website copyright © 2011-2016 by Caspar Institute
Feedback and comments welcome! Email us!
||updated 6 June 2016 : 16:18 Caspar Time
site software and photographs by the Caspar Institute
except as noted
this site generated with 100% recycled electrons!
send website feedback to the CI webster
cn2db called by thisloc
pgsql: SELECT `locus`,`date`,`headline`,`img`,`copy` FROM `trav` WHERE `ptype`="M" AND `locus`="Caspar, California" ORDER BY `date`
1st per in:|, I notice vividness and detail, beauty and unexpected strangeness right here in this village where I have lived for more than four decades.
Between our beloved village of Caspar and San Francisco. Between us and “civilization” there is a mountain range, traversed by a twisty road that switchbacks across steep slopes and winds through vineyards and redwood groves, and finally along the Navarro River to its mouth at the Pacific. We think of ourselves as islanders, because we are so far from the city lights, and in winter, when the rivers rise, the powerlines fall, and the mountain slips over the road, we are on an island.
If you will park your mouse over the picture at right, you will see a close-up aerial photo – thank you, Google – of Caspar today. We are behind the word “Us.” (More about us below.) We are between two beautiful beaches, both State Parks.
When Caspar was founded nearly 150 years ago, there was no real road from here to the outside world. For almost a hundred years, the woods behind Caspar were "mined for red gold" -- after the 1906 Earthquake that flattened San Francisco, much of the redwood lumber used to rebuild The City came by coastal schooner from Caspar's mill. For more about Caspar's history, here is a short summary.|
slcopy, perpos, ocopy: 1465, 299,
1st per in:|, but I promise it will be ready by the time we head out for Italy.
Living right next to the world's largest body of water, we see a lot of moisture right through the year. Nevertheless, ours is a monsoon climate: six months of wet followed by six months without rain. An average rainfall of a meter (40 inches on average) a year all falls between November and June.
Bounty from the Garden
Spring is "Jungle Season" -- the grass grows six inches overnight -- well, it seems to! -- and it's so wet for days that we can't mow. It seldom freezes here, because of the looming presence of the great thermal mass of the Pacific, and so a wide variety of plants thrives here -- a nightmare for invasive exotics, but good news in the garden.
We are working toward something like 50% food self-sufficiency, but in the winter our weather doesn't help much with that: not enough sun, and cool soil temperatures. When we get back from Italy, we're planning to build a greenhouse.
A goodly part of our reason for traveling to Italy is to appreciate a place whose food and culture are so "close to the ground" and based on the land itself.|
slcopy, perpos, ocopy: 1329, 226,
1st per in:|e all worked so hard to preserve ... but for community life, the crown jewel is the Community Center right across the street.
In 1988, a number of neighbors started meeting informally to talk about the fact that large parts of our town, once belonging to the successor to the Caspar Lumber Company -- a total of 1,100 acres -- went on sale. This included the headlands, Caspar Creek's riparian corridor, parts of Caspar beach, the old schoolhouse, the duck pond. We agreed that we better start generating some community in case we needed it in the future.
Being a part of this project has been one of the most exciting and productive parts of the last 23 years of my life.|
slcopy, perpos, ocopy: 834, 193,
1st per in:|ith the finite nature of life on an island -- in this case, the planet earth and its enormous but nevertheless limited resources. For more than a decade, I was a principal at Real Goods, a popularizer and purveyor of, among other things, renewable energy equipment (and solar schlock like solar mosquito guards and garden statue Saint Francises made out of cow dung.)
We like technology. The truth is, we admire old technology, and adore new technology. As we built and rebuilt, we were always looking for the most efficient and robust solutions for the various challenges of making a home ...and we think we have succeeded very well.|
slcopy, perpos, ocopy: 801, 288,
i_hdr was here
len jscrpt: 0
i_hdr: prevlink, nextlink: ,
prvlink, nxtlink, prvlocus, nxtlocus: , , ,