By Kuo Ling Pecaites

Cherry and plum trees wave their fragrant arms in welcome to visitors and the sudden spring storms. The residents revel in the emergence of a new season, the Buddha Halls bloom with flowers, the birds clearly sing Amitabha and the people begin to till the ground. This last month approximately three acres were plowed in preparation for this year’s vegetable gardens. Now the gardeners are spreading their compost, collecting leaves from the trees and manure from neighboring ranchers.

The picture left shows Upasaka Kuo Sun "climbing to the top of a hundred foot pole" and preparing to take the next step, in this case the removal of a malfunctioning transformer. In the photograph to the right Upasaka Kuo Jan and Bhiksu Heng Lyou are seen inserting the blower into the new boiler, donated to the City by a local business concern, which will provide hot water and heat for Dharma Realm Buddhist University. In addition to being gardeners, the people of CTTB perform the maintenance work on all the buildings. Everyone learns how to do everything.

Shown left is Sramanerika Heng Chieh, who is the Director of Agriculture, preparing to chop kelp, which was gathered from ocean breaches to the west. The gardeners at CTTB are exploring the principles of organic gardening and composting the local waste materials in order to provide healthy, energizing food for the residents here.

The gardening activities involve many of the residents and will be a part of the university program. Lawns and open spaces are being partially converted into orchards and plots for growing vegetables. This month, 77 fruit and nut trees of many different varieties are being planted. There is sufficient space so that each person is able to explore his or her own particular interest and contribute to the community. In the early Spring, wild greens are gathered to add to the meals.

To the right are shown Bhiksu Heng Lyou and Upasaka Gwo Jan working on a boiler generously donated to the City.