Tags >> farms
Jun 28
2010

Jack London's Lake

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , volunteer , state government , Sonoma Valley , recreation , preservation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , fish , farms , environment , California , author , aging

Bruce Robinson

Jack London's cottage and ranch buildings have been preserved at the state park that bears his name in Glen Ellen. But there is another part of his historic holding that is languishing in need of repair and restoration

Cracks in the dam, such as the one in the center of this photograph, are continuing to widen as the muti-layered process of getting the pre-requisites and approvals for remediation work drags on. Five years into it, Elisa Stancil, a neighbor and volunteer event coordinator at the park, says progress is slowly being made.

London erected the dam and created the rain-fed lake in 1913, using it for both recreation (as seen here) and for his farm.  Restoring the 98-year old dam is estimated to cost $1.3 million, but Stancil says that, too, has been delayed by the glacial permitting process.

The photos below show the lake's water diverter, seen as it appeared while under construction in 1913, and as it looks today. They're taken from the picture gallery on the website of the Jack London Lake Alliance.

Jun 23
2010

Revisiting the Running Fence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , Sonoma County , Sonoma , recreation , politics , planning , ocean , media , land rights , journalism , history , farms , families , events , environment , design , coast , California , art , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Thirty-four years after Christo’s  Running Fence snaked across the North Bay’s coastal landscape into the Pacific, the unique and short-lived artwork is still fondly recalled by most of those who played a part in its creation.

The large and unexpected projects envisioned and executed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude may not fit some conventional definitions of art, says documentary filmmaker Wolfram Hissen, but they certainly strike a chord with a huge number of people.

Some of the friendships that developed during the Running Fence project proved to be deep and enduring, Hissen discovered, despite the broad differences between the artists and the ranchers.

After the Running Fence was taken down, each landowner got to keep the materials that had been part of it. Some used the poles and  hardware in other construction projects, while the thousands of yards of while canvass was generally harder to reuse. One exception ot that was this jacket, made by Amelia Bruhn, and shown at the 33 year anniversary gathering in 2009 that became a substantial part of Wolfram Hissen's new documentary. See the trailer for the film below:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBVpgN4JAsE 360x240]

In addition to the showing tonight in Occidental, The Running Fence Revisited will also be screened on the evenings of June 24 and 25 at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

 

Jun 04
2010

Native Bees

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , Sonoma County , farms , events , environment , California , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Everything that’s in bloom right now was pollinated by a bee. That’s why we should care about the many threats these beneficial insects face.

California native bees are mostly small, but some are quite good sized. U.C. Davis entomology professor Robbin Thorp  explains he likes to use the familiar honey bee as a metaphorical “bread box” to compare the relative sizes of other bee species.

Carpenter bee People who are concerned about boosting the bee populations so they can do their pollinating, can do several things to help them out, Dr. Thorp explains.

 Ellen Zagory, Director of Horticulture at UC Davis The science salon on bees at the Bouverie Preserve will be Saturday afternoon, June 5, from 2:30 60 4 pm.  with  Ellen Zagory, Director of Horticulture at the UC Sweat beeDavis Arboretum, as one of the featured panelists.  Audubon Canyon Ranch Executive Director Scott Feirabend offers further details on what is intended to be the first in a series of educational events.

To see a previous Report on the conflict between beekeepers and mandarin growers in Central California, go here.

Jun 02
2010

Saving Seeds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sebastopol , nonprofit orgs , Green , farms , environment , education , conservation , California , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

The key to sustaining agricultural biodiversity may be as close as the nearest backyard garden—even your own.

It’s easy to begin seed saving, explains Bill McDorman, but not all common garden plants readily lend themselves to the practice.

Seed saving begins in individual backyards, but the idea is tailor-made for scaling up to the community level, McDorman notes, and that’s just what is starting to happen.

Bill McDorman is the founder and  president of the Seeds Trust mail order business, offering "vegetable, herb, wildflower and wild grass seed for a sustainable future." He will be speaking at at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center annex building in Sebastopol,  425 Morris Street, on Sunday afternoon June 6th from 3-5 pm.

 

 

 

 

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