Mesa Farms

Community Organic Garden & Nature Preserve
8209 Mesa Road - Santee California

Mesa Farms is private property owned and managed by North Park Properties LLC, with rental housing, organic farming areas and a fruit tree orchard now in development, miles of trails, and 100's of acres of adjacent open space. Our land comprises over 40 acres, the majority of which is San Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub protected open space habitat, and borders San Diego's beautiful Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP). We are located in the Southwest corner of Santee on Mesa Road (the city line between San Diego and Santee). One block to the South is the Mesa Trailhead, with a waterfall and entrance to Mesa Trail, leading to the top of Cowles Mountain (MTRP Trails & Terrain Map). Mesa Road is one of the oldest roads in the area, used since the mid-1800's.

Our land consists of a relatively flat 5-acre area fronting Mesa Road and 35 acres of open space to the East consisting of a valley and two mountain ridges, rising from 420 feet elevation to over 760 feet at the mesa top in the Southeast corner of the property. The Eastern 35 acres are within a Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) habitat preservation area. A seasonal stream runs through the valley in Winter months, making its way under Mesa Road, down through Big Rock park and to the San Diego River less than a mile away to the North.

About / Contact Rental Housing Information Mesa Farms Site Map Pictures Mesa Farms on Facebook

Overview Map

Click to view in google maps

Sunset over Mission Trails

Click for larger panoramic view

Miles of hiking trails through the property and adjoining open space provide ample opportunity for recreation with beautiful unobstructed views for 25+ miles and a wide range of trees, shrubs, vegetation and wildlife (aerial view from the Southwest). Two blocks to the North is Big Rock Park, a beautiful 5-acre public park with tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, picnic tables, BBQs & more. Half a mile to the South is the Grossmont Community College 135-acre campus.

One of the most beautiful landscapes within a major US city, Mission Trails Regional Park is the only mountainous park within central San Diego. Five mountain peaks rise up to 1592 feet, over Mission Gorge and the San Diego River below at 200 feet elevation.

About Us

We are now setting up small-scale organic permaculture farming and agriculture, including a ¼-acre planting area and fruit tree orchard. Options are available for local community members to set up organic gardening plots from 100 – 1,000+ square feet including shared use of the planting area. The planting area is fully enclosed by an 8' tall 200' × 100' fence enclosing a 20,000 square feet area, which also contains an irrigation system, shade trees, and a chicken coop.

In addition to 35-acres of undisturbed open-space native habitat on the property, we maintain a habitat restoration area along the road frontage of Mesa Road and Ramhaven Lane approximately 700' x 25' in size, where we have planted over 100 native trees and shrubs including Coast Live Oak, Manzanita, Toyon, Laurel Sumac, Lemonade Berry, Catalina Cherry, Arbutus Marina, Cuyamaca Cypress, Tecate Cypress, Foothill Pine, Incense Cedar, Catalina Ironwood, Valley Oak, Scrub Oak, various sage and other natives as well as a smaller number of non-native shade trees including California Pepper, Evergreen Elm, Brisbane Box, Golden Wattle, and Silver Dollar Gum. We provide minimal irrigation in this area which over time has resulted in the more common natives filling in very well including Baccharis pilularis (Coyote Brush), Eriogonum fasciculatum (California Buckwheat) and Artemisia californica (California Sagebrush).


For more information please email david(at)

View from the North showing from right to left, Mission Trails Regional Park, our ¼-acre Planting Area
including chicken coop, the 2 houses on the property and workshop/farm office, the South Ridge, and the East Mesa

Mesa Farms Site Map

Overview Map. Click for higher resolution (38MP)

Map of the front ~6 acres of the property

Topographic Map with 10' elevation contours and hill slope shading. Click for higher resolution (5MP)


Northwest corner of the property, at the intersection of Mesa Road and Ramhaven Lane

View from the Northwest of the Community Organic Garden & Planting Area

The seasonal stream flows in winter months in years with significant rainfall, originating in the valleys
to the East, flowing 40' North of the houses and winding through the 200' length of the Planting Area

The seasonal stream flowing under the bridge in the Planting Area

View from the Northeast of the Community Organic Garden & Planting Area

Main Entrance. At right the South Ridge rises from 420 feet to 760 feet elevation

South Field and view of Cowles Mountain in the distance

Plants & Trees along the West Fence (Oct. 2017)

North Ridge and Central Valley (March 2016)

View of Cowles Mountain from behind the South Ridge. Click for higher resolution

Streambed and clearing in the valley center. North Ridge in background

View in late Winter from the South Ridge looking towards the North Valley.
El Cajon Mountain is visible at top middle (13 miles away, 3,675 ft elevation)

View in early Fall from the South Ridge looking towards the North Ridge, North Trail and Valley Trail.
Note seasonal change in vegetation as compared to previous picture.

View from the driveway of the two rental houses on the property

Historic 1940's Front House (Rooftop Deck added in 2016)

Back House

Back House viewed from the East

Chicken Coop

View of the houses from Mesa Road

Front House and on left detached Workshop/Office and Patio

Storage Shed


RV Office

Southwest corner of the property

South Trail

Early evening shade from the South Ridge over the South Trail and Valley

View of the North Ridge from the South Valley

View from the West. Mesa Road at front, Ramhaven Lane at left (May 2017)

East Mesa at Southeast corner of the property. A habitat conservation area borders to the East.
Mount Woodson (13 miles away, 2,894 ft elevation) and Iron Mountain (10 miles away, 2,696 ft elevation) visible at top right

Short audio clip of the sounds of the birds and wildlife on a Spring morning

Short audio clip of the sounds of the wildlife on a Summer night

Short video from the North Trail. First audio clip above is from this video. Turn up your audio volume
to experience the sounds and magnificent beauty of the birds, wildlife and nature. South Valley at left

North Trail on a Summer Morning

View from the North Trail near the top of the North Ridge looking Southwest

View from the North Trail of Rain Clouds moving in over Mission Trails

The South Ridge towers 300 feet above a clearing at the bottom of the valley

Coast Live Oak Trees in the South Valley. Underbrush cleared by Tree Culture San Diego,
enhancing shady areas under the trees while reducing fire fuel in key areas

South Valley viewed from the East Mesa

Back House, Valley and trails viewed from the East Mesa. North Trail meets The Valley Trail at right.
Distance from the back house to the Valley Trail is ¼ mile with a 120 foot elevation gain. View in google maps

View from the East Mesa looking Northeast

View to the East of El Cajon Mountain, Cuyamaca Peak, Viejas Mountain and at lower right Rattlesnake Peak.
Fence running horizontally at middle is the East property line, bordering a habitat conservation area

Large 360° Panorama from the East Mesa (use scrollbar above to pan)

Cowles Mountain in the distance from the East Mesa

Mesa Farms' 4x4 on the East Mesa

Santee Lakes viewed from the East Mesa

San Carlos viewed from the East Mesa

One of our volunteer Organic Farming Consultants

One of our numerous friends who hang out on the property munching on various plants

We have seen rattlesnakes on the property. Caution is advised. Do not put your feet or
hands anywhere you cannot see them. Pets and children should be carefully supervised.

Lush Springtime vegetation along the South Trail

A brilliant sky over San Diego viewed from the East Mesa

Looking Northeast from the East Mesa at dusk. Mount Woodson and Iron Mountain visible at left top, El Cajon Mountain
at right, and at far right the region's highest peak Cuyamaca Peak (25 miles away, 6,512 ft elevation)