Saranagati Village is located in Venables Valley. The village comprises the entire valley of over 2000 acres. It is self contained and has its own forests, grazing lands and privately managed water sources. All lands are certified organic by BCOCA. There is a private lake and hiking trails for recreation, a small school, 30 Vaisnava families and a small temple. There are camping areas, a few guest cabins and plans in motion to build a larger temple and more guest facilities. Saranagati Village is off grid and so all power is provided by alternative energy sources such as solar panels and micro hydro systems powered by flowing streams in the adjacent mountains. Winter is also a nice time to visit. The temperature is fairly moderate and the cabins are cozy and warm, heated by woodstoves. There is ice skating, lake hockey, sledding or just drinking hot tea and enjoying good company for the less adventurous.
At present there is one barn which can house six cows during the winter. The main Goshala building will be the "Eco Barn" This simple structure is at the heart of the plan and makes genuine cow protection possible in the cool Canadian climate. The barn features three separate heating /cooling operations to insure that the cows are housed comfortably all year long. The construction adheres to Leed standards in terms of carbon footprint and energy efficiency. It will employ geo-thermal heating and cooling, passive solar heating with large south facing windows and radiant floor heating for extreme cold periods, heated with an outdoor wood furnace. In addition the barn has enough area to store up to 600 bales of hay on the northern wall which will serve as insulation and thermal mass. It will have an attached gober gas kitchen for processing the milk and will be constructed using timber that is harvested and milled in a sustainable system from the surrounding woodlots.
Equipment & Tools
Even though a major component of the Ahimsa Goshala model is simple technologies there is still a certain amount of modern equipment and tools required in order to provide the highest possible service for Go Mata. In particular several farm implements are required in order to grow and harvest the winter hay. This includes a tractor, a sickle mower, a tedder/rake, and a baler. In addition Go mata needs a horse trailer and a truck for transporting cows to festivals and to the veterinarian if needed, or for emergency transport in the event of a fire. Much of this equipment has already been acquired by Ahimsa Goshala in the last 4 years, but from time to time equipment requires, repairs, and eventually replacement. These costs will be met by the current existing cash flow. The support staff in Saranagati Village includes a mechanic with many years of experience repairing and maintaining farm equipment.