This month in Food & Wine, I contributed to a feature about new American farms. Apricot Lane Farm in Moorpark, California (photos above), owned by Molly and John Chester, is new biodynamic farm that is developing something of a cult following among LA foodies (including a wait list for their eggs at Farmshop). After they get their product line off the ground (which will be a giant success if their cinnamon-peach butter and roasted garlic hot sauce are any indication), they plan to open a farm inn, which they refer to as a “luxury farm stay” — the kind of place where you get your hands dirty by day and sleep on high-thread count sheets by night. Guests will be able to take in the bucolic farm setting, while pitching in to feed the animals and harvesting fruit from the 80 varieties of fruit trees – walnuts, macadamia nuts, avocados, grapefruits, lemons, mulberry, persimmon, plums and pluots, pomegranates, cherries, figs. Molly, who also just released a cookbook, Back to Butter (with an intro by former client Beck), is chatty in all the best ways — interesting and generous with details — so I have no doubt she’ll make an amazing host.
In the meantime, here are a few other farms on my radar lately (in addition to these from the archives):
>>LIBERTY VIEW FARM. Who doesn’t want to stay in an adorable, tricked-out yurt in the middle of an apple orchard in upstate New York?
>>CHEF’S GARDEN. This Ohio farm is the place for beautiful, uncommon vegetables– more than 600 varieties of heirloom, herb, microgreens and edible flowers. It’s also where stressed-out chefs from around the country have been known to come to relax and regroup.
>>WORLDS END FARM (all photos below). The flower farm where the owners of Brooklyn’s Saipua have planted roots.This one is for the wish list category. Not a lodging option for everyone, unfortunately, but they do operate apprenticeships and opportunities to participate in work days.