You need to drive up winding roads and pass through two private gates to get to One Gun Ranch, a 24-acre biodynamic farm and animal sanctuary in the Malibu hills that’s owned by Alice Bamford and her partner Ann Eysenring. The sometimes nail-biting—at least for an ex-New Yorker like me—road trip is well worth it. And once you arrive at this gorgeous oasis, with its view of the Pacific, the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop and goats, donkeys, horses and dogs roaming free, you can’t help but think, “what an amazing place for an event.”

Sadly, while the Ranch sometimes offers classes to schoolchildren and adults on composting and biodynamic farming, it’s not generally open to the public.

Just before Mother’s Day, however, I got to experience One Gun Ranch, along with a dozen or so other members of the press at a “forage and feast” celebrating the publication of Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm. The lifestyle book is authored by Alice’s mother, Lady Carole Bamford, a pioneer in sustainable, organic farming. Her desire to feed her young family healthy food from her garden back in the mid-1970s would eventually lead to a thriving empire that includes one of the most sustainable farms in the U.K., farm shops, restaurants, inns, a dairy, bakery, butchery, and lines of clothing, bath and body products, and home goods.

Our exquisite lunch featured several recipes from Nurture, including summer tabouleh with mint and parsley; spring pea and asparagus salad with heirloom tomatoes, and cauliflower and black quinoa with a spiced pumpkin seed dressing, along with wood-fired pizzas made on a pizza oven that was housed in a vintage airstream trailer.

I’m thinking of the entertaining I want to do in my own garden this summer and drawing inspiration from those magical hours at One Gun Ranch. I’ll be serving rosé in blue mason jars, grilling nectarines and topping them with ricotta cheese, and sprinkling handfuls of herbs and edible flowers on everything I serve. Want to get inspired yourself? Follow One Gun Ranch and Daylesford Farm on Instagram.

Melissa Jurcan, president of ILEA Seattle, penned a moving tribute to the hospitality industry for the Emerald City Applause Awards. Here is an abridged version. 

 

This Year-Long Celebration is One for the Books