It’s a sign of the times. July was the hottest on record. The almond tree at Giriraja Govardhana Ashram bloomed in early August. Normally it wouldn’t flower until September, but because of global warming Bhumi Devi (Mother Earth) is changing.

Australia’s Climate Change Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery explains, “Victoria forms part of Australia’s southern fringe. Lying between the deserts to the northwest, and oceans to the south, it has seen dramatic shifts of climate in the geologically recent past. Now, because of the volume of coal, oil, and gas humans are burning, the state’s climate is changing again (” Out of respect for Bhumi Devi’s service to Krishna, we are living simply to reduce climate change and encourage everyone to do likewise.

June saw Manigriva and crew taking advantage of good weather to improve fencing. They worked hard to establish a number of new fences and fix old ones. Paddocks are being prepared to house new cows the devotees plan to purchase. Manigriva and Dayal Nitai also worked on winter crops of beetroot and lettuce.

Christian Jenkins and his family, who live at the front of Hare Krishna Valley, purchased two young Alpacas. They will forage on the Jenkins’ block as pets and are slowly getting used to their new family. Christian’s wife Jacqui is learning how to harvest and use the Alpaca’s super-warm fleece.

Manigriva and Tarini Rupa demonstrated vegetarian cooking to the Valley’s Winchelsea neighbours at the town’s Community House. In response many said they were considering adopting a vegetarian diet.

In July Hare Krishna Valley devotees erected new signs – painted in Melbourne by Arun and Tania – to improve visitors’ entry to the Temple complex. They also sowed oats into the farm’s six acres of agricultural land: a green manure crop to improve soil quality. Dayal Nitai tended nursery shrubs that will be on-sold to Melbourne landscaping companies.

To get advance notice of upcoming retreats – like world-famous chef Kurma’s recent visit in September – keep an eye on the Valley’s blog at Or check the Melbourne Temple noticeboards and its website at At the Valley’s website you can get a glimpse of the farm or book accommodation. If you are interested in staying for a few days or helping to develop Hare Krishna Valley, you can also contact Keshava dasa on 0405-577-453 or