Educational Philosophy at Southall

Something is happening at Southall below the surface. When you visit, it may register first as a sensation: a feeling of something different, something fresh and true. You will shed a layer of stress just by being here. The longer you stay, the more open and aware you will become. There is so much to look at, to listen to, to relish. It will be overwhelming in its abundance—but overwhelming in a way that lifts us up rather than takes us under. Overwhelming in a way that begets wonder. And from that wonder comes curiosity.

Curiosity is the most sacred seed we sow at Southall. When guests begin to notice with full attention and interest—when a simple piece of bread dredged in olive oil has the power to surprise, when the veins of a leaf register for the first time as an astonishing map of ingenuity, when birdsong becomes more than background noise—only then will we have succeeded at creating a fully immersive experience. Only then will we be rinsing the spirit. Because from this curiosity comes learning, and learning is essential not only for growth, but for joy. It fuels us in a way that nothing else can. This is why everything at Southall will be rooted in learning—first our own, and then that of our guests.

Here, we celebrate process and the humbling, infinite opportunities for learning that come along with it. Before we open our doors, we will have devoted several years to building and maturing our farm. From establishing complex irrigation systems on our hillsides to complex hydroponic systems in our greenhouses, we have learned to harness the magnificent power of water. In our gardens, we let select arugula plants go to seed, watching the white flowers like stars appear and become active agents in the essential process of pollination. In our kitchens, we test the nuanced flavors of several species of garlic to determine what to plant where, and why. To make Southall what it is, we needed to undergo multiple seasons of experimentation and regeneration.

This intentional and vigorous learning is that thing happening below the surface at Southall. It is what will make every bite so surprisingly delicious and every massage so powerfully effective. It is also what will make a stay here so lasting.

Southall is a place where curiosity leads to learning, where learning leads to understanding, and where understanding leads to new possibilities and a deeper, more meaningful experience. The more curiosity we can cultivate, the more joy our visitors can harvest. We want guests to be inspired to take notice, ask questions, and gain knowledge that they can take back into their homes and daily lives. This can happen organically while walking the grounds. It can happen purposefully while in a class or activity. We will host tours of our greenhouses, orchards, arboretum and apiary. We will offer classes in canning, woodworking, painting and photography, to name just a few. We will lead foraging expeditions and honey tastings. Guests can watch cooking demonstrations or visit the apothecary to blend their own body butter. There will be ample opportunities to try something new.

We have already witnessed the impact of our educational philosophy: when pleasure is layered with learning in this way, the effects are amplified unquantifiably. We can measure these effects only in how we feel: enriched, enlarged, invigorated.