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Quail Springs – a Season of Growth

The most frequently asked question of me lately has been about this past October’s flood and its long-term impact on Quail Springs’ work to demonstrate sustainable living practices. Looking to Nature for insight, my response uses the metaphor of a snake losing its skin. At first, the snake may be shocked and confused by such a drastic change beyond its control, but eventually realizes the skin underneath is vibrant, healthy and a better fit for its growing body. Similarly, we now see this flood was a gift in numerous ways and a source of rebirth.

Always mindful of the future generations, our grandchildren will no longer have the burden of redesigning the landscape for these unusually large and devastating floods – we have now done that for them. In that process, Quail Springs has benefited from the ability to incorporate eight years of learning and feedback into a design that better suits our plans for a thriving, resilient village and our 200-year vision for this canyon. This includes: dramatically improving our water reticulation, enhancing and diversifying our food production, diminishing evaporation from our agricultural systems, providing better access and more efficient work flows, and generally increasing Quail Springs’ natural capital and long-term resiliency as a demonstration site. In addition to these tangible improvements, perhaps the most significant blessing has been the tightening of our community bond that provides clarity within the collective vision for our work and the land.

With the new design in place, we have begun our major reconstructive earth surgery (earthworks) to ensure we are receiving the most benefit from the vital water and nutrients that flow through our nourishing canyon. Complementing that process, our residents and current group of eight apprentices have been applying the design of on-contour, integrated, alley cropping animal and growing systems. Additionally, we will be planning late fall and winter volunteer weekends to help with major tree plantings for all of you who have so graciously offered to assist with the rebuild.

The diversified support we have received since the flood has poignantly shown us that one of Quail Springs’ most significant undertakings and impacts has been that of community building. We have experienced the beauty of people offering so much of their life energy while sharing their skills and resources with us so generously.

However, we are still far from satisfying our $100,000 budget to rebuild, with approximately $48,000 raised to date. Please consider investing in the future generations through Quail Springs with a donation of any amount. As those of you who have spent any time with us in this special canyon know, we use every penny wisely and with great purpose.

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Thank you for your generosity and for holding this land and our work in your hearts.

In growing a hopeful future,

Warren Brush, Executive Director

Warren Brush

Warren Brush is a global permaculture design consultant, educator, lecturer and storyteller. He has worked for over 25 years in sustainable systems design for communities, private and public organizations, households, small holder farms, and conservation properties worldwide. He is co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture, Regenerative Earth Enterprises, Sustainable Vocations, Wilderness Youth Project, Casitas Valley Farm and Creamery and his Permaculture design company, True Nature Design. He is also an advising founder of the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya. He consults for the USAID’s TOPS (Technical, Operations, Performance Support) program where he trains technical field staff, for their African Food for Peace programs, in a Resilience Design Framework. He works extensively in North America, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. He has taught the following courses: Permaculture Design Certification, Earthworks for Resiliency, Resilient Smallholder Farm Design, Permaculture for International Development, Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Ferro-Cement Tank Building, Community Design Using Permaculture, Permaculture Investing, Spring Rejuvenation and Watershed Restoration, Compost Toilet Systems, Water for Every Farm, Drought Proofing Landscapes, and Ecological Restoration. Contact or write: [email protected]. Websites:

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