Some of Harbin’s electrical power comes from steam-driven turbines located just over the hill on Cobb Mountain. Back by our own pole barn, we’ve installed solar panels that produce around 11,000 kilowatts of power each year. We’ve also completed a large solar collection system near the Domes, generating 45,000 kilowatts of power per year (approximately half of our annual energy usage at the Domes) while serving as a shaded carport for guest’s vehicles. We are also upgrading many of our light fixtures to compact florescent lighting.
Our beautiful garden is undergoing a metamorphosis inspired by the expertise of Lawrence Hershman, master gardener and teacher. Our residents are learning to combine ecologically sensitive Bio-dynamic practices and a holistic spiritual philosophy with the production-oriented French system to create a garden that is more dynamic and sustainable for the years ahead.
Recycling & Composting
With the help of guests and residents, we manage our own recycling program to reduce our use of area landfills. A resident-run composting program provided nutrient-rich mulch for our garden. Wood chips from fallen trees are used for mulch, compost, and covering paths.
As we renovate structures or add new buildings, we attempt to use materials and building techniques that work with the environment. Our beautiful Temple was constructed using straw bale and cobb techniques. Floors in the Temple, the Domes rooms, and the renovated Restaurant restrooms feature efficient radiant heat. As exterior decks need replacing, we are using Timbertech composite – made of recycled wood waste – that lasts longer, and requires no chemical staining or sealing.
Harbin’s water system draws from a number of natural springs located on our property. Water used for pool area cleaning, lawn watering, and garden irrigation is drawn from the creek that flows across the mainside area. To protect our creek and groundwater, Harbin’s wastewater is piped to a treatment facility near Middletown.
Our restaurant purchases its produce from Glo Anderson – a local farmer in nearby Hidden Valley – and California-grown produce from Veritable Vegetables. Our dairy products come from family owned Clover Dairy of Petaluma, while our organic, free-range chickens are Rosie brand from Petaluma Poultry.