Seed, Scion and Cutting Exchange

Mendocino Permaculture’s 37th AnnualWinter Abundance Gathering

Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 9 AM to 4 PM
at the Fairgrounds in BoonvilleSeed, Scion & Cutting Exchange, 
Classes, and Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting
Admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, scion wood  

All Free
Free classes all day on tree & vine propagation; how to grow your own food; and how to save seeds of all kinds of food plants. You can purchase fruit tree rootstocks cheaply here and then graft your own trees from the free scions. Come spend the day with local green thumbs who understand the unique climate zones and soils of our bioregion. You can purchase an inexpensive organic lunch, snacks, and beverages at the event. Sign up for a free hands-on grafting class, held throughout the day, where you can try out and even purchase a grafting knife. Please bring your favorite seeds and scions, and plants to share. 
Warren Pear & Magness PearMagness and Warren are two of the finest flavored and most disease-resistant pear varieties available. Magness was bred by USDA for disease resistance; a cross between Comice and Seckel. The taste is rated as best in most comparison tastings. Those who grow the two pears side by side generally agree that they are sisters if not identical. They are pollen sterile, so need other pears for pollination. Highly recommended by all of us who grow either locally. 
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS — Rain or Shine9:00 – 4:00  Open tables – Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice 

9:30 – 10:30  Class – Mark Albert:  Scionology – The crash course on making your own trees & vines from scions, rootstocks, cuttings, seeds. Basics of scion selection, grafting & budding, and rootstocks. 

10:30  12:00 Class – Marc Robbi: Growing under Cover, What a Greenhouse can Do for You – The benefits of greenhouse growing in our Mendoterranean climate, and mitigating greenhouse problems

10:30 – 2:00  Grafting Hands-on clinics hourly – local grafters share their techniques. You try out new knives on real wood. Buy our knife if you like it. Or bring your grafting knife to get a tune-up.Sign up at the registration table. 
12:00 – 1:00  Lunch for sale – organic, made by Anderson Valley Girl Scout Troop 10597 to fund community service projects, camping and adventure trips.
1:00 – 2:15  Class – Seed Saving – with Matt Drewno, Victory Gardens for Peace
2:15 – 3:30  Class – Patrick Schafer:  Advanced Grafting, Budding, Top-working old or young trees, Q & A 

Seed Exchange:  Seeds from local growers with local seed savers on hand. Bring your own saved and labeled seeds to share. Glass jars are good. We supply free seed envelopes. 
Scion Exchange: Free scions will be available all day, with local experts on hand. Please bring labeled scions of your favorite fruit trees – especially the gems that are proven here. New varieties and your own seedlings are also welcome.  If the varietal name is unknown, just label with your name, phone, brief description.  Best scions are cut from the lower portion of the longest, straightest new shoots. Cut scions 8-12” long and clear bag them. Cuttings for rooting should be 12-18” long and bundled. Store them damp and cold on the north side of a building, or refrigerate.  Cut dormant scions now or ASAP instead of waiting until the last moment in this unpredictable season. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best, especially the Prunus. We’ll have free bags and labels. 

Scionology Class: The first class is basic but densely packed with information: When and how to cut, store, and label a scion or a cutting to root. How to assess the scions on the scion tables. Which plants are easiest by which method. How to make a simple bottom heat box, for cuttings and for seed germination. Why some cultivars are better in our climate zone. Why different grafts are better for different seasons and situations. The reasons and methods of the different rootstocks. Previously manager of an avocado & citrus tree nursery in Santa Barbara, Mark packs 45 years of propagation tricks into a one hour class. 

Advanced Grafting: Patrick’s class in the afternoon focuses on techniques and strategies for specific plants, how to top work trees to other varieties, summer chip budding, and answers your individual questions. Patrick is a nurseryman, sells hardy palms, loquat, feijoa, and native persimmon, and he’s an expert on all local fruit. 

Grafting Hands-on Clinics throughout the day: We have found that the hands-on class helps you to learn grafting and builds your confidence with the knife in your hand.We’ve purchased different kinds of grafting knives for you to try out. Our demo grafting knives can be purchased after the last clinic. Or bring your own knife for us to assess and sharpen for you. The clinics focus on basic techniques and the feel of the knives on real scionwood. Each of the volunteer teachers may teach their own style, since there are many ways to successfully graft. Let Barbara know if you want to teach one of these short classes at a specific time slot. There will be a sign-up sheet for each clinic at the registration table to keep the class size down. There may be two clinics running simultaneously if needed. 

Marc Robbi’s Class: Marc currently runs 3 greenhouses and uses them for many things: growing his own food, nursery production, and a mother-tree haven for his online business, Fruitwood Nursery. His farm is 5 hours north of Boonville in the heart of the Klamath River country outside of Orleans, yet he has a surprisingly similar climate to our own! He and his wife Corrina grow over 1,000 varieties of temperate and subtropical fruiting plants and other perennials right on their homestead, and sell many of them through their website in the form of propagation material or rooted cuttings and divisions. They also started and ran Rolling River Nursery for years before selling it a few years back to the good folks at Planting Justice, in Oakland.  

Seedsaving Class: Matt Drewno from Victory Gardens for Peace Seedbank, a project of Ecology Action located at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino, will lead a class on seedsaving that will cover basic to advance techniques. This class will be relevant for beginner seedsavers as well as those with more experience. 
Rootstock sales: We sell over 500 tree rootstocks of major fruit types, for a few dollars each. We try to choose the best rootstocks for our climate and soil. Some years there are specific rootstock scarcities, due to crop failures, disease and extreme weather. 

Plant share: Everyone is welcome to use our venue to give away or swap plants. Due to Sudden Oak Death and other root pathogens, please minimize the attached native soil. Try to use soilless potting mixes if possible, or bring plants bare root, gently washing native soil off dormant plants. Moist pine wood shavings (sold in bags as animal bedding) are best for packing roots and scions. Wet newspaper also works short term. 

Trees & plants & seeds for sale by local tree and seed companies, who are invited to come and sell. No charge to vendors. 

Food sales by local non-profit group: Lunches, snacks, beverages. Proceeds will help AV Girl Scout Troop 10597 to fund community service projects, camping and adventure trips. Please bring your own plate, utensils, & cups. A Winter Farmers’ Market will be set up for sales too. 
This is a free public service event conceived by Mendocino Permaculture. It has grown and evolved over the last 37 years, with a lot of help from our friends. Our costs are funded only by rootstock sales and donations. There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood. 

This workshop is co-sponsored by Mendocino Permaculture, Anderson Valley Adult School, and Anderson Valley Foodshed, with volunteer help from the Master Gardener program of U.C. Cooperative Extension. 
We appreciate volunteers for several aspects of the event. The Master Gardeners have joined our effort the last couple years, and that has been great! The Anderson Valley Foodshed, with non-profit sponsorship by the Cloud Forest Institute, is also on board. Call Barbara to see where more volunteers are needed. Feel free to pass on our email flyer to friends and to e-bulletin boards. Grafters are welcome to show us how they do their grafts, whether in a clinic or pick your own spot and set up. Everyone’s local knowledge is helpful at the scion tables. This event is above all a celebration of the plant world where everyone is invited share what they know. 
About the Boonville Fairgrounds venue. We use two buildings. The classes will be in the dining hall. The scion and seed tables will be in the Library/Arts and Crafts Building. Rootstock sales, tree sales and plant exchange will be under the large eaves overhanging the library building. We are using only the front parking lot and street parking on Hwy 128 near the fairground entrance. Vehicles that arrive before 9 AM will be allowed into the grounds to drop off plant material or supplies. The AV Community Library is open for its regular hours, 1:30 – 4:00 PM and their used book-sale table. Paperbacks 25¢, hardbound 50¢ and a bag for $5 – bring your own bag. This is a rain or shine event – we have enough indoor space and roof cover for all of us to be sheltered should the weather turn rainy. 

Agritourism, Fruit and Flower Farm

Our off grid, hand built Farmhouse is now available for group rentals. It’s wonderful for retreats, family reunions. Separate private spaces, catered or not. The house has five bedrooms plus a bunkhouse . It sleeps 14 plus areas for camping.

Our rustic farm kitchen has room for many including our large hand milled redwood table seating twenty.

Local small farms are important

Good Farm Fund awards grants to 14 Mendocino County farms

By: Erick O’Donnell

The Good Farm Fund, an agricultural grant program sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, awarded $20,000 worth of grants this week to 14 small farms throughout Mendocino County.

The grants will fund small infrastructure projects that will allow farmers to increase food production and, hence, revenue and profit, helping them to overcome steep economic obstacles on their way to self-sufficiency, said Caroline Radice, who sits on the program’s steering and grant committees.

With high land prices, farmers face a high barrier to entry, and the cost of investing in capacity-building projects can further impede the ability of small farmers to establish themselves in the capital-intensive business of agriculture, she said.

The Good Farm Fund will fully bankroll some projects and partially fund others, with matching grants or financing from other sources, she said.

Members of the grant committee were reluctant to let any projects go without financial support, so they decided to spread funds over as many projects as they could while ensuring other funding sources would cover the shortfalls, ultimately approving grants for 14 out of the 16 projects, she said.



A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll
ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.


New Local Blog Mark Gross

My friend Mark Gross, a long time writer for the Washington Post has started a local blog. He is excited and ever so curious about the area, so he’s finding the inner sanctum and writing about it.

He told me he would help me host a local party. I have a hard time throwing planned parties and I hadn’t had one in years. I can do spontaneous parties and baking days were often like parties here.

Anyway, it ended up being one of the worst storm nights of the year. Power out everywhere, trees down, Hwy 1 closed. But everyone came ! We managed to fit almost thirty people in here comfortably, while Dennis baked roasted lamb in the brick oven.

Check out his new blog.
discovering oz without a tornado taking me there


Developing Land in Mendocino Coastal Area- categorical exemptions

Now I’m no expert, but I have gone through developing two properties, bought as bare land in the Mendocino Coastal Area. I can say I was shocked and surprised each time by how difficult and challenging this was. I’am in no way a legal representative of these building laws, but having dodged through this I’d like to help some others if I can with my experience only.

If you are up for a more moderate challenge, buy a property that has an existing building, septic, well and power on it. Remodeling and adding on to an existing building is much cheaper and easier.
But if you are like me and are up for a bigger challenge, or you just can’t find what you are looking for out there, you might be thinking of buying bare land.
If you buy land in coastal commission jurisdiction, you are looking at a minimum of three years to be able to break ground and start to build. Before you can apply for a Coastal Development Permit you must have a site plan with almost all of the development you want to do on this plan. Then you need house elevations and floor plans, a septic system design, botanical study- which is only possible a few months of the year. Then forestry dept. permit with all access roadways figured in. Possibly geological studies and archeological studies. Solar power design or a engineered design from the utility company for electrical service. Whew, are you overwhelmed yet ?

But, there are many properties that have exemption areas in our Coastal Area. This is a link to a map of parcels on the south coast

The shaded areas on this map show parcels that have Categorical Exemption Areas. If you want to build a regular single family dwelling, including a barn, garage, wells, septic and appurtenant structures. You can do this WITHOUT going through a Coastal Development Permit if the improvements are all going within the exemption area. There is an application that the county has to approve the verify the Categorical Exemption that it is not within I think, 100′ of a waterway, and that it does not have more than a 20 degree slope.  I think you could ask a planner before you purchase a piece of land to verify the Categorical Exemption. Once you fill out this form, it is only good for three years. You have to at least have obtained a permit for the work within this time. If you want to build a second residential unit, guest house or family care unit ( granny unit 1000 sq. ft. With a kitchen, certain requirements are necessary for this temporary permit ) you need to go through the Coastal Development permit process.

I do not speak as any expert here and I’m only trying to be helpful, please double check every thing you do with the county. But maybe this can help people to swim through this complicated system and develop beautiful properties in this wonderful area.