Archive for April 2011 | Monthly archive page

Polcum Springs Sanctuary

Want to know how to cultivate mushrooms?  Interested in exploring the hidden nature of water?  Curious as to how permaculture works and what it does?  Care to try your hand at creating woodblock prints, braintanning a buckskin or fermenting your own foods?  If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then a seminar at Polcum Springs may be in your future.

Situated on 203 acres within Northern Mendocino County (25 minutes northwest of Laytonville), Polcum Springs is a ridge-to-valley watershed boasting four seasonal creeks, thick forests, open grasslands, and a variety of native plant and animal species.  Focusing on permaculture and community living, the Springs includes a village designed by Bob Theis consisting of a common house, central kitchen and bath house, rainwater storage, garden, pole barn and dining terrace.  Resident cabins dot the property, some close to the village and others nestled deeper into the forest.

In all of its endeavors, Polcum Springs strives to harmonize with its natural surroundings, allow for the land and its limitations to dictate its use, minimize the disturbance of the environment, promote pedestrian-scale design, and use resources efficiently.  They maintain that the simple pleasures of life are the best, and members enjoy preparing meals together, hiking, swimming, stargazing and communing with nature.  All building projects are carefully considered so that they can preserve this relationship with the landscape and those living within it.

In addition to visiting for a class or seminar, those wishing for a longer-term stay may apply for a membership or residency.  Members hold interest in the Springs as a company and manage more of the business end of operations.  Residents (who are also welcome to become members) are involved in the everyday operations of gardening, finishing the construction of the village, and act as a part of a holistic, sustainable community. They live at the site after completing an application and interview process.  Polcum Springs ultimately hopes to become a thriving village of 15-25 people of all ages, personalities and backgrounds. Facilities are also available for rent to the general public with approval from the residents.

Amidst a world full of gadgets, fast-paced work schedules and political discord, it is comforting to know that there are still places where it is possible to reestablish a meaningful connection with nature and one another.  From getting your hands dirty tanning hides and farming, to stretching your body and spirit practicing yoga, Polcum Springs is a retreat from the everyday routine and back to the fundamentals.  For more information about their programs, head up to Mendocino, or just visit them online.



Well just about everything is falling apart in the world.  And on top of it, it’s allergy season. Woohoo. While many of you are running to the pharmacist to grab that box of stuff that’s very near in composition to, say,  something you could purchase under a bridge in Atascadero, let’s examine some holistic options first, k? Here are five ways you can un-stuff your stuff without messing up your stuff.

Vitamins A C B12 and E are the key here. Keep your immune system up. Apple cider vinegar, taken once or as a daily tonic, can completely stop the histamine reaction. One popular way to take it is to put 1/8 of a cup in 16 oz of water and drink it throughout the day. Manganese, specifically manganese sulfate, is another great way to knock out the nose blowing. But don’t over do it. Ten to twenty mg’s a day, taken only for one week, should do the trick. Be sure to take it on and empty stomach, and not at the same time as food or other supplements.  It will be the most effective that way. Spices are a wonderful way to clear the head, as hot as you can stand. Turmeric, curry, and garlic are especially good for your immune system. Lastly, zinc supplements, taken in a similar manner to manganese (once a week, on an empty stomach, 50mg’s a day) will get you back on your feet.

In addition to these suggestions, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep, and try to keep your sniffer away from green/floating pieces of nature. If you want some additional help, I recommend paying The Secret Garden a visit. Without doubt, you’ll find some potions and herbs that’ll heal things you never even knew were wrong with you.






Okay, so with the recent Japanese disaster, we’re all a bit sketched out over here on the Central Coast about things such as milk, meat, and of course, our drinking water. But should we have felt safe about our tap water to begin with? Maybe not. While it’s a given that if you live in Morro Bay or Los Osos, you probably shouldn’t drink the tap water, you don’t think twice about it in the rest of the county.

However, the merits of fluoridation of our water has recently come back in to debate. While proponents of fluoridation argue that the benefits outweigh the potential risks, such as a 40% reduction in cavities, it is known that overexposure can cause dental flourosis (a decaying and mottling of tooth enamel) and skeletal flourosis (joint pain and stiffness).

This is perhaps why the U.S Department of Health recently lowered the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water. 60% of Americans get fluoridated water, whether they are aware of it or not.

All things considered, do you think we should allow fluoridation in our drinking water? How much is too much? Do you drink tap water? We want to hear your thoughts.

Data provided by The Daily Green.