Greenfriends at MA Center Michigan

Greenfriends at MA Center Michigan abounds in summertime activities! Although covid has kept the ashram off limits for group activities, individual sevites have been diligent in nurturing mother earth in meaningful ways. With Ammas guiding light, all of the many Greenfriends projects spring up and take on a life of their own with sevites showing up right at the moment needed.

The apple orchard is bursting with apples now and a team of sevites rotate duties as available. Outside the orchard, a bee club formed late winter by members interested in bees. With great enthusiasm they gather each Saturday to tend the hives. Coming into Spring it was discovered that the ashram bees had not survived the winter, but, not to be deterred, the club decided to setup swarm traps and eagerly waited for swarms to arrive. By June, 2 healthy swarms were captured and 2 package nucs were purchased to bring the ashram hive count to four. To date the hives are thriving and expanding.

The many flower beds around the ashram are being tended by a couple volunteers and really brighten the grounds. Two small plots were tilled and seeded with meliferous plants to feed the bees and butterflies. Two sevites nurtured lavendar and marigold seedlings and planted them into three raised beds in the front of the ashram as soon as weather permitted. They are a stunning welcome sight at the entrance. Everything now is bursting with blooms.

A vegetable garden, started with homegrown veggie seedlings has been challenging but better than last year. A sevite especially skilled in carpentry built four raised beds for it which has improved the garden quality. Unfortunately the vegetables are repeatedly gobbled up by groundhogs and rabbits. Much of the summer has been spent trying a multitude of repellent tactics. Harvests of zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes are  offered for sale at the Food From Home fundraisers.

A generous sevite who has had multiple health challenges wanted to contribute to Greenfriends in someway so she had three full size trees donated to the property and even sent a gardener to plant them. What a magnificent contribution!!

In the Spring we organized a plant sale for mother's day weekend. An ambitious member managed to visit many local nurseries and purchased plants at terrific prices and resold them at the ashram for our Greenfriends fundraiser which raised more than $500. During the plant sale a number of sevites helped plant 50 raspberry bushes in the old hugelkulture beds on the ashram property. Raspberries will be a great treat.  

Another unique project that started this summer was the beginning of a monarch butterfly sanctuary. We were able to rescue from predators the eggs laid on milkweed and raised and released 22 monarch butterflies.

Trusting that Amma plants greenfriend ideas and then sends the help when needed is a true test in faith and a marvel to see it happen time and time again. Greenfriends gives everyone unique opportunities to love and serve. There is something for everyone. For all this we are brimming with thanks.