Today I went to check out O.A.E.C. (Occidental Arts and Ecology Center) as there WAS a tour scheduled there for today. It was raining hard the whole time and the tour was cancelled. Still got a chance to look around and get some impressions so that when I go there again in two weeks it won’t be all brand new.
The surrounding land is of the rolling tree-barren hills variety. Lots of grazeland, cows. Small dozen-building drive through towns. You cross over a hill and BAM surrounding by trees, kind of feels like you are falling in a hole. The center is about a half mile up a mountain road from the closest town of Occidental. They had a garden sale the same day and they had people posted to receive visitors and guide them to the parking area. It felt weird driving in there since the whole place is fenced and gated. Very “cult compound” type of feeling. Thankfully all the people there were nice.
The area available to visitors (I.e. not back country) is quite small. Central location holds office and common building. Area north and south are gardens with mulched paths and stone steps. Northwestmost corner has simple “powwow” type area: roof held up by timbers with chairs and picnic tables underneath. Also in this corner is an open stage like area that seems to hold the triple function of theater, school, and pulpit/church. Private residences perimeter in a semicircle fashion from the north west corner to the south east corner and are easily recognizable by signs presents on the path. Designs vary from cob to wood cabin to adapted yurt. Signs also designate what plant is in each section of the gardens. Ornamental trees line paths. General use structures such as garden sheds or generic shelters are sporadically placed on the land. Water access by river, the landscape is forested. Electricity everywhere.
Will update later.
Getting local volunteers to help work on garden should be easy. Teaching classes can be easy way to make money. Selling extra plants/ animals easy.