Past Meetup

A Permaculture Call to Arms [Escondido]

This Meetup is past

39 people went

Location image of event venue



Dear Permies and Friends,

I know a great many of you have attended more than one event at Sky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Escondido's Harmony Grove. In just the past year or so, hundreds of you have attended one or more Permaculture Convergence there and at the adjacent Harmony Grove Spiritual Center.

Those of you who have walked those grounds and attended classes and workshops in and around the homes there, know -- at the cellular level -- how much work Alden, Ann, and Lali have put into building and sharing one of the most comprehensive permaculture demonstration sites in this region. And Alden has done a great deal of it by himself, alone. This family has constantly opened their homes to sponsor countless permaculture seminars and workshops, most of which were free.

I want you to remember the kind of people you met there; remember the hours and days you have spent there; the simple beauty, the thoughtful and diverse designs; and the peacefulness of the setting.

Now, imagine it all reduced to ashes. That is what has happened

Well, what does this mean to you? What it means to you is this:

The Universe Has Lain before You
a Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
To Witness, Participate in, and Benefit from
Everything Permaculture Has To Offer.

Many of you have seen video clips and documentaries of Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton, Sepp Holzer, et al, using permaculture to reclaim totally destroyed landscapes (If you haven't seen this kind of thing, you can find it on the web (YouTube). For the past five Thursdays, I have participated in a San Diego Permaculture Meetup assisted project entitled, “How to Build a Nursery,” hosted by San Diego Permaculture Interim Council Member, Tigre Pickett, and led by master horticulturist, Joaquin Hershman. On the past five Thursdays, 8 to 12 people have shown up and put in very physical work for up to six hours per session. The people who regularly show up range in size and age from a tall, wiry young man in his early 20s, to a woman who is not quite 5 feet tall, weighs 92 pounds, and is seventy-eight years old (at least one-third of us are seniors), with a couple of big, beefy boys filling the middle.

In Vista, we are actually learning how to build a nursery by actually building a nursery – step-by-step. We have been doing this on some of the hottest, driest days of this year. And we're all looking forward to our next class. What we are doing in Vista is actually much, much harder than what I am going to ask you to do at Sky Mountain and Harmony Grove.

To build the nursery, we first have to clear what is equivalent to all the underbrush and some of the overstory in a rainforest – by hand, no machines of any kind. We have been hauling and repurposing what normally would have become truckloads of debris – by hand. We make several different kinds of soils for starting seeds and transplanting. We are double-digging the equivalence of football fields – by hand. And we have fun!

What this experience has shown me, is that when human beings put their heads and hearts together; we can literally accomplish anything, pretty much with our bare hands.

There are nearly 1000 nominal members of the San Diego Permaculture Meetup group. If but a small fraction will show up to help clean up and restore Sky Mountain and Harmony Grove, not only can we give back to these people who have extended so much to us, but we will have fed our own souls. Think Habitat for Humanity or US Army Corps of Engineers. We can achieve like that.

Alden Hough is a very nice man. He might quietly and gently ask for little help. I am not a nice man. One of the nicer things I have been called is “pushy.” I am “inviting” you to put your Permaculture Ethics [Care for the Earth, Care for People, Share the Surplus] where your mouth is, and commit to taking advantage of this Opportunity to Restore a Literal Moonscape to One of the Most Beautiful Permaculture Demonstration Sites on the Planet– step-by-step.

If a dozen of us, using only hand tools, can build a nursery, then some part of our nearly 1000-strong membership can come together, organize ourselves, and begin to marshal whatever resources we need to get this cleanup and restoration started in a timely manner.

If you can't make time or labor available, then I will ask you to donate as much money or other needed materials as possible. If there are fundraisers out there, help us to raise funds. Publicists, graphic artists, journalists, videographers/documentarians can help tremendously.

If you can, donate: hypoallergenic surgical face masks, seeds and seedlings, trees, general contracting services, storage sheds, building materials (lumber, concrete, rebar, electrical, plumbing, irrigation), appliances, work benches, shop and hand tools, water storage tanks, all kinds of transportation, heavy equipment (dozers, back hoes, excavators, etc.), accounting services, legal services, logistics management, civil engineering consultation and/or project management, food and water services, port-a-potties and related services, computer systems, indoor and outdoor public address and audio/visual equipment, (fill in some blanks).

Out of a thousand people who can share this plea with our families, co-workers, spiritual organizations, students, teachers, social media outlets, friends, neighbors, local news outlets (fill in some blanks), we can get this done.

What’s in it for you? In addition to “feeding your own soul” in the short run, the innumerable large and small experiences you will accrue from this experience will; for years to come; provide you with a lifetime of satisfaction and personal pride as you look back at what you will have done and say to yourself or your child or grandchild, “I made that.”

Show up at Sky Mountain,
2855 Cordrey Drive
Escondido, CA 92025

Saturday, May 31, 2014 - NOTE NEW DATE
9 AM to 4 PM,

and sign up to help us organize and get this party started. Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and work shoes.

What to Bring: Snacks and water will be provided, but please bring your own bagged lunch. Please bring work gloves, shovel and/or rake (label them) if you have them (we have spares) and wear old work shoes as there is ash on the ground. We will have dust masks if you need them. There is a field at the bottom of Cordrey where people can park - watch out for signs on arrival.

Until then, stay well. Peace, Love, and Permaculture!


J. C. Lindsey,
Founder, Temecula Valley Permaculture Club
Member, San Diego Permaculture Interim Council
Founder, International Foundation for Humanity, USA

Can't make it Saturday, but want to help or donate, contact me and tell me what you want to do: [masked]