Over the past eight years, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has established successful farming communities in various parts of the world. As national economies flounder and cities go bankrupt, ISKCON’s farms flourish and grow, proving that the Krishna consciousness movement is providing not only potent spiritual knowledge, but a viable alternative lifestyle as well. There’s full employment for everyone and natural prosperity when everything’s done for Lord Krishna. For more information please visit or write any of the farms listed in opposite column.
ATLANTA (Mulberry, Tennessee)—Last June, ISKCON devotees from Atlanta purchased a 250-acre farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of southern Tennessee. Graced with beautiful green hillsides for pasturing the cows, the farm also has verdant forests for shade and lumber, bottomland and hilltops for grain production, and abundant springs of clear, pure water flowing into many ponds.
The first challenge we encountered was erecting adequate dwellings. The two barns on the property were in good shape, but the small, hundred-year-old house was hardly suitable as a temple and living quarters for fifteen devotees. In a short time we completed three cement-block houses, each of which can hold two couples. A large combination temple and kitchen should be finished this winter. In addition, a solid marble temple is scheduled for spring, and the hundred-year-old house has been refurbished and now has a beautiful temple room, fresh outside paint and an insulated dormitory. Thus everyone is comfortably situated for the winter.
We are finding that Krishna’s instructions in Bhagavad-gita are not only spiritually purifying but economically sound as well. In the Gita, Krishna says there must be a class of men dedicated to farming and cow protection. Krishna has sent us eight cows to protect, and, as soon as Yamuna (our expectant cow) has her calf, there will be sufficient milk for both the farm and the Atlanta temple (about seventy-five devotees). And by the end of this year we will have harvested literally tons of grains—enough to supply both ourselves and nearby temples with chapatis (whole wheat bread) for the entire year. The garden is flooded with eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini and beans, and this winter we will grow spinach, collards and turnips. With such abundance always at hand, graciously supplied by God, what need is there for hellish slaughterhouses to unnecessarily give pain to innocent animals?
Gradually our village will expand and develop according to the Vedic standard of peace, harmony and spiritual culture. Srila Prabhupada has explained that if our farm projects around the world are successful then modern industry will no longer be necessary. We will not have to make propaganda; people will see our example and automatically reject the artificial way of life. From the farm we can obtain all necessities—milk, fruits, grains, vegetables and fodder—to satisfy both the animals and ourselves materially, and then we can all focus our energies on spiritual development. This is the perfection of Vedic village life: to be self-sufficient and live peacefully and happily in Krishna consciousness.