What we offer
The Wild Series offers in-depth education in earth-based skills and crafts. Our instructors are artisans, naturalists, musicians, cooks, storytellers, villagers and stewards. We weave, tan, wild tend, spin, felt, dye, woodwork, track, forage, feast, hunt, smith, sing, learn, make and more! We share a love of creating beauty through fun, hands-on experience and believe that learning to work with the hands is one of the ways to awaken and remember our diverse legacies of traditional ecological and cultural knowledge.
Wild Series Courses
Join Cybertracker Conservation Evaluator Marcus Reynerson for a weekend track and sign evaluation in the world-class wildlife tracking destination of the Cuyama Valley in Southern California. This unique evaluation is 100% field-based and is sure to be engaging for all. This is a rigorous tracking experience designed to give honest reflection and feedback around each person’s unique skillset. Whether beginner or advanced, every participant will walk away with a lot more knowledge and “search images” for the subtle patterns left behind by life on the landscape, ultimately feeling a stronger connection to the natural world.
Join us for a fun and cozy weekend of making beautiful handmade holiday gifts! In this two-day class, students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of small crafts under the mentorship of several skilled Quail Springs stewards. Using mostly natural and simple materials, many of which have been locally hand-harvested and prepared by our teachers, you will have the opportunity to create several projects from a range of possibilities. We’ll be making Hand-bound Books, Jewelry, Pine Needle Baskets, Homemade Salves, Buckskin Pouches, Natural Dyes, Homemade Candles, Wood Carving, and more!
Join us for this knowledge-packed weekend workshop on traditional archery! Archery holds an expansive place in the story in our human history – we invite you to be part of that continuing history as we learn and practice intuitive archery in a beautiful high desert setting. Connect with your body through the practice of this ancient functional tool, and connect with nature as you move over the land. Along with lots of hands-on practice, we’ll cover Foundational principles for intuitive archery including instinctive shooting, finding the target with your arrow, awareness of body mechanics for consistency, breaking the reliance on contemporary sights and optics.
Join us for a weekend of natural fibers and plant-based dyes! We will explore the basics of dyeing fabric and wool with plant-based dyes in a variety of colors. We will experiment with resist techniques to create patterns on our fabric. We will also do a small three dimensional felt project with wool we have dyed. There will be the opportunity to try the basics of drop spindle for anyone who wants to learn to spin wool. Please bring a few small, white fabric items (natural fibers only: cotton, linen, silk, wool) and a drop spindle if you would like to learn spinning (we will have a few for sale as well).
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. Hide tanning is a physically demanding craft
Wildlife ecologist and tracker Meghan Walla-Murphy and tracking evaluator and hunter Matt Nelson are offering a trailing class in the high desert of Cuyama, CA at Quail Springs. We will learn the art of trailing an animal as it moves through its daily routines. Deer, cougar, black bear, coyote, and all the little creatures of the desert provide ample learning opportunities as we explore the Dick Smith Wilderness, Chumash Wilderness and the Los Padres National Forest. Quail Springs offers a rustic, private, and secluded canyon for us to camp in, while providing nutritious, local and organic breakfasts and dinners. Participants will provide their own lunches and camping gear.
This 5-day Project-Based Land & Watershed Restoration Training is a must for anyone owning land or working in landscape design. The course offers hands-on experience in the assessment, design and construction of an on-going land restorative and regenerative watershed project with intensive immersion and experiential training. Participants will learn skills needed to do high quality work that will stand up to natural processes over time. These skills will serve a wide spectrum of people and professions, from backyard restorationists to farmers and land managers.
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.
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