I spent ten days of the first month of 2014 in a place called Quail Springs.
Quail Springs is nestled in the watershed of Mt. Pinos and Mt. Abel, occupying 450 acres of the Pinyon-Juniper woodlands of the upper Cuyama Valley, California – land that has been sacred to the native Chumash people for thousands of years.
A small community of people live on and care for the land:
“Quail Springs Permaculture is dedicated to demonstrating and teaching holistic ways of designing human environments, and to facilitating deeper understandings of ourselves and one another through immersive experiences in nature. We believe that lasting ecological health and social harmony can be fostered through emphasizing the connection between people, food, shelter, energy, and water.”
So how did I end up in this wonderful place? I signed up on a whim for a trip with VISION, an opportunity through my college for students to travel to new places in order to serve, learn something new, and grow as people.
Our time in Quail Springs was largely spent learning about environmental consciousness, sustainability, and permaculture. By stepping away from our noise-filled lives, we were able to gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate web that connects us to the land we walk on, the plants it bears, and the other creatures that move about it.
Our ten days consisted of [and additional posts to come on these later]:
- Going on a watershed hike
- Natural building
- Exploring our connection with food, animals, and the land
- Sharing in community
- Walking the goats
- Spending a day in Santa Barbara
- Expressing our gratitude daily
And having our path lit every night by the brilliantly bright, first full moon of the year.