Matilija Canyon springs and farm (Ojai Ecotopia) was devastated by fire in December and flooding in January. Thanks to heroic efforts by Jaysun Kaufman and other stewards of this sacred land, it was saved from full destruction (click for a full report and videos). We have come up for air after an intense month of disaster response and are reaching out to you, our community, for support. Here is what happened:
FIRE - December 4 2017 Thomas Fire starts in Ventura County near Ojai (281,893 acres, largest fire on record). Authorities order evacuations across the county, including the Ojai Valley. December 7th Fires rages through Matilija Canyon on both sides. Fueled by strong winds, they burn most of the trees and land, and destroy key infrastructure for farming and visitors. December 8-10th, Jayson and other land stewards put out many surface fires and smoldering fires underground, saving plants and infrastructure.
FLASH FLOOD - January 8th A deluge of rain in Southern California triggers mudslides, flooding, and rivers of mud, forcing thousands to evacuate. Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason told the Times. “Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario.” January 9th Flash floods fill the Matilija hot springs and ecotopia farmland, dislodging enormous boulders and pushing trees down river, effectively bulldozing and burying the land in mud and debris.
What was Damaged? Virtually all major infrastructure was damaged or destroyed including all electrical and water infrastructure, roads and parking, bathroom facilities, farm irrigation, and farm buildings. See use of funds for more details.
We need financial support to rebuild the farm, and rebuild infrastructure required to responsibly steward the land and hot springs. Total losses exceed $100,000 including staff time and closure. A silver lining of this challenging time is that massive amounts of high-quality mud and soil flooded on the land after the fires, which will contribute to the rebirth of our community supported agriculture and permaculture gardens. We at ecotopia remain fully devoted to this land, helping humans live in harmony with each other and Mother Earth.
We are deeply grateful for your support !
Use of Funds
- $12,000 Landscape remediation. Fire damage cleanup. Dig out trees and gardens buried in flood. Re-vegetation. Repair trails, entryway, and parking.
- $8,000 Water infrastructure. Replace and repair broken pumps, filters, shed, water gauges, water tank, conduit.
- $18,000 Electrical infrastructure. Replace electric utility pole, electric panels, long distance wiring, and electrical outlet stations
- $5,000 Irrigation system: Replace 500 yards of irrigation hoses, garden hoses, and water outlet spigots.
- $15,000 Storage Containers and Equipment. Replace storage containers, power tools, hand tools, garden tools, hardware supplies, cleaning supplies, painting supplies equipment, large tents, seed bank, greenhouse shade covers, furniture, washing machine, and 2 refrigerators.
- $9,000 Greenhouse. Repair greenhouse structure and cover. Replace compost tea setup, grey water filter, shelving, irrigation, potting supplies, and plants.
- $4000 Public Bathrooms. Excavate from mud and debris, make repairs.
We express our gratitude with gifts from the land, donors will receive the following benefits:
- $30 - two free passes
- $50 - two free passes plus a San Pedro cactus
- $100 - six free passes plus a San Pedro Cactus
- $250 - two free passes & one massages on the land
- $500 - host an evening event on the land
- $750 - 6 month membership for 4 people.
- $1,000 - one year membership
- $1,500 - one year membership for two people
- $2,500 - host a 24 hour event on the property
- $5,000 - lifetime membership
- $7,500 - lifetime family membership
We also welcome volunteers to help with remediation, please email [email protected]
Thank you and blessings,
Gunnar, Jeff, Jayson, and Lucas