Saturday, April 20, 2013

Khandroling Coop Update

Khandroling Coop Update
On Thursday afternoon April 18th the founding members of the Khandroling agricultural coop, Yuchen, Nary, Joe and Paula met to discuss the plans for this coming growing season as well as how to invite the participation of other interested community members.
To inform everyone about the project what follows is a report on what has been done thus far as well as the plans for the future:
  1. BEES:  Two beehives have been purchased and painted, along with all required tools and equipment. Yuchen and Paula have taken a course on beekeeping and will be responsible for the bees.  The Bees will arrive at their new homes next weekend!  An electric fence has been purchased to keep the bears out.  We will install it this coming Sunday, starting late morning. 
    Everybody's welcome to join the fun!
  2. GARDEN:   We plan to plow 2-3 acres of the field to the left of Rinpoche’s house.  The preparation of the soil has been carefully considered and soil tests showed the need for a 'regenerative approach'. This kind of approach will start to reactivate the soil and its nutrients so to rebuild the biological capital of the field and inform us as to how to apply holistic and organic farming methods in the garden field and orchard as well.
We will plant many varieties of vegetables, as well as an experimental patch of barley (in the hopes of making Chudlen with our own honey and Tsampa flour). 
There will also be a patch of flax for the Paper making cooperative, along with other paper seeds, and some desirable flowers. 
Once the planting begins everybody is very welcome to participate and share the fun.
To date we have purchased all the necessary machinery: a disc harrower and a seeder, seeds, and various types of organic soil enhancers etc.
  1. ORCHARD:  We will purchase approximately 20 fruit and nut trees to begin our orchard.  We will also buy a pump and collection tank for water for the gardens. 
  2. MUSHROOMS:  Nary and Joe have begun a successful shitake mushroom project on Upper Khandroling. 
MARKETING: we bought and starting to explore possible specific products to present in the future farm stand.
We will also look into getting certified as an organic farm.  
All expenses have been so far covered by the founding members as well as a few private donations! We're more than grateful for that!
As you can see we have big aspirations!  
There are many other projects to consider, but for now we have decided to begin with these four projects.
Success is a journey, a process, not a destination. While walking the journey we hope to learn from our mistakes. Mistakes do cause pain but they also provide an excellent opportunity for growth. Out of every disaster comes the chance to be reborn.
Our hope is to do something for the community so that we all may become more self-sustainable. 
We also hope to be able to slowly expand so that we may eventually make a profit through the sale of our products, thus becoming a more sustainable community that does not depend only on the Retreats and teachings to pay our bills.  
We invite anyone who is Sincerely Interested in this project, to contact Nary at the Farmhouse #625-6522. What we will expect is that you put in a minimum of 10hrs work each month, beginning May 1st., finishing after the first hard frost, or Dec.1st whichever comes first. Call 2 days before you are able to come to work so that we can fit you into our work schedule.  
In return committed people will be able to partake of the bounty of the garden.  Regardless of the commitment, anybody will be able to purchase produce at a minimum price.
To close, although we are very committed to this project, we have not felt the need to incorporate into a legal COOP entity yet.  We think it makes sense to wait until we begin making some profit.
In the very near future we'd love to invite all interested people to come to Khandroling so we can meet together, enjoy the beauty and energy of Khandroling together, and imagine and plan for our future together.
Coop team.

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