On December 10th, 2014, THE FIRST STORM…

foggy Salmon Creek Farm orchard

foggy Salmon Creek Farm orchard

…of any size this season, and apparently for a few years, is headed to us on the Northern California Coast today, and having heard lore of winter storms past and recent warnings from locals and neighbors: “Are you ready for the storm?” and “Batten down the hatches!” has me wondering what to expect (8″ of rain? overflowing creeks and tributaries? 60 mph gusts on ridge tops? falling trees and branches? power outages?) and how to prepare, beyond the obvious…I’m not in LA anymore.

By Fritz Haeg on December 10, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm

On December 9th, 2014, CABIN NAMES…

Salmon Creek Farm cabins and map, Dec 2014

Salmon Creek Farm cabins and map, Dec 2014

…for the eleven Salmon Creek Farm structures became complicated when I tried to name each one after the communard who either built it, or was most associated with it, but only those with fabulous sobriquets would do (or in some cases real names that have nice associations, i.e. Dawn & Walden), so now we have: Cedar, Dawn, Hawk, Huckleberry, Moonlight, Rainbow, River, Salmon, Walden, plus Orchard – since that’s where it is – and Carpenter, for poet/radical hero Edward.

By Fritz Haeg on December 9, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On December 7th, 2014, A NEW VIEW…

Salmon Creek Farm cabin #7: Cedar

Salmon Creek Farm cabin #7: Cedar

…of my cabin from behind was found today wandering to the other side of the tributary creek ravine.

On December 4th, 2014, ALBION DOORS AND WINDOWS…

Albion Doors and Windows in the redwoods

Albion Doors and Windows in the redwoods

…is the amazing refuge for wayward and unwanted doors (over 500), windows (over 1000) and antique door and window hardware (over 2000 pieces) hidden in the redwoods, just a few properties down from us on Middle Ridge Road – where I suspect people drive from all over the region to find buried treasures – and also where the Salmon Creek Farm communards might have found their old doors and windows for their cabins that we are reviving today – looking for just the right door to insert in cabin #3: Dawn, to short-circuit a long front entry deck that needs to be dismantled. knobsession.com

By Fritz Haeg on December 4, 2014 | Albion
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On December 3rd, 2014, ORR HOT SPRINGS…

I want to make an earth covered sleeping pod like this for the commune!

I want to make an earth covered sleeping pod like this for the commune!

…an old resting spot for the Pomo Native Americans and later a stagecoach stop in the 1800’s – attracted by the hot mineral and sulpher baths – just inland from the coast on Comptche-Ukiah Road, was the pilgrimage of the day, to find some welcome warmth and soothing of aching bones & muscles from non-stop moving, fixing, working, tending at Salmon Creek Farm. (Orr Hot Springs)

By Fritz Haeg on December 3, 2014 | travel
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On December 2nd, 2014, A DRIFTWOOD BEACH…

Mendocino beach driftwood

Mendocino beach driftwood

…at the Mendocino Headlands, a 20 minute drive along the coast from Salmon Creek Farm, reminds me of the Halprins Driftwood Villages from the late 60’s and early 70’s which they performed on beached further to the south – and if I wasn’t so overwhelmed and distracted by everything that needs to be done every day back on the farm/commune, I’d just go down there and start to build something…

By Fritz Haeg on December 2, 2014 | Mendocino
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On December 1st, 2014, A BLOWN FUSE…

commune cabin fuse box

commune cabin fuse box

…shutting off power to half of a tiny hippie cabin built in 1974 by a 13 year old (Salmon) is a mystery to be solved, as we hunt for the fuse box, the switch to turn it off, and then at the Albion hardware store for the replacement fuse…

By Fritz Haeg on December 1, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 20th, 2014, LOOKING FOR A CARETAKER FOR SALMON CREEK FARM…

Salmon Creek Farm cabins

Salmon Creek Farm cabins

a 32 acre commune/art/farm project in the coastal redwoods of Mendocino/Albion:

I am looking for a live-in caretaker – single or couple – with general handy / carpentry / mechanical / gardening interests and skills for an enchanted 32 acre former commune with 10+ cabins in the coastal redwoods of Albion. It is being revived to welcome artist/maker friends for regular visits. The caretaker(s) should be knowledgable and thoughtful about the stewardship of local land/resources and interested in the loose sort of artist community that will be developing.

In 1971 Salmon Creek Farm was founded two miles from the coast in Albion, California. Over 30 acres of second-growth redwoods slope to the south from a meadow and fruit orchard on top, to a creek in the valley. Structures include a small community cottage, 9+ owner-built cabins secluded on footpaths throughout the land, plus various out-houses, out-buildings and abandoned structures buried in the woods. One by one the original founders moved away and with its purchase in November 2014 it starts a new chapter. The revival begins with researching it’s social and ecological history, fixing up the cabins, establishing food gardens and generally bringing new life to the place. An extended community of local and international builders, carpenters, crafts-people, farmers, gardeners, makers, permaculturists, woodworkers, ceramicists, cooks, dancers, foragers, furniture makers, musicians, oven builders, sign makers, textile artists, weavers, wood carvers, writers, etc. will be making regular visits for work, retreat, on-site projects, and to generally contribute to the revival of the place.

An initial trial arrangement would involve part-time care-taking and managing in exchange for accommodations in one of the small cabins in a private corner of the property. Future income may be possible from special projects and managing two short-term cabin rentals. This is a really great long-term opportunity for the right person interested in helping shape the future of this special place. Include a resume with references and a brief letter of interest.

More info on the webpage for Salmon Creek Farm

By Fritz Haeg on November 20, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 19th, 2014, A NEW CABIN IS FOUND…

the platform remaining from an old stump-footing cabin and the discovery another cabin still intact

the platform remaining from an old stump-footing cabin and the discovery another cabin still intact down the hill

…down the hill and deep in the woods this morning, which is a thrill, but not such a surprise – since we know that at one time Salmon Creek Farm had as many as 28 structures spread across it’s 30 acres of coastal redwoods – which makes this cabin #11, now needing a good name.

By Fritz Haeg on November 19, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 18th, 2014, FIRST TIME ENTERING CABIN #10…

first entering of Whitman cabin #10

first entering of Whitman cabin #10

…named Whitman (wanting the spirit of Walt to watch over us from up the hill, across the ravine) this morning was like opening a time capsule from the early ’80’s – likely the last time it was occupied or even entered – with cassette tapes, Fanta cans, slides from a vacation, bullet shells, and even a Sister Corita Kent poster – all of which will later be carefully collected, cataloged, archived and displayed.

By Fritz Haeg on November 18, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 17th, 2014, IDO YOSHIMOTO…

Ido Yoshimoto shaping a mini third-growth redwood grove coming out of an ancient burned out hollow of a first growth stump

Ido Yoshimoto shaping a mini third-growth redwood grove coming out of an ancient burned out hollow of a first growth stump

chainsaw master, abalone diver, woodworker, Point Reyes resident and first official Salmon Creek Farm artist is here for his first visit, inspecting the land and woods, exploring the downed tree treasures, trimming and clearing the branches from the structures, and thinking about what might happen here next.

By Fritz Haeg on November 17, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 16th, 2014, A PILGRIMAGE TO THE SEA RANCH, THE DANCE DECK AND ANNA HALPRIN…

Sea Ranch and David Wilson presenting a certificate and medal to Anna Halprin wearing a paper bag crown

picnic at The Sea Ranch and Anna Halprin wearing a paper bag crown being presented with a medal and certificate by David Wilson from “The Possible”

…was the perfect/dreamy/divine/appropriate way to conclude our week of Lawrence and Anna Halprin RSVP Cycle-inspired activities and workshops – commissioned by the Graham Foundation for their current show “Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971” – closing down the Sundown Dome social years and starting up those at Salmon Creek Farm.

On November 14th, 2014, “REDWOOD VILLAGE”…

gathering circle 1.0 and 1.1

gathering circle 1.0 and 1.1

…is our RSVP Cycles workshop response – taking the form of a gathering circle – to my favorite Halprin score, Driftwood Village performed in the early 1970’s on the Sonoma Coast.

By Fritz Haeg on November 14, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm

On November 13th, 2014, AMANITA MUSCARIA…

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria

…casually sitting by the side of the footpath is plucked, welcoming us to mushroom season in Mendocino.

By Fritz Haeg on November 13, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm
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On November 12th, 2014, A WALKING TOUR…

cabin tour with Moonlight

cabin tour with Moonlight

…lead by founding communard – now neighbor – Moonlight of the main footpaths connecting 10 cabins on the 32 acres of Salmon Creek Farm was the perfect way to introduce the group and me to this place and it’s rich ecological and social history.

By Fritz Haeg on November 12, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm

On November 11th, 2014, A FIRST DAY…

sunset behind Cabin #1 "Orchard" the communal space for shared meals

sunset behind Cabin #1 “Orchard” the communal space for shared meals

…in the new home of Salmon Creek Farm ends with a potluck dinner for the weekend guests and the founding communards, neighboring us on three sides.

By Fritz Haeg on November 11, 2014 | Salmon Creek Farm

On November 11th, 2014, THE NEW HOME…

the old doggies inspect their new digs: cabin #7 now called "Cedar," at the bottom of the path

the old doggies inspect their new digs: cabin #7 now called “Cedar,” at the bottom of the footpath

…of Salmon Creek Farm seems not quite real, a bit like a dream, as we move fast to settle in as much as possible before the crowd descends Wednesday night for a long weekend of opening activities and workshops.

On November 10th, 2014, MOVING DAY…

the 5 through the Central Valley

the 5 through the Central Valley

…began at 2am getting the last few things packed and in the car that didn’t make it in the truck and heading north on the 5 with two anxious and confused senior dogs cushioned in cavities of the massive Domestic Integrities rug piled up in back.

By Fritz Haeg on November 10, 2014 | Los Angeles

On November 9th, 2014, MORE MOVEMENT ON THE RUG…

closing movement score on the rug

closing movement score on the rug

…was a good way to end the last day in the dome.

On November 8th, 2014, THE START OF THE CLOSING…

Score for a _________ Home

Score for a _________ Home

…activities and workshops at the Sundown Dome start this morning – including “Score for a _________ Home,” an impromptu exercise to write down every word that describes the home we want, followed by each of picking our favorite descriptor, and writing a score to create that home.

SCORES FOR A CALIFORNIA COMMUNE MIGRATION: Sundown Dome to Salmon Creek Farm to The Sea Ranch to Halprin Mountain Home Studio, Saturday, November 8th to Sunday,  November 16th, 2014

In conjunction with their current exhibition in Chicago, Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-1971, the Graham Foundation is commissioning RSVP Cycle-inspired workshops organized and led by Fritz Haeg from November 8th to 16th. They mark the transition of communal domestic activity from his Sundown dome in Los Angeles – after 15 years of gatherings and events – up to his new farm/community project Salmon Creek Farm, a historic commune from the 1970’s on the Mendocino Coast in Albion. The founding communards will join us there too, guiding walks, recounting stories, marking the changing of hands from one community to another. Inspired by Lawrence and Anna Halprin – and referencing their books RSVP Cycles: Creative Processes in the Human Environment, 1970 and Taking Part: A Workshop Approach to Collective Creativity, 1975 – the week culminates with a day at The Sea Ranch and on the dance deck at their Mountain Home Studio in Kentfield with Anna Halprin herself.


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