Not everything in life always goes as planned. This is a famous saying most are familiar with, and has been true for Texas Gaushala as well. Located about 24 miles northwest of Downtown Houston, this gaushala is a true farm that shelters about 12 cows in addition to other animals such as ducks, chickens and peacocks. The founders of Texas Gaushala have been particularly busy this summer, getting their hands dirty with managing Houston’s erratic weather and its effects on maintaining a ‘livable’ house for the animals, particularly the cows.
Maneuvering flooded pockets in the field
Logistically speaking, the cycle of rain followed by sunshine comes across as a welcome change to help dry up flooded lands. However, Texas Gaushala has been experiencing an interesting ‘flooding’ challenge even with Houston’s weather switching between sunshine and rain.
Texas Gaushala includes an open field where cows can walk around and rest. With trees to offer shade from sunshine and a pond, the field also includes a shed to provide shelter from the rains. Being spread over a vast area, the field is a perfect location for cows to lounge or move around as they wish. All of this however comes with “getting used to” extreme climate change. There are days when rains fall hard and fast across the Houston region, completely flooding the field. While there are other days when dangerous heat waves can help dry up the field.
“You could wake up to mooing sounds and catch the most beautiful sunrise on some days. But the weather has been very erratic this year, with heavy winds and rains. It has indeed been difficult for the cows to maneuver through the flooded field to get food or water,” the founders reflected.
Unlike most lands that can dry up with the sunny Houston weather post rains, the field at Texas Gaushala is much lower than the lands neighboring the site. Owing to this, water from around the field accumulates in the field, making it difficult for the land to dry up. Consequently, the field experiences heavy flooding, making it extremely difficult for the cows to move about, even to get food or water. It has also been challenging for the caretakers to navigate the field to get to the cows.
The most ideal situation would be to drain rain water to restore the field to a setup where cows can continue to move around and relax anywhere in the field. With no current means for draining the water, an alternative is to raise the land to a height that can help drain the water into the pond in the field. The raised land can further be leveled and worked on to create beds for the cows to sit or rest on.
The founders of Texas Gaushala have been busy planning and executing Phase 1 of infrastructural work, which includes a three-part implementation:
Leveling or raising the land to avoid flooding
Fencing to ensure cows are safe
Constructing a barn to provide shelter from erratic weather
“We have begun phase 1 of infrastructure work. We want to start by raising the ground so all the water goes to the pond. We would make the pond 5-10 feet deeper to increase its water holding capacity and use dirt to build walkways to access the property from all the directions,” says Abhinav Goswami, one of the founders of Texas Gaushala.
Ideas remain ideas if they are not brought into reality. While the strategy for land filling and leveling sounds great, it has been immensely challenging for the founders to gather funds that can keep the project running.
How you can help
Besides the weather, the pandemic has played a significant role in slowing down the project. With the prices of iron and wood shooting up by 50-60%, it has been greatly difficult to find skilled labor for completing the project. This is where ‘you’ can help.
“We are actively seeking funds to keep the project moving forward. The dirt work is around $35k, of which 60% would be paid towards getting loads of dirt trucks at $90/load and the remaining would be spent on labor and heavy machine rentals. We have already emptied about 140 trucks of dirt and may need another 50-60 trucks,” says Abhinav.
Your donation will be pooled into funds to support Phase 1 infrastructural development:
Texas Gaushala is managed and operated by VedicTree Foundation, which is a 501 (c)(3) Tax Exempt organization with a vision for connecting people with cows, empowering people to learn and practice principles described in ancient Vedic scriptures, and helping people meaningfully improve their overall health and wellness. We encourage you to send your supportive contributions using this link to VedicTree Foundation.
A massive thanks to supporters
It is not all dark, because Texas Gaushala has been and will continue to be supported by the community. We are starting to see funds roll in, and most importantly, the positive vibe and moral support, a contribution we would forever be grateful for. Despite all the challenges, we are excited and motivated to set up a cultural destination, a beautiful campus that can truly connect people to nature.