Sonya Meline is interviewed by Tom Pfingsten of U-T San Diego

Sonya Meline is interviewed by Tom Pfingsten of U-T San Diego

Check out our recent write up in the UT  San Diego! SUNDAY - March 1, 2015

FALLBROOK — On an acre and a half looking south over the hills of Southeast Fallbrook, Mike and Sonya Meline represent a new breed of backyard farmers.

Proponents of permaculture would prefer to say they are “stewarding” their land, or any number of other euphemisms, but farming is the word for raising animals and crops. They’re just doing it the way nature intended.

The Melines didn’t set out to become farmers, but one afternoon, while living in Vista, a rooster flew into their backyard and changed everything.

“I always say chickens are the gateway drug — once you get chickens, you’re hooked,” Sonya told me last week, when I visited their homestead off Gird Road. “We started feeding it because it was there for two or three days and had a cough, so we took care of it. It was this crazy-looking, Andy Warhol, Polish crested rooster.”

The couple decided their new guest needed a couple of “girl chickens,” which they promptly bought, and then he needed some home-grown food, which they planted, and soon they were in the early stages of a transformation that hobbyists and farmers around the nation have embraced by the thousands in recent years.

It’s called “permaculture,” and it means permanent agriculture.

“It’s a design science — that’s what permaculture is,” Sonya Meline explained to me as we sat in the sun last week, chickens scratching at the hillside behind us and carefully-chosen “cover crops” growing low to the ground on all sides.

“You want a really complex system, with no single points of failure,” she said. “You want to have all these different connections going, so if something happens to one plant, the whole system doesn’t fail.”

Vetch, New Zealand spinach, comfrey, sweet potato — the list goes on, and that’s just the stuff growing around your ankles. Overhead are young fruit trees, a handful of avocado trees inherited when they bought the property, and a sprawling oak at the bottom of the ravine that creates a massive, shady


 Call (760) 477-8476 to R.S.V.P. or to inquire further about this meetup.

Call (760) 477-8476 to R.S.V.P. or to inquire further about this meetup.

"Permaculture Picnic & Lecture Series"

When: August 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
Where: Myrtle Creek Nursery, Fallbrook, CA.
What: This is a special meetup to talk about how we utilize the precious resource -  water - in a time of drought and how we can maximize it's potential.

  • Meet  locals who practice food-forestry, sustainable gardening and permaculture.
  • Learn about the City & State Drought Requirements & Fines/Regulations.
  • Learn basics of Hügelkultur, Sunken Gardens, Terraces, and utilizing mulch. Fun!!
  • Discuss Native vs. Drought Tolerant Plants & Plant’s water needs in stages of development! 

We are excited to introduce Bianca Heyming, President & CEO of Growcology. In addition to overseeing the daily management of Growcology, Bianca has been a featured speaker at events including:  Bioneers (Los Angeles), Permaculture Convergence (Malibu), TEDX (Riverside), Evolver (Los Angeles), and The Environmental Leadership Academy (Riverside).  

Bianca has developed various gardening based programs featured in The Press Enterprise, Riverside Magazine, and Riverside based television stations.  Bianca’s approach to environmental sustainability is unique in that it is focuses on personal empowerment, global collaboration, and highlights the joys and freedom one acquires through interacting with natural ecosystems.

We will explore some ideas Bianca has for water use, and most importantly, join together to make a positive change!

Please call the Veteran's Permaculture Association at 760-477-8476 to RSVP to this event.

Fallbrook Permaculture's First Meetup for Ethics

"An Introduction to Permaculture"

When: July 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM.
Where: Myrtle Creek Nursery, Fallbrook, CA.
What: This one hour course held at Myrtle Creek Nursery will be free and targeted to those who are interested in learning more about permaculture. The three principles are care of earth, care of people, and giving back! Permaculture offers a new look at way to develop land with permaculture site plans, food forests, sharing our cottage industry skills, building sustainable business, and a renewed sense of community focused on a goal for earth and human prosperity. We will explore some ways permaculture lives up to its principles and most importantly, join together to make a positive change!

Please call Myrtle Creek Nursery at 760-728-5340 to RSVP to this event.