A little more than a year ago we began a journey into the unknown: Permaculture.
Together with permaculture designers Timothy Kercheville from "Festina Lente" and Michael Beck from "Hands on Earth Permaculture" we began the process of re-wilding our land, listening to its needs and to the future that wants to emerge....
Since then Timothy and Michael have spent time with us every month, together with many kindhearted and enthusiastic helpers that took time out of their busy lives to dig and weed, and plant and spread manure, to make compost tea and to help plant, tend and harvest.
It has been a joyful journey of together action on so many levels:
Humans from all walks of life, the elements, and Mother Earth working together tirelessly and for a shared goal:
To reconnect to the land and create an oasis for life. An oasis that would help feed the Zen Center and our retreat guests, would diminish our CO2 footprint and our dependency on grocery stores, and would manifest our Zen practice in a most essential way: "A day without work is a day without food."
And within a year, a piece of land in need of constant mowing transformed into a garden, brimming with life, yielding countless delicacies and feeding an abundance of beings - humans, butterflies, bees, hummingbirds.... - and our neighbor's donkey too. :)
And as this post gets written we are doing our first October retreat ever where we are able to cook with produce from our own garden - farm to table in perfection.
We still need to buy produce of course, and are a long way from being sustainable, let alone regenerative.
This is only the first year, and the soil quality is still pretty bad. But we are listening to life and to her regenerative cycles, and we hope to become stewards of the land in ways that give more than we take. We also hope to share what we are learning, so that permaculture principles/regenerative design will ripple out into the world.
To witness all the life that returned to the land in just one year, all the Bodhisattvas who came to help, all the pollinators, all the change that happened in one year only - it's a joyous celebration!
May all beings benefit!