Garden Volunteer Retreat

June 06 - June 09, 2024

Aaron 'Water' Piepszny

The garden, forest, and landscaping at Menla supports the enjoyment and nourishment of many beautiful, rare, and important pollinators, birds, and humans.
Come exponentiate our stewardship of the glorious space that is the Menla ecosystem.
We will create forest garden beds to increase water retention, build soil, and sequester carbon, weed the garden beds to focus the energy of these areas to our perennial nectary and food plants, rake leaves to turn into fertility-building mulch, and remove invasive species that crowd out our valuable native species.
We need help from people like you! The work is quite rewarding, knowing that a wide range of people, plants, and animals will benefit from focusing resources towards the purposeful end of carbon footprint reduction, diversity, and sustenance. This is a terrific opportunity to experience Menla for very little money and in a way few people get. Join Menla's experienced horticulturist Aaron Piepszny for a weekend out in the sun, woods, and gardens experiencing the healing dimensions of the land, while getting great exercise working and enjoying the company of others. With trowels, shovels, picks, and our hands, you'll be surprised how much we can accomplish in just one weekend!Volunteers for this retreat must be able to lift 30lbs and be in good enough physical condition to be out hiking on the trails for much of the day. Work includes hand weeding garden beds, raking and gathering leaves, removing invasive Japanese barberry.  (apprx. 9am-4pm each full day, and 9:15 am-12:30 pm on the final day, followed by lunch buffet). This retreat is not for those looking for a relaxation experience, this is a work-focused event. 


Thursday, June 6
  • 3 - 8 pm Check-In
  • 6 - 7 pm  Dinner
  • 7 pm Evening for Relaxation
Friday, June 7
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9 am - 12 pm Garden/ Forest Work
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4:30 pm Garden/ Forest Work
  • 4:30 - 6 pm Complimentary Steam/Sauna Session
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Bonfire
Saturday, June 8
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9:15 am - 12 pm Garden/ Forest Work
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:30 - 4:30 pm Garden/ Forest Work
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Bonfire
Sunday, June 9
  • 7 - 9 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast & Check-Out
  • 9:15 am - 12:30 pm Garden/ Forest Work
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch & Departure
* Please note that the schedule is subject to change at any time


Aaron 'Water' Piepszny

Aaron Piepszny teaches Chi Gung, Buddhism, and somatic embodiment studies online as well as at Menla Mountain retreat where he is the head of horticulture. He received his Permaculture Design Certificate in 2016 at the Paititi institute in Peru.  Aaron has studied, supported, an...



375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464