Successful Wild Mushroom Event

The ” Walk on the Wild Side” mushroom event at Jug Handle Creek Farm this year had a very large turnout of 64 people plus staff. More than 50 people pre-reserved and there were numerous walk-ins.

The event was very well received and everyone who attended had a fine time sampling mushroom cuisine–scrumptious foods and unique drinks, plus a hike in the woods with naturalist Adrienne Long, assisted by Fern Tahja, to identify numerous species that thrive on the Jug Handle property.

Eric Schramm mounted his beautiful mushroom display at the lodge and gave a presentation to the appreciative group.

All the guests really enjoyed the tasting menu, the interpretive mushroom walk and the mushroom display and presentation by Eric Scramm.

The menu was prepared by Wild Mushroom Cookbook author Alison Gardner, of our nursery staff and her helpers Merry Winslow, Sandy Berrigan and Helene Chalfin.

Alison Gardner donated all of the appetizers and drinks listed below for the event:

Yellow Chanterelle Sour Cream Dip
Porcini Sour Cream Dip
White Chanterelle Tapenade
Butter Bolete Sour Cream Dip
Candy Cap Glazed Nuts
Pickled Chanterelles
Chanterelle Pesto Pasta
Turkey Tail Chai
Candy Cap Chai

Chips and crackers were served along with these delights.

After the mushroom hike a dinner was provided

Dinner Menu

Chanterelle Chowder with Salmon
White Bean,Tomato and Chanterelle Salad
Candy Cap Cornbread
Candy Cap Apple CoffeeCake
Candy Cap Butterscotch Pudding -donated by Alison Gardner
Candy Cap Egg Nog

Navarro Vineyards provide a case of red and white grape juices to cap off the evening.

If you missed it this time–we will be hosting this event again next year!

Walk on the Wild Side is Back -November 13th

Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center hosts its fourth annual “Walk on the Wild Side” event on Sunday, November 13th, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m, as part of Mendocino County’s WIne and Mushroom Festival.

Take a walk in the woods with a mushroom expert to identify wild mushrooms in the field, followed by savory refreshments at the Farmhouse lodge served by Alison Gardner; author of the Wild Mushroom Cookbook. Menu samples frorm the cookbook will be featured. .WInes from Navarro Vineyards will be on hand to complement the refreshments.

Naturalist Adrienne Long, who leads mushroom hikes for coastal visitors,will lead the mushroom foray into the woods.

Eric Schramm of Mendocino Mushrooms will make a presentation after the hike with numerous mushrooms on display. Come join the fun, forage and feast.

Click here to download a pdf flyer

For RSVP and information call 937-3498. Admission fee is $ 22.


Jug Handle Creek Farm hosted the Tibetan monks of GADEN SHARTSE DOKHANG MONASTERY  to stay in the farmhouse while they were visiting Caspar from March 20-24, 2016.

The monks are on a Compassion tour to raise funds to rebuild a dormitory at their monastery in India. You can read more about their tour and offerings at

The monks worked for 3 days on a sand mandala at the Caspar Community Center, with the final sweeping away of the mandala that was returned to the ocean at Jug Handle State Reserve.

Warren and I were ever so grateful for this magical experience and the blessing that the Jug Handle Creek Farm received during their stay.


“Mandala means literally “that which extracts the essence.” There are many different types of mandalas used by Tibetan Buddhists. They can be created in either two or three dimensions. The ones on the monks’ tour will be two-dimensional sand mandalas. These are without doubt the most creative, labor intensive, and concentration intensive of all mandalas created. The ones provided on the tour will require between two and five days of effort, completed by several monks at a time, including several Mandala Masters. Prayers are said throughout the making of the mandala. Traditionally, upon completion, the mandala is swept up and placed in a river, lake, or ocean as an offering to purify the surrounding environment. It is possible to make the mandala permanent. Please let the monks know in advance if you wish to preserve the mandala.

Pricing for the sand mandalas vary. A small version (approx. 1.5 ft by 1.5 ft) is usually done in one to two days, with the largest (approx. 5 ft by 5 ft) taking four to five days. We generally seek funding from corporate sponsors, private donors, grants or venues such as universities, museums, etc., that have budgets for these types of events. However, people can also arrange for one to be made and preserved in their home. Cost is $1500 to $2000 per day.”

Jug Handle’s new grant from the State Coastal Conservancy is Now Official

The State Coastal Conservancy’s October meeting in Fort Bragg had a wonderful outcome for Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center in Caspar. A new $ 600,000 grant agreement  was officially approved by the Conservancy for Jug Handle.

The project will provide new affordable visitor serving accommodations with access to the coast and ocean which is a need in this coastal area.   Through this project, Jug Handle’s campground will be enhanced with showers, sinks and flush toilets–something never before offered in this primitive camping spot.   

A new bunkhouse designed  to serve large school groups or service groups such as Americorps and the California Conservation Corps (up to 30) also been designed into four large rooms that can serve family groups and other smaller groupings.

The facility will provide four -season visitor accommodations. Botanical studies, avoidance of Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, pinpointing of solar gain, soils and topographical work were all completed to ascertain the ideal building placements within the site.

The Conservancy had previously provided Jug Handle with two grants to complete all required studies, planning and visioning meetings, preliminary surveys including: topographical; wetland; botanical; soils; hydro logical; archaeological, Permaculture Site Design Plan; two public design meetings; architectural programming report and schematic designs; cost estimates; mapping and site plans.  Construction design is still being completed as well as construction level septic plan and storm water plan.

Jug Handle’s Coastal Development Permit was approved in June, 2015 and Jug Handle is taking all necessary steps to meet the conditions of approval.

While Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center currently has a nice open, undeveloped camping space with pit toilets and cold running water, the addition of a plumbed restroom and shower facility will serve the new bunkhouse users as well as the general campers, making this campground a much more desirable low-cost visitor serving accommodation.

Jug Handle as a nature education center hosts several local and regional school groups throughout the year  and has hosted several environmental resource groups such as the Coho Confab or Salmon Restoration Federation’s field school.  To date, there has been no indoor teaching space or large meeting room available at Jug Handle to serve these groups.

A new 915 square foot teaching room  attached to the bunk cabins is designed to hold classes and workshops and provides a needed sheltered space for teaching and presentations for large groups.

The goals of this portion of Jug Handle’s Education and Access Site Enhancement Project are:

to provide additional low cost visitor serving facilities with access to the Coast and Ocean; to host many more restoration/education groups such as Americorps, Ca. Conservation Corps, Coho Confab, Salmon Restoration Federation and others; to provide more family friendly overnight spaces; to increase the attractiveness and functionality of the current primitive campground and to Increase comfort level of overnight visitors to the Nature Center and Lodge.

The project will additionally provide an indoor, sheltered teaching and/or meeting space and thus will allow Jug Handle to increase restoration/Education Training and other environmental workshops on site.

Jug Handle for several years has worked with Americorps volunteer teams on landscape restoration tasks at Jug Handle and several State Parks. The new bunk cabin structure will allow Jug Handle to increase coastal restoration activities with Americorps, Ca. Conservation Corps and other groups and thus  to help several community groups who also need low cost housing for shared Americorps teams.

Local State Parks has two bunk cabins which often house Americorps groups; California Conservation Corps and Park interns, but these cabins are full almost all year  The new bunk house at Jug Handle Creek Farm will fill a community need by providing an additional low cost lodging for these conservation/education/restoration groups that serve community agencies and non-profit organizations.

Letters of support for Jug Handle’s project were received from:

State Parks, Mendocino Sector Superintendent, Loren Rex; Senator Mike McGuire; Assemblymember Jim Wood; Mendocino County 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde;

Fort Bragg Mayor Dave Turner and City Council ;Fort Bragg Unified School District Superintendent Charles Bush and President of the Dorothy King Young Chapter of the Ca. Native Plant Society,Nancy Morin

For Information: Contact Helene  Chalfin, Director Grants/Ediucation & Site Enhancement Project.

Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center
(707) 937-3498

New Innkeepers

Warren and Michelle Bishop

Warren and Michelle BishopAfter two years of circling the globe and managing retreat centers, Warren and Michelle are excited to ground down as innkeepers at Jug Handle Creek Farm.

Warren grew up in London, England. His career has taken him to many beautiful spots across the world. He lived in Bermuda and Latvia as a currency trader. Then, found his way to Egypt and worked as a scuba diving instructor in the Red Sea. He then immigrated to Australia where he continued as a diving instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, which then led him to leave the sea and head to the sky. There he started “flying” as a skydiver. After years of traveling to Southeast Asia, he began to study meditation, yoga and massage. For the past 10 years, Warren has worked as an international yoga teacher and massage therapist in Australia, Portugal, Costa Rica, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Warren and Michelle BishopMichelle is a Southern Belle from Alabama, with a wild spirit. She was “called home” after her first trip to the Redwood Forest in 1995. She finished her last year of college at Humboldt State University in 1997, and visited the Mendocino Coast. Her first night of camping nearby at Russian Gulch State Park, she confessed “one day I will live here.” And, 18 years later the Universe answered with a “YES” and offer to support Jug Handle Creek Farm. Michelle moved to Portland, Oregon in 2000 and was excited to jump into the food and wine scene. She spent her first winter abroad working in the vineyards of New Zealand, and continued to study wine at the International Sommelier Guild. In 2007, a car accident invited changes in her life and yoga and meditation became a daily practice. Michelle went to Thailand to deepen her studies in yoga and there she met Warren in a 3 month intensive course. It was in 2008, that Michelle immigrated to Australia and the 2 married on Halloween. Michelle took up a wine sales role in Queensland for 4 years, and managed a small yoga studio. Once she became an Australian citizen, the two embarked on a worldwide adventure of teaching yoga and managing retreat centers.