Monday, October 1, 2012

The Great Puja Post

Yesterday was the  2nd Annual Cow Puja and Farm Fair, and it was a rip-roaring success! This will be a pictorial post, with photographs taken mostly by daughter, Cadence.

Bethany and Brendan, last summer's intrepid interns, arrived Friday night to help with the event. Saturday morning, we gave them SBF Puja t-shirts and sent them to the Farmers Market to see their old market friends and spread the word about the puja. They didn't mind this task!
My dear parents also came to help!  My mom has a wonderful eye for display, so she helped me spruce up the farm store merchandising. My dad gave all of the outdoor tables and chairs a fresh coat of paint.
The morning of the Cow Puja and Farm Fair, the first order of business was to paint the cows. I attempted to do this while they were busy eating breakfast. Lindy, mellow fellow, didn't mind being a canvas at all.
Jitterbug cooperated quite well, too. Her mom, Lariat was more of a challenge. She would not stand still and had to be painted in many fast, sneaky swipes.
LaFonda was a calm canvas, but more of a design challenge with her spotted pattern. I opted for polka dots and hearts, using livestock markers. They are nontoxic,  and brighter and longer-lasting than the face paints I used last year.
My mom  folded and sorted by size the t-shirts for sale.
Bethany and Brendan decorated the big molasses Cow Puja cookies they had baked Saturday afternoon. The cookies were offered at the Puja in exchange for a suggested donation to Heifer International.
We rolled the Willys truck out of the barn, Rog power washed it, and we filled it with snake gourds and pumpkins.
The artists and atisans  arrived and set up their wares in the yard- a view from the upstairs window.
So many fun and creative things! Little felted songbirds...
Beaded and Maille jewelry...
Karuna's unusual plants...
Handpoured, scented candles...

Handcrafted, fair trade items from India, Bali, Indonesia and other exotic locations, discovered by Kim Hammer during her travels...
recycled art, photography, hats, paintings, encaustic art, silhouette art, antiques...and much more.
Paul and Ann kicked off the music.
The Nodding Wild Onions played some awesome original cow songs. (Sorry, I don't have a photo with the entire group.)
The Volunteer Tomatoes did not disappoint - not a single tomato was thrown.
Children met the farm critters - they especially loved the huge gentle turkeys.

The focus of the afternoon was the Blessing of the Cows. Sister Joy, who hand-milked 5 cows every day before school when she was a young girl, led a Franciscan blessing.  She got a little assistance preparing from two helpers.
The  crowd  joined in a bit of singing and sprinkling water on the cows with a blessing from the Sisters.
Our cows were doubly blessed! After the Franciscan blessing, Rahul Kashyap described and conducted a traditional Hindu Puja. Here he is pointing out the "jaggery," a molasses-y sweet made from cane sugar that is given to the cows during a puja. Rahul explained that actually, we are the ones being blessed by the cows, not that we are blessing them.
Rahul's  colleagues prepared the incense and the jaggery.
All of the cows eagerly approached Rahul for the ceremony.  Our cows may be the only herd that has received both a Franciscan blessing and a Hindu puja on the same afternoon!
Happy bovines.
Bethany had prepared a beautiful tray of favorite treats for the cows - marigolds, molasses cookies, apples, corn, and greens. Everyone was invited to offer the cows a treat.
All in all, it was a marvelous day. The weather could not have been more perfect.  We are so grateful for  the wonderful turnout of  guests, the talented musicians and artists, and all of the help we received. We could not have  done this without help from our friends and neighbors who  so kindly volunteered.
Rog and I want to express heartfelt thanks to neighbors Nancy and Katrina, for selling the t-shirts and snacks...
and Betsy and Hannah, for behind the scenes work making everything go more smoothly and with more fun,
and to my Mom and friends Anne and Maureen for operating the farm store...
and to Bethany and Brendan, for cleaning the coop, baking cow cookies,  and so much more...
and to still others for who we don't have a good photo (that means you, Judy, Virginia, Don, Jim and Carla),

and most especially to my Mom and Dad for their  unwavering support and to our hardworking, talented daughter Cadence.

I don't know if it really is because of the cows, but we are truly blessed.


tami said...

I SO love your blog. The pics are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful event!

Annnightflyer said...

That looked like a lot of fun wished I was there.Did you get in any of the cows having a conversation about the paint jobs?LOL.They looked so cute!If cows could talk.

Marcia said...

What a wonderful day you had there. I wish I was closer and could attend. Thanks for sharing it with us your blogging friends.

Julie said...

I'm sorry that I had to miss it. Thanks for posting all of the pictures so that I could see the event. Hopefully next year I'll be there! (and helping)

SmithGang said...

Awww what fun!!

katiegirl said...

That looks like such a fun day! Love the artwork on the cattle!