#69 – October 5, 2018 – Mitti Seva – The Afterglow!

Dear Friends,

Today’s blog is Part 5 of a 5-part series on the ISHA Mitti Seva event of September 24, 2018.
“I am building the ISHA Meeting Hall in Bruce, Wisconsin as a tribute to my own Master, Great Master Hazur Maharaj Baba Sawan Singh Ji. This project is a project of Love, and I thank all of you for your loving Seva, which I greatly appreciate. I am looking forward to the day that I can dedicate the Dome building to Great Master with all of my friends in attendance!
With my love and Great Master’s Blessings”

     Ishwar Puri — November, 2017
After mitti seva, there was lots of kitchen seva, including washing out the many large pots, pans, trays, and woks.
As the sevadars headed home, the woods became quiet, and the new trails were rich with solitude.
The trail crews also cleared the brush from under four magnificent pine trees. In the future, volunteers plan on building benches and meditation huts in these peaceful spots. The huge pines were given the names “Great One” “Radha” “Soami” and “Simran.” The photo shows the well-groomed trunk of “The Great One.”
Mitti sevadars made good progress on the Maintenance Shed. They finished the rafters, installed most of the roof sheeting, and built the frames for some windows. Next week, a small team of volunteers will be working to install the metal roof and the siding, in order to protect the building during the Wisconsin winter.
The day after mitti seva, 30 irrepressible volunteers returned to continue work on the greenhouse terrace garden and some other projects. They finished the upper brick retaining wall, and installed a lower wall. In the spring, this area will be transformed into a fragrant herb and flower garden!
During mitti seva, the last of the vegetables were harvested from the garden. Here are bucketfuls of fresh veggies awaiting their turn in the kitchen in the days after the event.
Each of the lovely 8×8-foot tamarack compost bins was filled to the brim. By spring, the organic matter will have compressed and will begin to break down into compost.
One of the mitti seva tasks was to remove the fence and cut down the brambles to the south. This was done so that the garden can be greatly expanded for next season. Here, a local volunteer farmer deep plows the new garden area and the existing garden plot. 
The 2019 gala garden will be nearly twice as large as this year’s garden. Note that the corn remains in the garden. This is ceremonial corn, and so will be left intact until the cobs are dry, and the seeds can be collected and stored for planting next year.
After the garden was plowed, some of the area was tilled so that garlic could be planted. In cold climates, garlic is planted in the fall, before the soil freezes, and is harvested in late spring to early summer. 
The garlic was provided by some sevadars who have been selectively breeding this variety of garlic for 27 years on their small farm. It will be fun to see how the garlic adapts to this colder climate.
With some indispensable canine supervision, this gardener is burying individual garlic cloves along the string line. As soon as the snow melts in the spring, the cloves will send up shoots, so the garlic may be the earliest sign of life in the garden.
Trees begin to show their autumn colors on this hallowed land.
With warmest regards,
Paul Bauer
Chair of ISHA Building & Fund-Raising Committee