After leaving Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage, I spent the day driving to The Canelo Project in Elgin, AZ. While it was a beautiful countryside of grassy plains and desert parries with mountain ranges dotting the horizon – I had no cell phone reception to call or search for my GPS location – so I spent several hours lost in the area, going down wrong roads, waiting for free-range cows to cross the road, and circling back to high hills to get one or two cell bars to make calls.
I finally find the right road a few hours later, much to the exasperation of my host, and this was another destination with a long road seemingly to nowhere – passing camping grounds, a ranger station and over several cow pastures.
I started the day with a personal tour led by TaliSeen JahRing, the Farm Manager of Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage (AOGE), an impressive ecovillage model with stacks of sustainability initiatives and green projects, built on a strong Christian foundation, spiritual exploration, vocational learning and training, and organic permaculture practices.
On my way to AOGE, I pulled over at a rest stop to take a phone call, and came across this rock – which really set the tone for the day!
My second stop of the day after The Bee Oasis was after a long drive through the desert canyons and mining towns to Wind Spirit Community (WSC) in Winkelman, AZ. (This was another community with a long road seemingly to nowhere, but I pushed on and finally made it without any GPS navigation.)
A picture from my drive to Wind Spirit Community, which resembles the general terrain I was driving through.
I stopped in a mining town rest-stop and took a picture of the old refinery factory on the hillside.
After saying goodbye to my mom until I returned to Texas, I left Mountain Shadows golf resort in Scottsdale, and headed south to The Bee Oasis, a 1/4 acre, urban permaculture homestead in Mesa, Arizona, owned by Don Titmus, a British transplant, and his daughter Lily.
“It include about 500 sq ft of organic veggie gardens, chickens, rainwater harvesting, composting, an edible/functional landscape and much more as a sustainable model in the PC community. Don’s homesite is a teaching space; he has tours, classes and workshops. It is a great place to experience an alternative life. Don also has a Xeriscape Garden Maintenance business, and is also a Conscious Dance DJ.” – Bee Oasis FIC Profile
Rushing over from the Wind Spirit Community in Winkelman, I barely made it to the last group tour at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, the world’s largest enclosed earth system science research facility, in Oracle, AZ.
The tour began in the ‘actual Biosphere’ (Earth) so I had to walk through the on-site housing facility, known as “The Village,” which comprised of 28 furnished 3-to-5 bedroom casitas for students and faculty, and incorporates sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting and solar energy.