Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 79 – Brian Dillon, Growing Spaces & Rhythms of Thriving
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 79 - Brian Dillon, Growing Spaces & Rhythms of Thriving

Brian Stratton Dillon is a horticulturist, dome-grower, and adept percussionist. In this episode, enjoy a tour inside his Growing Spaces geodesic greenhouse, where, at 8,300 feet high in the Rocky Mountains, Brian grows subtropical fruits, veggies, and herbs. At the end of the episode, get a sneak peak into Brian’s music and recording studio where he gives us an exclusive “mini concert” on his drum kit.

Brian also shares intimately about his near-death auto accident, from which he had severe brain injuries (including DAI – “Diffuse Axonal Injury”). This experience led him on a path of discovery and awakening – connecting the dots between brain health, psycho-spiritual well-being, the benefits of fresh, locally-grown food, and the importance of his Vipasina meditation practice. Not only does Vipasina come to us in a 2,500+ year tradition of “brain training,” so is the tradition of food forests an ancient one – including 2,000 year old food forests in Morocco, and centuries-old Permaculture stewardship of the Amazon Basin.

Brian discusses how the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel, M.D. has been a game changer for him, and how Dr. Siegel’s “Interpersonal Neurobiology” is essential for mind/body/spirit integration. Dr. Siegel’s books, including “The Yes Brain,” “Mindsight,” and “Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human” come highly recommended. Brian recommends Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight Institute, the Mind Up Program, and the books “No Drama Discipline” and “Mindful Therapist.”

In his Growing Spaces dome garden, Brian cultivates figs, Gingko Biloba, passion flower fruits, tomatoes, grapes, pineapple guava, curry plant, Romanesco cauliflower, Red Russian Kale, arugula, and tilapia. He cultivates his soil with High Plains Biochar, Xtreme Gardening mycorrhizal fungi, and Recharge microbial SuperPack from Real Growers.

In this inspirational episode, Brian reminds us that “healing takes courage, bravery and hard work!”

RESOURCESgrowingspaces.com/yonearth (grow domes – mention Y on Earth & get a 5% discount!)onegreenworld.com (Seeds and starts)mindsightinstitute.com (Dr. Daniel Siegel’s work)dhamma.org (Vipasina meditation retreats)facebook.com/groups/growing.dome.enthusiastsfacebook.com/stratton.dillon


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Hi friends, I’m really excited to share this podcast episode with you.

In it, I visit with my good friend, Brian Stratton Dillon, at his geodesic Growdome up in

the mountains in Colorado. 

These are domes provided by a company called Growing Spaces, and they are based in part

on the designs that come from Buckminster Fuller.

Some of you may be aware of the term Buckyball, and the geometry of the structure is essentially


So a Dodecahedron is a 12-sided three-dimensional object made up of equal pentagons.

Okay, so that’s one of the platonic solids.

The dome that we’re in is actually called a truncated icosahedron, and it’s related

to one of the Archimedean solids, and these are more complex three-dimensional solids

known about at least since the time of the Greeks.

And so basically they’re like a soccer ball where you have interlocking hexagons and pentagons.

So the dome that you’re going to experience in the episode is essentially structured

out of pentagons and hexagons.

Each one of those, however, is made up of triangles, right?

So hexagon has six of those, a pentagon five of those.

So you’ll see some of this in the video, and I hope you really enjoyed this episode.

So come on, let’s check it out.

Welcome to the YonEarth Community podcast.

Today we’re visiting with my friend, Brian Stratton-Dillan, Hey, Brian.

Hey, Aaron.

How you doing?

Doing great.

We’re right here in your grow dome, and I’m so excited that we get to share what’s

going on in here, and chat a bit about your story and journey as a horticulturist, as

a musician, a drummer, and it’s just a joy to be here with you today.

Oh, I’m so glad you guys are here and really appreciate the opportunity.


So Brian, for our audience who don’t know this, Brian and I go way back to like the middle

school, high school days, and we’ve been pals ever since connected primarily and initially

through music, and have a lot of mutual friends we keep in touch with, and so it’s just a

real joy to have him on the show here today, and I know with our tour of the dome a little

later on, and also we’re going to get a sneak peek into Brian’s music and recording


You’re going to have a real treat both in terms of the audio podcast and for those of

you who are watching the video, you’re going to see some really amazing stuff on this


So before we dive in, let me just tell you that Brian studied under a handful of great

drummers and mentors, including Mike Berry, Todd Reed, and the living legend drummer Dave


He has performed over 1200 performances, has taught over 80 drum students and has recorded

with renowned artists such as Andy Nevala from the Glen Miller Orchestra, Stuart Davis,

the wild divine, the John Parker trio, and has toured in many states throughout the United

States, including Hawaii.

And Brian first fell in love with botany in 1999 when he was living on the island of

Hawaii, where he had the unique opportunity to do garden care for Sylvester Stallone’s

beachfront property on that island, and he also attended the college at the Kauai community

college where he learned how to propagate cuttings, working in the greenhouse on the campus


And then he moved back to Colorado in 2000, becoming heavily involved in the music scene,

and that was in a terrible car accident, and after being a victim of a hicular assault

in 2010, he was set on a different path.

And growing food became a huge priority in his life, and he decided he wanted to move

to a climate that was more conducive to growing all year round.

So he set out on a worldwide tour, including Hawaii, New Zealand, Tonga, etc., and basically

he discovered growing spaces, the company that makes these grow domes, which were sitting

in presently, and realized he could basically have these subtropical conditions right here

in the mountains of Colorado, and grow year round.

So he erected this dome in 2014, and has been able to grow in an agricultural zone of

seven, despite the fact that we’re at an elevation here of 8,300 feet above sea level,

which is an agricultural zone three.

So he’s growing culinary food and medicinal herbs and flowers here year round, and is also

working professionally with a great company called Skyscape Gardens, doing all kinds of

installed, edible landscapes and food forests in the Metro Denver area.

And so Brian, I guess it’s not an exaggeration to say that you and I share a couple of our

very favorite core passions and hobbies from music to working with plants and soil.


And thanks again for inviting us into experiencing your dome today.

Oh, my pleasure.


Thanks for being here.

So let’s talk just a bit about what is it like?

And I think maybe we’ll try to get a photo up in this video of what the dome looks like

in the middle of the winter after a big lizard.

But what’s it like in your day to day living up high in the mountains and having this environment

to come into?

Oh, it’s amazing.

You know, I’m a native of Colorado and I’ve always loved it here so much.

But in terms of the growing season, it is a shorter season.

And so especially at this elevation, you know, I mean, there’s only a couple or three

months where you can really try and grow things and then you have deer and everything

else that gets to your to your plants and food.

So this is a protected space.

It has rodent barrier underneath it.

I’ve only had one mouse in this structure in six years.

And so it’s just very protected and from the elements and provides a really safe

kind of just perfect growing environment, you know, in the winter, I think the most snow

I’ve gotten here was like 44 inches.

And you know, the dome held up really, really well.

It can take huge snow loads and hail and wind with ease.

And so that’s one of the main reasons I started thinking seriously about building one

of these.


And the geometry is super fascinating and beautiful to look at, right?

And there’s one of the strongest three-dimensional shapes.

And we know how to build as humans and it’s based after Buckminster Fuller’s Buckyball,


Is that kind of what the design’s based around?

As far as I know, that’s, yeah, I don’t know the history super well.

But I do know about Buck, what’s the name?


Buckminster Fuller.

That’s right.

It’s called Bucky.



So the geometry is built out of triangles and it’s called a, it’s a variant of a truncated


I did a little research on this.

And so there’s an ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes, who identified all kinds of

three-dimensional solids that are more complex than the better known platonic solids,


Like the cube, the dead decahedron and so on.

And the Archimedes solids are much more complex, have many more facets and faces.

So this one is essentially made out of a whole bunch of triangles, but they’re arranged

in patterns of hexagons and pentagons.

That’s right.

So it’s got that hex and pentalpha interchange going on.

And it’s an extraordinarily strong structure.

So yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all that with these snow lobes and wind lobes that you

don’t have any sort of issues with the structure failing.

Yeah, no, it’s remarkable.

And I think on growing spaces’ website, they have a, they do a test where I think they

drop like a sledgehammer from however many feet above and it just kind of bounces off

of the structure.

So the polycarbonate material that makes up these panels is also really hardy.

So there really is no issue in terms of strength with these structures and that’s really the

issue, especially up here in the mountains, you know, with greenhouse gardening.

Like if you have a standard kind of a frame type of thing, I mean that can work and it

does work for a lot of people, but a hail storm can come through and, you know, in 10 minutes

you’re looking at a bunch of repairs and kind of a whole mess, you know.

So the growing spaces kit really just takes all of that worry and concerns out of the


Yeah, I’ll just mention growingspaces.com and a great company actually based in Colorado.

And they are sponsoring this podcast episode and have told us that if you want, you can

go to growingspaces.com and mention YonEarth and get a 5% discount if you want to get

a dome.

There are several different sizes and or you can also click on the logo link that lives

on the YonEarth podcast page or sponsorship page and that’ll take you into a dedicated

page in the growing spaces digital ecosystem.

So take advantage of that 5% discount.

I know with with COVID and everything going on in the world, their demand has been through

the roof.

And so their production schedules out like three months right now.

So if you’re interested, good idea to get a hold of them sooner and later and get in

the queue.

But yeah, so it’s amazing what they’re doing in terms of having these these domes in

multiple communities throughout the Rocky Mountain West and elsewhere, helping certain

communities grow a lot more food than they’d otherwise be able to.


Yeah, and there’s all kinds of programs with schools and communities like you’ve said.

And just a lot of opportunity to teach, you know, youngsters about this.

And I mean, I think that’s the thing if people didn’t grow up in the garden much, I think

it can be kind of an intimidating thing to grow food just period, you know, even just

like a little container garden on the deck or something.

But once you just kind of jump in and try something, you know, you get to hang a bit really

quickly, especially if you have some tips from friends and, you know, resources online

these days.

Yeah, it’s great.

And I think as we do the tour, we’ll talk a little about your soil amendments.

I know you’re working with some biochar in here, too, and you’ve actually developed a whole

array of techniques and tools that you’re working with, right?

To maintain the soil health in here and keep the plants healthy.

Yeah, I’m learning as I go, you know, there’s so much to learn with the soil biome and a

healthy biology there, but yeah, you helped me, you turned me on to the biochar.

I actually used that in the tomato beds this year, and I think it’s helped a lot.

I’m also introducing beneficial fungi and bacteria and also using a microbial superpack, this

product called recharge.

And so, yeah, there’s kind of a lot to talk about with all that stuff, and certainly

a lot more for me to learn.

I feel like I’m scratching the surface, honestly.

Yeah, well, I got to give a shout out to our buddy, Rowdy Yates, who’s one of the Y on

Earth ambassadors, who’s company high-plains biochar up in Wyoming is where I think we

got you that biochar, and yeah, it’s a great operation.

So for those of us in the Rocky Mountain region, that’s one of the best suppliers we can

go to for the biochar, which really does amazing things for the soil, right?

Yeah, it just provides, as far as I understand, any enormous amount of surface area because

it’s so porous.

And so, all that surface area is where, you know, beneficial bacteria and other beneficials

can live and, you know, offer the roots of the plants, a supply of that consistently.

Yeah, I’ve heard it described that putting the biochar into soils, kind of like putting

a whole bunch of apartment buildings, providing a lot more habitat.

Yeah, and yeah, it also works like a sponge, so in arid climates, like ours, when you’re

watering plants, it helps keep the retention of moisture in the soil longer, which obviously

is a big deal in certain climates, so that’s super helpful.



Thanks for showing me.

Yeah, absolutely.

Well, I want to ask, Brian, I know that that traumatic brain injury that you had really

has had a profound impact, you know, no pun intended on your life.

And as hard and as traumatic as that experience was, in many ways has opened you up to a

whole array of beautiful discoveries in your spiritual practice with meditation, and

you’re one of the, I consider experts, and I know a handful, around brain health, and

some of it, what’s going on with the neurology and the neuro biochemistry, and I was wondering,

if you might just share a little with us, what was that process like after the accident

of essentially bringing your brain back into optimal health and back into a state of vitality?

Well, thanks for that question.

Yeah, so indeed, the accident was a really impactful situation that left me basically

kind of stripped of my identity or any sense of just assembling reality.

So it really took me down to the core of, you know, what is this?

What is existence?

What is happening?

Who am I?

You know, although like most fundamental questions, you can kind of ask yourself.

And so that led me into a very curious and deep kind of journeying for really for the

last 10 years.

So I came to find a whole bunch of teachers that people much wiser than I, and more experience

on the topic, or topics, and just really got interested in all that.

And so we could get into a little of that, if you’re…

That would be great.

Yeah, I think it’s really helpful for a lot of us.

So one thing I’d like to mention was learning about Vipashana meditation.

And so I’ve written a couple things down about that just because I wanted to share.

So Vipashana, which means to see things as they really are, is an ancient meditation

technique that’s 25 centuries old.

It’s also called the art of living.

And the technique is taught at a 10-day retreat during which participants learn the basics

of the method and practice sufficiently to experience the beneficial results.

There are no charges for the course, not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation,

which is really remarkable, especially because these are happening all over the world.

All the expenses are met by donations from people who have been completed a course and

experience the benefits of Vipashana’s wish to give others the opportunity.

So I think that speaks a lot to the technique itself, you know, in a new age world of all

kinds of spiritual, you know, stuff out there ranging from great to terrible.

It can be really hard to know kind of what to spend your time with or your money on.

And this kind of demystifies that whole element of it.

So I did two 10-day silent retreats.

And so they call it noble silence.

So it is silent the whole time, which is just a really different experience.

You know, we open our mouths a lot and we, and our ears are being bombarded by all kinds

of stuff, you know, all the time.

And so just a simple 10-day period can actually be pretty profound.

And you know, I could get deeper into the technique, but I think for right now anyone

who’s interested in that maybe just visit the website, we’re going to have a link to

that website.

It’s called dama.org, so dhamma.org.

And you can look on there, you know, say you want to go, maybe you’re traveling and you

want to go to Thailand or wherever, you know, they’re holding retreats.

It’s literally all around the world.

It’s pretty amazing.

And yeah, I’ve really benefited, benefited from that technique.

Yeah, tremendously.

So and I think it’s worth noting too, Brian, that the type of injury you had is this DAI,

right, that fewer than 10% of folks who have it actually recover consciousness.

So like not only have you recovered consciousness, but you’ve progressed very far along that

spectrum of experience.

And what is, what is DAI if you can just tell folks a little bit about that?

Yeah, so that’s, that’s diffuse, accidental injury, which basically means when, when there’s

a violent like shaking of the head, in this case, it was a vehicle going 85 miles an hour

and another one going 55 miles an hour and those hit and then that one hit mine going 55.

So it was like a three car explosion really.

And so and the roof caved in all the way to my, I’m two inches from my seat back.

So I literally, I mean, when I, when I finally went to the salvage yard months later after

this because I needed photographs of the vehicle, they didn’t recommend I go, but I, I needed

to go and I wanted to see the car because I have no memory of this, any of this, anyway.

And yeah, I started laughing.

I had to be escorted with a police officer and I started laughing because I just couldn’t,

I just couldn’t believe that I survived.

It was just impossible the way that the crash or the way that the roof caved in like that.

And a funny side note, the, the police officer that I was with, his lip started quivering and

he actually started crying like, because it, so it was just a really interesting moment

in my life, but um, helped me believe that all this happened.

But anyway, so my brain was, um, all this happened.


It’s just that all this, wait, sorry, what did you say?

I just want you to complete that statement.

Oh, I’ve led you to believe that all this happened.

Oh, well, for a reason.

Yeah, I just meant happened period because I didn’t, it was hard to believe, you know, that

this, when people were telling me, when I woke up in a hospital and people were telling

me all this, I was like, what are you talking about?

I’d been out for seven, seven full days with no memory of anything.

So, um, but yes, to what you were getting at, absolutely, um, and so diffuse, the diffused

part just means it’s widespread.

So there, I had contusions on the right frontal lobe and the orbital frontal cortex, I believe,

and the right ponds and some other ones, specific injuries, but then the diffuse axonal injury

refers to widespread shearing of axons.

And so that’s the real, that’s when it’s really bad.

And so, and that’s what made my prognosis or recovery looking kind of so grim.

But I really believe through the course of action that I’ve taken with just thousands

of hours of learning and, um, and drumming, uh, that’s a big one.

And, uh, getting in the garden and then the whole nutrition part, um, and the rhythm

of the garden, you know, the, the watering and the, the seasons and the, uh, the rhythmic

aspect of that, like, and then the meditation, the brain training, that’s what I like to

look at it as brain training because the word meditation is so, so misunderstood, um,

in our culture, I think, uh, and, uh, the way I look at it is just brain training.

Like, in the same way, you would go to the gym and exercise your muscles and keep your,

your body healthy.

Um, there are ways to do that with the brain and the ancient techniques I like a lot because

guess what, we’re not the first to suffer, you know, we’re not the, people have been

having hardship and real challenges for ever.

And so, why not learn from the techniques that have stood the test of time?

I think there’s a lot to be said about that, um, what I also love to mention Dan Siegel

and a couple of other things if I, if I can, maybe that was the right time to do that.

Yeah, so another thing that, uh, has been life changing for me is the work of Dan Siegel

and he started a, a field called interpersonal neurobiology, which is basically a fancy

way of saying the brain, the mind and relationships and he’s the, uh, clinical professor of psychology

at UCA, at UCLA School of Medicine and he’s the director of the Mindsite Institute, which

I’ve done, I’ve completed a course there and I want to do more, um, the Mindsite Institute

is just a fantastic resource and, uh, there’s a lot to gain from getting into that.

Also, um, some really cool things happening like the Mind Up program, Goldie Hahn was

in on that one and that’s more for youngsters like bringing in, um, some awareness and

knowledge of like the brain and the mind to kids in curriculum.

So instead of the standard curriculum that we have, um, they’re, the Mind Up program

is bringing in things to teach people about the tools they have, you know, and, um, if,

you know, ways to manage frustration or anger or, you know, giving children like tools

to, and, and methods, uh, to deal with life, you know, and, uh, when things get hard.

So that’s another thing.

So his books, I’ve read almost all of his books.

I’ll just mention a few here, um, the mindful brain is the first one I’ve read and it really

just hooked me up.

I’ve never been much of a reader, honestly, um, but I was just turning the pages like crazy

because that was so just fascinated by all this stuff.

Another one called MindSight, that’s probably the easiest one.

MindSight, uh, the new science of personal transformation and then there’s, his newest

one is called Aware, the science and practice of presence.

It’s a great one, oh my gosh, really great, um, and there’s one called No Drama Discipline

which is, um, for, you know, folks who have children and, uh, how to approach that.

I don’t have children, but I read that one anyway.

I thought it was really fascinating.

And then another one called The Mindful Therapist, which I read, um, and that is also amazing.

So yeah, it can’t say enough good things about Dan, Dr. Dan Siegel, uh, and what he’s

doing with IP and B, interpersonal neurobiology.

Uh, so great, and we will include, you know, some links and references in the show notes

as well so people can, uh, easily find some of these resources.


So thank you for sharing all of that.


Thanks for the opportunity.


Um, wow, well, and, and, you know, I think there’s something that probably is, uh, going

to be of great benefit to all of us, right?

Like not all of us have had a traumatic brain injury and a car accident course, but all

of us are suffering from different ailments and things assaulting our neurobiobio, uh,



And some of this is technology and media related.

Some of this has to do with the widespread toxins and poisons in the environment and the

food supply, et cetera, totally in the water even in many cases.

And so here you are, you’re, you’re doing a lot of music, playing a lot of drums.

And I’m excited.

I think we’ll be able to share a little bit of your drumming at the end of the episode

because you’re not just banging one, two, one, two.

I mean, they’re doing polyrhythms and syncopations and all very beautiful, complex, highly finessed

drumming and it’s exquisite to listen to you.

Clearly, there’s a lot going on in the brain when that’s happening.

You’re connecting with the living biome of the soil.

You’re eating super fresh, nutritious food, just, you know, several paces away from your


Seems to me like you’re onto a handful of life practices that may enhance all of our

qualities of life and may in fact be key to creating a much more sustainable world together.

Well, thank you.

That’s a huge compliment and I just want to emphasize how much inspiration I’ve drawn

from other people like yourself and like a thousand other people that, you know, like

the way I found out about this company was through a video, you know, it was a YouTube

video and I just couldn’t believe it.

I watched it like five times and it was with a woman named Bree.

I since have looked for it.

It was quite a few years ago and I can’t find it but it was somewhere down south in Colorado

and I just couldn’t believe that they were able to actually grow year round in harsh, you

know, environments and everything and so I think that’s the important point I’m trying

to make there is just that we all inspire each other and I think it’s important to like

whenever you can to take that opportunity to show someone what you’re up to and also to

be open to learning.

I think that’s a huge thing is to just, you know, always be open to learn some new hobby

or some, if it, if it excites you, then follow that, you know, there’s not enough time to




So why is it you and curiously a segue into talking a little more about some of these

ancient practices like you’ve mentioned, the poshana meditation and brain training practices

and also you’ve had some really interesting experiences with different food forests that

you have found all around the world.


And we know the archaeology right now is getting so exciting about understanding what native

peoples were doing in both North and South America.

The Amazon rainforest is very much a human engendered food forest that turns out in many millions

of acres and so in fact they were using biochar.

But you’ve, you’ve had some incredible encounters with food forests, some very, very old in different

spots around the world.

Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Well, so I think the, the oldest one that I interacted with was in a dream I had, which

ultimately led me to, to this greenhouse is pretty amazing actually.

I had a dream kind of in that initial recovery period when I had come home from Craig Hospital

and I was, you know, I was home.

I was still doing outpatient therapies, speech therapy, occupational therapy, pool therapy,

physical therapy.

I mean, it was like, it was intense, but so my sleep was a little funny.

But I had a dream one night about a food forest and I had never heard of that.

I didn’t know what that was.

So I was, it was such a beautiful dream and I, so I got up and I, it was like four in

the morning and I, I googled that and came to discover this 2000 year old food system

in Morocco and it’s incredible.

There’s a, I think his name is Jeff, I wrote it down here, Jeff Lawton, yeah, L-A-U-T-O-N.

If you, if you search 2000 year old Moroccan food forests, you’ll see this little short

video that he explains the food system.

But basically it’s, it has different layers and like a canopy working all the way down

into like root vegetables.

But it has an enormous amount of outputs with very minimal inputs and it’s a system.

It takes care of itself and so I, I was super inspired by that and just thought that was

like one of the coolest things that I’d ever heard about in my life.

So that led me to, I also found out about a 200 year old food forest in Vietnam, which

I do want to visit at some point.

And then I did actually go and visit a food forest in, in Hawaii that was 10 years old at

the time.

Now it’s probably, I guess, 16 or 17.

And that was just amazing, you know, eating star apples and all kinds of different fruits

that I’d never heard of.

So that’s another part that has been, just as a side note, like through this whole project

I’ve found, I’ve learned about all these rare fruiting varieties.

Oh, and that’s a perfect opportunity for me to plug one green world.

So there’s a company called One Green World and their website is OneGreenWorld.com and

they’re out of Oregon and they have been collecting rare fruiting varieties from around the world

since the 90s.

And they have a fabulous website, very informative with great pictures and it tells you whether

it’s, whether or not it’s self pollinating and just all this information, which some,

you know, some of the other companies I found don’t have all that.

And you can hear the clouds are going by, so the solar, waterfall and the fan are turning

on and off.

That’s driven by the sun.



And we’ll go, I’ll show you some of the features of the dome here in a little bit.

But One Green World is just a really cool company and you wouldn’t believe how many berries

and fruits that you’ve just never heard of.

I’ve got one growing right here called Golden Silverberry and I haven’t gotten it to

fruit yet, but it makes these jelly bean looking fruits that are like polka dotted and they

must taste amazing.

Who knows?

I hope to find out, but it’s a Mediterranean plant and it’s got a beautiful leaf structure

and each leaf looks like a painting or something.

So really fun to discover just how vast all this gets, you know, it’s not just apples

and oranges and blueberries, you know, and there’s all kind of stuff you can grow.

It makes me think about, you know, we have grown up in a Western cultural milieu and a common

story most of us are familiar with is this getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden experiencing



It seems to me that one of the big opportunities we have in these times is almost recreating

the Garden of Eden, almost reconnecting in a way to that creative, generative force of

nature, of some greater powers and perhaps that’s also part of the key we have now to

not only healing our own selves, but also our communities and our relationship with the

world and in my senses, food forests and Interior living spaces like this are going to be more and more important as we go forward. Yeah, I would agree, you know, I think

Going back to the basics is is always going to be a good idea

You know as we progress as a you know

species and everything

I think there’s at the end of the day, you know, we get hungry every single day. Yeah, right? So

So we might as well know how to grow something. Yes, absolutely

Well, let me uh, I just I want to give a little shout out to you to our friend

Dr. Jandell Allen Davis who runs Craig hospital

And is responsible for all kinds of medical care workers who are working with folks who are dealing with these

traumatic brain injuries and neural

Issues and she’s been on the podcast twice now

As an African-American leader she actually came on a few weeks back to

Talk with us about what’s going on

With the protests with the Black Lives Matter movement and with the murder of George Floyd and it had just an exquisitely

Wise way of speaking to all of this and when she grew up in DCs you remember some of the

The race riots back then decades ago

So just want to give her a shout out because I know she and others are

Are you know dedicating their professional lives to helping folks heal from those kinds of of traumas

And I know the rest of us out in community the more we can help

Create community gardens and access points to some of these experiences is also really helpful for the society as a whole

Absolutely, I mean I couldn’t be more grateful

Uh for Craig hospital and what they I mean what they are doing is just


Like the things that they see on a daily basis


You know doctor Barry and

A handful of other people there really just brought me back to life you know and it’s

Really amazing work. So I’m extremely grateful

For really anyone who’s helping with healing like you said like whether it’s the planet or other people

Or themselves, you know

I think that

Healing is a is something that

Should come into the forefront of everyone’s lives

Everyone has something that they need to heal from

And it’s I think it’s a beautiful process

And it takes courage and bravery and hard work and a lot a lot of enduring pain

But I think ultimately

Has been Tino Massara would say

Pain and pleasure are equal confirmations of awareness

So um

Yeah, yeah, absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing that

Um, I know that you’ve got also another resource that

folks who are interested in the dome

Growing environment will will find very helpful to connect with and this is a growing dome enthusiast’s Facebook group, right? Oh, yeah


Facebook.com slash groups slash growing.dome.intusiest. Yeah, it’s really cool. There are people



All over the world, you know

But I mean especially in Colorado because that’s this company is out of Pugosa Springs and it was you know

discovered oh my gosh, we can grow in the Rocky Mountains, you know at whatever elevation

I think they’re

7,000 something but either way harsh winters and


But not only um, we find people with amazing greenhouses in Colorado, but

States, you know, like Wyoming and other places. I mean really these can


Fit any growing environment or any uh

Agzone pretty much. I mean it you wouldn’t want one of these probably in a tropical environment because

You know, I mean maybe keep the rain out or something. I don’t know but but um, so it is kind of designed more

For the extreme gardener I guess with you know with um

Living at altitude or what or what have you but um or even in Denver, you know or Boulder. Oh, yeah

And I’m thinking even places like Minnesota, New York. Oh, yeah, the winters get pretty intense. They get harsh. Yeah

So that page is is really fun and it’s it’s amazing to see what people have

Have going in their gardens every single one is totally different on the interior and


The more experienced growers are

So inspiring. I mean, like I feel like a newbie after six years, so

Yeah, I’m sure it’s a lifelong pursuit for many. Yeah. Well, I’m already daydreaming about a bigger dome

Down on the flats one day. So

um that might that might

Come to fruition. We’ll see

Great. Well, let me just take this opportunity to

Thank some of our sponsors and as I mentioned earlier

Growing spaces is sponsoring this podcast episode and if you’re interested in getting a dome

You can get a 5% discount by going through the links you find on the yunners.org

pages the podcast page and or the sponsorship page

Or if you just reach directly out to growing spaces if you mentioned yunners

Uh, they’ll honor that 5% discount and they’re at growing spaces.com

Of course, want to mention earth coast productions as a sponsor and we have today

uh, both Ardom and nickel cob the founder and jordan groth

With us here in the dome behind the cameras. So hey guys, we’ll give a quick shout out. How you guys doing?

Hey great awesome. Thank you guys so much. It was fun being here with you

um a big shout out to the lich family foundation

uh as well as to purium

and uh, earth water press

uh, waylay waters and

If uh, you’d like to join our monthly giving program which many folks have done so thanks to all of you who

Are part of the yunners dot org monthly giving program if you join at certain levels will also send you

Monthly shipments of the waylay waters

CBD infused aroma therapy soaking salt as a thank you and those come from waylay waters there at waylay waters.com


So a huge thanks to everybody for making all of this work possible and and what we’re doing with the winers community

Is all about community mobilization for soil regeneration, climate action, neighborhood resilience

Culture of kindness and this is about our health, our healing internally and our communities and

Working with soil and plants. So uh invite you all to get even more engaged in the work that we’re doing

In communities all over the place


And brine i’m so excited that uh, not only do we get to sit and chat with you today

But we’re also going to get a tour of the dome and we’re going to see some of the amazing

Planchard growing here some of my favorites actually

And then we’re also going to close out with a sneak peak

Tour of your music and recording studio by the way folks. I’m excited that uh it was brion

And uh his good buddy mike who put together the soundtrack we use at the intro and outro of every podcast episode

So you’ll see the room where that was first

conceived of as an idea and that’ll be a lot of fun to share but uh i guess before we jump up and do the tour brine

Is there is there anything else you’d like to to share?

Hmm it’s a good question. Let me look if i

If i’ve got anything on here we’ll go through the features of the dome obviously oh

Uh, i do have a quote

That i want to read if that’s cool please yeah

Kind of relates back to like the the self identity stuff that we were talking about a little bit

And uh, i just really like this quote. It’s made a huge impact on my life

The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self

So that’s the alborinstein and i really i really like that one

We might have to include that and show notes

Okay, thank you for sharing that as beautiful as i see it as some of my most favorite quotes

Yeah, i just thought that’s really succinct and for for me it just

oops um it just uh it penetrated it resonated and it yeah it helped me

Beautiful, thank you

So i know we’ll get a chance to say goodbye later on brine, but i just i want to thank you from the

From my heart

For taking this time with us and and for sharing your your story with us and sharing part of your home with us

And my hope is this is a great inspiration to a lot of folks out there

And so thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your friendship and you know, this is a vulnerable

interview, but uh, i think it’s all a part of

Uh the process and you know kind of getting over myself a little bit

Well, you know, you mentioned courage earlier and it’s one of my favorite words because i was digging into the

etymology a little and it comes from this word kuhair which means heart

And so in the way having courage means having heart

And you’ve got it in droves. I know. Oh, thank you. Appreciate you. Likewise, man. Yeah. Thanks so much

So uh should we do some tour? Let’s check this out great


So how long did it take to build this?

Yes, so the planning and everything took

better part of a year

uh, but it only took us two days to actually erect the structure


and then

well, and i was um

me and a friend and

what they call a supervisor at growing spaces, so that’s basically a builder

and um

Yeah, so two days we had this thing up

and then i had a big empty

geodesic structure

So it was kind of like okay, uh, now what do i do?

And i became a fun process of


darkened beds and

Watch off of the phone the various uh

the various tiers

Like the center bed that we can show you

Okay, so come on inside. Let’s check it out

It’s kind of a little jungle right now


But i guess we could all start by explaining this front garden bed

um, this is where the warm season crops go right now in this case tomatoes

eggplant squash

um some other ground covers

and um

So that’s kind of what’s happening in this front chaotic bed


And then behind that it’s hard for you guys to see probably but the i’ve built with my friend um

and neighbor a

a box it’s a hardwood box

and it’s lined with sheet metal on the inside to contain the roots of the fig tree

and the other fruit trees that i have

So that’s kind of in the center back there

And the idea was with that was to just have some different tiers to it


So in the tallest one there’s the brown turkey fig tree

And i don’t know if you guys can see some of those figs that are emerging

up a little higher um, we can get

some footage of that at some point and then


There’s also i’ve got golden silverberry

in that same box and also pineapple guava

Which is one of my favorites i found out about that in New Zealand when i was

volunteering on a ten acre farm for a couple months

On great barrier island

But it’s a white for uh green on the outside and white on the inside and it tastes like guava

if you know that flavor but it has a pineapple

Tinge to it i also have dwarf pomegranate

over here

um on this side

Still waiting for this guy to fruit so a lot of this is you know learning as i go


Working with different nutrients to

Optimize yields um and sometimes you don’t get yields you know sometimes things don’t work out

And that’s all part of the process too for sure

As is pest management in greenhouse gardening you will have pests no matter what so it’s just a matter of accepting that and learning how to manage it

um and

Like we had talked about before erin a lot of times the pests can indicate


You know deeper levels of what’s happening in the garden or in the system so

Another one that i’m really excited about is over here right when you walk in the

the grapes are

Going crazy. There’s a bunch of i don’t know probably 20 or 30

clumps of grapes

And uh the first time i ever

toured one of these greenhouses

uh i opened the door and i was literally like hit in the cheek with a clump of grapes and i thought that was


amazing and so i trained the grapes over the the doorway and

Low and behold here we are six years later and so that’s kind of meaningful and fun

So we better eat one of those

Oh, yeah


Nothing like straight off the vine

So yeah, there’s all kinds of things i want to show you guys

It’s a little chaotic in here, but uh this one’s lemon verbayna. You know that one just electric smell

Um really good in salads and stuff

Um, i’ve got some ornamental stuff happening here

Which i like to do cut flowers and flower arrangements and things just for friends and family


This one’s called curry plant

It’s you can see i pruned it and then let some of it go to flower, but this one’s a Mediterranean

It’s good for Mediterranean dishes and stuff. I honestly i haven’t used it as much as i


The ratio of how much this how much space this takes up to how much i’ve used it is off

But so i might pull that one, but if the cool plant smells it curry


Over here

I’ve let this big chaotic mess right here

This is fennel, but um this one

Is a red Russian kale plant and you can see it has gone i’ve let it go to seed so it flowered


Nice yellow flowers that look similar to this one or yeah, these are the the kale flowers

And they’re fragrant and the bees love them, but then i let that happen

and then

You let these

You let the seed pods go until they dry out and

They’re like little canoes with uh these little seeds in there


Pretty amazing design actually this pod would fall before it was broken open and then it would warm up and

germinate and that’s how it would

Keep going

So i’ve let this one go to seed so that i can offer these seeds to


Over the winter i’m gonna

Package these and as long as they’re viable i’ll test them of course, but

It was a really healthy red Russian kale plant and so i’m excited to offer

Those same genetics


This is a mire lemon tree that i started from seed

Um it looks like something’s getting to it a little bit

But this one’s special to me just because i started it

For literally from a mire lemon that whoops that i

Got from natural grocers and uh i don’t know it’s maybe three years old now, but

Just pretty cool to be growing that at this elevation and uh

The leaves

Have a really amazing citrus smell and i’m gonna get some

Mire lemons off that one of these days


Moving right along there’s a ruby-rood grapefruit tree i got from a guy off Craigslist for five bucks

Which i got to kick out of i was like man can i give you ten and come on this thing’s like four years old

But i kept that to myself



This one yeah, i mentioned this before, but this is pineapple guava

I’m psyched about that now that you have a good angle on it

These these blooms

It’s just if flowered and so it’s a self-pollinating variety and that part will turn into the fruit

Right there underneath the flower

So i’m hoping for a bunch of pineapple guavas

You can see the the figs coming in right here


Really excited about the figs

And i guess maybe there’s a good time to check out the pond i haven’t fed the fish today yet

So hopefully they’re hungry and say hi so throw a little

Koi fish food in there and i don’t know if there’s just this is kind of the one spot that doesn’t have aquatic plants

Um and i’ll throw some fish in there

Hey fishy fishy

Come on buddy

Yeah, there they come

You see them

They’re hungry i love the fish


They help with keeping the pond ecosystem in check


By eating you know algae and

Just various kind of just cleaning things up and

And then the fish emulsion is

You know, i’m watering from i’m hand watering the garden from this

pond so i dunk my

My watering can in here and i’m getting the benefits of the of the fish emulsion too when uh with the

Fertilizing or the you know the nutrient quality of that

So that’s kind of fun. They’re a little skittish when other people are here so

They know you yeah, they know me and they know and

When there are other people here. It’s funny. They’re sensitive. They’re shy. Yeah, they’re koi fish

How did they do in the winter? Yeah, they get a little dormant

Um, but then i don’t feed them nearly as much during that time

Maybe every other like maybe every few days or even you can even

Human go longer. It’s fun in the springtime to watch when the water temperature rises they start to like

Behave differently and start to actually swim around and do radical maneuvers and you know, you can tell that

that they have fun

Do you ever bring ladybugs in here to deal with things like this?

You know, i just did um, i performed last night and be retreat with bonfire dub and uh the the drummer from that band

Um, well, i was the original drummer and then he took over for me in the accident

So it’s kind of worth noting here with since we’re telling the whole story


But he has a beautiful rose garden down in our vata and he brought


Ladybugs up here recently

And he helped me with a bunch of

Work in the in the greenhouse and uh, so we released that we missed it everything

You know, so they would have a nice wet environment. We released them across the dome and the next day

I couldn’t find one

So i don’t know what’s going on with that um

I don’t know if there just wasn’t enough food in here for them

uh, pest-wise

because i don’t really have um

In the past i’ve had a lot of aphids um pop up

This season i haven’t had as many there are a few on this tomato plant and a couple other plants

But by and large the aphids are not my problem right now. I have a a smaller white

Insect that i’m not i don’t know i haven’t been able to identify yet what it is

Um, but anyway, yeah, the ladybug

Disappearance. I don’t know. I mean

They all yeah, I have no idea. It’s really interesting

So i’ll have to research that a little bit more

I would love to get some close-up footage of this plant over here at golden silverberry

Just because the leaf the leaves on it are so cool

Never never really seen anything like it


And it makes a beautiful little flower that hangs like a bell

And has just an incredible fragrance

Um hard to describe what it smells like, but i am

I’m going to jump for joy when this thing fruits

So that’s a cool one moving over there to the right. Yeah, watch your stuff. There’s plenty to trip on

This is

the fan


That i was talking about earlier the solar powered fan and so this is drawing air from the coolest part of the environment

Which is on the north side of the dome and bringing that air into the space

And so that’s a crucial part of this system breathing with circulation

Air circulation another variety that i’m

psyched about is this one

Ginkgo the loba

And Aaron and i were talking about this um

There are some really good properties for brain health

With this plant and i haven’t yet figured out how to harvest

Um the ginkgo, but it’s it’s big enough now

I need to train this a little bit out of the walkway, but

It’s big enough now to where i could get enough to

ingest or however, however you use it

It’d be cool to hear some

And take to our friends hiler over at mara herbals

Oh, that’d be great. We’re in carbon mill and maybe you can make a sudgeric

Hmm kind of tincture X-cock or something from it

I’m sure i’m sure he’d be willing to do it

We can see how much he needs in the bringing some

Yeah, that’d be great and we could leave him with some this one. I’m also really excited about

Pretty sure this is one of the healthiest plants i’ve ever grown. It just has kind of a personality of it of its own

And uh, this is the romanesco

It’s in the brassica family

I can save your geometry right there. Yeah, I’m forgetting the Latin name right now. It’s uh brassica

Okay, senia, oh man, I wish I i’m close, but no cigar

But uh that’ll get a little bigger and then

It’ll go in my stomach

These are nasturtiums. These are edible. This is considered an herb um and

You can yeah, they’re delicious

Little spicy. They’re spicy like wasabi

You guys want to try one?

Yeah, I just said I love the flavor. It’s really interesting

And it it all happens fast and then goes away fast. You want to try one? Sure. Thank you. Sure

They’re beautiful. Aaron, do you want? Sure, I’d love one super playful

Good I’ll see

Isn’t that interesting? Wow really floral and like

Spicy and then it finishes with a whole different flavor and then it’s gone

So oh one last thing I want to show you guys

This passion fruit flower

Oh, yeah, it’s all that


Isn’t that great here take a whiff of this one and get some footage on that



Such a beautiful design

How did that come into existence

Those those simple things in life bring me great joy, you know

So that’s the tour. I know the audience can’t taste everything we’re tasting

But let me tell you that we have just tasted some

Incredible flavors these grapes are just delicious. Yeah, I’ve been as you were talking over there

I’ve been kind of nibbling on a few things over here. I’ve been cutting a few clumps. It’s been nibbling

So hey everybody here we are in Brian’s music and recording studio and

Behind the cameras is the drums that you’re going to hear Brian play that a little later on

And right around here is where a lot of the recording magic happens mixing table and

we actually

Basically conceived of the intro and after music here many many moons ago with Brian and the good buddy Mike Barnhart

and we thought it would be fun to kind of

commemorate that by playing the intro from one of our recent podcast episodes and

Yeah, the sound system in here is pretty amazing too. Cool. So here we are on the one on earth page and

That was a fun piece to make it was challenging to make such a short piece

You know it like 10 seconds or something

So it’s like how do you tell any kind of story in such a small amount of time

But we and you layered in like 12 or 15 different sounds, right? Yeah, yeah, okay here goes

Oh, gosh, who’s that guy?

So uh that uh at the end is so nice little seating breath of relief or something and that deep bass that comes in toward the end

I love it nice

We’re talking about how it was a little inspired by that afro cult sound system

Music that I listened to a lot. Yeah. Well, hopefully there’ll be some more music in the future. That sounds great

All right, awesome. Well listen. Can we uh, can we hear you hit some drums? Sure. Yeah, let’s do it cool

All right, cool

Here we go


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