We need to get a re-finance on our property in order to continue living here.  Because of past financial bumps in the road, we are now at the place where we have to make it through to January/February 2016 in order to get our re-finance.  If we are late on our mortgage payment before then, we cannot get the loan refinanced and we will have to pack up and sell.  Things have gotten tight right now and we can use some help to get through to January/February.  We cannot be late on our mortgage.  So, we are reaching out for help.  If you want to know more about how we got here, read on.

OUR PHILOSOPHY:  “Who am I?” is an integral part of “Where am I?” Living holistically means I am coming Home. This Homecoming happens when I meet my responsibilities toward my Ancestors, to the Land, and listen with loving kindness to other living Beings, while bearing in mind that Nature is not only a place, but also Home. I cannot ground myself at Home or obtain Wisdom, unless I at least try to listen deeply to what the Land and all Beings of the Land have to teach me. When I do this, spiritually and literally grounded, then I no longer think of myself as a “Californian,” “American,” or even as a “Human,” but more as one drop of water in this ocean we call life. I am an “Earthling,” informed by Nature, both within and around me.

Wherever we may be, whatever the fates may have in store for us, we will stay within our Tiny House Footprint, and in living our “monastic path with a heart,” like the transcendentalist Brook Farm of 1840's folk, or the more contemporary Hog Farm, inspiring others to do so also. And in that spirit, may we all continue, without the need for asceticism and piety, but certainly with much Singing and Dancing.

OUR MISSION:  Since retirement and on our small fixed income, we've been working for the past 6 years to turn our 1.25 acre property into a Permaculture Demonstration Site, so that people can visit and see how to utilize sustainable and earth-friendly food production practices in small lots and urban places.

We started with a Backyard Aquaponics System about 3 years ago.  We've also been working with Hugelkultur and are restoring an old in-ground swimming pool with the goal of creating a Natural Swimming Pond that uses no chemicals or salt, only plants and bio-organisms to keep the water clean, clear and healthy.

We are on the verge of breaking through to a new level of productivity, but just need a little help to get through the winter.  If we make it through, the plans for spring are:  A) a road-side farm stand, utilizing a model Tiny Cabin, where we can sell our home-grown Tangelos, hard-shell gourds, native drought-tolerant plants, and demonstrate backyard aquaponics;  B) transforming our pool into a natural pool, which will also benefit local wildlife; C) increasing our chicken and duck population to produce free-range eggs to eat and share; and D) Judy would love to get a milk goat, so that we can have fresh goat milk and make goat cheeses~!  E) In addition, we want to make our property open to workshops and visitors to learn more about how to produce your own quality foods in small and urban spaces.

To learn more about our Aquaponics Projects, check out our web site:  www.TinyHouseBigGarden.com

We were also proud to install an Aquaponics System in June at the San Diego County Fair for www.Freedom-2-Thrive.com , which won the Paul Ecke, Jr. Grand Prize for the Garden Show and the People's Choice Award, in addition to a number of other awards.  You can see the exhibit and our Aquaponics System in this video:  Video of the Winning Fair Garden Exhibit .

We have also built a stand alone system to be presented at the upcoming First International Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, CO, August 7-9:  https://www.tinyhousejamboree.com/ .

This December, we have been invited to set up an Aquaponics Demonstration System, along with an Eagle Log Cabin model, and an edible garden at the Steam Maker's Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds:  http://www.steammakerfest.org/ .

Since November of 2014, we have been consulting with Ureach.org, a community outreach Ministry of the Loma Linda University Church, to help build a large non-profit Aquaponics System with the goal to help feed the homeless and train them in Aquaponics for income and to produce their own backyard gardens.  http://ureachlluc.com/ .

Last year we started a discussion with a local Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monastery to help them build an Aquaponics System to grow vegetables for their use.

As members of the San Diego Aquaponics Society, we were invited last year to make a presentation which Judy entitled "Aquaponics 101."  We developed a power point presentation and answered questions for the San Diego Makers Guild http://www.sdmakersguild.org/  at the beautiful new San Diego City Library.

Last Fall we were invited to display our Aquaponics Demonstration System at the “Let’s Go Local!” Produce Showcase, a farm-to-school event in San Diego County for school districts to learn about local sourcing opportunities that can support student health as well as local farmers.

We have received no compensation for these displays and presentations. We want to spread the gospel of Aquaponics and Permaculture, Tiny Houses, and Sustainable Living.  In the process, we are hoping that we will develop a customer base to help us become more financially sustainable.

In the meantime - we have to keep the home fires burning and the bills paid.  So, we're asking for any help you can provide to make it through until 2016 when we will be eligible for a re-finance on our high-interest property loan, which will make it possible for us to continue living here and doing this work.

If you want to know more about how we got here, read on.  If you want to donate now to help us reach our goal, then GO FOR IT~!  If you're interested in learning more about how you can create your own backyard aquaponics system to grow organic vegetables, email us.  Otherwise, thanks for reading and keeping us in your hearts.


Ben & Judy returned to Southern California from Eastern Oregon in 2009 to be closer to family and to care for Judy's mother.  We purchased a property that had a burned-out house and put a little manufactured home on it.  Mother passed away in January of 2014.  She is sorely missed.  MOM

As you know, the job market isn't great for anyone right now - and especially for two aging rabble-rousers like Ben & Judy.  But we love being near our family, as small as it is, and we love our place.  We have worked to make it work for us - and it has, for the most part.

This winter, we moved out of our house and into our "patio room" so we could rent the house out to pay the mortgage payment.  We attempted to get a re-fi last year, but our credit score and income and new loan rules after the 2008 fiasco put us just beyond qualification.  We have been able to increase our income with renting out our house - but our tenant, whom we dearly love, lost her job and has now seen a return of cancer.   We've gone for several months now with more restricted income.

Here's the rub...  If we can make it to February or March without getting behind on our mortgage payment, we should be a shoo-in for a re-fi or reverse mortgage, as we will be able to show increased income this year, Ben has been able to repair his credit enough to boost his score, and the foreclosure on my Oregon house will be seasoned.  What we need now is $3500 to make it to that moment so that we don't get behind on our payment.  If we do, it will squirrel our chances of getting a re-fi and we will have to sell.



ONE OF THE TINY HOUSES DISPLAYED BY FREEDOM-2-THRIVE AND EAGLE LOG CABINS AT THE SAN DIEGO FAIR EXHIBIT.  If you're interested in these tiny houses, email us and we can give you more information on models and pricing.  They are SUPER affordable and HIGH quality.


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Judy Talley 
Fallbrook, CA
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