Permaculture & Sustainability
Permaculture is an important way of life here at MYF. Finding balance and reconnecting humans with nature through revived techniques of rural living, delicately woven together with the most up-to-date and appropriate technologies, is the objective.
Permaculture as we know it today is a philosophy developed in Australia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. This philosophy is “consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food and energy for provisions of local needs.”
Permaculture seeks to answer the question: Are there ways to live within nature’s limits while providing a secure future for our children and justice for everyone?
Here at the Mystical Yoga Farm, we actively seek out ways to practice these principles while balancing the needs of the farm. This beautiful philosophy can be seen in many ways throughout the land. Although we are not only a Permaculture Farm, we practice and honor the Principles and Teachings as much as possible.
The 12 Principles of Permaculture
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a Yield
- Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback
- Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
- Produce no Waste
- Design from Patterns to Details
- Integrate Rather than Segregate
- Use Small and Slow Solutions
- Use and Value Diversity
- Use Edges and Value the Marginal
- Creatively Use and Respond to Change
Through following such principles wherever possible, we are able to truly bring our yoga to the earth. As well as being a practice of sustainability, it is also a method of developing relationships between the community and the land we live on, as well as feeding the healthy relationships between each of the elements living on the farm.
Mystical Yoga Farm Permaculture Journey
Following permaculture principles of Bill Mollison, we have outlined our community needs into zones, describing the relationship between our people and the land around us.
The first zone outlines the hub of our living space – the things that we need, and the things that need us. Our zone one includes our communal kitchen and dining space, bathrooms, yoga studio, and kitchen gardens including frequently harvested crops such as herbs, lettuces, and salad vegetables.
The outer zones comprise more of our hardy crops, such as coffee and fruit trees, as well as more private living spaces and additional yoga spaces. We are currently designing more energy efficient living spaces, cool in the heat of the day and comfortable in the chill evenings, which will form the temple and heart of the farm. These designs are as multi-functional as possible and all built with the help of local workers using local materials.
We have an established composting system that enables us to recycle nutrients from food and garden waste back into the land. We enjoy practicing and experimenting with some of the many different methods of composting for soil improvement. Our “laboratory” and experimental practice draw methods rooted in Biodynamics, Biointensive farming, Permaculture, and Vermaculture.
ZERO Waste Program
It’s unavoidable to produce some waste or trash when running a community and retreat center. Because we care so deeply about living in harmony with the earth, and believe that Mother Gaia is a sentient being, we take time out of our week that is solely dedicated to processing trash!
Every week we have Trash Tuesdays at the farm, when all volunteers gather for lake and trail clean ups, and at The Resource Center to sort trash, repurpose materials, stuff eco-bricks and create art!
We started working towards becoming 100% Zero Waste back in 2016, and successfully reached our current zero waste status in 2020!
Part of how we do this is by using eco-bricks! Eco-bricks are a great way to re-purpose plastic that would otherwise be “trash” into sustainable building materials for creating structures with methods like cobb. You can utilize many kinds of plastic bottles, stuffing them with clean soft plastics until they are full and hard enough to be used in your structure.