Whole Life Magazine

October / November 2015

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/578674

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Page 13 of 43

T ake the Maricopa highway north from Ojai over the Santa Ynez Mountains and you will fi nd one of the most scenic routes in Southern California. As you descend into the Cuyama Valley, urban traffi c is a dim memory among sprawling ranches, orchards and vineyards. Beyond a closed gate, down a private dirt road in the remote desert area of the valley is the Quail Springs Farm. Just 150 miles north of L.A., a handful of dedicated pioneers have built a thriving 450-acre permaculture commu- nity in what was once a barren canyon. Warren Brush, Cyndi Harvan and Kolmi Ma- jumdar founded Quail Springs 11 years ago as an extension of their work with underpriv- ileged urban youth. Inspired by the found- ers' commitment, this non-profi t community evolved to its current 16 residents, ranging in age from 20 through 55. Some, like Jan Smith and her husband Brenton Kelly, have chosen to leave success- ful businesses or careers in order to pursue a lifelong dream of land stewardship. Others, searching for social change, have found fulfi llment in the Quail Springs experience. Youths en- couraged by workshops have returned for internships and when those were up, elected to remain. Visitors arriv- ing at the prop- erty pass a large yurt, which serves as kitchen and community living room, to a shad- ed space set with long tables and chairs. Tiny cob buildings nestled among the cotton- woods house individual residents. Grazing blue-eyed goats look up, perhaps in anticipation of their daily walk. Tall poplars and native black locusts border well-tended vegetable and herb gardens watered by a com- plete grey water system. Pomegranate, mulberry and apricot trees, and elderberry bushes are laden with seasonal ripening fruit. All food grown on this off-the-grid property is consumed by residents and guests. Quail Springs residents are committed to nurturing young people and educating the public, both rural and urban, by in- troducing them to wildlife and ways of living in harmony with the natural environment. Their hands-on educational workshops— to which the the public is invited—include such varied topics as blacksmithing, ancient traditional hunting, natural building, permaculture design and other pursuits designed to reconnect humans with nature. Their vision is that all who visit will absorb a bit of their passion for social responsibility and caring for the earth, carrying it back to share with their communities and pass on to future generations. city of angels By Pamela Baczuk A HANDS-ON PERMACULTURE COMMUNITY Close in miles, a world away Let me help you: • Discover true balance & joy • Open your heart to love • Clear karmic patterns & past trauma • Live an abundant life Jamile Mafi Certifi ed Energy Practitioner 818-317-3873 Discover true balance & joy Open your heart to love Clear karmic patterns Live an abundant life Certifi ed Energy Practitioner Experience Rapid Transformation with Shamanic Energy Medicine. www.flamingheart.com Photos: Ryan Spaulding 14 wholelifetimes.com

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