Bull Kelp of the South Swell

The seasonal south swell has returned to Doran Beach, piling up shapely waves along with lashings of Bull Kelp. Last year I was intent upon taming the kelp for a wild-crafted, bioregional chair. My dream remains intact but this year I’m more seduced by the waves. enormous tangles of kelp accumulate along the shore after […]

The Week in Bloom

stacks of cedar dry in the warm September air I counted five Kestrel perched along barbed wire as I wound down Marshall-Petaluma Road towards Tomales Bay from Evan Shively’s mill. I had been inspecting the deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) Evan milled for my latest interior design commission, and I was delighted to find the fragrant […]

Apricots and Ponderosa

Looking south over the gorge towards the Seven Devils and the Wallowa Mountains from the tinder dry, high prairie of northeastern Oregon, you’d hardly expect to find apricots and blackberries growing along the banks of the Imnaha as you descend over rocky terrain, past tall stands of Ponderosa pine. Dense pine forests still rim the […]

Giant Eucalyptus

Taking a break under a giant bluegum eucalyptus on Whitaker Bluff The eucalyptus was planted extensively throughout California by Australians during the Gold Rush for use as timber. They mistakenly thought the wood to be well suited for railroad ties, but the trees took differently to the soil and tended to grow in spirals, the […]

Mildred’s Lane Dispatch

David Brooks tests the completed pole lathe at Mildred’s Lane (photo by Walker Tufts) The Mildred’s Lane Fellows have completed the pole lathe using entirely materials from the land, and are ready to test its performance cutting green wood, split and foraged from recently fallen trees of beech, hickory and white oak. As I have […]

The Week in Bloom

the nuts of the beech (Fagus grandifolia) are edible While foraging for materials to build the pole lathe and develop a Mildred’s Lane product, my attention shifted continually from the trees overhead to the ground underfoot. Here is a sampling of some sightings during the course of a morning hike around the property, near the […]

Mildred’s Lane Dispatch

Mildred’s Lane Fellow, Tyler McPhee, stands by the completed pole lathe ‘motor’ Mildred’s Lane Fellows David Brooks and Tyler McPhee have made impressive progress with the Deep Craft: Bioregional Innovation Project I initiated earlier in the week. Using material culled from the land surrounding Mildred’s Lane, they have constructed the ‘motor’ for a human-powered lathe, […]