Permaculture at Diamond Mountain

What is Permaculture?

When you begin to study karma and emptiness and bodhicitta, you begin to conceive of the pottertremendous impact you have on the world around you and the responsibility that kind of influence entails. With this responsibility in mind, we have no choice but to be a positive influence on those people surrounding us and we must take responsibility for our earth and leave behind a positive footprint. Everything we need to survive at some point is a gift from mother earth. We take, take, take, but how much do we give back? Do we even know how to give back?

Diamond Mountain has embraced the principles Oct2014Retreat12of Permaculture – take care of earth, take care of the people, and share the surplus-  since our beginnings in 2003. These principles naturally follow from an understanding of karma and emptiness.

Permaculture design and practice takes on many forms.  At Diamond Mountain we’ve prioritized self-sustaining architecture.  For example:

  • Our Main Temple (also our group space) is made of adobe and the interior is finished with American Clay plaster.  Adobe keeps the interior of our Temple cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  The American Clay finish is pleasing to the eyes and heart and infuses the air with negative ions which help to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.*
  • Our 27 retreat cottages were built with permaculture principles in mind.  
    • Most are built with natural materials such as straw bale, earth-bag, adobe and Cottage 21recycled jeans insulation.
    • Most of our retreat cottages are equipped with:
      • passive solar design for cooler interior during summer and warmer interior during winter
      • solar electricity
      • solar hot water heaters
      • composting toilets
      • grey-water irrigation

* http://www.saguarointeriorfinishes.com/images/LEED.pdf

Our Current Projects

c21-landscape-designUnder the guidance of permaculture designer Richard Powell we will be Landscaping Cottage 21 in March 2017 using permaculture design principles such as:

  • Using grey-water and rain-water irrigate the trees and plants in our landscape design
  • Planting native trees and plants which, once established will require no irrigation, getting all the water and nutrients they need due to smart design.
  • Developing mini eco-systems within our landscape design to strengthen individual plants and create a more “nature-like’ design system.
  • This self-sustaining design is also incredibly beautiful and we’ve placed a bench under a mother juniper tree so that the landscape can be comfortably enjoyed by our guests.

We’ll also be planting a Memorial Garden behind the Temple in our Lower Campus in March 2017 using permaculture design principles such as:

Memorial-Garden-Draft-1

  • A pergola for shade, to provide place of refuge from the strong desert sun.
  • Planting canopy trees which, once mature, will provide rare shade and block strong winds that are common in our desert scrubland ecosystem.
  • Planting native trees and plants which, once established will require no irrigation, getting all the water and nutrients they need due to smart design.
  • Developing mini eco-systems within our landscape design to strengthen individual plants and create a more “nature-like’ design system.
  • Include benches for guests to contemplate, enjoy the beauty of the garden and build connections with fellow guests.

Long-term Goals 

  • wetwashRehabilitate our landscape.  Practice what we teach and thereby aligning the land with the beauty of the Buddhist teachings.
  • Establish a canopy layer (shade trees) which serves to protect soil, increase water table and serve as a wind-break which will completely transform the land as we know it to be softer and more hospitable, in essence healthier for the ecosystem and for it’s inhabitants.
  • Restore and extend the flow of our historic Bear Spring. With strategic planting in key areas uphill from the spring.
  • Beautification landscape around all group meeting spaces and retreat cottages.  
  • Take personal responsibility for our 1,000 acres by becoming a leader in permaculture design and principles to show the world what is possible
  • Education. Teach by example, offer general workshops, certifications programs and internship opportunities.

 

Join us!

March 13-19, 2017 for our Permaculture Landscaping & Garden Project Implementation.  Click Here for more information or email:

Rejoice! After 10 years of having run dry, Our Historic Bear Spring is flowing again 🙂