Wed 13 Feb 2008
After about a month of living in Fort Bragg, we truly feel like we have found home. It has been fun exploring the area, meeting new people, and getting involved in the community. We enjoy living near the ocean and visit various beaches as often as we can. It’s amazing that in January and February it is often in the 50s and 60s here! We’ve had our share of rain, but the last week or so has been beautiful, sunny, and clear.
We’ve been using the volksvegan mainly for hauling driftwood from the beach to burn in our woodstove. Once again, the muffler has come disconnected and we need to get it fixed before any road trips. (Note to self: Bruneel Tire SUCKS at mufflers, never ever trust a tire place to do your muffler, as it has broken at least six times now).Here’s my top ten favorite things about living on the Mendocino Coast:
- Glass Beach (see photo): unfortunately the site of an old dump before people knew that dumping trash in the ocean was not cool, glass beach is now a beautiful mix of human influence and nature. The “pebbles” on this beach are mostly sea glass and ceramic pieces worn down by the ocean.
- Organic and vegetarian food abounds! There are several organic and/or vegetarian restaurants in the area, and even a raw vegan culinary institute with a take-out cafe. Farmers markets happen in every little town around here during the spring, summer, and fall.
- No Monsanto. GMOs were banned in Mendocino county, so we won’t be seeing our least favorite corporation around here.
- Living among redwoods. There are redwoods all around the two acres our house is on. Every window I look out has a view of these majestic giants, and I can hug them whenever I want. Unfortunately they block satellite waves though, so we can’t have satellite internet here.
- California is the epicenter of all things green and sustainable. I see solar panels on the roof of stores and homes every day, and there is talk about generating wave energy from the ocean’s waves.
- Sunsets over the Pacific ocean. ‘Nuff said.
- The people here are really friendly and we’ve made quite a few friends so far. Even the cops seem friendlier than normal.
- Rural, small town vibes. I am really surprised that more people don’t live on the Mendocino coast, because it seems like a little slice of heaven to me, but the area is surprisingly rural. That means no traffic or road rage, very few fast food restaurants, and lots of open green spaces.
- For being such a small town, Fort Bragg is pretty happenin’ – there are a lot of music acts that stop here, there seem to be a lot of young people here, and there are many arts and cultural events.
- In less than a month I have managed to find a local non-profit organic farming organization that needs (and actually has a budget for) a graphic/web designer. We are already making connections and getting involved in the community, and people are really accepting and open minded.
One of the more exciting developments (that I alluded to in #10) is our involvement with a really cool local non-profit called Noyo Food Forest. They are a small organization that has set up a learning garden near the local high school that supplies organic produce to the school and to farmer’s market. Seneca is taking an organic farming class from them, and after I heard about them from him, I contacted them to see if they needed any help with graphics or a web site. I got the best response I’ve ever received from a potential client, “you’re a goddess!” They had been looking for someone for a while and were really excited that I got in touch with them. They need help with refining/redesigning their logo and creating a web site, as well as updating their brochures and other materials to create a cohesive branding package. And they understand the value of good design and actually have a budget for it. So I got my first local client!We also went to a workday at Noyo Food Forest’s new community garden, which isn’t far from our house. They are starting a community garden where people can rent plots (we hope to have one since there’s too many redwoods to get much sun where we live) to grow organic produce. We helped clear the land and sheet compost the garden area this weekend. I shoveled sheep poo and it really wasn’t that bad! The people involved are really cool and we all hit it off right away, and we are learning a lot about organic gardening in the process. Hopefully this is just the beginning of our involvement in the community we now call home.
We hope to have some visitors soon (we’ve had a couple already), and would especially love to have people we stayed with on our journey come to visit. We owe y’all one, after all! And it’s simply gorgeous down here, we love it!