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.
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 (Most about 3 years old). 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.
We are estimating that we're on year 4 of a 10 year plan to establish 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 (one 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. The Spring of 2018 will see us finish another living space and move on to expanding and improving our community space. We added more solar panels last year 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 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 have two goats that we use for clearing areas in the forest, and once we have more residents can get them milking! We would also love to get chickens to incorporate into the composting system and of course provide eggs, but again we need more established residents before we add these kind of commitments to our load.
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.