Established in 2013, Abuela Gardens is on 40 acres of forested hillside outside of Willits, CA. We steward this land with a regenerative permaculture approach, learning to honor the earth and its living beings with as much care and connection as the ancestors that were here before us, preparing an abundant full-circle system that will benefit generations to come. 2021 has rewarded us with a fiscal sponsorship by the Cloud Forest Institute making us a 501 c3 non profit.
We have a large vegetable garden where we attempt to grow multiple varieties of the foods we like to eat, along with culinary and medicinal herbs, flowers, and fruit trees. We also have a large orchard space with multiple varieties of stone fruits, apples, pears, and persimmons (all just starting to produce). In both of these spaces we incorporate bountiful forage for bees and hummingbirds (we love salvias just as much as our pollinators!). We collect all of our water on-site, using our gardens, ponds, and swales to slow it, spread it, sink it. We are very focused on water management, restoring our watershed, regenerating creeks and repairing damage left behind by harsh logging practices causing erosion issues. We do some of this work intertwined with forest and fire management, along with harvesting materials for future building projects. Our goal is to provide housing and community spaces with the majority of materials found on the land. We will also supplement with special salvaged materials such as old-growth redwood from a barn we helped tear down, driftwood, and clay brought to us (after offerings have been made) by friends from sacred places all over the planet
We are estimating that we're on year 8 of a 10 year plan to establish the first stage of a fully functioning educational and healing retreat center with a small community living on the land. Currently there are two full-time resident/stewards and we are aiming for a total of about 8. We are open to consideration of the right folks to join at any point with an amazing opportunity to get in near ground-level and co-create income-unity. We have much opportunity to support ourselves with what we have here including the gardens, building/woodworking and other crafting opportunities, along with hosting workshops and retreats, working online, or whatever the individual is inspired to manifest!
If this interests and excites you, contact us to plan a visit.
So far we have a main house/community space, two small individual living spaces (both occupied) and the original Common Vision bus which we use as a bunk house for our work-traders. There is a community kitchen at the main house, and another outdoor kitchen near the barn/workshop. We added more solar panels which has drastically reduced (almost eliminated) our need for generator power with an awareness of usage. It is high on our priority list when finances are available to continue to improve this, aiming to create a solid micro-grid system.
We are very mindful of our waste and have progressed far in our journey to reduce packaging materials. We collect glass bottles for use in future building projects. (we have enough bottles now to build an outhouse, at least ;) ) We use composting toilets and collect humanure for future use. We are ever improving our composting system and are excited about continuing to enrich and build the soil in our garden! We are closer than ever to closing the system loop with bokashi and vermaculture, chickens and different types of thermophilic and static composting !!
We have two goats that we use for clearing areas in the forest, and once we have more residents can get them milking! We finally have chickens to incorporate into the composting system and of course provide eggs.As soon as we can build more shelter we will increase the heard to help more efficient management as well as packing into the wild for ceramony.
We are just now getting getting clear about community operations after years of trial, error, and folly....we have also been studying and connecting with others and learning from their experiences as well. We are not exactly consensus-based, but somewhat along those lines. We are very open, adaptable, and fair and believe in clear communication and solid agreements, making sure everyone is feeling blessed. We are currently exploring the offerings of 8 Shields, focusing on connection and basing our community building on what they call Designing for Peace.
See our community page for more.