President's Update - Perma Culture Garden, cont. - Milk Facts and Factoids

"Therefore, if the inhabitants of Gita Nagari want to establish a perfect Kingdom of Heaven (Rama Rajya), (they) can endeavor to do so combinedly in the service of the Personality of Godhead. The inhabitants of the Gita Nagari shall therefore engage their everything, namely (their) life, their wealth, their intelligence, and the words in the service of the Lord. That is the practical way of living a life of Bhagavad-gita." HDG Srila Prabhupada, Conception of Gita Nagari, 1956 

Dhruva's Weekly Update

What an amazing time we are having!  Both HH Romapda Maharaj and HH Bhakti Caru Maharaj brought with them enlivening and inspiring devotees.  They were all encouraging and supportive of Gita Nagari's development.  The highlight was when HH Bhakti Caru Maharaj shared that in his view, Sri Sri Radha Damodara need a new sringasana (altar).  He pledged to send a beautiful new one from India.  He asked the devotees if they would like to support this desire for Sri Sri Radha Damodara and everyone came forward without hesitation.  He also expressed that even if no-one had come forward he would still somehow make this offering to Them.  We are deeply moved by and grateful for Maharaj's offering of love and by the devotee's heartfelt generosity.  
Oh, and there  is more to this pasttime… There was so much laxmi / money raised during the retreat that Maharaj offered the surplus laxmi towards a new vyasana for Srila Prabhupada!  A huge thank you to every devotee who donated - you are all serving Sri Sri Radha Damodara with soft and open hearts - thank you for your inspirational example.  
And thereafter, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we hosted the Board Meeting of an Interfaith Group. They left grateful and enlivened, and so are we.  Now we are gearing up to receive Mother Krsnanandini and the Grhasta Vision Team and all the brave, serious and committed couples joining the Couple's Retreat this weekend.  
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the natural rhythm of Sri Gita Nagari Dhama moves steadily on - the loving worship of all our Deities (by Mother Jagannatha, Bali Maharaj Prabhu, Muktavandiya Prabhu, and Hari Chakra Prabhu). Gauraraya Prabhu, Mother Sundarangi and Mother Jagannath
 are in the kitchen selflessly cooking and serving our Deities and guests, while a small core team cares for and milks our cows and who can forget Max working in the "hot sun" in our fields as well as in his Permaculture garden.  
I am grateful to everyone as every day I become more enlivened in my service by their wonderful example, the team here and every person who visits.  My gratitude and respectful obeisances to each one of you.  Thank you.
Milk Facts 
Pasteurized milk is milk which has been heat-treated to kill pathogens which cause disease. Not all pathogens are removed during the pasteurization process, so pasteurized milk is not 100% sterile, but many people consider it to be safer to drink than raw milk which has not been pasteurized at all. The bulk of the milk sold in commercial grocery stores is pasteurized, and much of it is also homogenized to prevent the cream from separating.
According to the Milk Inspector and PMO (Pasteurized Milk Ordinance), when pasteurizing milk it gets heated to 145 degrees F (62.778 degrees C) for 30 minutes and then is cooled rapidly. This kills bacteria and other germs that could be harmful to some people. Conversely, when you get raw milk and boil it yourself, it gets heated to 212 degrees F (100 degrees C), which is much hotter than the pasteurization process. 
So, don't shy away from our milk once it's pasteurized. Our Protected Cows will thank You!

Permaculture Corner 
by Max Paschall

 Cont. from May 31: How, then, do we treat soil with the respect it deserves?  What happens when we actually work on the soil in our garden, rather than the plants?  Quite a bit happens, as a matter of fact.  Creating a vibrant, living soil will give you the healthy, vigorous plants you've always wanted.  Creating this soil is a lot simpler than you might think, too.  Just like forest systems are a good model for how we can grow much of our food, forests also provide a good model for building soil.  If you go into a forest in the fall, you will see the floor carpeted with dead leaves, underneath which is rich humus.  Similarly, if you mulch your garden with organic matter - be it hay, untreated woodchips, grass clippings, or even the branches and leaves of things growing on your land - you will be well on your way to reproducing that rich, life-sustaining soil found in forests.  Mulch is useful not only as something that decomposes into rich soil, but it also retains moisture (which means less watering!), limits soil erosion, provides habitat for a number of beneficial insects, and if done properly can even stop weeds from crowding your crops.  
Similarly, many plants that we consider to be weeds can actually benefit our growing systems if implemented in the right way.  The right plants growing around your vegetables can become what is called "ground cover" - providing many of the same benefits as mulch, and even others as well.  For example, white clover planted with certain crops can be hugely beneficial.  While they prevent most weeds from coming up, they also attract bees in the summer, retain moisture in the ground by providing shade, and rebuild the soil by adding nitrogen!  All legumes, like clovers, beans, locust trees, etc., add nitrogen to the soil through a symbiotic relationship they have with a bacterium called Rhizobium.  If you pull a clover out of the ground and look at the roots, you will often see small white bulbs.  These are actually shells of nitrogen created by the Rhizobium bacteria, that in return receive sugars from the plant.  This nitrogen is vital for all life - including our own - so finding ways to add nitrogen to the soil naturally (not chemically, which can add significant problems) is one of the best ways to build the life in your soil.  
You will know your soil is rich and alive just by looking at it.  Soil that is crawling with critters, has a rich scent of humus, and is chock-full of fungus is the best stuff you can hope to plant in.  For anyone interested in learning more about the wonders of soil, I highly recommend the documentary "Dirt! The Movie", which gets into not only the biology of the soil, but also how we are currently facing an unprecedented global crisis with the disappearance of soils due to poor farming practices.  Next week I will be getting more into how exactly I am building a living soil in the permaculture garden.  Happy gardening!

Factoids about Homogenization by Ortrun
Homogenized milk is any sort of milk that has been mechanically treated to ensure that it has a smooth, even consistency. The homogenization process typically involves high temperatures, agitation, and filtration, all aimed at breaking down milk's naturally occurring fat molecules. Once broken, these molecules stay suspended in the milk and resist separation. The process makes fat filtration much easier for manufacturers, and lengthens milk's shelf life.
This is a process that Gita NAgari Creamery milk will NEVER be subjected to as it also, in my opinion, adds to the many instances of milk intolerance, which is found in many people today. The simple explanation someone gave me once is as follows: The proteins attach themselves to the broken down fat molecules and are not detected in the stomach and so are moved on to the small intestine. That is where the alarm (read: cramps, etc) goes off for some folks, because the undigested proteins have arrived. 
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