Humboldt State University

CCAT Tails

  To view this article in PDF, visit this link: November 19th


Act Collectively, Transition Together

HSU Goes to UC Davis Convergence

A group of CCAT employees and other HSU students traveled to UC Davis this past weekend for the three day California Student Sustainability Coalition Convergence. The weekend was a whir of workshops, discussions, panels, and eye-opening empowerment with almost 600 California students involved in sustainability and social justice. The CCAT crew, along with other students from Humboldt State, camped in a field right next to campus, and three of our own CCATers, (Ian Alexander, Julia Clark, and Annette Penny,) taught a workshop during one of the workshop blocks. The theme of the convergence was Act Collectively, Transition Together, Systems for Social Justice, and the group came back inspired and more informed on social issues and sustainability.


Kristin Cooper, Record Keeper

What got you interested in CCAT?

My first semester here I stumbled across CCAT after a class in the BSS. It was Friday and people were building terraced garden beds, gardening and hanging out. Loud music carried through the air waves. It was exactly where I wanted to be. I went to a few volunteer Fridays and started finding out about the community, the history, and the goals of CCAT. The CCAT community has strong roots in mindful living and the community and the other various resources (library, workshops, classes) have provided insight to help me to try to live lightly, creatively, and happily on this Earth with intention and love.    


(Another) Gardening Update

The CCAT gardens are always a work in progress, but here’s what’s been happening lately:

The garden class and volunteers have planted a few things like garlic in the lower terrace in front of CCAT that will be ready in the spring. We have new winter greens in the “You Pick” bed and also over by the Cob oven. We have been continuing our harvest of leeks and onions for Volunteer Fridays and are going to be letting a lot of beds sit and build up organics for spring planting in the coming weeks. A new hugel bed is in the works in the food forest and was reinforced with a log retaining wall. The current hugel bed is going off and we have cilantro, wintergreens, and native pollinator plants growing everywhere. 


CCAT History: The Bare Bones

When we last left our courageous CCAT crew, (Buzz Webb, Peter Lehman, Kirk, Kelly, and Sandy,) they had just stepped inside their organization’s new home.  Although the Buck House looked intimidating, the CCAT team tackled it head on. With their hard work, and the hard work of volunteers, the Buck house was all but torn down, so that the CCAT house could be born…

“One month later, the house was like a cadaver in a medical school, drywall and redwood siding cut away down to the bones of two by fours, leaving arteries of electrical wire dangling in mid air.  One could stand in the living room and look through the framing to the backwall of the house forty feet away.  The bubbling skin of paint had been stripped off the exterior, and the knee high grass shaved to the ground, and the hummocks of wild blackberries tamed with Kelly’s chainsaw.”


Happy Thanksgiving, CCAT

Sustainable Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, CCATers! We here at CCAT are thankful for so many things, but we want to remind everyone to be sustainable, even during the holidays. Here’s a list of five things you can do to make your Thanksgiving more sustainable.

1. Shop locally. For everything. No matter what.

2. Try hosting a group Thanksgiving, but make sure you use reusable or compostable dishes.

3. Save (almost) all your leftovers.

4.  Compost all the leftover you aren’t saving.

5. Volunteer! Thanksgiving is one of the most popular volunteer days of the year, but there are always more people to help.


Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Ice Cream


1 can full-fat organic coconut milk

¼ to ⅓ cup pumpkin puree (depending on how pumpkin-y you want it)

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice



-Blend all ingredients until smooth.

-Pour mixture into a container and freeze for 3 hours.

-Remove frozen mixture from container, into large chunks and place in a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy.

-Smooth the “ice cream” into a loaf pan and place in the freezer for 1 hour to set.

-Scoop and enjoy!


Special Messages from the Tailors

We, the CCAT Tails Tailors, decided to take this opportunity to give thanks for the some wonderful things that have been occurring this semester at CCAT. We are thankful for the CCAT house, where we always have a couch to cuddle up and work on. We are thankful for the co-directors, Annette, Ian, and Julia, for having such confidence in us and trusting our ideas (or at least giving us the chance to let them grow.) We are thankful for Stephanie, our webmaster, who posts the CCAT Tails every week and makes it look beautiful on the web page.  We are thankful for Jillian who made our wonderful CCAT Tails images that appear on the weekly email and on our CCAT Tails PDF.  We are thankful for the many folks who help us write articles and get pictures for the Tails, we would never be able to make the Tails without their help. We are thankful to those of you who read the CCAT Tails and make our hard work worthwhile.  And lastly, we are thankful for the employees of CCAT who are working hard along with us to put out the Fall AT Transfer, which will be published in the coming month.  Thank you all for your hard work and undying support.

Much love,

Hannah and Brynn, CCAT Newsletter Co-editors


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What’s Going On At CCAT (Nov 17-Nov 23)


It’s the last week before a much anticipated fall break! After all the mayhem of the semester, it will be nice to take a week to spend time with family and friends, enjoy some good food, and maybe get in a bit of early Christmas shopping. But before that break is here, CCAT is still giving a great workshop this week that can be put into practice over break.


On Wednesday, CCAT hosts the Conscious Consumer workshop. With the holiday season quickly approaching, typical Americans tend to prepare food and buy gifts to celebrate the season. Christian Lesko and Michelle “Moss” Wurtilzer will be leading a workshop exploring being conscious of what we consume this holiday season and demonstrating the impacts of what we consume on our bodies and the environment. The workshop begins at 5pm. See you there!

This is a season of thankfulness: appreciating what we have been given, what we have worked hard for and struggled to achieve, and what we can do to spread that giving attitude. Making mindful choices about what we purchase and consume is one way of doing this and living sustainable life. We at CCAT hope you have a restful fall break and a happy Thanksgiving holiday.

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Spring 2015 Classes

For a printable flyer version of the classes offered, visit this link: CCATClassesSpring2015FINAL

To visit the CCAT Classes page and Register for classes, click the image below or visit



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CCAT Tails

  To view this article in PDF, visit this link: TAILS Nov 12


The Work of the Working Groups

At CCAT our working groups are doing things every day to make CCAT run smoothly, and here’s an update from all the groups according to our CCAT Employee meeting.

The AT (appropriate technology) group is now the A-Team. They are on route to reaching a point of completion with the greywater marsh, with plans to have it running by the end of the semester. They are trying to figure out The Meow now, and it appears that the batteries may have exploded.

The AT Transfer group, the A+Team, is working hard to get articles written and edited before our due date. The Transfer will be published the week before finals week, and the staff is looking for pictures! If you have them, send them to and maybe they’ll get used in the publication.

Annika from the Volunteer Friday group says “stuff is getting done.” They recently added some rustoleum to the yurt roof, and are planning a solar electronics charging station.

The Events group continues to hold and plan events. There are multiple calendars downstairs CCAT that the Eventlings work hard to keep up with. Tonight at 6p.m. we have a Shatz Solar Energy Workshop, Thursday from 3p.m.-5p.m. Kelly Compost is inoculating logs, and next Wednesday we’re having a Conscious Consumer workshop.

Our website group–her name is Stephanie–has been fighting to get our website verified and is making great strides in developing a beautiful CCAT website!

What drew you to CCAT?

I was drawn to CCAT because I wanted to find a job where I could work with my hands and tinker around. When I ended up getting the maintenance position, I was happy because it would give me the technical experience I wanted. I also realized in the past couple of years through my major, (environmental science,) that I was really interested in appropriate technology. Appropriate tech is such a simple way to reduce the environmental impacts of a household and even save yourself money. That’s why I think CCAT is so important: it helps to perfect these technologies for the education of others.



CCAT History: Housing Horrors II

When we last left our courageous CCAT’s, Don Lawson, Buzz Webb, Peter Lehman, Kirk, Kelly, and Sandy,  they had just had their first look at their organizations new home.  It didn’t look good.  However, their problems only grew when they went inside…

“Kirk, playing the suave master of ceremony, gave a tug at the knob, but the door didn’t move.  He pulled again without profit.  Kirk then braced his feet and yanked the door open.  In front of them was a mound of trash, bike parts, magazines, living room furniture, rusted file cabinets, dirty clothes, and forgotten class projects…Kirk’s heart sank.

Sandy whispered to Kelly, ‘It’s like in Star Wars when Luke, Hans, and Princess Leia jump into the disposal chute and the monster pulls Luke under the trash.  I’m afraid to go in.’”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history, which can be found in the library at CCAT. Stop by to read more about how CCAT came to be, or stay tuned for more tidbits!



The California Student Sustainability Coalition’s annual Fall Convergence will be held this weekend at UC Davis. There are a ton of CCAT employees traveling to Davis for the convergence. The theme for this gathering is Act Collectively, Transition Together: Systems for Justice. It’s going to be a weekend full of inspiring guest speakers, student and community led workshops, local, ethical and delicious cuisine as well as breakout sessions examining the three main aspects of sustainability; ecology, economy, and equity. Humboldt State has hosted the convergence in the past, but this year the group will be staying in home stays and in the UC Davis dorms.



Natural Deodorant

Although many of us at CCAT have stopped wearing deodorant altogether, we also recognize that people smell. Here’s a recipe for natural deodorant, so you can stop your stench–if you so prefer–but keep it natural.

-6 T coconut oil
-1/4 cup (4 T) baking soda
-1/4 cup (4 T) arrowroot or cornstarch
-essential oils (optional)

-Mix baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
-Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
-Add oils if desired.
-Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.

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CCAT Tails

 To view this article in PDF, visit this link: CCAT TAILS Nov 5

Pumpkin Priorities


The holidays are a wonderful time filled with family, celebrations, and waste. Since halloween is over and this is the time we throw away our pumpkins into the compost bin, here’s some ideas to sustainably reuse your pumpkins after halloween.

1. Roast the seeds. Eat them. All of them.

2. Make a pumpkin flower planter. It’ll last a few weeks, and then you can transfer your plants and put the pumpkin right into the compost.

3. Make it into a bird feeder. Cut the face holes of your jack-o-lantern bigger and then put some bird seed inside.

4. Puree it, add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of milk,  and then rub it on your face. (It’s a really good facial cleanser!)

5. Smash it and use it for natural orange paint.

6. If you didn’t carve it, use it as a serving bowl for warm soup (just make sure you scrape/cut the insides out!)


Courtney Melody: Project Leader

What drew you to CCAT?

What drew me to CCAT was the fact that people were willing to get their hands dirty to accomplish something they believe in. The people here aren’t afraid to take the more physically tasking route to achieve their goals because that fits with what they believe and not just what’s convenient. CCAT has always been a place to question the “standard practices” of the world and really take a hard look at what we’re doing with ourselves and our surroundings. I was tired of being told there was only one or two good ways to get something done right. I knew that CCAT could open my eyes to possibilities that had been shunned my whole life and it would let me figure out for myself what I thought was the best way to get things done.


CCAT History: House Horrors

If you’ve ever been to the CCAT house you will know how beautiful and welcoming it is. However, it did not always look that way…

“…the first sight of the house was disquieting.  The south side of the Buck House [CCAT house] had nearly caught fire when the fire department burned down the neighboring Caranko house months earlier.

Long strips of military green paint peeled from the Buck House siding like something diseased.  All the windows had at least one pane of glass cracked from the heat.  The foundation of the Caranko House lay fifteen feet away, littered with glass and burnt black soil, and charred foundation posts thrust from the ground like a shattered rib cage.  It looked like the Caranko House had been bombed, not burned.  The three co-directors were painfully aware that the same treatment was planned for the Buck House.

Kelly broke the silence, ‘See Buzz, how could we resist? The Buck House is perfect for us.’”


November Guide to Gardening

Things will be getting much colder in the near future, and some plants need help coping.  Using row covers and cold frames can help extend the season by creating a small scale greenhouse effect around your plants.


Plants to sow directly: spinach, lettuce, peas, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnips, radish, chives, parsley, and garlic.

Plants to transplant: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and lettuce.


To sow directly: winter and spring bulbs, spring wildflowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflour, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, foxglove, larkspur, nigella, poppy, snap dragon, and sweet peas.

To transplant: calendula, coreopsis, dianthus, fox glove, larkspur, nigella, poppy, snap dragon, verbena and perennials such as chrysanthemum, carnation, columbine, delphinium, fox glove, hollyhock, lavender, penstemon, pincushion flower, poppy, rudbeckia, salvia, statice, and yarrow


Peanut Butter and Jam Sessions

To those who have never joined a jam session, the whole situation can be nerve wracking.  The other musicians are so intimidating. They must all be so much better than you!  You didn’t know there were rules, but no matter what you do, you feel like you’re breaking one.  Are they glaring at you? They’re totally glaring at you. What are you doing wrong!?

Don’t worry! Ian Kelmartin, one of our co-directors at CCAT, is leading a workshop on teaching you how to participate in and lead jam sessions this Thursday the 6th at 6:00pm-7:00pm in the CCAT yurt.  Ian says that in the past he has been intimidated by joining jam sessions, but he’s holding this workshop so you don’t have to be! The workshop will be about an hour long, and afterwards there will be a jam session in the yurt so you can practice your skills.  Come by with your instrument of choice to make some noise!


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CCAT Tails

 To view this article in PDF, visit this link: Tails 29

Marsh Happenings


CCAT employees worked with HSU plant ops to restore water flow to the greywater marsh on Monday afternoon. CCAT Project Manager Julian Quick is leading the effort to restore the marsh, which has been out of commission for several years. In the coming weeks, employees and volunteers will be filling the now empty marsh pit with gravel, and planting it to prepare to treat greywater generated in the CCAT house. The project is on track to be completed by the end of the semester. Stop by during CCAT’s regular volunteer work hours (Fridays 10am-4pm) if you are interested in learning more and helping to restore the system.


CCAT History: What’s in a Name?

Previously, we explained a few thoughts behind the name “CCAT”, but the discussion about the syntax of CCAT did not stop there. CCAT employees continued discussing what the words they use mean and how our language within CCAT affects us.

“Peter Lehman spoke up, ‘I feel uncomfortable with a discussion of appropriate technology, when we have not clearly defined the term for everyone.  Appropriate technology’ said Lehman, ‘is not merely the alternative to conventional technology, it is essentially the use of energy which is geared to the end use with minimal impact. It’s using local materials which are readily available and require little energy to get.  Its using renewable energy when possible—that is using a source that will not one day run out, a source that is essentially infinite.’”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history which can be found in CCAT’s library.  If you’d like to learn more, please stop by and check us out!


Survival Shelters (by Annette the Co-Director!)

Materials needed:

(1) Long sturdy stick (a “Ridgepole”) that can hold your body weight if suspending you between two rocks and that is as tall as you are with your arms stretched straight up.

(2) Y-sticks, a few feet long, as sturdy as the ridgepole.

(3)  Lots of woody debris/forest duff


Step 1: Build basic structure using (1) Ridgepole and (2) Y-Sticks. Place the single end of each of the Y- sticks a little more than shoulder width apart on the ground, bringing the two Y’s together. Place one end of the ridgepole beyond where your feet would lay and the other end in the nook created by the two Y-sticks.


Step 2: Build a skeletal structure using sticks that go no more than a few inches higher than the ridgepole. Line the sides thoroughly, filling almost all of the space and leaving only small gaps less than an inch or so apart.


Step 3: Gently weave small branches with some leaves/needles on them into the skeleton, forming a good support for the large amount of debris you will be piling on top. Only break small limbs off of trees around you if you are unable to find already dead limbs on the ground around you.


Step 4: Pile as much duff (ground litter) onto this structure as possible. If you are in freezing temperatures, you will want at LEAST 3 1⁄2 feet of duff on top of this structure to keep you warm.


Step 5: Line the ground and inside of the shelter with grass/soft leaves that will help keep your body heat in. You do NOT want a lot of open space in the structure as it will not keep you as warm or as well insulated.


Step 6: Keep a very large pile of debris outside of the shelter. After you’ve shimmied into it, pull this debris in after you, enclosing yourself completely in the shelter. (You can support the debris better by building a smaller backwards version of the Ridgepole/Y-stick structure and pulling the debris on top of that).

Step 7: Go to sleep. Wait till morning. Go find help!

**Maintenance if stuck for a few days: Creepy Crawlies will begin to enter your shelter after a day or so. In order to shoo them away, you may put some debris on a rock or pad of moss and burn it in the shelter. Smoke the shelter for a few minutes with SMOLDERING debris. DO NOT USE A FLAME, YOU WILL BURN YOUR SHELTER DOWN. Use care, burn it on something you can easily hold for a couple minutes, and make sure it smolders only, like a smudge stick. The smoke will cause the creatures to flee (but give them a few minutes to get on their way)!


Scary Stories With Steph

Seven years ago, on a chilly night much like tonight, the CCAT employees decided–with the consent of the co-directors of course–to spend a night in the newly constructed yurt. They set up and got cozy, but the night was not as cozy as they had planned. The students, having built the thing, knew how sturdy the shaking yurt was and stayed convinced of their safety. An eerie, scratching sound filled the yurt. Wide awake now, the students sat back to back as they heard the sound travel in circles around the yurt. It did a few slow loops around the outside of the yurt before finally stopping to rest at the door where the scratching continued: “scritch scratch.” The scratching continued, but faster now “scratch, scritch, scratch.” Finally, the students opened the door slightly and peeked their heads outside. The students laughed, jubilant in their lack of discovery. Their laughter stopped abruptly when a small dark shape darted through the small gap in the door. Too scared to turn around, the students stood frozen in the door frame. The silence of the restored stillness of the night choked the students and prevented them from screaming, this was the end, they would die to the scritch scratching thing of the night, they would die to a thing without even knowing what it was. With a gulp, the students slowly turned their heads to look down at the thing winding its way round their ankles. Black matted fur and big yellow eyes stared back at them. The creature opened its mouth, baring its fang-like teeth, and let out a cry that still echoes the CCAT grounds today….. “MEEEOOW!”

If you want to hear scary stories much better than this one, please come by CCAT’s yurt on Thursday, October 30th for Scary Stories with Stephanie, and have a happy Halloween!


Curry with Christian!

One of our own at CCAT is teaching a workshop tonight, the night of the 29th, and has decided to share the secrets of his curry genius with the rest of us:

Tonight will be a fun duality of learning how to make both sweet and spicy pumpkin curry. Since it is the season for abundant squash we will be utilizing both pumpkin and butternut squash in our currys.In this sweet curry we will puree both types of squash after boiling them for about a half an hour, this way the base of the curry will be mainly pumpkin and butternut squash.

In the spicy curry our technique will be to simply add chunks of pumpkin and butternut squash to the vegetable stirfry, so that the squash flavor is not as homogenized with the dish as the sweet one is. This way you can enjoy spicy curry with chunks of refreshing squash flavor.


Ingredients and directions-

Sweet Curry:


Butternut Squash

Coconut oil

Coconut milk

Organic Curry Powder








Spicy Curry:


Butternut Squash

Chili Powder


Organic Curry Powder






Coconut Oil

Coconut Milk



Green Chiles

Chopped Kale

Cayenne Pepper


Both curries: -Start with the coconut oil on the pan.

-Add chopped onions and potatoes.

Spicy: -Chop and add the squash.

Sweet: -Puree squash while the onions and potatoes are cooking

Spicy: -Add the ginger, garlic, green chiles, zucchini and chili powder.

-Three minutes later add ½ cup coconut milk.

Sweet: -When the onions and potatoes are pretty well cooked add the pureed squash and a half cup of coconut milk.

-Let that simmer for about five minutes.

-After five minutes add all the spices, currants, and apples–let that simmer until it’s all homogenized.

Spicy: -Add the rest of the veggies after letting the onions and potatoes simmer in the coconut milk.

Both currys: -Add will be chopped kale, cilantro, walnuts and lime. (These go in at the VERY END, and only receive about 30 seconds being over the flame.)

-After 30 sec, turn the stove off, cover the pan, and let it sit for a bit.

-And there’s the sweet and spicy pumpkin curry! :D


Green Halloween (and Some History)

Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, or All Saints Eve, is celebrated in over 31 countries across the world, and is traditionally to celebrate those who have passed on. Now, celebrations include dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, and so forth. The word “halloween” is from a Christian derivative, and comes from “Hallow’s eve.”

This year, we encourage celebrating Halloween sustainably, with re-used or home-made costumes, and decorating with leaves and other naturally-made decorations. Throw a haunted house and keep the lights off, and remember to compost your pumpkins!


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What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 27-Nov 2)


It’s Halloween week, and no need to start howling at the moon or communicating with ghosts using Ouija boards. CCAT has plenty of good ways to get you in the Halloween spirit! Check out what great events we have this week:


On Wednesday, CCAT shows you what pumpkin spice really means with our Pumpkin Curry Workshop. CCATer Christian will be showing participants the ins and outs of making curry, with a special guest appearance by fall’s favorite crop. The workshop starts at 6pm. Come and learn how to make something new and delicious.


This Thursday CCAT gets a little spooky with Scary Stories in the Yurt. Spend the evening finding out what really goes bump in the night as some of our CCATers tell some classic creepy stories and maybe a few chilling true ones.  Let’s see who will be able to sleep after that night without thinking of vengeful spirits, creepy living dolls, and of course the famous hook man. Bring your own favorite scary story and join us for a hauntingly good time at 7pm. Be there and be scared.

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CCAT Tails

To view this article in PDF, visit this link: CCAT Tails, Oct 22

The Fantastic Festival

CCAT’s third annual Harvest Festival was this past Saturday, October 18th, and it went off without a hitch. The day was filled with music, learning, and new experiences for all. The Communi-tea yurt was filled with beautiful fresh herbs, the classroom space was buzzing with skill sharing, and outside people were playing games, talking, and checking out everything CCAT has to offer. Some volunteers and employees got there in the early morning for pumpkin pancakes and set up, and some stayed until late at night for cleanup and more local music. This fantastic day would not have been the same without our lovely volunteers, donors, employees, and attendees.


CCAT History: Workshops of the Past

A big part of what CCAT does is put on free workshops for the community to help them learn ways to have more appropriate technology in their own homes.  The excitement that people feel teaching or learning new things is something that draws people to CCAT and has always been a part of it’s community.  This is a quote from Carin Thomas, who was a member of CCAT, talking about the joy she felt in putting on a thermal curtain workshop:

Other students and I researched new materials that had high insulating properties and held a workshop to educate the public on using these materials to construct thermal curtains.   We made one demo curtain and showed people the materials.  The people went away and made their own curtains.  It was very satisfying.  One woman who attended the workshop—I believe she was an HSU professor—was very excited about the idea and within a few weeks had made curtains for her home.  She invited me over to show me the curtains she had made and how she had put them in her home.  It was exciting for me to see that people were using the information taught at CCAT workshops to their advantage”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history, which can be found on the shelves of CCAT’s library.  If you would like to learn more about CCAT’s history, thermal curtains, or future workshops, please stop by CCAT and check out firsthand what we are up to!

Monique Gil: Volunteer Friday Coordinator

What drew you to CCAT?

CCAT was one of the first things I read about Humboldt State. I was drawn in before I had even visited Arcata. Volunteer Friday was the first extra curricular activity I participated in as a student! The people who make up the CCAT community are extremely hard working, innovative, and aware of the world around them. I constantly find myself impressed with the ideas that come out of collaboration and even more impressed with the tangible products created. Being a CCAT employee adds a lot to your plate, but the ‘work’ is enjoyable because everyone involved is positive, excited and ready to take on the tasks at hand!’s all appropriate!



Annika’s Peanut Butter Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter (is best with the natural stuff you have to stir a lot)

1 and 1/2 cups white sugar (or brown if you prefer)

2 eggs (free range, organic, vegetarian fed, if you want to be appropriate)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you have a greased cookie sheet prepared (canola oil is good to avoid butter). Stir sugar and peanut butter together, then mix in the eggs, and combine it all together until you’ve got delicious peanut mush. Roll into balls and place on the cookie sheet a couple inches apart. From there, use a fork to press a pretty design into the top of each cookie. You can alternatively press a peanut butter cup into the top or some chocolate chips. Bake 10 minutes.

A Special Thanks

We, the co-editors of CCAT Tails, would like to extend our personal thanks to everyone who donated, taught workshops, volunteered, entertained at, or attended our Festival. It would not have been the same without all of you wonderful people who were involved with this event. Thank all of you for helping, donating time, food, and materials, and being apart of the amazing, positive, sustainable place that is CCAT.

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CCAT Tails

To view this article in a PDF, visit this link: CCAT Tails, Oct 15.

Smith River Alliance and Rock Creek Ranch: A History

The Smith River Alliance is a non-profit organization that came together in the 1980’s with the intent of conserving and protecting the Smith River and allowing the sustainable use of the area for recreation and study.  The Smith River Alliance currently own Rock Creek Ranch, where CCAT was delighted to be able to have their employee retreat.  However, the ranch changed hands a few times through its history.

Rock Creek Ranch was originally owned by George Owen Knapp in the 1930’s.  He build roads to the property along with a house that is still there today, and a lodge that is not.  The lodge was washed away by the river in 1955 and left only a crumbling stone wall and the leftovers of what looked to be a fireplace.  The site has a scenic view of the river, and weddings are now held there.  The ranch was then owned by Ralph and Dorothy Hollingsworth who lived on the property until they were too old to live there comfortably.  Instead of selling it to a developer who would have littered the place with houses and roads, the couple decided to sell it to the Smith River Alliance, whom they knew would take care of it.  Although it took them two years to raise the money, the property was sold to the Smith River Alliance in 2002.  The Smith River Alliance now has made the ranch into a place of community for groups to come and experience the beauty of the Smith River and the space around it.



This past weekend CCAT went on its employee retreat at the Rock Creek Ranch. It was a weekend of bonding and togetherness for the CCAT Staff. Everyone in attendance shared something with the group to show another side of ourselves to our cohorts. We learned knot-tying, watched people sing, and played a positive game that gave all of us warm-fuzzies inside. Many people also shared poetry, and below is an example of one of our amazing CCATs. We can’t wait to go back!

Poetry by A CCATer Herself


And thus I sit

Consumed by the ideals of an altercation

to the fabrics of my being intended together.

The loose thread was tugged at again.

Like a valve in my heart, not precisely pumped and developed.

Yet still, the strings of my heart are pulled.

Moved in such precision to unravel the stitch I have sewn over my eyes.

So carefully, so indefinitely, these needles I continue to monotonously string through pre-made holes over and over and over and in these eyelids.

I’ve never noticed that pain until the string was held

so lovingly in such dirty hands, and so passionately in such a free mind

But I realize that there is no thread to use.

There has never been a spool to wrap.

I’ve just been poking holes in my skin and in my heart.

Thus, I open my mind, accept the understanding and wisdom that is offered to me.

And I embrace the chaos with all of the love in my being.

And my being will love your being.

And there is no thread to pull

You can’t unravel something

that was never quite sewn together in the first place.

-Hannah Z.


Organic Gardening in the Rain

CCAT’s Organic Gardening class meets on Tuesday afternoons at CCAT to do wonderful work in the garden, but as you may have noticed, this Tuesday, it was raining!  When I walked up to CCAT that afternoon, I expected the class to be canceled, but instead, they were hard at work inside the classroom.  This week, they were working with Levon Durr to cultivate mushrooms!  To do so, the students were inoculating alder logs to grow nomeko mushrooms. To do so, they were drilling holes into the logs and filling the holes with small dowels that had been colonized by the mushroom spores.  To finish the process, they coated the spots where the dowels were drilled into the logs with a layer of wax to prevent unwanted fungi from colonizing and taking over.  When they’ve finished their task, the logs will be buried in CCAT’s Hugelkulture bed and left to colonize.  This process takes a year, but next fall we should be seeing lots of edible nomeko mushrooms fruiting (popping up).   These mushrooms will be nutty and delicious! To learn more about the mushroom cultivation process, contact Levon Durr from Fungaia Farm at


Open Mic

CCAT held this years first Open Mic on October 15th downstairs CCAT at 7:00pm. These events happen the second Tuesday of every month, and everyone is invited to share in our safe-space presentation area. Last night, because of technical issues, the microphone wasn’t usable, but the symbolic “Open Mic” provided a space for people to share words, songs, and tunes. We had 18 people present art of some kind. For a first open mic it was undeniably successful, the attendees were still going well after the allotted time slot.


Harvest Festival

In honor of CCAT’s annual Harvest Festival, we did a bit of digging to find the origin of the Harvest Festival itself. Since the agricultural revolution people have celebrated the harvest with all kinds of celebration–the earliest ones recorded go back to the sixteenth century. They usually go hand in hand with the Harvest Moon, and today they are celebrated with Mid Autumn Festival, in the US and Canada with Thanksgiving, and in more traditional Harvest Moon celebration. The word “harvest” comes fromOld Englishword hærfest, meaning “autumn,” and the celebrations are usually around the autumn equinox.


Julia’s Favorite Vegan Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 8 x 8 inch pan or line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Sift together into a large bowl:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine and add:

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir until smooth. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner, if using. Let cool right side up on the rack.

Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or frost with quick frosting.

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 13-Oct 19)


Seasons are changing, the days are growing shorter, and that brisk autumn weather is hitting Humboldt. Here at CCAT, we love this time of year! All the ripe pumpkins, color changing leaves, and CCAT events make autumn the best season of all!

CCAT kicks off the week with our monthly Open Mic Night. Tuesday the 14th at 7pm, come join CCAT in the lounge to share a song, a poem, a piece of artwork, or anything! Even just join us and support your friends!

It’s that time again: Harvest Fest! This is an annual CCAT event to celebrate autumn and the community. Come by CCAT on Saturday from 1-9pm for a full afternoon and evening of music, workshops, food, and fun! Rumors are that pumpkins will be playing a major role in many of the workshops and food. Excited to hear some awesome music throughout the day? The featured bands are Michael Dayvid, The Humboldt Crud, Samba Da Algeria, Thursday Night Bluegrass, and Beats and Kale.


CCAT Recap: Last week CCAT helped out with WWRAP’s Clothing Swap! The event was a success, taking over the Karshner Lounge  and exchanging tons of clothes for two days. CCAT staff also had our employee retreat this weekend up at the beautiful Rock Creek Ranch. We got to enjoy the gorgeous and serene landscape while helping out around this sustainable ranch. Now we are bonded, relaxed, and ready to bring you more exciting CCAT events!

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