January 2013 Allotment Diary

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“Nature is our first mother, She nurtures us throughout our lives. Our birth mother may allow us to sit on her lap for a couple of years, but Mother Nature patiently bears our weight our entire life. Just as a child is obligated to his birth mother, we should all feel an obligation and responsibility towards Mother Nature. If we forget this responsibility, it is equal to forgetting our own self. If we forget Nature, we will cease to exist, for to do so is to walk towards death.”
Amma, from Amritapuri website

Frost on window 24th November

Om Namah Shivaya

Recycling in Ireland

(Note: The following section was originally in the December enews, but there were problems with linking to the article from the enews last month. It has been put in this months article as it was felt to be important.)

The recycling team were fortunate enough to attend Amma’s programme in Ireland this November. It was interesting to see the lack of throw away items used in the dining area in Dublin. Despite the small size of the programme and the team compared to other European programmes, they still manage to use mostly washable and reusable items in the dining hall. This is in great contrast to what happens at Amma’s programme in London, where there is an abundance of polystyrene bowls, cups and plates, plastic throw away cups, plastic throw away cutlery, and throw away paper cups. Although it is good that so much of the waste from the London Programme is now recycled (including the plastic and paper cups) Amma herself says we should avoid using throw away items. See for example, the following page on the Amritapuri website:

“At the conclusion of her satsang, Amma asked the crowd to reflect on how to minimize their environmental footprint. She told them to avoid using paper cups and to try their best to carpool.”

In order to try and bring the London programme and Amma UK activities in line with Amma’s words, a group of us hope to soon begin to draft a sustainability policy for the programme and for Amma UK, so that (amongst other things) we can quickly phase out the use of throw away items at the programme.

One suggestions is to use 6 recommendations from Amma’s InDeed Campaign for Nature as a framework for achieving this. For those who wish to find out more about the Indeed Campaign, please see the following link.


If anyone reading this article has any ideas on how all this can be achieved, then please email Richard on


Allotment Diary

One of the regular winter jobs is to keep hedges trimmed. This is partly because it is stated on the contract we have with Sheffield City Council, and partly because it makes more sense to have hedges that are not too high so that more sun can get on the vegetable beds. This is particularly important in spring and autumn when the sun has not reached its full height in the sky. The more sun that gets onto the soil in these seasons, the warmer the soil will be, and the happier the vegetables will be. And happy vegetables are productive vegetables! It also means that the greenhouse has sun on it for longer, and so is warmer. We did not cut the hedges properly last year, which means that this year we had to give them a severe haircut. It is quite drastic and it took a long time, but we have now finished it. Here is a photo of the main hedge with a new hair do.

There is a lot of hawthorn in the hedge, which makes for very prickly work. We also found a bird’s nest in it, which is a sign of happy birds. If the birds are happy enough to build nests, then we are happy. Having cut the hedge it should bush out again nicely, and so provide a nice place for the birds to nest in again.

Here is a photo of the cauliflower bed. These are winter cauliflower that produce a crop in the spring. This is the first time we have grown them, and so far there is no sign of what looks like a cauliflower forming in the middle of the plant where it should be. We have made the mistake of being impatient with crops before, and not allowing them the time that they actually need. Amma says that patience is one of the most important qualities a spiritual seeker must have. It seems to be important for gardening and growing vegetables too! So we will not rush the poor cauliflowers, but instead we will give them time to do what they need to do.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2013 to everyone.

Om Amriteshwaryai Namaha

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