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“We must become self-sufficient by growing our own grains and producing our own milk.”
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
“Then, there will be no question of poverty.
Develop these farm communities as far as possible.
They should be developed as an ideal society,
depending on natural products not industry.”
Bhagavad-gita philosophy explains that men and animals must have food in order to maintain their bodies. And the production of food is dependent on the rain, and the rain of course is dependent on chanting Hare Krishna. Therefore let everyone chant Hare Krishna, eat nicely and keep their bodies fit and healthy. This is the ideal life style.
“We do not condemn modern civilization, but we don’t like to get it at the cost of God Consciousness; that is suicide.”
Letter to Rupanuga das, 18 December, 1974
The New Talavan (Tal · ah · vahn) farm community began in June of 1974 at the suggestion of His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acharya of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness.) Srila Prabhupada choose the name ” New Talavan” while visiting the Honolulu temple in May, 1976. Talavan is one of the twelve forests around Vrndavana, a city in India where Krishna came, 5,000 years ago. Krishna and His cowherd friends would go to the Talavan forest and play, rest, eat and watch their cows as they grazed.
A few devotees from the New Orleans temple came out and slowly began planting gardens. They worked as time permitted and then returned to the New Orleans temple at night; a round trip of about 130 miles.
Soon, devotees began staying on the farm full time. The first cow was purchased from a stockyard and the devotees named her Kunti. She gave the farm its first fresh milk as well as its first calf, named Subhadra. Later more cows were purchased. The devotees also continued to purchase more land over the next 10 years. Eventually we reached a total of 1300 acres.
This makes New Talavan the second largest Hare Krishna farm community. Currently New Talavan is producing wheat, fruit and vegetables. We also have about 60 acres set aside for hay, while collecting hay from another 100 acres not owned by New Talavan. Krishna’s cows are also producing fresh milk from which the devotees supply our presiding Deities with delightful milk sweets.