TerraSol: Community & Music in Patagonia, Arizona
The start of TerraSol Center
From Vanlife to the "Purple House" — Overnight
Hi, I'm Mary Tolena, new owner of the "Purple House" property on Harshaw Road in Patagonia, Arizona.
I first arrived in Patagonia on 10/20/20. That very night, in one big decision, I went from vanlife nomad to 1905 adobe house homesteader. What? Who does that? I was as surprised as anyone. "Patagonia picks its people," as a neighbor says. Apparently! (Story here).
The Dream of TerraSol
Since age 13, I've had two big dreams: traveling in a VW van [✓], and creating a place where community, music & arts, and friendships thrive. Meeting the Purple House was the start of #2.
The name TerraSol came to me and felt right from the start. It's a place of grounding in the rhythms of the Earth, Sun and Sky, where people gather to co-create special moments in an easy flow.
What will happen here?
Experiential workshops & retreats
My Thing is bringing people together to learn and make things happen, whether in a workshop or retreat, planning meeting, or simple musical jam. That’s what TerraSol is about.
I’m passionate about meaningful in-person experiences, which we’ll need more than ever as we come out of the pandemic. TerraSol is a place to re-connect.
2021 is a building year, laying low as the pandemic wanes. But eventually, here’s what I see for TerraSol:
Periodic 1-3 day workshop-retreats led by me, my music friends, and area teachers (pairing a couple of workshops over a weekend, for example).
Campers come together to build a project for TerraSol in the morning, explore Patagonia’s treasures in the afternoon, and get creative at night.
Community event space
Organization meetings, workshops, and classes led by others.
A few overnight spots for friends and travelers in vans and small RVs.
Building and Grounds Timeline
Planning: Formulate design and build plans, learning from area experts, with permaculture principles and architectural history in mind (ongoing)
Grounds: Prune and clean up, clear invasive Tree of Heaven (ongoing)
Casita duplex: Rebuild the side building into 2 casitas
Fencing: Close the javalina highway
Big house: Design the rebuild
Big house major work: Rebuild roof and deck, expand kitchen and bathrooms out back
Gardens & patios take shape
I appreciate your interest in TerraSol, and hope to see you here someday!
Join the TerraSol mailing list to keep up with the progress!
Hello, Patagonia Neighbors!
I feel lucky to have found this special place, with its rich history, culture, and dedicated community.
I'm also honored to be steward for "The Purple House," long a town landmark that I know has inspired many people's ideas for what could be done with it.
My intention is that TerraSol becomes a true community asset — a place for gatherings of both locals and visitors — that brings more of what we want here in town.
I want activities at TerraSol to broadly benefit Patagonia's citizens and business owners in ways like:
- Hiring local designers, builders, and artists for the restoration work
- Attracting customers (event participants) for town shops, restaurants, lodging, and services.
- Collaborating with other venues and organizations on special projects and events
- Offering meeting & workshop space for other teachers and groups
I know Patagonia already has a current of community traditions and energy that I haven't seen yet, with things tamped down because of the pandemic. I have a lot to learn.
As we can bring activities back to life, I look forward to hearing your visions for revitalizing what makes this place special, and for TerraSol to help those things happen.
I look forward to meeting you!
P.S. Got a suggestion, idea, question, or thought? I'd love to hear from you via the form below, or at 520-987-0770.
Where is Patagonia?