Class K Mendocino County

Navigating class K , or Rural Residential permits is a bit complicated, yet well worth it. A very well written law, Class K allows you to build using recycled, upcycled building materials and alternative methods of construction http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/planning/pdf/Class_K_Ordinance.pdf . Including milling your own wood and not needing to have it graded. Possibly being able to avoid having to do the energy calculations, if you are heating only with renewable energy, solar or wood heat. Modify you plans as you build, with written notification . Live in the structure as its being built. Most structures can be drawn by the owner, and don’t need to be engineered. Only one inspection at the end if you want, or you can still get multiple inspections. It’s a law based on safety as the criteria, safety for the occupants. So handrails, fire and co2 detectors, legal GFI protected electrical circuits in the kitchen and bathroom still need to be to code. A lot of the building code goes back to 1976, so has more leeway than the current National Building code.
You have to live in an unincorporated area of Mendocino county. It’s meant to be for an owner builder’s primary residence, so it can not be built to sell, or to rent for the first few years anyway. Class K can also be used for additional structures on the property as well, within zoning restrictions.

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This building we are building using logs . Cut and peeled on our property here. We were also able to use recycled windows making our building cost substantially lower.

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Agricultural community

I stumbled across this book many years ago. It got me so excited, I ran out and bought ten more copies and gave them all away. Then I bought a few more a few years later and gave them away again.

Read this inspirational book of community and regeneration.

The Man Who Created Paradise

Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, and of course Polyface Farm owner, Joel Salatin are all writing about what’s wrong with our agriculture and food systems, and how to build small farms. That large systems, especially in a biologically complex situation, don’t work as well as small systems. Oh, maybe they initially produce more, let’s exploit the soil resources. But then, the worn out, washed away, soil is pumped full of chemicals to continue to produce. The small farmer who cares that his soil continues to produce, applies compost, organic matter to replenish what was taken out. Ending up with hopefully a better soil in a few years. Also usually a more productive smaller acreage .

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Apple Pie

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I can’t make an apple pie without thinking of my brother. He decided one year to master an apple pie. This was also the year he stayed home to try to win Dialing for Dollars . Some of you will remember this show that called random phone numbers and if you were there you could win money ! This was also the year we would sing Janis Joplins, ” Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz, my friends all drive Porsche’s I must make amends. Worked hard all my life Lord, no help from my friends. Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”

Anyway Dan had an idea of how a perfect apple pie should be. The apples should be a large part of it. So he stacked Apple slices so high the crust could barely contain them. They would cook down to a thick wedge of well cooked lightly sugared delicious Gravenstein Apples.

I’m pretty sure we also tried different thickeners, or no thickeners. We definitely loved flour for the best pie making sauce. I don’t remember if he struggled with the crust…but it was good too. I loved my job as taste tester.

Today my pies made with our Pink Pearl and Fuji apples we grew here. The Pink Pearls added a wonderful pink color to the pie as well as a tartness. Baked in our brick oven, the pies are delicious. Harvest is here and reaping this bounty is a blessing.

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Climbing trees

When I was twenty I visited a garden and saw an older woman up in a large tree pruning. I vowed at that point to climb trees in my forties. Now that I’m mid- fifties, climbing bigger trees doesn’t feel so comfortable any more. I can’t believe I’m admitting this. Today pruning this twenty foot fig tree I’ve pruned for the last five years, getting up in the higher branches just didn’t seem like a good idea. I did most of it anyway.
I think it’s the first time in my thirty five years of gardening that I wondered why I never considered a desk job… That’s saying a lot isn’t it ? Maybe I just need to learn how to give over some tasks… But I can tell you gardeners, if you love it as an occupation now, you’ll love it even more as the years go on. Gardening has so much diversity and constant learning experiences . If you want to be challenged, it will do it.

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Pizza Night Wednesday January 15 – 6 o’ clock

Come to the farm for pizza night. We have a farmer who is experienced at cooking pizzas in a wood fired oven here, so we are doing it ! Another week of it. Come if you like, bring toppings and drink of your choice. See the farm, enjoy vegetables from the gardens.

Just come there will be plenty. Salad and vegetarian fare as well.

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Want to learn how to Graft Fruit trees ? Feb 1st

Mendocino Permaculture’s 31st Annual Winter Abundance Workshop

Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm, rain☂ or shine ☀
at the Fairgrounds in Boonville, on Hwy 128

Seed, Scion & Cutting Exchange with Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting

FREE TO ALL

Classes all day on fruit tree propagation, how to grow fruits & nuts, and how to do seed saving of all kinds of food plants. Learn the tricks of making your own fruit & nut bearing trees, shrubs and vines. You can make your own tree right at the event. Come spend the day with local green thumbs who understand the unique climate zones and soils of our bioregion. You can purchase an organic lunch and beverages at the event.

This is a free public service learning event. There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood.

Items that will be sold: Lunch, Beverages, Tree Rootstocks, Fruit Trees & Vines.

Free classes: grafting your own fruit trees, top-working and bud grafting, cutting propagation, choosing rootstocks; planting, training, pruning, the localized holistic management perspective; seed saving for vegetables, flowers, and trees.

Seed Exchange: Seeds from local growers of vegetables, flowers, herbs and trees will be available all day, with local seed savers on hand to share local knowledge. Bring seeds to share. Labeled glass jars of bulk seed are preferred. Please label varieties by name, place, harvest date, and any pertinent cultural information. We supply seed envelopes for you to take home seeds.

Scion Exchange: Scions will be available all day, with local experts on hand to answer questions and share “local how to” knowledge. Bring scions to share. We supply over 300 varieties of fruit tree scions; also Cuttings of grape, fig, mulberry, pomegranate, currants, gooseberries, kiwi, European plums. Berries usually need a bit of root and clean soil. (See details below)

Rootstock sales: This is how we fund our free event (besides donations). We sell over 500 tree rootstocks all day of all major fruit types, for a few dollars each. We select the best rootstocks for our climate and soil so you can build your own high quality fruit trees inexpensively, by grafting your chosen scion to the right rootstock. You can also take the scions home to graft on existing fruit trees.

Plant share: everyone is welcome to use our venue to give plants away.

Trees & plants & seeds for sale by local growers, selected for our climate zone by Cool Hybrids, EastHillTop Nursery. Local vendors are welcome. Our new local seed company, Diaspora Seeds, may have seeds to sell as well.

Patrick will be selling his beautiful grafted feijoa trees, all locally tested fruiting cultivars that can not be obtained anywhere else on the planet.

Food sales by local people: the Salsitas will sell an organic lunch, and the Teen Center will sell beverages and snacks.

Schedule of Events

9:00-4:00 Open tables – Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice—see workshop map when you arrive

9:30 – 10:30 Class – Mark Albert on the First Level (Basic Techniques) of Making Your Own Trees & Vines

10:30 – 12:00 Class – Tim Bates of The Apple Farm on Planting, Training, Pruning and Holistic Management of Fruit Plantings

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch – Salsitas’ Organic Mexican Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 Class – Pat Schafer on Second Level (Advanced) Grafting, Budding & Topworking Techniques & Strategies

2:15 – 3:30 Class – Seed Saving Basics by Seedsaver Tom Melcher

About Scions and Cuttings
Please bring labeled scions/cuttings of your favorite trees/plants – the old local gems that we are trying to save, new varieties, and your own seedlings are also welcome. If the varietal name is unknown, just label with the scions with your name, phone, and a brief description. The best scions and cuttings are the longest, straightest, newest shoots (especially the lower half of those shoots). Cut scions 8-12” long and ziplock bag them. Free recycled ziplock bags will be available in the scion area. Cuttings for rooting should be longer, 12-24” long, bundled or bagged. Keep them damp and cold, at refrigerator temperature, like a cold spot outdoors on the north side of a building. Clean, damp new wood chips or new wood shavings are the ideal scion storage medium. Cut dormant scions on a nice January day and store them, rather than waiting until the last moment in this unpredictable season. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best.

About the Fairgrounds Venue
We have moved the event to the fairgrounds in Boonville. The classes will be in the dining hall. Scions and seeds tables will be in the Library/Arts and Crafts Building. Rootstock sales and plant exchange will be under the roof around the outside of the library building. Parking will be outside the Fairgrounds proper, in the parking lot right on Hwy 128 a few hundreds yards southeast of the Fairgrounds. Contact us for details on vehicle access via the “back parking lot” if you need to bring your vehicle in to the event for any reason. The AV Community Library will open for its regular hours.

Please bring your own plate, utensils, cups, and napkins to reduce our carbon footprint. Biodegradable sets will also be available for $1.50 each.

The Winter Abundance Workshop is co-sponsored by Anderson Valley Adult School.

For more information, call Barbara/Rob Goodell 895-3897; Mark Albert 462-7843; or Richard Jeske 459-5926. You may leave your email address by phone for an email reply.

See you there!