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The 1000th Tree
Amma blesses the 1000th fruit tree
Amma holds a sapling at MA Center

Amma’s second stop of the 2019 North American tour took place at the beautiful MA Center in San Ramon, Amma’s first ashram in the United States. Once a barren landscape, MA Center is now a pure example of Amma’s vision to bring harmony to nature through sustainable and compassionate techniques for the cultivation of land and resources.

Amma’s wish to plant 1000 fruit trees on the ashram grounds was finally realized when she blessed the 1000th sapling after the question and answer session at the retreat. Amma spoke a few words about nature, saying,

The creation and the Creator are not two, for when we see Mother Nature as the embodiment of God, we will automatically serve and protect her. There are sparks of love inherent in everyone and God’s grace is everywhere. Children, try and see the oneness in all of creation.” .

Thirty years ago Amma said that she would love to see the then dry barren hills covered with fruit trees. She later asked that 1000 fruit trees be planted.

There were many challenges to planting on the hills as they are steep and inaccessible to most farm equipment and much of the work had to be done by hand. A lot of compost was needed to turn the hard clay-like dirt into healthy soil. Pumps and an irrigation system had to be built to bring water up to the trees.

Despite the challenges, and inspired by Amma’s commitment to Nature, the community came together on many joyous occasions to dig holes, apply compost and fertilizer, build fencing and irrigation, and plant trees.

Over a period of thirty years, 1000 trees were planted in three orchards: the Amrita Orchard, Maha Orchard, and finally the Lotus Orchard.  The orchards are now a beautiful peaceful haven for insects, animals, and people too.

The types of trees include apple, olive, fig, mandarin, pear, plum, pineapple guava, persimmon, pomegranate, lemon, and more. Many of these trees now produce fruit, which is harvested and turned into dried fruit, jams, and other products.

Amma continuously asks us to be more involved in nature, and to develop our connection with nature. The orchards are a sanctuary providing a chance to get away from the fast paced urban world many of us find ourselves in. They give us the opportunity to take a break, come and play, and experience the beauty and peace of nature.

The MA Center is not only a spiritual center, but also an educational center, and a center for nature activities. The orchards are the foundation of these activities and our goal is to strengthen that foundation and help the orchards to flourish.

Amma says that seva in the orchard is a special seva as it provides clean air, food and shelter for all beings. Throughout the year there are many opportunities to serve in the orchards and help the trees to thrive, including composting, thinning fruit, pruning, weeding, harvesting, creating products from the fruit, and more. Amma says, “By establishing a loving bond between humanity and nature, we ensure both the balance of nature and the progress of humanity.

Let us continue to strengthen that bond through love and service in Amma’s orchards.

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MA Center tree planters
MA Center tree planters
Many hands make trees grow
Many hands make trees grow
The MA Center community
The MA Center community

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