Quail Springs is a leading environmental educational nonprofit that empowers students of all ages and backgrounds with knowledge, skills, and inspiration essential to cultivating ecological and social health.
Quail Springs is a collective of onsite educators, farmers, ecologists, natural builders, chefs, artists, and other talented team members, connected to expansive local and international networks of leading-edge practitioners and passionate change-makers.
Quail Springs is located in the Coast Ranges of the Southern California mountains in a quiet canyon of the Cuyama Valley, surrounded on three sides by the ruggedly beautiful Los Padres National Forest.
Join us for a four day immersion into the traditional art of making leather by hand. In this intimate and experiential class, students will tan one deer or goat buckskin from start to finish, learn to make rawhide, and participate in a fur tanning demonstration.
The art of hide tanning is a cross-cultural human legacy, one with an ancient heritage that spans across continents and lineages. Besides full hands-on experience, we will spend time discussing history, methodology and various cultural approaches. Students will leave with an understanding of how to bring to life beautiful hand-tanned leather and fur in their own small home tanning set-ups.
Visit Quail Springs Permaculture Farm, have a delicious farm-to-table lunch prepared in our earthen ovens, learn about growing food in the high desert, tending a variety of wonderful food-giving animals, creating shelter, and stewarding agricultural lands & wilderness.
The event will include a tour of our gardens, animal systems, natural buildings, crafts display, alternative technologies, and more. After the tour, participants will enjoy a delicious farm cooked lunch followed by a question & answer session with our farm managers.
Cob building combines clay sediment, sand, fiber, and water, and is hand sculpted to form walls, benches, ovens, and fireplaces. Cob building makes use of readily available, affordable, non-toxic materials to build beautiful, organic structures.
The course is appropriate for both first-time builders and for professionals in the building trade who are interested in natural materials. In this cob workshop, we focus on the characteristics of the natural materials most commonly used in construction: clay soil, sand, and fibers. Our main focus will be cob, though we will touch on various other building techniques that utilize the same materials, including adobe block, light straw-clay, wattle and daub, and plasters. We will discuss how to find and choose appropriate soil for construction, how to create various mixes, how to attach wood to earthen walls, and how to use earthen materials to build walls, sculpt niches, shelves, and furniture.
This course is primarily a hands on course, where we learn by doing. We will be building a small structure from start to finish. As a complement to the hands-on portion of the course, we will include slide shows and discussions of the theoretical aspects of natural building. Subjects include building design and siting, passive solar design, foundations and drainage, earthen floors, appropriate roof design, and wiring and plumbing for natural structures.
This course equips people working in international development and grassroots projects with the perspectives and skills needed to engage with communities in partnership to incorporate elements into the design of communities, smallholder farms and land with household agricultural production that are holistic, appropriate, strategic, effective, diverse, as well as ecologically and economically sound. This course includes the 72-hr Permaculture Design Certification through the Permaculture Research Institute.
Permaculture is a conscious integrated design system based on ecology and sustainability principles to create resource efficient and productive human environments and reduce our footprint on the earth. Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide diversity, stability, and resilience. These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food for the provision of local needs.
People working in international development will benefit from the years of experience of our teaching team in applying permaculture around the globe. We have tailored the entire permaculture certification curriculum to better equip the people who work in international situations where people live in non-westernized conditions. The Quail Springs Learning site is ideal for the immersion of these teachings in an off the grid, nutrient cycling, dry land, water conscious community, where we work with the surrounding natural resources to provide for our shelter, water, food, and energy.