Tree Planting Time at the Himalayan Institute

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For years, the Himalayan Institute has been committed to planting trees around the world and that goes for here in Honesdale as well.

Keeping with our sustainable lifestyle, we planted young chestnut trees early last month on the west side of our main building. The 1954 building does not have central air-conditioning and relies on age-old methods, like shade trees, to passively cool the building during the hot NEPA summer.

“These chestnut trees will replace trees that we expect to die in the coming years. It’s good forestry. In maintaining a continuity of the ecosystem for our flora and fauna here, we contribute to the external beauty of the Institute for the next generation of visitors and residents. It’s part of our strategy for mindful consumption of resources, along with other initiatives like the solar system for hot water,” says Tom Woodson, who manages the gardens and greenhouse at HI.

“You know, in Rotary Club, we say that it’s a wise man who plants a tree under whose shade he’ll never sit. That foresight and stewardship over our natural resources is very much our practice here at the Institute,” said Brian Fulp, Director of Local Operations and Past President of the Honesdale Rotary Club.

While spending time with Mr. Woodson during the recent planting he went on to say that ”This time of year is the best for planting new trees. Some of the volunteers who helped plant these were worried the trees were dead. They’re not dead; they’re dormant.

And, that’s what helps them survive the shock of transplanting from the pot at the nursery or balled-and-burlapped at the tree farm to your front yard, you want to be sure when you plant trees that you dig a hole two-and-a-half times the size of the rootball and always make sure they are watered to help them adapt.”

“Our residents don’t commute by car to work. We donate our food scraps to local farms. We raise our own garden and eat vegetarian. We’ve been living this way since we moved our international headquarters to Honesdale 40 years ago. We were really proud to finally codify it and share it in our Sustainability Statement that we released last summer,” said Mr. Fulp.

HI calls its commitment to sustainability an expression of “yoga in action”. Their sustainability statement and showcase projects can be found at HimalayanInstitute.org/About-Us/HIEco/.

Local residents can visit the Himalayan Institute campus and its gardens anytime. Garden staff are seeding thousands of herbs and vegetables right now to be transplanted within the next two to three months. Later in the summer, thousands of pounds of this organic produce will be served in the dining hall. Meals are included in the Institute’s guest packages and cost $8 for visitors.

“And, in 20 years, we’d like to invite all of Honesdale to come for chai under our beautiful chestnut trees,” says Brian Fulp.

For more information on the gardening program at the Himalayan Institute, please visit HimalayanInstitute.org/workshops-retreats/residential-programs/organic-gardening-apprentice-program/.

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