Lama Foundation

Taos, New Mexico, USA
An oasis in the cold high and dry
An oasis in the cold high and dry

environment of Lama Foundation. here 3 Peachs, Hops, Grapes, herbs, and flowers grow in a protected microclimate of the building,

Aerial view of the central community area and gardens
Aerial view of the central community area and gardens
Another view of older water catchments tieing in with lower large ones.
Another view of older water catchments tieing in with lower large ones.
Basic broadscale water harvest structures
Basic broadscale water harvest structures

placed by Rico with later detailing and water storage tank added by Rico's student who took on this work after Rico left.

Current Vegetable production
Current Vegetable production

in the Garden that Rico created 15 years ago.

Plum and Cherry hedge
Plum and Cherry hedge

between sitting area with herb garden and production vegetable beds (behind hedge). When photo was taken recently there had not been anyone caring for the landscape around the vegetables.

The Lama Foundation is an Intentional community in the rugged mountains north of Taos New Mexico. Over 2600 meters (8600’) in altitude, it is a high, dry, and cold climate. Water comes from a spring, supplemented with rain harvesting. Lama is off the grid, producing all of its electricity. 

 

Challenge:

In spring of 1996 a devastating wildfire burned 95% of the surface vegetation and destroyed 23 of 27 structures on site.

 

Solutions:

PDI team worked with the Llama Foundation to create the Permaculture design for the restoration of the land. This included designing and installing food production systems, siting and integrating structures, installing new trails and roads while closing and reclaiming others, developing campsites and facilities, and continuing the ongoing habitat restoration processes.

This process included managing and integrating a continuous stream of volunteers, to turn a burnt and depleted landscape into a lush and productive home for the Lama community. The process of systems design and rebuilding took place over 10 years.

 

Project Lead: Rico Zook