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
Music-making
Community happenings

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.

(Read more about my background here.)

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:

Experiential workshops
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).

Work camps
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.

Camping
A few overnight spots for friends and travelers in vans and small RVs.

Building and Grounds Timeline

2021

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 beige side building into 2 casitas (Feb-Mar)

Fencing: Close the javalina highway (April-May)

Big house: Open up interior walls (Summer)

2022

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!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Hello, Patagonia Neighbors!

Mary_and_purple_house_headshot_600

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!

— Mary

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.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a subject.
Please enter a message.

The Road to TerraSol

You can read more about how this all came to be here.  I feel blessed to be here, and look forward seeing what TerraSol is meant to be!

Where is Patagonia?