each year as more farms take to counting and reporting their ox hours. Hungary reported 3,900 ox hours, Bhaktivedanta Manor reported 3,000, Czech farm 250, Slovakia farm 100, polish farm 15.

Most farms reported they were struggling or maintaining. One farm reported that it was in decline. From the reports received we can inform you that the Hungarian Farm New Vrajadhama was the most product over all categories, Bhaktivedanta Manor (UK) was second, New Santipur (Poland) was third. In fourth was New Vrajamandala (Spain), fifth was VillaVrinavana (Italy), sixth was Almviksgaard (Sweden), Simhacalam (Germany) was seventh, eigth Radhadesh (Belgium) and ninth was Inisrath (Northern Ireland). We did not receive reports from New Mayapura (France), Prabhupadesh (Italy), New Ekacakra-apart from ox hours(Slovakia), Krishnadvur – Czech, KarunaBhavana (Scotland) or some of the affiliated farm projects The strategies outlined included the requirement to work with leaders in the promotion and support of the farm projects, to develop monthly cow donor-ship schemes that included the protection of the cow protectors, to support growers by utilisation of products by the temples, projects and congregation, Establishment of three regional representatives of the Ministry who would assist with monitoring and reporting.

Next to make a presentation was the family team of Gunagrahi dasa and his wife Rukmini devidasi. They made a very interesting report on the products they make and how they market them at specialised markets around their area of Italy. They have been maintaining their family for the past 11 years on their own products. The products they have been making include, soaps, bread and cakes, honey and honey products, flours, soaps, cosmetics, Whole grains, Pasta and jams. They are assisted by their children. Rukmini gave the consideration that there could be about 7 such projects being served by the markets they produce for around Italy. Using the herbs around you was then presented by KrishnaBhakti Devi dasi. She explained how she was growing certain herbs and how she was preparing them for teas, medications and food. As part of the information she shared some of the problems with modern chemical based drugs. To balance this she explained about some of the natural remedies you can get around you. Krishnabhakti informed the audience how to make certain natural cosmetics using natural oils and local herbs. [email protected] Turning excess vegetables in health juices formed the part of the next presentation. The speaker was Partha Prabhu from New Vrajadhama who explained that in 2009 they had quite a surplus of Pumpkins and carrots. In true New Vrajadhama entrepreneurial style the community sourced a company that turned such things into marketable juices. Their pumpkins and carrots was juiced and bottled to start a new product range they called Govindas. Gaura Sakhti Prabhu suggested the formation of a europewide database of devotee made products that could be used by the various ISKCON and other projects around Europe. The Thought was that in particular temple based shops and restaurants can support the farm producers by taking from their product ranges. For further information please see the ppt of this presentation. Happy Kuh, a project established in 2009 by Syamabihari Prabhu and his wife Sitarani Prabhu near Munich. Syamabihari took us through some slides of their cows and their project, letting us know of its history and some the hurdles. He showed visiting families and children appreciating the cows. They are building barns for their small herd of cows and oxen. Some families are helping maintain the cows but more are needed. This farm is focusing on saving cows from slaughter and as yet are not milking cows or working oxen. He maintains the project by taking two part time jobs and spends the remaining time on the farm. Sitarani is doing a doctorate in farming without slaughter In the afternoon the group was escorted by Gurucarana Prabhu (Temple President) and Madhumangala and wife Govindanandinai prabhus (horticulture) around the farm project and introduced to many aspects of rural development being developed at the farm. First thing we were shown the wood chip heating system used at Prabhupadesh. They are using about 300m3 if wood a year for this heating system and they calculated that they were saving 75% from their heating bills over the previous fossil fuel based system. The boiler is fed by a corkscrew that brings in wood chips from a holding room. Regularly a truck load of chips is poured in the woodchip store and then it is automatically fed into the boilers. During the tour of the productive areas the group where shown the extensive esplanade fruit growing areas and its irrigation system. Apples, cherries, peaches and grapes where growing nicely. While we were present at the farm we were eating the cauliflowers and spinaches grown from the land and offered to their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura-nitai. The farm grows some wheat which they intend to use themselves. They also rent out part of their land to a local farmer. There is a two hectare (5 acre) plot of land growing short rotation biomass in the form of Hazel (I think it was hazel). This will partly fuel the temple boiler once they are fully established and in regular rotational harvesting. As well as vegetables we were shown some flower production and the herb gardens. For a short period we went underground to see the old wine cellar of the estate and which also accommodates a sunken well providing the irrigation water for the crops. As well as being dark, it was also incredibly cold and was a natural food store. Concluding our tour we saw the building ready to house any future Goshalla. This comprised a three storey building built into the hillside that was previously used for cows but now stands idle in anticipation for a new resurge in cow protection. This had about 2 acres surrounding it with a high stock fence to keep the eager cows out the vegetable patches. Day one ended with a discussion by SmitaKrishna Maharaja on the connection between the cows and mother earth. The audience were all drawn on into the natural progression of understanding the close connection between the cow and mother earth. The hearers could feel conviction growing on the rightfulness of working with nature and the cows. There was an interesting discussion on the position of drinking or using milk from cows that were being slaughtered. Different views were expressed from both sides. We were reminded about Srila Prabhupadas position on drinking milk, of benefitting the cows by offering the milk, that Srila Prabhupada did not say not to drink milk despite the arrangements how it is obtained presently, It was mentioned that Srial Prabhpada wanted us to establish cow protection projects where milk is obtained in the right way, was it right to be arrogant by those who drink milk and do not see concerned for the cows who have suffered in its collection, Should those who drink milk be doing more, perhaps maintaining at least one cow, perhaps supporting cow protection or establishing their own cow protection. Day Two Syamasundara used two verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam to highlight the challenges of establishing Cow Protection. One verse pointed out the need for a cow, calf, bucket and a milk person. The second verse talked on the needs of a family man to include a home, work, children, money and social interaction. The emphasis of the discussion was stressing that cow protection projects should be based on householder economics and that most of the income required to maintain cow protection is needed to protect the cow protector. Various farms indicated that their costs per cow were between 500 and 700 euro per year per cow/ox. The audience were then taken through the costs for a cow protector. Near Prabhupadadesh housing cost about 150,000 euro or rent cost about 500 euro per month. It was mentioned that a family around prabhupadadesh would require about 20,000 euro per year. The production of protected milk was not about saving money but was about producing the right type of milk.

  The discussion went on to talk about the need for congregational

support to underpin cow protection at the present time due to the inability or unwillingness of temples/projects to pay the actual production costs (including cow protectors). There was a rough analysis that milk at Prabhupadesh would cost about 2.70 euro per litre to produce. Milk is bought locally at 50cents per litre currently. A number of farms already have a number of monthly donors and this was indicated as one of the core strategies for developing cow protection in Europe.

  As well as having a donor base the cow protection projects cannot be

done by one person but three person are needed in full time, part time or occasional cover to ensure seven days a week protection and to have a person during sicknesses or breaks. It was proposed that the goshalla should have a team comprising a temple council representative so that the goshalla and temple are in synchronisation with each other, there should be a donor representative to ensure cow protection money is used for cow protection related activities.

  Palliative cow care is a very important aspect of cow protection and

will probably be required for most of the ageing members of our herds. Wenda Shehata who has a farm she runs with her Husband Mathew in the south of England made a comprehensive presentation on all the considerations that need to implemented to have a successful care system for our most vunerable cows. She pointed out the challenges of dealing with animal health issues and the law. Depending on the reason for a cow to need special attention Wenda gave the things that should be put in place to ensure the cows are made as comfortable as possible and that all required medical and other attention is fully implanted. She explained about her own herd of cows and her experiences with homeopathy and also with working with the local veterinarians.

  There was a need for training for cow protection projects in

palliative care and it was mentioned that there may be a course established to train cow protectors in this area. Please see the power point for a the detailed presentation

  Dhoop Making. Wenda and her husband are not supported by temples or

a congregation but have to find means to make financial support by turning the products from the land and the cows into revenue to maintain the herd. During this session the conference members where shown how to make cow dung incense. She mixed various dry powders (by inclusion with essential oils one could have great aromatic incense) with fresh dung (brought from her farm – to the probable dismay of the customs people who had riffled through her hold luggage) and then showed how to squeeze the mix into a 30cm piece of water pipe. Once the pipe was full a rod (just thick enogh to get into the pipe) was pushed through and thus expelling the thick line of cowdung. This was cut into 5 cm lengths and we were advised to let it dry fully over a number of days. The mix we were exposed to was for mosquito repellent and so may not be something for your front room or altar, but it was earthy and natural and you could guess would work keeping the mosees out. For more details please contact wenda on [email protected]

  His Grace Balabhadra Prabhua – The ISKCON Global Minister for Cow

Protection and Agriculture was not able to attend the conference due to health and travel limitations, however by the strength of modern technology the conference members were able to see and discuss things with him over the internet. Balabhadra Prabhu described some of the things that were going on in other parts of the world, in particular he mentioned about the establishment of a farm representative for India and with regional representatives in each part. He informed us about the successful restaurant projects in Australia and how the profit was being used to develop the farms there. They also have a devotee who can oversee their farm projects.

  Belarus and Ukraine have eager and enthusiastic devotees there on

the farms and Balabhadra explained about how many cows they have. He intends to visit Europe in the Autumn and spend some weeks in Belarus/Ukraine and then some weeks in Sweden training their young oxen. New Vrajadhama Ox leader Govindanandana next gave a presentation on the use of the oxen and community in making and gathering hay, collecting a wide variety of grains, threshing and packaging. They had brought a selection of the crops they were growing including grains, seeds and some specialist crops. They are researching the nutritional benefits of different foods and are growing with that in mind. Most of the farm work is done using oxen and it was reported that they farm about 100 acres using oxen. Some of the cows are traditional Hungarian greys, some are European Simmental type and some are true Indian zebu. They have a full fledged Indian bull who they are hoping will give them good heat tolerant bulls for work during the unforgiving intense Hungarian summer. There are many important and leading projects being developed at New Vrajadhama but during the conference we only allocated time for a couple.

  It was impressive seeing the whole community coming out to help with

the harvesting and to see the whole process being overseen by Sri Govardhana Lala the temple govardhana sila. Some crops were harvested using ox cutters and some, due to the fragility on the stem where carefully hand cut and gently stacked on the waiting ox carts. From there the crops were laid out in a marquee for drying and then eventual threshing in the goshalla ox powered threshing drum. [email protected]

  Biscuit Business near Prabhupadadesh. There is a devotee who has a

factory making biscuits under the Govindas label. This business started at Prabhupadadesh but quickly expanded beyond the facilities available. Now there is an impressive small business making batch biscuits using a lot of modern automated machinery. The company employs about four devotees who help with the different aspects of the manufacture. The members of the conference took the brisk 20 minute walk to the factory, met with the devotee heading up the business, asked various questions about the process, tasted some samples, bought some products for themselves or family and then took the return not quite so brisk walk back to Prabhupadadesh. This business shows that there are viable outlets for grains produced from Krishna farms. The presentation had the conference members buzzing with possibilities for their own farms and projects. [email protected] New Vrajamandala – Spain. Bhakta Alberto who is self-confessed cow herd boy for the last eleven years at the farm showed a short video showing the wonderful benefit of having children and cows together. The viewers were heart warmed at seeing the children milking cows and being happy in their company. [email protected] Earth and the cows part two. Smita Krishna maharaja continued taking the farming devotees on an insight into nature and the cows and mother earth. At a certain point he led the devotees to a 400 year tree and used that as a focus point to discuss nature and Krishna and mother earth. When he had concluded the tree was not seen in the same way as it was before. The group were then taken to the garden and asked to find a place they felt comfortable with. One devotee was asked to represent the earth and the groups placed themselves around her where they felt right. During the questioning of the onlookers to mother earth there were tears shed and choked voices as the audience entered a natural space where they felt in the presence of mother earth and appreciated her kindness and bountifulness. Mother earth is giving everything so why do we worry and look elsewhere to the artificial things in life. The participants finished this seminar by the maharaja appreciating nature and of being in harmony with her and being happy for being devotees. [email protected]

  The final part of the event was the customary thank you’s and

appreciations followed by the practical details of what next and where do we go in 2011. The feedback liked the content of the conference, wanted more practical hands on workshops and wanted a longer conference. The group agreed to have a three day conference in the second week of may in 2011 and requested Bhaktivedanta Manor to host it. ISKCON Europe Farm Conference 27th and 28th of April 2010 Prabhupadadesh – Near Venice Syamasundara dasa (ISKCON European Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture) The conference was attended by about thirty persons with participation from twelve different farming projects. Some of those present represented ISKCON projects and others were representing their own farm initiatives. Day One. There was a report by Syamasundara dasa from a farm survey for the year of 2009 and this was followed by a presentation of the strategies being developed over Europe. This survey (see attached file) outlined the quantities of produce in different categories and will serve as a measurement for the coming years. A number of farms did not submit their results and consequently the survey is not fully complete. One of the significant elements measured is the number of ox working hours done by each project. For the whole of Europe it was reported that over 7,200 ox hours have been done. This will increase each year as more farms take to counting and reporting their ox hours. Hungary reported 3,900 ox hours, Bhaktivedanta Manor reported 3,000, Czech farm 250, Slovakia farm 100, polish farm 15. Most farms reported they were struggling or maintaining. One farm reported that it was in decline. From the reports received we can inform you that the Hungarian Farm New Vrajadhama was the most product over all categories, Bhaktivedanta Manor (UK) was second, New Santipur (Poland) was third. In fourth was New Vrajamandala (Spain), fifth was VillaVrinavana (Italy), sixth was Almviksgaard (Sweden), Simhacalam (Germany) was seventh, eigth Radhadesh (Belgium) and ninth was Inisrath (Northern Ireland). We did not receive reports from New Mayapura (France), Prabhupadesh (Italy), New Ekacakra-apart from ox hours(Slovakia), Krishnadvur – Czech, KarunaBhavana (Scotland) or some of the affiliated farm projects The strategies outlined included the requirement to work with leaders in the promotion and support of the farm projects, to develop monthly cow donor-ship schemes that included the protection of the cow protectors, to support growers by utilisation of products by the temples, projects and congregation, Establishment of three regional representatives of the Ministry who would assist with monitoring and reporting. Next to make a presentation was the family team of Gunagrahi dasa and his wife Rukmini devidasi. They made a very interesting report on the products they make and how they market them at specialised markets around their area of Italy. They have been maintaining their family for the past 11 years on their own products. The products they have been making include, soaps, bread and cakes, honey and honey products, flours, soaps, cosmetics, Whole grains, Pasta and jams. They are assisted by their children. Rukmini gave the consideration that there could be about 7 such projects being served by the markets they produce for around Italy. Using the herbs around you was then presented by KrishnaBhakti Devi dasi. She explained how she was growing certain herbs and how she was preparing them for teas, medications and food. As part of the information she shared some of the problems with modern chemical based drugs. To balance this she explained about some of the natural remedies you can get around you. Krishnabhakti informed the audience how to make certain natural cosmetics using natural oils and local herbs. [email protected] Turning excess vegetables in health juices formed the part of the next presentation. The speaker was Partha Prabhu from New Vrajadhama who explained that in 2009 they had quite a surplus of Pumpkins and carrots. In true New Vrajadhama entrepreneurial style the community sourced a company that turned such things into marketable juices. Their pumpkins and carrots was juiced and bottled to start a new product range they called Govindas. Gaura Sakhti Prabhu suggested the formation of a europewide database of devotee made products that could be used by the various ISKCON and other projects around Europe. The Thought was that in particular temple based shops and restaurants can support the farm producers by taking from their product ranges. For further information please see the ppt of this presentation. Happy Kuh, a project established in 2009 by Syamabihari Prabhu and his wife Sitarani Prabhu near Munich. Syamabihari took us through some slides of their cows and their project, letting us know of its history and some the hurdles. He showed visiting families and children appreciating the cows. They are building barns for their small herd of cows and oxen. Some families are helping maintain the cows but more are needed. This farm is focusing on saving cows from slaughter and as yet are not milking cows or working oxen. He maintains the project by taking two part time jobs and spends the remaining time on the farm. Sitarani is doing a doctorate in farming without slaughter In the afternoon the group was escorted by Gurucarana Prabhu (Temple President) and Madhumangala and wife Govindanandinai prabhus (horticulture) around the farm project and introduced to many aspects of rural development being developed at the farm. First thing we were shown the wood chip heating system used at Prabhupadesh. They are using about 300m3 if wood a year for this heating system and they calculated that they were saving 75% from their heating bills over the previous fossil fuel based system. The boiler is fed by a corkscrew that brings in wood chips from a holding room. Regularly a truck load of chips is poured in the woodchip store and then it is automatically fed into the boilers. During the tour of the productive areas the group where shown the extensive esplanade fruit growing areas and its irrigation system. Apples, cherries, peaches and grapes where growing nicely. While we were present at the farm we were eating the cauliflowers and spinaches grown from the land and offered to their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura-nitai. The farm grows some wheat which they intend to use themselves. They also rent out part of their land to a local farmer. There is a two hectare (5 acre) plot of land growing short rotation biomass in the form of Hazel (I think it was hazel). This will partly fuel the temple boiler once they are fully established and in regular rotational harvesting. As well as vegetables we were shown some flower production and the herb gardens. For a short period we went underground to see the old wine cellar of the estate and which also accommodates a sunken well providing the irrigation water for the crops. As well as being dark, it was also incredibly cold and was a natural food store. Concluding our tour we saw the building ready to house any future Goshalla. This comprised a three storey building built into the hillside that was previously used for cows but now stands idle in anticipation for a new resurge in cow protection. This had about 2 acres surrounding it with a high stock fence to keep the eager cows out the vegetable patches. Day one ended with a discussion by SmitaKrishna Maharaja on the connection between the cows and mother earth. The audience were all drawn on into the natural progression of understanding the close connection between the cow and mother earth. The hearers could feel conviction growing on the rightfulness of working with nature and the cows. There was an interesting discussion on the position of drinking or using milk from cows that were being slaughtered. Different views were expressed from both sides. We were reminded about Srila Prabhupadas position on drinking milk, of benefitting the cows by offering the milk, that Srila Prabhupada did not say not to drink milk despite the arrangements how it is obtained presently, It was mentioned that Srial Prabhpada wanted us to establish cow protection projects where milk is obtained in the right way, was it right to be arrogant by those who drink milk and do not see concerned for the cows who have suffered in its collection, Should those who drink milk be doing more, perhaps maintaining at least one cow, perhaps supporting cow protection or establishing their own cow protection. Day Two. Syamasundara used two verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam to highlight the challenges of establishing Cow Protection. One verse pointed out the need for a cow, calf, bucket and a milk person. The second verse talked on the needs of a family man to include a home, work, children, money and social interaction. The emphasis of the discussion was stressing that cow protection projects should be based on householder economics and that most of the income required to maintain cow protection is needed to protect the cow protector. Various farms indicated that their costs per cow were between 500 and 700 euro per year per cow/ox. The audience were then taken through the costs for a cow protector. Near Prabhupadadesh housing cost about 150,000 euro or rent cost about 500 euro per month. It was mentioned that a family around prabhupadadesh would require about 20,000 euro per year. The production of protected milk was not about saving money but was about producing the right type of milk.

The discussion went on to talk about the need for congregational

support to underpin cow protection at the present time due to the inability or unwillingness of temples/projects to pay the actual production costs (including cow protectors). There was a rough analysis that milk at Prabhupadesh would cost about 2.70 euro per litre to produce. Milk is bought locally at 50cents per litre currently. A number of farms already have a number of monthly donors and this was indicated as one of the core strategies for developing cow protection in Europe.

As well as having a donor base the cow protection projects cannot be

done by one person but three person are needed in full time, part time or occasional cover to ensure seven days a week protection and to have a person during sicknesses or breaks. It was proposed that the goshalla should have a team comprising a temple council representative so that the goshalla and temple are in synchronisation with each other, there should be a donor representative to ensure cow protection money is used for cow protection related activities.

Palliative cow care is a very important aspect of cow protection and

will probably be required for most of the ageing members of our herds. Wenda Shehata who has a farm she runs with her Husband Mathew in the south of England made a comprehensive presentation on all the considerations that need to implemented to have a successful care system for our most vunerable cows. She pointed out the challenges of dealing with animal health issues and the law. Depending on the reason for a cow to need special attention Wenda gave the things that should be put in place to ensure the cows are made as comfortable as possible and that all required medical and other attention is fully implanted. She explained about her own herd of cows and her experiences with homeopathy and also with working with the local veterinarians.

There was a need for training for cow protection projects in

palliative care and it was mentioned that there may be a course established to train cow protectors in this area. Please see the power point for a the detailed presentation

Dhoop Making. Wenda and her husband are not supported by temples or

a congregation but have to find means to make financial support by turning the products from the land and the cows into revenue to maintain the herd. During this session the conference members where shown how to make cow dung incense. She mixed various dry powders (by inclusion with essential oils one could have great aromatic incense) with fresh dung (brought from her farm – to the probable dismay of the customs people who had riffled through her hold luggage) and then showed how to squeeze the mix into a 30cm piece of water pipe. Once the pipe was full a rod (just thick enogh to get into the pipe) was pushed through and thus expelling the thick line of cowdung. This was cut into 5 cm lengths and we were advised to let it dry fully over a number of days. The mix we were exposed to was for mosquito repellent and so may not be something for your front room or altar, but it was earthy and natural and you could guess would work keeping the mosees out. For more details please contact wenda on [email protected]

His Grace Balabhadra Prabhua – The ISKCON Global Minister for Cow

Protection and Agriculture was not able to attend the conference due to health and travel limitations, however by the strength of modern technology the conference members were able to see and discuss things with him over the internet. Balabhadra Prabhu described some of the things that were going on in other parts of the world, in particular he mentioned about the establishment of a farm representative for India and with regional representatives in each part. He informed us about the successful restaurant projects in Australia and how the profit was being used to develop the farms there. They also have a devotee who can oversee their farm projects.

Belarus and Ukraine have eager and enthusiastic devotees there on

the farms and Balabhadra explained about how many cows they have. He intends to visit Europe in the Autumn and spend some weeks in Belarus/Ukraine and then some weeks in Sweden training their young oxen. New Vrajadhama Ox leader Govindanandana next gave a presentation on the use of the oxen and community in making and gathering hay, collecting a wide variety of grains, threshing and packaging. They had brought a selection of the crops they were growing including grains, seeds and some specialist crops. They are researching the nutritional benefits of different foods and are growing with that in mind. Most of the farm work is done using oxen and it was reported that they farm about 100 acres using oxen. Some of the cows are traditional Hungarian greys, some are European Simmental type and some are true Indian zebu. They have a full fledged Indian bull who they are hoping will give them good heat tolerant bulls for work during the unforgiving intense Hungarian summer. There are many important and leading projects being developed at New Vrajadhama but during the conference we only allocated time for a couple.

It was impressive seeing the whole community coming out to help with

the harvesting and to see the whole process being overseen by Sri Govardhana Lala the temple govardhana sila. Some crops were harvested using ox cutters and some, due to the fragility on the stem where carefully hand cut and gently stacked on the waiting ox carts. From there the crops were laid out in a marquee for drying and then eventual threshing in the goshalla ox powered threshing drum. [email protected]

Biscuit Business near Prabhupadadesh. There is a devotee who has a

factory making biscuits under the Govindas label. This business started at Prabhupadadesh but quickly expanded beyond the facilities available. Now there is an impressive small business making batch biscuits using a lot of modern automated machinery. The company employs about four devotees who help with the different aspects of the manufacture. The members of the conference took the brisk 20 minute walk to the factory, met with the devotee heading up the business, asked various questions about the process, tasted some samples, bought some products for themselves or family and then took the return not quite so brisk walk back to Prabhupadadesh. This business shows that there are viable outlets for grains produced from Krishna farms. The presentation had the conference members buzzing with possibilities for their own farms and projects. [email protected] New Vrajamandala – Spain. Bhakta Alberto who is self-confessed cow herd boy for the last eleven years at the farm showed a short video showing the wonderful benefit of having children and cows together. The viewers were heart warmed at seeing the children milking cows and being happy in their company. [email protected] Earth and the cows part two. Smita Krishna maharaja continued taking the farming devotees on an insight into nature and the cows and mother earth. At a certain point he led the devotees to a 400 year tree and used that as a focus point to discuss nature and Krishna and mother earth. When he had concluded the tree was not seen in the same way as it was before. The group were then taken to the garden and asked to find a place they felt comfortable with. One devotee was asked to represent the earth and the groups placed themselves around her where they felt right. During the questioning of the onlookers to mother earth there were tears shed and choked voices as the audience entered a natural space where they felt in the presence of mother earth and appreciated her kindness and bountifulness. Mother earth is giving everything so why do we worry and look elsewhere to the artificial things in life. The participants finished this seminar by the maharaja appreciating nature and of being in harmony with her and being happy for being devotees. [email protected]

The final part of the event was the customary thank you’s and

appreciations followed by the practical details of what next and where do we go in 2011. The feedback liked the content of the conference, wanted more practical hands on workshops and wanted a longer conference. The group agreed to have a three day conference in the second week of may in 2011 and requested Bhaktivedanta Manor to host it.