Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jungle Boogie home-style

L to R: Tara, Ocean & Talia get down to the CD "Music Together."

Ain't no denyin', Winter's Here

The first snows of winter hit us this week; it's quite beautiful to walk around in, and makes for pretty good snowball fighting, although the snow could be a little wetter for that; we tried to make a snowman today and couldn't get the balls to be big enough, for the same reason.

This is how much snow has fallen since the weekend, from the top of that brick upwards....

And more shots of the same day

Above and below: Aria working on a king-sized quilt for her mother; if you click on the above picture you can see the white stitches which keep the front, back and inside sections together, so they won't move around while Aria does the work of sewing each square in place later. This quilt has another year to go before it's finished.

End of day: Roarke Ball wrapping up his transit and other tools after doing earthwork at Full Bloom.
I just liked this picture of the 'dozer sitting comfortably on top of the earth Roarke just moved.
In addition to burning blackberry brambles, the forestry crew cut down a couple of huge snags; you can see one of them down, and Aaron is about to cut down the other one still standing. I tried to get a shot of it falling -- it was pretty awesome to watch -- but somehow the camera didn't record it. We had to remove these snags to prevent future damage to future potential buildings, in the event of the snags falling down on their own.

Same workday, more shots....

Another earthwork shot; the wooden stakes on the right of the photo delineate where our next hedgerow's gonna be, which will be sheet-mulched this winter and planted into next spring.
Shots above and below are of the well and its housing unit, both built by our neighbor Ryan a month or so ago; this is behind the barn. The fluffy insulation is blue jeans, which were also used to insulate the common building.

A shot of Ryan and Judd putting up the first beams of the lean-to next to the barn.

A workday around Full Bloom

The common building with some nifty earthwork from Roarke Ball, a friend and neighbor who does most of these kinds of projects around the valley. He created more space around the common building for a patio, landscaping, etc., as well as creating a space for a stage/lawn area, and a few other modifications.
L to R: Ryan and Judd, friends and very close neighbors, who started work on the lean-to being build onto the barn, for more storage.
The beginnings of the lean-to, which will wrap around two sides of the barn; this one is on the creek side.
Another, further shot of the common building, the earthwork, and one of Roarke's 'dozers.
A crew of foresters, from Black Oak Forestry, was also here; they've spent weeks thinning/burning brush and thinning some of the trees, and on this day they were at work burning blackberry brambles, an exotic that is all over the land, especially around the creeks. This spot is right below the barn, where Quartz Creek is about to cross under the road.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advert for my new Flower CSA biz

Hey y'all,

-- I'm starting a certified organic cut flower CSA in the Little Applegate, and I thought I'd post the email advertisement I just sent out to folks; if you're local and you know of someone who might be interested in buying a subscription for next season, please paste the message below into an email and send it to them. Thanks....

Hey there neighbors,

My name is Danny Jokelson, and I live at Full Bloom Farm, a certified organic farm on Yale Creek Road in the Little Applegate. I grew organic cut flowers and made bouquets for the Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative CSA in 2008, and I am starting my own organic flower CSA delivery business for 2009. This is a chance for you to support local, sustainable growing practices and give a holiday gift to yourself, or to friends and family, of a season's worth of fresh flowers. If you're concerned about growing consumerism and its effects on our planet, this is a wonderful, ephemeral and biodegradable gift. I'm enclosing some photos of the flowers I grew this year to give you some idea of the possibilities; there will also be many new varieties next year.

Here's what I am offering:

  • 15 weeks of flower deliveries during the summer and early fall -- roughly early July through mid-October, depending on the weather. It's likely that the first 13 weeks of flowers will be fresh, and the last couple weeks will feature everlasting flowers for fall & winter arrangements.
  • Each delivery will be an offering of 4-5 different bunches of individual flower types, allowing you to make your own arrangements to place around the home.
  • Deliveries will be once a week and will come straight to your home. I can go as far east as Jacksonville and as far west as Applegate, and all points in between. I can deliver to Williams too, if a critical mass of folks are interested out there.
  • The cost is $15/week, which includes fuel costs for delivery; the total package for the season of 15 weeks comes to $225. There is a $15 discount for paying in full before April 1st.
  • A less expensive U-Pick subscription option is this: For $100, the subscriber receives a metal can at the beginning of the season, which they can bring with them to Full Bloom farm and fill ten times ($10/time) -- all ten in one visit, or ten separate times, or anything in between.
  • The cost can be defrayed over the course of the season. If payment in full at the time of sign-up is not workable for your budget, you can pay half the money when signing up, and give me a postdated check for July 1st, 2009 for the other half.

And that's it! I love growing and offering flowers, and I would love to provide that service for the community. You can reach me via email at fullbloomflowers@gmail.com, or call me at 899-3262. Take care, and have a wonderful holiday season.

In Peace,

Danny Jokelson

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bread and new patio for the Strawbale Cottage

Some sourdough recently come out of the cob oven from our own Uprising Artisan Bakery.
Sourdough and multigrain whole wheat....
Matt working on putting in the patio in front of the cottage. We bought 2,000 pounds of slate, and it wasn't nearly enough...

More drag party photos

L to R: Ben Yohai, Andrew Morrison and Matt Garrity, good friends from our men's group.
Our good friend Cynthia
Voguein' Jo
Andrew and his son Paiute
Our friend and the architect of the common building, Chris Keefe, with Eden.

Full Bloom Drag Party

Jo and Rosie gettin' down. This was Eden's Birthday Party, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Super Sluts KC Welch, a good friend from our men's group, and John Di Fruschia, our friend and general contractor for the common building.
My first time in drag....
Ryan looking startingly sexy....
Jo and Kia.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Moving into the School bus

These pictures were taken after Jo, Rosie and Ocean moved out of the bus that they had refurbished with bamboo floors, insulation and electricity, and before I moved in. I moved in on Thanksgiving day. I'll have more photos of the bus in its new Danny-esque state once I finish organizing and cleaning it. I'm really enjoying the solitude and sweetness of this little pad.

Some new developments in the common building

John Di Fruschia putting the finishing sanding touches on the circular window frame, which is made of cedar and will go above the dining room.

The next three pix show the outer walls enclosing the bread oven, mill room and pantry.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Conversation with John

Hey there. No photos this time, just wanted to reflect on a couple of conversations I had with John Di Fruschia, our friend and the general contractor for the common building, today. He's also part native and has spent years living in nature, and is going to facilitate the construction of a wigwam for me next spring. Today we walked to a couple of potential wigwam sites. The first one borders forest near Quartz Creek, near our farm fields but set back, pretty far away from the road. The second one is above the new pond, in and around a young oak orchard on a hill. I've been scouting out potential places to live, based on a few criteria that John gave me a couple of months ago, and these were two of the places I thought might work.

It turns out the second site is lousy for a wigwam -- it's too exposed to the elements and will be baking hot in the summer, as well as very windy. The first site was really the best, and had a good feel to it. It's protected from weather, gets a good amount of sun but in the summer is protected from the late afternoon sun, which is the harshest/hottest. There were only a couple drawbacks: 1) in the winter, the sun probably wouldn't hit the site until 10:30, so mornings would be cold then; and 2), there are a lot of animal trails around, which means my presence would have an impact on the wildlife there. But that impact would probably happen, to some extent, anywhere I pitched a wigwam. As for the lateness of the morning sun, well, that's a bit of a bummer, but any place is gonna have some cons. And I'm probably not gonna hang out there beyong 7 or 8 am most mornings anyway. I'm gonna go out there in mid-December, on one of the shortest days of the year, and check out what time the sun does come up.

The Quartz Creek spot was great. We both felt good and relaxed, and ended up having a conversation about many things. I could imagine having many real conversations there, and many times to just sit, watch and listen, be. One of the things I took away from our talk was John's sense of nature. He spoke about the Western view of nature, which sees nature as a resource and is about understanding why it works the way it does with the goal of extracting these so-called resources. And then he spoke of the indigenous view, which honors nature. I felt content and at ease, and somehow I knew what he meant.

We were looking straight ahead, quietly for a moment, and he said, "I like that stump over there," indicating a tree stump 25 yards in front of us. "You'll probably see foxes hanging out on there. I bet there's some fox shit there right now." As we were leaving he pointed out some bear hair, caught in a barbed wire fence nearby, and we looked at deer and coyote tracks (coyote tracks differ from fox's in that you can see claw marks -- little holes in the ground above the footpads). I felt overwhelmed at times by the amount I don't know about the natural world that I live in, but also very grateful to have spent time with this honorable, wise and kind man who shared a little of his experience, and to have taken the time to just sit with him and enjoy a peaceful spot together.

That's the main thing I wanted to say. I'm gonna write some more here, and for anyone interested in this stuff please read on, but I gotta write it down now before I forget it.

...other interesting things about wigwam living that I learned....I had asked John earlier about how smoky it would get in there when burning wood for heat. There are many factors that can lead to smokiness, and I would be able to have a lot of control over this factor. For one thing, the type of wood is crucial. Around here, the best wood is madrone, which doesn't have a lot of sap (burning sap makes smoke) and is very compressed wood. His suggestion, which I would like to do, is to go out in the woods this December, when the sap is at its lowest, and cut a bunch of madrone, then let it cure for a year; then next year it will be very dry and ready to burn. I believe madrone also makes better embers that burn longer and continue heating the wigwam after I'm asleep and can't tend the fire. The height of the wigwam is a factor too; the larger it is, the more the smoke will hang around. Also the size of a fire -- in a small, properly insulated wigwam, your fire only needs to be about a foot or a foot and a half in diameter to heat the whole structure, so there isn't much smoke coming out of a fire like that. John quoted a native saying, which was that white people build big fires and have to sit very far away because it's so hot. native people build small fires, which take less fuel and in a wigwam that is low to the ground it doesn't take much to heat it. Finally, he suggested putting a pipe or a tunnel that runs underground from the base of the firepit to the outside, and acts to draw air into the wigwam, adding oxygen to the fire and helping move any smoke from below out of the top of the structure. He told me that it's possible to make a smokeless fire that puts out a lot of heat. I have so much to learn, and I'm excited about that. He mentioned some other fire tidbits, like building a small wall of stones on the other side of the firepit from where I sleep, so that heat would reflect from the stones over to my bed and keep me warmer. Also having an oval-shaped pit, building a fire in one half and then shoving some of the coals to the other side where I could use them to heat water for tea or something. Or heating up a stone or piece of cast iron and cooking on that.

A piece of good news that I learned is that it's not illegal to live a wigwam. I had thought I couldn't get a permit for it, and that this would be a potential problem. But it turns out that one doesn't need permits to build structures that aren't physically attached to the land (i.e. have a foundation). So things like yurts, buses and wigwams are just fine to dwell in.

Omigod, I'm exhausted. Maybe I'll write more later. I took a few more good shots of the common building, and maybe I'll go over and shoot the potential wigwam spot tomorrow, then post the lot, but for now I'm saying goodnight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Up in the Cupola

I was working the last couple of days on scaffolding 20 feet up in the very center and top of the common building, staining the eight window frames with teak oil. Here are a few shots of above and below...
Looking down at the dining room, stairs...
Some of the neat finish work on the beams holding up the roof, which all end right below the roof of the cupola.
The very top of the building...
Up-close look at our new metal roof, with the chicken coop, school bus (where I'll be moving to soon), farm fields and soon-to-be farm fields in the background. The blue tape is to protect the window from the teak oil while painting is going on.