Earlier this fall we asked members of our staff, board, and extended community to answer the question "what do you love about Quail Springs?" It's been fun to hear their responses and to remember the many ways in which Quail Springs touches, changes, and inspires. Check out their answers below.
Out here in the Cuyama Valley, it snowed just a few days ago and the highest peaks in view are still blanketed in white.
It feels like a good omen, and a celebration of the year coming to a close. On this last day of 2020, we're celebrating all of the incredible things we've accomplished this year, despite the never-before-seen challenges that arose.
We're celebrating the huge outpouring of support that we've experienced during this difficult year. We've nearly reached our year-end fundraising goal — make a tax-deductible donation and help us close the final gap. Thank you to all who have donated already and helped us get this far!
We're grateful for the gift of moisture falling from the sky, for the opportunity to teach and be taught, and for our community close in and spread far. We're grateful for the support we've received this year -- for your donations, for your words of encouragement, for your appreciation of the work that we do. We truly couldn't do this work without you.
All of us at Quail Springs
WHY DO YOU LOVE QUAIL SPRINGS?
Warren Brush – Quail Springs Co-Founder and Permaculture Instructor
"I love Quail Springs for they are like a warm, lovingly prepared stew on a cold mid-winter’s day. They are uniquely prepared from a diversity of delicious ingredients, in their unique forms, rich with complex flavors and a depth of substance, combined in an earthly recipe of humor, humus, humility, cultural insparkedness, love and grace. I am warmed by the integrity of this life-affirming slow simmering feast that continues to feed the land which sustains them, the unseen, and all the people, including myself, who have come to sit close by their kitchen hearth to be nourished. I simply love Quail Springs!"
Sasha Rabin – Quail Springs Natural Building & Advocacy Director
“I care about earthen building because I believe it can be part of a solution that addresses our current housing issues, wildfires, and climate crisis. I believe housing should be a human right, and that we need to change the way we build buildings so that the building industry drastically reduces its carbon emissions. Earthen building offers solutions that can be carbon neutral, and even carbon negative from day one.
I love Quail Springs because our team of dedicated individuals are doing the work to remove barriers and helping to make this a reality. Through testing, building, learning and teaching, we are forging a path that will make building a home for yourself or your family out of earth a little bit more accessible.”
Brenton Kelly – Quail Springs Watershed Stewardship & Advocacy Director
“I have always endeavored to direct my life energy to actions that have a tangible impact on the most fundamental aspects of living a good life, like planting tree saplings that grow into shade and soil-building forests of food, fodder and fuelwood. Here I spend my days working on such a wide variety of engaging projects that all feed me and those around me. Water, shelter, food and gratitude for all we can share. I love Quail Springs for being that place not only for me and my family, but for all of our visitors and supporters.”
Andrew Clinard – Quail Springs former Development Director
“I support Quail Springs because they teach us how to live differently. If 2020 has taught us anything, in this global pandemic, with worsening climate change and growing income inequality, I think it's that it's time to live differently. They teach us how to build homes differently, how to grow food differently, and how to live in community. That's different. That's why I support Quail Springs.”
Natalie Buckley-Medrano – Quail Springs former Farm Manager (and Sustainable Vocations graduate)
“Being present for my first gratitude circle during a youth program as a young adult was highly vulnerable. My heart was racing, my stomach was queezy, my palms were sweating. But as I know well now, learning and growing happens in that realm of discomfort. I soon found that this shared gratitude practice was a strong catalyst in my journey of building trust with others, learning to lean into my own authenticity, and finding power + inner peace in its subversive nature.
Quail Springs is an epicenter of a powerful ripple effect of community builders, seed sowers, change bringers, land stewards, and peace-makers, and it is an understatement to say their work with youth is unmatched. I love Quail Springs not only because it allowed me to learn deep lessons about myself, but it instilled in me a hope and vision for collectively building a healthier world that continues to fuel my inner fire to this day."
Natalie Bartlett – Quail Springs Board Director
“I love Quail Springs for the beautiful piñons, red winged blackbirds, western bluebirds, tended desert waters, starry expanses and the smell of rain on sagebrush.”
Dani Mingo – Quail Springs Hosting Director
“I love Quail Springs because there is so much to learn here. There’s space to explore so many different avenues of land-based living whether that be solar power and life off-grid, using a chainsaw, being in healthy relationship with the watershed, milking goats or growing food in the desert. And it’s a major plus to be accompanied in this learning by open-minded, creative and inspiring humans.”
Jen Schlaich – Quail Springs Board Director
“I love Quail Springs because the folks that I’ve met (both working for QS or attending courses at QS) are a true example of people who are living their lives in alignment with their values and their belief in positive change. I love Quail Springs because, in my opinion, a life well spent is a life living and working on behalf of our food, water, shelter, and people.
I love Quail Springs because of the inspiration I’ve been gifted over the years—an inspiration that has deepened and rooted my work in food systems.
Keep building, growing, protecting, regenerating and sharing! Thank you Quail Springs!”
Susan Cousineau – Quail Springs Board Director
“Quail Springs has been a sort of home and landing place for me here since moving to California from Canada. Over the decade that I have become increasingly closer to their work, I have more and more come to appreciate the deep, abiding commitment that everyone in this organization has to the land on which they live, but also the community, region, and global village of which they are an active and contributing part.
I have been witness to some big changes at Quail Springs during the last 5 years, including 3 serving as a Board Director. Most notable to me are the purchase of the land, a huge and game-changing milestone; a 'changing of the guard' and transition in leadership to a more equitable, inclusive system that reaches far beyond a traditional hierarchical model of non-profit structure; and a deeply considered, professionally conducted interaction with the county and regional officials to ensure that the efforts and work at Quail Springs can be shared with all. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now many months in, I have been humbled and impressed by the community and residents' willingness, capacity and efficacy in adopting safe measures, from social distancing and quarantining to pivoting their flagship offerings, workshops and even farm tours to an online model. I have enormous respect and admiration for the many ways in which individuals on the land have stepped into roles not just as 'farm residents' but as dedicated directors and managers of a complex, sometimes challenging, and extremely unique operation that offers a real example of how to live in right relationship with land, community, history and an uncertain future.
It is with incredible gratitude and joy that I look forward to continuing to witness and participate in the future of Quail Springs, expanding capacity to serve the values and mission of concerted ecological and social regeneration in the Cuyama Valley, in California, and far beyond."
Kate Morgan – Quail Springs former Garden Manager
“I love Quail Springs because it was a place for me to re-integrate with the land and reconnect with that which gives me life.
I grew up thinking that the way to help our planet was to reduce my impact, reduce my consumption, reduce myself. This mindset was deeply problematic to me because it meant that the ultimate way to best serve nature was to not exist at all. But through my time at Quail Springs, I learned and experienced firsthand that the extractive economies and endless consumption of our dominant culture are not the only form of relationship humans can have with earth. Us humans are very much a part of nature and our impact is not inherently harmful: we have the gift of nurture and regeneration to return.”
Austin Gallant – Quail Springs Farm Intern
“The work at Quail Springs is important because it is empowering people to do better for themselves and the world around them. It's an example of how we can live a radically different life - one that is sustainable not only for the environment but also the humans living within it.”