Quail Springs is an educational and land stewardship nonprofit organization dedicated to demonstrating and teaching holistic ways of designing human environments, restoring and revitalizing the land and community, and facilitating deeper understandings of ourselves and one another through immersive experiences in nature.
Quail Springs is a dedicated group of teachers, farmers, natural builders, inspired chefs, and land stewards who strive to further our mission through working, living, and teaching within the ethics of permaculture, most simply described as Earth Care – People Care – Fair Share.
Quail Springs is located in the Coast Ranges of the southern California mountains in a quiet canyon stretching east of the Cuyama River, surrounded on three sides by the ruggedly beautiful Los Padres National Forest.
Explore the delicious, fragrant and storied California landscape by learning to identify edible, utilitarian and poisonous species. Students will become acquainted with much of the local flora of Burges canyon and begin to develop real relationships to the world of plants. In this two day class we will dive into cuisine, culture, history, natural living skills, and stewardship. Classes include meals featuring traditional recipes that integrate wild foods.
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.
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.
We will also be having a plant sale, featuring a variety of annual vegetables and herbs for sale, get all the plants you need for this seasons garden!
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.
When we come together to co-create, to empower one another or to challenge the structures of unjust power, we face unique challenges. All groups struggle with issues of power, conflicts, and the need to make decisions. Collaborative groups may be healing, nurturing, and inspirational—or they may founder on the rocks of conflict and poor communication.
In this five-day intensive, using approaches inspired by permaculture principles, we’ll explore how to structure our groups for maximum group health, how to share power fairly, improve our communication skills, mediate conflicts and facilitate group processes. And we’ll share tools for decision making and constructive critique.
We’ll balance the process work with time outdoors in nature, including hands-on work on the land, as well as walks, bird sits and wilderness awareness. Insights from both permaculture and magic will help us learn to be more effective and joyfully as we work together to regenerate our world.