Salmon Creek Farm: Eco-Minded Community Among the Redwoods on the Mendocino Coast

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

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Above: Salmon Creek Farm offers an opportunity for artists and community members—or, for now, anyone who stays there—”space to take a step back and the chance to live close to the land and to participate in its cycles,” according to the organization. The land is surrounded by redwood forest and “two acres of organic herb, flower, and vegetable gardens punctuated by compost piles, Hugel mounds, and terraced fruit trees,” according to SCF’s site. “What we don’t harvest or eat we let flower, dry up, set seed, and naturalize…making for gardens that become progressively wild through the season.”