Soil Health and Permaculture Workshop at Quay Ranch

posted in: Champions, Field Days | 4
Photo credit Patrick Alexander

Please join us for a SOIL HEALTH & PERMACULTURE WORKSHOP on MAY 20-22, 2022 at QUAY RANCH in Tucumcari, NM with Soil Health Champions Jan-Willem Jansens (Ecotone Landscape Planning) and Navona Gallegos (Quay Ranch).

Learn how soil health and permaculture practices can work together to support new plant growth. Get-hands-on experience with techniques that spread and sink water, slow erosion and restore the soil.

This event is hosted in partnership among Quay Ranch, Ecotone Landscape Planning, the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project, NM Healthy Soil Working Group, Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance, and the New Mexico Foundation’s Permaculture Fund.


Join a group of 20 to 25 people with a love of Earth and community for a fun and interesting work weekend on the land. We will gather at Quay Ranch about 5 miles north of Tucumcari, New Mexico. The ranch stretches across nearly 600 acres on the southern slopes of the Canadian River watershed with sweeping views toward Ute Lake Reservoir. Soils are deep red behind the contrasting young green plants this time of year. Water is scarce and our work will focus on how we can spread water, revitalize the soil, and support a rejuvenated, lush prairie. Join us for socializing in the evenings around a simple meal, campfire, music, storytelling, and walks in the sunset or moonlight.


The workshop is free of charge thanks to a grant from the New Mexico Foundation’s Permaculture Fund and additional support from partner organizations. Breakfast and lunch are on your own with optional food sharing potluck. Suggested donation of $45 toward the cost of two dinner meals. The Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project is offering ten scholarships for dinner meals at a first come first served basis. Please indicate that you would like to receive a scholarship when you sign up below.

Bring a tent and camping gear for off-the grid camping if you are staying overnight. You can also just join for Saturday –please arrive no later than 9am for work instructions.

Please wear sturdy clothes and boots, a sun hat, sun screen, bug spray, work gloves, and big jugs of water. The work will involve carrying rock and woody materials to build small erosion control structures. We will supply tools, such as rock carriers, shovels, rakes, picks, pruners, and hand saws.

The land on Quay Ranch is gently sloped to nearly flat and the soil is mostly loamy clay with some rocky cliffs, erosion holes, and uneven terrain. The ecosystem includes many prickly pear and cholla cacti, yucca, and mesquite, which all have spines and thorns, as well as rattle snakes, which are shy but assertive to strike when disturbed. Ravens, raptors, coyotes, mule deer, and several kinds of rodents also call this landscape home. Care and respect toward nature are important in order to avoid conflict, harm, or injury.


The workshop program will include soil health education and instruction, guided practice and independent work on the implementation of a number of soil and water conservation practices. These practices include one-rock dams, rock (“Zuni”) bowls, rock rundowns, construction of Hügel dams, lop and scatter of brush, brush mats, broadcast seeding, mulching and application of soil inoculants.

We gather between 4 and 5 pm on Friday May 20 for registration, camping directions, and dinner prep. The program will start at 5:30 pm.

Friday May 20, 2022
5:30 pm Gathering for personal introductions and dinner; and dinner cleanup.
7:00 pm Tour of a 2021 restoration area with an introduction to the soil health principles and ranch conservation planning, workshop goals, and the roles and services of the participating organizations.
8:30 pm Socializing, relaxation, camp fire, storytelling, evening walks, etc.

On Saturday May 21, we may want to get up before 7 am for breakfast and to get ready. The program starts at 8:00 am.

Saturday May 21, 2022
8:00 am Gathering for work instructions, logistics and organizing of work teams, transportation of tools and supplies.
9:00 am Instruction and Team Work: demonstration, training, and feedback.
12:30 pm Lunch (in the field)
1:00 pm Team work with coaching
3:30 pm Review and tour of accomplishments (with feedback)
4:30 pm Cleanup for the day and return to camp
6:00 pm Dinner and cleanup
7:30 pm More about soil health and the ranch
8:30 pm Socializing, relaxation, camp fire, storytelling, evening walks, etc.

On Sunday May 22, we may want to get up just after 7 am for breakfast and to get ready. The program starts at 8:30 am.

Sunday May 22, 2022
8:30 am Gathering for work instructions and to start work
12:00 noon Finishing touches, completion, and cleanup of site projects
12:30 pm Lunch (in the field)
1:00 pm Review of accomplishments: show me tour of all the work
2:00 pm Workshop evaluation, celebration, appreciations
2:30 pm Cleanup, return and storage of tools, break up camp
3:00 pm Adjourn and travel home

For questions, please contact Navona Gallegos or Jan-Willem Jansens

4 Responses

  1. Sam Mackenzie

    Is it too late to sign up to attend this workshop?

    • admin

      Technically yes, but do sign up and I’ll check with Navona.

  2. Ann McCartney

    Hi, I thought the deadline was May 16 – so just submitted for my husband and I. We have done weekends with AWF and would love to join if not too late!

    • admin

      Thanks, Ann –we just closed registration but you are welcome to attend.

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