When I came to Ancient Oaks last December, while in Baltimore for a visit, I felt as though the land were calling out to me, asking me to come be here, to be part of it. On that trip I was only able to stay for a few hours at the farm. When I left, the feeling stayed with me and I knew I would be back. A few months later I was able to return in the dead of winter when nature was silent and sleeping under a blanket of snow. Still I felt as if something were quietly speaking to me. As the weather warmed and the snow melted away, the voice grew stronger, growing with the pasture, the forest and the garden as they took on new life and became green again. Now, just past the summer solstice, that quiet voice has turned into a joyous song, a song sung by all of the beings that have made Ancient Oaks their home–the people, the plants, the cows, the wildlife, the nature spirits, devas and spiritual beings. It is a song those of us living here and everyone who visits or helps from afar are wrapped up in and are part of.
This song is a vision and a dream that the Baltimore Homa Community has been committed to bringing into the physical plane. With the help of the fires and the grace of the Divine, we are watching it unfold. Sunrise and sunset Agnihotra done here on the farm, along with four hours of daily Om Tryambakam Homa, are both part of the vision and purpose of Ancient Oaks, as well as the means to enlarge and expand the ways that we can serve each other, the land, the surrounding community and our planet. This manifests in the teaching of and demonstration of Agnihotra and Homa Therapy and its many applications. There is a whole lifestyle on the farm based around Homa Therapy that anyone can come and experience and learn.
This lifestyle includes the fires and meditations, Homa farming, community living and a sustainable business model for Homa farms. This business model is our Community Supported Agriculture program, a.k.a. CSA. It connects consumers directly to our farm by providing members with a weekly harvest of in-season Homa organic vegetables from the garden. Through this business we are able to practice Homa farming techniques and provide healing, vibrant produce to our members, while making our name and what we do known to the public.
The results so far have been impressive. We have had bountiful harvests for three weeks now and will continue to well into autumn. Our members rave about the size and taste of our vegetables- the result of Homa farming and the Baltimore Homa Community’s hard work and dedication. Some days I walk out into the garden and am shocked at how quickly the plants are growing. The garden is a lush, healthy place of beauty, a pleasure and joy to work and spend time in.
The garden is not the only place we are producing food. This spring we inoculated a hundred wood logs for growing mushrooms. Fruiting should begin next spring. We have three happy bee hives on the land creating Homa honey. A cowdung drying business is also in the beginning stages of creation. We have begun to provide Homa organic dung to Agnihotra practitioners in the Baltimore area. Cowdung, of course, is an essential element in Agnihotra and Om Tryambakam fires.
The dung is a gift from our Highland cattle, our two cows and young bull who grace this land. We have seen the transformative effect of Homa atmosphere and a loving environment in the change of behaviour in the cattle. When the two cows arrived in May, 2014 (the bull was born here last November), they were standoffish and unfriendly; they did not like to be touched or close to people. Since then we have seen them change before our eyes. Now, instead of moving away when we try to brush or pet them they move closer and push each other out of the way to be the one who gets to have all the attention! Of them all, the young bull is the most affectionate, having been born here and not ever knowing anything else.
Ancient Oaks is developing its Community Center and accommodations for groups of people to come and have access to the healing environment. The farm offers an ideal location for retreats, spiritual events, music and our autumn equinox farm festival. Groups can use the community center for workshops and classes and be encompassed by the healing atmosphere of Homa Therapy and surrounded by the natural beauty of the farm. Our two massive, majestic oak trees on the front lawn provide a wonderful spot for picnics, healing circles, music and fires.
As well as serving people, I feel Ancient Oaks serves the animal kingdom as well. I am struck by the diversity of wildlife that I see here on the farm. We have minnows in the stream, hundreds of songbirds in the trees and pasture, hawks, foxes, deer, gophers, rabbits, and salamanders, to name just a few! It is a joy to watch them and feel that they have a sanctuary here.
There are many moments in a day at Ancient Oaks that I am struck by the beauty and peace of this place. I am very grateful for my time living here and for the all the hard work, dedication and devotion of the many people who have been instrumental in making Ancient Oaks into the place it is and the place it is becoming. I feel nurtured by the land, the community and the fires. I continue to listen to the song, coming up from deep within the earth, the leaves of the oak trees, from the lips and hearts of all who are blessed to be contributing to it here at Ancient Oaks.