Salmon Creek Farm (@salmon_creek_farm) has made several quiet appearances on my Instagram feed lately. About the seventh time, when a friend DMed one of its rustic cabin kitchens, I clicked through to their site and didn’t resurface for several hours. (I’m far from the only one: Maggie Gyllenhaal is just one of its many celeb followers.)
Surrounded by towering redwoods, orchards, and organic vegetable and flower gardens, this place on the Mendocino Coast is home to Salmon Creek Farm Arts, a preservationist “land-based” nonprofit that offers space for artists to slow down and create. The lodgings: “seven self-sufficient, modest, homespun guest cabins reached by foot trails across 33 acres of south-facing coastal redwoods.”
The organization’s roots go back decades, to a commune called Salmon Creek Farm (SCF) started in 1971 by “a group of young people rejecting mainstream culture and looking for something else,” the site reports. (You can have a look through the archives, and photos from those early years, on the homepage.) The commune stopped being active in the 1980s, though, the New York Times reports, some original members still lived there as recently as a few years back, when the LA-based artist Fritz Haeg bought the place. Now reinvigorated, the nonprofit’s first season of artist stays will be in 2024 (apply for a spot here); meanwhile, the cabins are available as rentals to “help subsidize urgent repair, construction, and infrastructure projects ($100k for new roofs on all cabins! $40k for new water treatment system & storage tanks! $50k for Rainbow cabin renovation!).”
In addition to the rustic, handmade, and quintessentially Californian cabins, there’s also this to admire: Salmon Creek Farm is entirely vegetarian, works to cultivate the redwood ecosystem around it that was once chopped down, and endeavors to operate as a zero-waste, package-free, compost-driven community.
Join us for a look at some of the spaces—and just try not to be entranced.
Photography via Salmon Creek Farm.
The Commons and Land
And, they add, “We collect and treat our own spring water, which is gravity-fed to all of the cabins from the top of the ridge. We strive for zero waste, shop for minimal/no packaging, compost zealously, and for many reasons SCF is strictly vegetarian (fyi many carnivorous visitors have found it to be a helpful place to experiment with a fully plant-based diet for the first time).”
For much more on the project and information on stays, head to Salmon Creek Farm. You can also read about the place in the 2016 New York Times article “Communal Living, the 21st-Century Way.”
And for more in California, have a look at:
- Druid’s Hall: A Nature-Worshipping Guesthouse in Northern California
- Yosemite Waterfall House: A Vacation Home Becomes a Full-Time Residence for a Nature-Loving Couple
- Shopper’s Diary: The Great Commune Shop Experiment in LA
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