#45 – January 7, 2018 – A Winter Coat for ISHA Hill!

Dear Friends,
After the construction work shut down for the season, the bare soil on ISHA Hill needed to be protected until work recommences in the spring. This seeding and mulching work was done by a team of sevadars in November and December. 
First, tractor-drawn equipment was used to smooth uneven surfaces and break up clumps of soil. This is commonly done with a large disc, which cuts through vegetation, sod, or hard soil and partly turns it into the soil’s surface. 
The next step in the process is to plant grass seed, especially on the slopes that could be easily eroded by rain. Here, a local farmer is using a seed drill to insert the orchard grass and oat seeds into the loose soil. 
Next, a layer of grass hay mulch is spread over the soil. The mulch helps retain soil moisture, prevents movement of seed and soil erosion, reduces surface crusting, and helps to moderate soil temperatures. Mulching helps grass establish faster. Here, the farmer is moving large hay bales onto the site. 
Here’s a photo of workers unrolling a bale of grass mulch. Such round bales can weigh 1000 to 2000 pounds. The hay in these bales was grown on the farm of a local friend of Ishwar’s! Flower and grass seeds in the hay will sprout and grow in the spring.
This mulch is especially well suited to protect the soil on the hill slopes, such as the steep slope here on the southeast side of ISHA Hill.
The first snow fell in early November on ISHA Hill. Here’s the Dome basement excavation with the blanket of white.
With warmest regards,
Paul Bauer
Chair of ISHA Building & Fund-Raising Committee