We are parking the lawn mower and preparing for a fire!

Many Americans take care of grass – collectively managing a massive monoculture. The aggregate cost of mowed grass is massive too. Water pollution from pesticides and fertilizers, habitat loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and a whole lot of work and worry go into keeping up the appearance of a manicured lawn.

Pearlstone’s commitment to stewardship is deeply rooted in our Jewish values, honors the indigenous inhabitants of this land, and is beautifully embodied through our daily work. This goes far beyond the retreats and events Pearlstone is known for. From solar energy and organic farming to green building and Forest School, our commitment to sustainability and living Judaism takes many forms. As we studied how to better care for our 180 acre campus – including our own lawns – we learned more about the role fire plays in healthy ecosystems. We’ve been inspired by the challenge, opportunity, and joy of learning how to practically weave ancestral and ecological wisdom of using fire into our rhythmic stewardship of the land.

In 2017 Pearlstone began the process of converting 45 acres of grassland from lawn to meadows. The results have been awesome. Already these young meadows are home to many species of plants, insects, birds, and mammals. As opposed to creating pollution, grasses that are managed as a meadow are constantly purifying water, air, and sequestering carbon in the soil. Prescribed fire has been a key ingredient for healing and transforming this land. Fire and grasslands have an ancient, natural and beneficial relationship. You could say they are old friends!


Explore more of our Stewardship practices and programs:

Permaculture Design Course

This life-changing 17-day residential course provides Permaculture skills, resources, and community for you to live in harmony with the Earth! Permaculture offers solutions for the challenges of our time. This is not a conference; it’s a pop-up community organized around learning and practicing regenerative land stewardship together. Pearlstone’s 180 acres of forest, meadows, streams, organic farm, educational gardens, and retreat center are a vibrant living classroom.

Learn More & Register

Pearlstone Land Acknowledgment

Pearlstone is an inclusive Jewish organization anchored in universal values, welcoming people of all backgrounds from across our bioregion, continent, and planet. We strive to live in balance and harmony with all life.  Long before we began these practices on this land, this was the sacred home of the Susquehanna and Piscataway peoples.

Exolpore the indigenous roots of our land

UPick Berries

Strawberry season is from late May – early June. Pearlstone offers the only Certified Organic Upick berries in the state of Maryland! More details about our 2021 season are coming soon. You can sign up for text alerts to be among the first to learn when the berries will be ready.

More Berries