One of my first projects at Present Moment was to devise and implement a permaculture plan for the Present Moment property. The idea of permaculture is to minimize the number of inputs and outputs to a given system, if effect closing the circle in order to create a more sustainable system. In other words, our goal is to convert waste into usefulness.
The first step, and by far the most significant project we implemented at Present Moment, was to install a water treatment plant. After much fascinating research, we decided on a live bacteria system which is capable of breaking down 100% of our waste water and converts it into irrigable water. We may one day decide to install a secondary filtration system which would clean the water so thoroughly that we would be able to use it for drinking, showers, and laundry, but at the moment our garden is able to consume all of the water we can recycle, so it is not yet a priority. The water treatment plant was completed over a year ago and all of the water that comes onto the property is treated and reused in our gardens. This means that the water we use in our toilets, showers, kitchen, and laundry room, is reused for irrigation. Our water use is down over 40% since the installation of the plant… phase one complete!
The next step was to convert our restaurant waste into useful soil for our gardens. How do we do this? Composting! We built a beautiful three part hot composting system and for over a year all of the waste generated by our restaurant has been composted and put back into our gardens. In addition, we pick up a lot of our neighbors scraps, including oyster shells, wood chips, cow dung, and minerals from the local mines. We use four different composting techniques to create a variety of natural fertilizers, which I would love to detail in future posts.
When the permaculture project started a little over a year ago, I was excited to start a vegetable garden. The first step to start a garden is to grow soil. What I didn’t realize was how much soil was required to sustain the esthetic gardens on the Present Moment property and to fill planter boxes to start growing food. I am really excited, after over a year of growing soil, to finally be in the phase of planting a vegetable garden. We’re just getting going, but we’ve planted tomatoes, basil, several different lettuces and some medicinal herbs that we use in our Be Light Cleanse. For me it’s a dream come true to grow food and medicine to help people reconnect to the Earth using home grown herbs and food to heal.
The result of our yearlong experiment in permaculture is a more closed circle. We are generating less waste and consuming less of our planets precious resources. We hope that this is only a beginning with self-sufficiency being the ultimate goal. We plan to continue in this vain, brainstorming and experimenting with new ways to always improve. If you have any advice, suggestions, questions, or thoughts, please share. You can contact me anytime via email at email@example.com. Thanks for your support and love. Namaste.