Our mission is to regenerate ecosystems and communities through nature-based learning. We achieve our mission through education programs, land stewardship, and citizen-science research.
What We Do
Ecology * permaculture * wildtending arts
We are passionate about engaging in a reciprocal relationship with nature, and draw from different lineages to inform our thinking. We strive to learn from ancient ways and traditional knowledge, as well as incorporate modern science.
Ecology, as the study of home, is the foundation of our work. Building a relationship with place that will allow future generations to thrive lies at the heart of our mission. The realm of restoration ecology has given us many valuable tools for helping us evaluate and monitor our management systems.
The framework of permaculture, a design system for creating regenerative human settlement, guides much of our thinking. We utilize permaculture design principles in our land planning and management, as well as community processes.
Wildtending arts lie at the heart of our community, and we tend the land on behalf of biodiversity, human and non-human, stewarding the land towards more balance and resilience. But we don't take humans out of the picture...we also gather wild materials to make delicious and beautiful things. From coppicing willow for basketry, burning the oak savannah for a better acorn crop, and gathering and spreading native grass and wildflower seed, we are experimenting with human-scale management practices whose goal is to increase the biological capacity of the land.
How We Do It
EDUCATION * COMMUNITY * RESEARCH
Education is central to our mission, and our suite of education programs help us carry our work to the world. We host school programs, a nature connection summer camp, courses, volunteer land tending days, and seasonal gatherings.
Our educational work is carried out by our team of resident educators who reside on the land and live in intentional community, where we are remembering what it means to live and work together as humans.
And we are learning! The beginnings of our research include a project on growing food appropriate for our Mediterranean climate by experimenting with drought-tolerant plant varieties, dryfarming, and soil-building practices that substantially increase the soil’s water retention capacity.
We are also involved in active research of the biological health of our 305-acre ecological preserve. Observational and quantitative monitoring of species diversity and abundance is ongoing as we explore various land use practices such as rotational grazing, prescribed fire, thinning of forest understory, and propagation and establishment of native tree, forb, and grass species.
What's in a Name?
The Oak Granary is named for the incredible storehouses of acorn-laden oak trees, created by acorn woodpeckers, found throughout the land we call home. Acorn woodpeckers, who live in complex matrilineal and communal societies, store the surplus acorns in the fall to feast upon later in the year, and pass these mighty storehouses on to future generations.
We are inspired by these beautiful creatures, and their expression of the land; may we someday pass on abundance to future generations!