Work Week: Developing the Campus Together

How much can 29 Zen practitioners get accomplished during seven days while sitting Zazen and exploring the dharma together? The slideshow above gives you an impression of the main projects we took on together during the annual CMZC Work Week.

The biggest visible improvement is the gravel and stone work around the Zendo. The state fire authorities recommended that we remove all flammable materials around the Zendo deck at least three feet out from the perimeter. As a next step, we plan to plant creeping thyme between the river rock border and the stone-lined walkways. We think it will look beautiful and have the extra benefit of providing food for our new community members: thousands of honey bees in four hives.

The other really work intensive project was the completion of what we jokingly call the “Grand Staircase” between the Main House and the center of our campus. This is in conjunction with rebuilding the deer fence around the front yard lawn and vegetable garden. This fence construction is actually a massive project, and we just took on the first 100 yards during this Work Week.

As every year, we planted the vegetable garden. The neatly organized beds with weed barrier in between aren’t just a Zen obsession for orderliness. It is our latest attempt to battle the tenacious grass that wants to take over the garden. Currently, we’re looking for local wood chips to cover the gray cloth. The soil development of our new 2,000 square foot garden plot is coming along. Barley and buckwheat is growing there and will be turned back into the soil after the bees will have had a chance to feed on the buckwheat flowers.

For more on CMZC’s agricultural efforts and culinary vision, take a look at our commitment to developing local food systems.

What else we accomplished: a new wood shed, the construction of bee hive roofs with insulation for the winter, preparing the ground for a forest garden orchard, lots of weeding, and eating three delicious meals per day.

Thank you, everyone, for a great week!