[Sdpg] Quail Springs Permaculture - Spring 2013 Newsletter
Quail Springs Permaculture
info at quailsprings.org
Thu May 23 11:15:28 PDT 2013
Quail Springs Permaculture - Spring 2013 Newsletter
When grandmother Rachelle Figueroa from the Morning Star Foundation,
dear friend and native elder, kindly made a request for Quail Springs
to host and help hold their ceremonial sweat lodge, we were both
honored and a bit daunted at the prospect. At the time of her
request, we were balancing at the precipice of a huge transition and
the thought of having “one more commitment” seemed nearly impossible.
Early this spring we were at the end of an eight year journey of
working to bring change into our county and state government to allow
for equitable and sustainable building practices. All our work was
coming to fruition and as part of our agreement to leave and make
legal a beautiful example of a cob building on the site, we had to
completely take down the straw bale community building...who we
affectionately call the “Old Lady” and who has for years housed and
nurtured so many people.
Rachelle, in her Grandmotherly wisdom, countered our hesitancy and
shared that the sweat lodge ceremony would immensely help to bring
balance and ease to the transition process. With a deep sigh of
relief and in a collective surrender, we agreed to bring the lodge to
life the weekend before we began the process to transform the Old Lady
into mulch for our growing farm and food forest.
The ceremony was beautiful, powerful and marked the beginning of what
has been an amazing transition for the community at Quail Springs. A
week after the sweat lodge ceremony many people gathered to offer
their gratitude for the Old Lady as we remembered her grandness and
beauty in the way she held us for so many years. Once she came down,
her bales went to feeding the soil.
This journey of transition has been such a mix of sadness, gratitude,
joyful hard work and endless learning. We are transforming the site
to prepare for our upcoming summer programs and in a way that honors
and supports Quail Springs hosting. We are tired, I must admit, yet
we know that in the scope of our 200-year plan, this is just a
heartbeat of time and a blink of an eye in the process of our cultural
We all want to give our deepest gratitude for the many people who have
volunteered their time, to the many who have held us in their thoughts
and prayers and to the unseen mystery that continues to bless our work
and our small and fragile attempt at rebuilding culture for a time
beyond our own!
In abundance and grace,
Eastern Staple Garden planted by dancing feet in Winter, greens up
With spring in full gear out at Quail Springs, there has been
tremendous growth in the garden and of the farm its self. This winter
a half acre east of the existing garden was prepared with the loving
care of many visitors and the farm team. Green plots of annual crops
between strips of perennial varieties now decorate what has been
dubbed the Eastern Staple Garden as the season of growth settles into
“The interaction and observation of the systems that we have
implemented over the last few years has guided these decisions. We
needed more space for staple crops so we wanted to create a larger
scale,” said Farm manager, Brenton Kelly.
This new space is an alley crop style plot with 13,000 square feet of
annual production and 4,000 square feet of perennials and trees.
Annual spaces are currently being used to produce staple foods like
potatoes, peas, beans, garbanzo, sorghum, millet, wheat and grain
experiments. This strip will be shaded and separated by mulberry,
apple, olive and black locust trees. There are also many more poplar,
locust trees, and prickly pear planted on the edges for wind blocks,
fuel and forage. Interspersed with these new trees are tree collards,
asparagus, artichoke, comfrey and assorted herbs.
“In mid February a cover-crop of oats and vetch was distributed across
the whole space which started the fertility space of our dust bin,”
Now the 11 goats are munching those crops, including the new baby buck
Narwhal, turning that green crop into fresh manure put directly onto
the field. Plans to move chickens into the plots to annual strips will
increase fertility and prepare the beds that are not already planted.
Our great thanks to all the people who helped this new site get
rolling. The Vision group all the way from Minnesota's St. Thomas
University, Wilderness Awareness School's Anake Program, Cal Poly
Permaculture Club, and many others were instrumental in making this
dream come to fruition and our gratitude to them as we watch this plot
come to life. Singing and dancing we stepped in seeds, we put up over
a 1,000 feet of fencing, and planted over 200 trees.
As Quail Springs is embarking on many new journeys so is the farm
making strides towards our mission, feeding the bellies and sprits of
all who bless our lives.
- update from Jack Thrift, Apprentice Farm Manager
"There are so many opportunities right now in the conscious redesign
of our human living systems so that they harmonize with nature. The
future is bright for ecoprenuers who can see and creatively meet the
converging patterns in restoring and making vibrant our bio-regional
natural and social capital that has been so heavily denuded by a
globalized system of irresponsible commerce. It is my hope and life’s
work to support individuals in stepping into their inherent gifts and
to become a part of the (r)evolution that is essential for us to
support the health and well being of all future generations through
living life now in a sustainable and equitable manner." Warren Brush
Warren Brush teaching around the world allies with Quail Springs
mission through cross pollination and solidarity
Our Executive Director and one of our founder’s of Quail Springs,
Warren Brush, has been traveling the world sharing and inspiring
people about permaculture, equitable living, sustainability and
honoring the earth. He work and unique storytelling approach toward
learning has been in high-demand in Africa, Middle East, Australia,
Europe and around the USA over the past few years. His storytelling,
teaching and design work has helped to broaden the work and many
programs of Quail Springs Permaculture through cross pollination and
solidarity with the work of other organizations nationally and
Warren is currently in Europe on a teaching tour through France,
Ireland, Germany and Switzerland as a part of a tour organized by the
international humanitarian organization started by Amma, the hugging
Saint from India. It is being organized by her organization called
Green Friends, who are providing a variety of projects and learning
opportunities around Europe for the general public. On this tour, he
is teaching at a diversity of universities, ashrams, vocational
colleges, social change organizations, and sustainable living
demonstration sites. He is facilitating two-day Introduction to
Permaculture Courses, evening talks in cities like Paris, Marseille,
Cork, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Lucern, and a full Permaculture
Design Certification Course in Germany. For more information about
this tour go to: www.hof-herrenberg.de/learn-sustainability/ and www.amma-europe.org/events.html
Warren has been working for several years in a variety of different
circumstances including working with former child soldiers (future
peacemakers), designing orphanages in Africa, working with tribal
peoples in America, Africa and the Middle East, and in teaching and
inspiring people from modernized lifestyles as well as those who live
a more earth based lifestyle.
As part of Warren’s ongoing work in training and inspiring others to
become teachers of integrated design using permaculture ethics and
principles, he will be teaching a Train-the-Trainer course outside of
Nairobi, Kenya in January of 2014. His work has helped to inspire the
genesis of the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya who will be
hosting this event for local, regional and international students. To
find out more information about this exciting course go to the PRI-
Kenya website at: www.pri-kenya.org
To find out more about Warren’s teaching schedule, permaculture design
services or to book him for a talk or course, go to his website at: www.permaculturedesign.us
or his for profit permaculture demonstration project at: www.regenerativeearth.com
International Development & Social Entrepreneurship Permaculture
Course hosts Warren Brush back home at Quail Springs
We’re pleased that Warren will be teaching with us back home at Quail
Springs in Southern California, coming up June 24 - July 7, for our
annual Permaculture Design Course for International Development &
Joining Warren is Joseph Lentunyoi of PRI Kenya, a practitioner of
organic agriculture and permaculture advisor/trainer from Kenya and
the Maasai tribe. This course is bringing together a stellar array of
guest instructors including Cathe Fish, Jeremiah Kidd, Jeanette
Acosta, Loren Luyendyk, Brenton Kelly, and Thomas Cole. The
participants in this course include professional and students from
around the US and the world (including the Cayman Islands), with a
diverse set of experiences, projects and interests to share.
A few spaces still remain! Visit www.quailsprings.org/permaculture-design-course-for-international-development-social-entrepreneurship/
for more information or contact Kolmi Majumdar at info at quailsprings.org
Sustainable Vocations GRAD Spotlight
Not long after taking Sustainable Vocations summer course at Quail
Springs in 2012, I started working with the School Gardens Program.
This program builds gardens and hires garden educators to teach kids
about gardening throughout Santa Barbara County elementary schools. My
supervisor really admired that I had been apart of the course at Quail
Springs and knew that I had knowledge about permaculture design
methods and a strong desire to continue in a gardening line of work.
Being apart of the School Gardens Program is the best work I have ever
had and better than I ever expected. I hardly would even call it work
because I am doing things I would happily do as a volunteer for the
program! The people I work with are all so inspirational with the
endless work they do to make the program better and fun for the kids.
I am doing work that makes me happy because I am apart of something
that is supporting future generations to learn more about where their
food comes from, and I am realizing that making that connection with
young kids is more powerful than we will ever know.
What I have been specifically involved in is installing new gardens in
Santa Barbara, Buellton, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and other schools within
in those regions. So far, I have been involved in 7 installations over
7 months. Each garden is unique in its design because the students and
teachers from the school get to envision how they want the garden to
look. My favorite workday is when all the kids, teachers, parents, and
other people from the community come together to put the garden
together. The kids, parents, and teachers all help plant, sheet mulch,
and put in pathways. And as the day goes on it is amazing to see how
the whole garden and community come together to create such a
beautiful space for children to be learning outside.
I am so grateful for the amazing opportunities that are before me, and
I am proud to say that my first step toward this direction was because
I was apart of the Sustainable Vocations course in 2012. I have felt a
huge change in awareness and drive to be a more sustainable human
being throughout my life. You have to really believe and work hard,
but it is the best, most fulfilling kind of work there is.
~ Ally Arganbright, SV Grad 2012
Wood Fired Cob Oven Workshop
June 15-16, 2013
Learn to build your own wood fired earthen bread and pizza oven using
natural materials from your backyard!
Contact: Sasha Rabin, sasha at quailsprings.org
Permaculture Design Course for International Development & Social
June 24 - July 7, 2013
a few spaces left in this course, inquire asap!
Contact: Kolmi Majumdar, info at quailsprings.org
Sustainable Vocations Summer 2013 course
is taking applications NOW!
Course dates: July 30 - August 18.
Learn more about this extraordinary program for Young Changemakers
(ages 15-25 yrs)
Contact: Kolmi Majumdar, info at quailsprings.org
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