- Brittny Love
Visiting Avalon Gardens Eco-Village Near Tuscon
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
I’d been wanting to experience a truly productive and organized Eco-village since I’d heard of their existence just a short few years ago. While visiting the Dharma Farm in Paulden, Arizona I noticed a flyer on their fridge for a Purification Gathering at the Avalon Gardens Eco-Village located near Tucson. I asked the women of the farm about the gathering and they shared that Avalon Gardens is a thriving intentional community that has been successful for many years. The gathering was going to take place over a three-day weekend and camping out on the land was an option. The event cost was about $150, but on their website they shared that they did not want money to be a reason for why people couldn’t attend; so work-trade or bartering was an option.
I e-mailed a young woman named DeleVan before the gathering to see about making a fair trade. I was very grateful they wanted some copies of my book in exchange for entry to the event, which included the cost of camping out. This worked out great for me because as a single mommy of a toddler, work-trades are not always the most convenient option. I headed down Thursday afternoon, not knowing what to really expect other than I knew the gathering was going to host a variety of Native American speakers, musicians, and there would tours of their gardens. As I drove through the barren desert, I wondered what the community would be like. Was it going to be hot? What could they really grow out there? What would the people be like?
I exited the freeway and drove through an area of nice houses with a lot of acreage before turning down the road to Avalon Gardens. A kind, older gentleman pointed the way to the camping area and I felt so giddy as he politely welcomed us and I was able to see the beautiful community we were going to get to experience. My son, Sirian, got super excited at the site of a playground and couldn’t wait to get out of the car to play. It was so beautiful to see how green this place was! It felt like we’d entered a different world. As I drove toward the campground, I observed several large green houses, also small homes with an abundance of plants surrounding them. There were several big shady trees, tons of green grass, and a very large pond which was the center of the property. I crossed over some train tracks and the dirt road opened up to a big grass field and there were rows of trees on the west side. I was greeted by another community member who was monitoring the campgrounds as people arrived. He told me it was a super safe place and they would have security walk around at night. Alcohol and drug use was not tolerated either… Some people had set up their tents under the trees, but I was just going to sleep in the van with my boy and keep it simple.
Sirian and I went to explore the grounds and talk with people in the community. Right away Sirian went to the playground where some children were playing. I loved how the children were uniquely dressed and how they had their own style. I learned through talking with a few of the women, who were there with the kids, that the community has their own school program. The children learn everything equivalent to a high school GED, but they also include a lot of outdoor nature time, working in the gardens, and arts and crafts. The women also shared that there is always childcare available and they take turns looking after the children so mama’s can have breaks too. The students had a booth set up nearby with their artwork available for sale. It was really cute because they had made colorful masks, wind chimes, and sand art with different beans and seeds glued together. They also had a CD available with songs the children sang, which had been recorded at the community’s high-quality music studio.
Everyone in the community had super unique names, although I have a hard time remembering names as it is – so it was challenging to remember everyone who introduced themselves. To give an example of some of their names, there was - Piseen, Amadon, Magica, Taliseen, and Spectra to name a few…
Sirian and I had walked over to the stage to explore more of the 220 acre property. I loved the big performance area with the gorgeous blue pond behind it. Instead of having a lot of concrete, the rows of seats in the amphitheater were nice because it was actually mostly grass, which was very comfortable!
The community has been together for over 15 years. They first started in Sedona, Arizona, but moved after several years because Sedona had a lot more restrictions and silly laws for what they could do on the land as far as building and farming was concerned. I was told they took the soil from their gardens with them when they moved, since they’d spent so much time creating nutrient-rich material! Avalon Gardens has about 120 residents, with opportunity for internships and work-shops. They don’t let anyone just move in, however, not because of any reason other than they have a lot of children there and so they have processes to go through if you’re interested in becoming a member of the community, but they are welcome to hosting visitors and volunteers. I was truly impressed with their organization and team work. I learned that they have a group of community elders who help over-see everything and there are very organized different departments that work together to make the community so successful. The community has their own construction team that build the houses and they also do contract work for others in Arizona and show how to build in a more sustainable way. Everyone was seriously so polite, healthy, glowing, and had wonderful hearts! When I asked why people felt called to join the Eco-village, everyone pretty much said that Spirit had guided them there and they wouldn’t want to live any other way… I also asked what was the most challenging thing about living there and the most common response was, “Continuing to grow spiritually. It’s easy to get very comfortable here.” The kind man who had greeted me when I first arrived said, “You don’t realize how many ‘bad habits’ you may have picked up in society until you take time away and live simply like this. It’s very eye-opening for self-awareness.” They also have their own high-quality video production team, kitchen staff, farmers, and a really nice swimming pool. The people who live there aren’t told what to do or where they have to be, so the people have the option to serve where their heart feels called to most.
Those who live at Avalon Gardens contribute their money to the whole community. Everyone is looked after, nobody goes hungry and all are provided for with everything they need. There is electricity and Wi-Fi available as well; it’s not like the people there are living in the wild west, ha! They are not fully self-sustaining with the food that they grow, but they are definitely getting close. When the community moved to their new location, the neighbors in the area laughed and said they’d never be able to grow anything there but they’ve definitely proved otherwise. Some local children who don’t live on the land, but live in the area, actually attend the school program and childcare services. I asked a young boy what he liked most about living there and he said his school and all his friends. “I love how we get to play outside a lot. I wouldn’t want to go to regular school because they try to make you think in a certain limited box.” This young man was only eight years old!
Throughout the entire weekend at Avalon Gardens, I felt totally safe and was treated with so much respect and kindness. Sirian rode his Strider bike around the property and we often left it in places so other children could use it and we always found it right where we’d left it. People had traveled from all over the world to attend the gathering for the weekend and to experience life in a real Eco-village. I met people from Australia, Germany, England and from a variety of places in the United States. On Saturday, my son was having a bit of a tantrum and threw some trash on the ground, instead of the bin I’d directed him to. There was a group of men standing nearby and my two-year-old son looked up and noticed them looking at him. “You need to listen to your mother,” one man politely said to my child. My boy looked at me, back at the men, and then back at me… Without a fuss, he walked over and picked up his trash and threw it away in the proper place. It was really amazing to experience support like this and to observe how my son knew he had to do the right thing… I definitely believe it takes a village to raise a child!
I did not get the chance to listen to all of the speakers that were there over the weekend, but the ones I did hear had wonderful information to share. Several Native Americans spoke about the ancient prophecies of how we’d be moving into this time of healing, coming together and working with the land again. I really enjoyed how they brought up Starseed prophecies and how we are living in exciting times and we are returning to our true divine origins and that we have star family assisting us. There were discussions on avoiding GMOs, pesticides, and getting away from the destructive war machine… The musicians that performed were incredibly talented! One woman truly had the voice of an angel; it was so powerful and inspiring. I’d never heard anything like it! There were also Native American hip-hop artists who rapped positive lyrics without the use of cuss words; even the older folk were dancing to the songs.
The village offered three healthy and very full-filling meals each day. It was five dollars a plate, but you definitely got plenty to eat and it was delicious. They offered vegetarian meals and organic meat dishes were an option too. Tea and water was available all day long. They also had a store where you could purchase books, hand-made jewelry and other one of a kind gifts. There was nothing ‘weird’ about the people who live at Avalon Gardens. It was so humbling to see such a healthy, vibrant group of people with happy smiles on their faces. At night, everyone sleeping in the camp area enjoyed a big bon fire together. One man I’d met, who used to be in the air force, said to me, “This is how life should be. We all need to be together; enjoying the company of another and the nature surrounding us. This is one of the best times I’ve had in a long time.”
I definitely have to agree with him… Our visit to Avalon Gardens was truly special and I am grateful for the opportunity. I have been told by so many people that Eco-villages won’t work and the government doesn’t want people living like this. It may be true that there are some rules and laws communities have to follow, but Avalon Gardens is proving it can be done and can be done without issue. They were not building or doing anything illegal on the land…. It is not a place to escape, do drugs, and be lazy…. This was a very thriving, productive, organized, and treasured place. Everyone took care of the land and had pride in where they lived. People also had a sense of pride in their unique identities – with their powerful names, how they dressed, their positive outlook on life and trust in Spirit/ God/ Creator… I am very grateful to know Avalon Gardens exists!
If you would like to visit Avalon Gardens or find out more information – check out their website: http://avalongardens.org/about
***This is just a brief over-view of my experience at Avalon Gardens, much more will be available in part 2 of the Diary of a Starseed Series this fall. Check out Part 1 of my book, available now, to see how this journey all began.
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