Quixotacres (quik-sot-ǝ-kers), is a place for wild, imaginative inspirations, and idealistic intentions. This magical, secluded highland is nestled in the wilderness west of Talent, Oregon, pleasantly isolated from humanity, yet less than 10 minutes drive west of town, and easily accessible to the heart of the Rogue Valley. Rolling hills covered in mixed forests of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, madrone, oak and manzanita surround an open dale of grass pastures, seasonal creeks & ponds. Numerous trails and forest roads criss-crossing the property are ideal for exploring this timeless terrain.
Various agricultural endeavors from fruits, wheat, and hay to cattle, horses, and llamas have graced these fields. Present undertakings include permaculture exploration, forestry stewardship, extensive gardening, soil building, alpaca grazing, art origination, sanctuary establishment, and wilderness awareness/appreciation. We also frequently host wanderers, world-schoolers, and enthusiastic work-trade guests.
Current efforts are focused on improvements needed to make Quixotacres a sustainable and desirable locale for hosting visitors in various unique spaces. Our dream is for it to become a natural, inspirational gathering space and “Creativity Enclave” for life-long learners, explorers and travelers, emphasizing special needs and underserved children (and adults). Themes of introspection, extrospection, innovation, camaraderie, wonder, and passion are to be set in an environment of gregarious exchange, gracious enthusiasm, and unconditional positive regard.
Your hosts will be our family of four, a dear friend, a festive factotum, and our mounting menagerie: 18 airy alpacas, 10 cheeky chickens, a hoard of dogs, occasional cats, and loads of itinerant wildlife.
All of the humans here are enthusiastic about natural building design and construction, and excited about hosting a dynamic group of ardent and amiable doers here in our haven of high hopes.
Our project vision is a simple and efficient home that is well-designed to comfortably accommodate one to two people, with design elements encouraging interaction and integration with the natural environment. We currently do not have housing for a working farm assistant/manager, and it has become abundantly clear that such a place (and assistance!) needs to be a high priority. Although it won’t be our primary residence, it will be wonderful to offer this home to a valued accomplice, who is willing to join us in our vision and stewardship of the property. We are committed to an aesthetically pleasing and inviting design, energy efficient, congruent with the natural landscape and harmonious with its surroundings. These elements of green-building have always seemed so sensible and appealing to us and we would like to help promote this perspective.
More specifically, our plan calls for a post and beam framed structure slightly less than 1000 sqft, with straw bale infill, metal roofing, concrete flooring with radiant heat, and a small “advanced framing” constructed bathroom and mudroom extending out towards the garden.
The home site is adjacent to a large grassy open field and garden, and near an area with horse stables, a large riding arena, and a metal storage barn. The field is a future site of a small encampment, and will be the primary location for camping, gathering, and eating during the workshop, with restroom and shower facilities nearby. There is a lot of space to spread out, and participants who want a bit more privacy will be welcome to pitch their tent among the oak and madrone trees up adjacent slopes. Also closeby is a seasonal pond with weeping willow trees, a large bonfire pit, and a cultivated lawn area to provide more gathering spaces for festivities and frolicking. The large covered arena will also be available in the event of inclement weather.
On and around the property there is vast terrain to explore without necessity for driving. A mountain bike ride, trail run, wildlands hike &/or forest bath [shinrin yoku] will be accessible directly outside your door–or tent flap. There is even a (somewhat primitive) disc golf course winding through the nearby grassy slopes and between the trees. If you find yourself pining for a commercial fix, the small town of Talent–a 10 min drive away–is where you will find a few unique & tasty local restaurants/pubs, a grocery store, coffee shop, and basic amenities. The trendy, artsy community of Ashland is only another 10 min down the road, and offers a wide array of unique restaurants and live performances, shopping experiences, art galleries, and a bustling society of interesting and friendly residents, wanderers, buskers, and travelers.
The community of the Rogue Valley includes the larger towns of Medford [MFR], Ashland, and Grants Pass, and is well-known for fruit orchards (especially pears), organic farming, exceptional vineyards, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts; a prime region for bicycling, rafting, (fly) fishing, hiking, skiing, and of course, wine tasting. The charming, historic gold mining town of Jacksonville is a 20 minute drive from Quixotacres and is a National Historic Landmark which hosts top galleries, lovely restaurants, darling shops, and many tourist enticements. Attractions in the larger area include Crater Lake National Park, The Redwoods of northern California, the rugged Oregon Coast, and the Mt Shasta wilderness.
The construction of an additional smaller straw bale building nearby may also be included in the workshop (as time/interest allows) to serve as a cabin/meeting place in our camping area. We hope to assemble this Nebraska style, with the bales supporting the roof structure and no framing needed other than a top plate. It should be a fun opportunity to quickly stack bales and plaster if we need a bit more practice.
We are looking forward to an enjoyable week of activity and revelry. Join us if you’re keen 🙂
-The Foster Family (Pam, Tommy, Atticus, and Bleu)