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Falling in Love with Flora Farm

 

Falling in love with Flora Farms is a fresh experience.

Falling in love with Flora Farms is a fresh experience.

It’s easy to fall in love with Flora Farms. The 10-acre organic farm is located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, and is something of a world unto itself. Set against a gorgeous backdrop of sun, sky, palm trees, and rolling hills, the property includes farm fields, as well as a restaurant, grocery, shops, and some newly constructed culinary cottages. Although not far from San Jose del Cabo, Flora Farms somehow feels very far from the sounds of city streets, from strident car horns and bustling marketplaces. It’s the sort of place where time seems to stand still, and the cares and worries of modern life fade and fall away.

All the produce found at the restaurant and grocery comes from the adjoining fields, and meats are sourced from a nearby 150-acre ranch, where animals are raised humanely without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Every morning at first light, the parade begins, as chefs, bakers, butchers, and farmhands begin the day’s duties. Despite its artsy, boutique charm, this is a working farm, and has been for over a decade. You can feel the elemental pull of the earth, and inhale the intoxicating scent of woodsmoke and wildflowers.

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Farm-to-table has never taken less time than at Flora Farms, where the restaurant adjoins the surrounding fields.

Flora’s Field Kitchen has become so popular at this point, reservations aren’t just recommended, they’re mandatory. During the dinner hour, the lightly traveled road that leads to the farm becomes markedly busier as discerning locals arrive for their fix of fresh farm air and earthy dining pleasures. The restaurant’s menu depends on the crops, of course, which diners may admire at close range. Very close range. The dining area is so close to the fields you can almost reach out and pick your own vegetables. Wine lovers often talk about terroir, the microclimate and soil characteristics that give wines such individual tastes and textures. In an age when so many are removed from the actual source of the foods they eat, Flora Farms provides and easy-going intimacy with the things that nourish us, and the family style dining adds an additional layer of warmth and companionship.

Near the kitchen is a small grocery stocked with fresh produce, meats, eggs, breads, sweets, pickled goods, sauces, dressings, and preserves. All fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers are picked daily, and are heartbreakingly fresh and fragrant. Speaking of fragrant, did I mention the freshly baked bread from the wood-burning oven? Pick up a baguette or sample one of the delicious sandwiches. There is a wonderful selection of prepared salads, sandwiches, and pastas, including a picnic-perfect Chicken Paillard Salad consisting of lightly grilled chicken served under a lemon-dressed arugula salad with shaved parmesan. In addition to the produce and prepared foods, local artisanal crafts are also offered, including lead-free clay bean pots and mood-setting candles.

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Flora Farms is a community unto itself, and shops include an art gallery and onsite grocery

The Farm Bar also looks out over the fields, and features liquid treasures ranging from fruit  and vegetable-based juices and specialty cocktails to beer, wine, and farm-fresh twists on traditional favorites. The Farmarita, a margarita made with heirloom carrots, is perhaps the most popular cocktail, but the Farm Julep with watermelon water, basil, mint, and light Bacardi rum also has its adherents. Cocktail standards like martinis and old-fashioneds also get a farm-style makeover, and regional beers and wines are certainly not neglected. Aficionados of the suds will want to try the hoppy IPA served with muddled oranges, cilantro, and a splash of Campari, while wine connoisseurs will find several superb selections – Alois Lageder, anyone? – all of which seem to pair well with the gourmet wood-fired pizzas (hint: try the one with house-cured piloncillo bacon and cherry tomatoes).

At this point, you might not want to leave, and who could blame you? The good news is that you don’t have to. Culinary cottages ring the field, beautiful farmhouse style homes with high-ceilings, rustic furnishings, and vintage appliances. Several of the cottages are still for sale, either as permanent residences or as fractional ownership opportunities. All the field’s bounty is available to owners, as well as access to the onsite pool, restaurant, grocery, and shops. A private entrance and ample parking are additional perks. It’s a unique opportunity for a lifelong bucolic idyll in one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Walk out into the field and pick garnish for your salad, a fresh lime for your margarita, or simply sit outside and have a Baja moment as the sun descends behind the Sierra de la Laguna.

Tours of the culinary cottages are by appointment only. Email derrick@flora-farms.com to make arrangements. For reservations at Flora Farms Field Kitchen, email reservations@flora-farms.com. For all other inquiries, from culinary classes to art gallery information, visit www.flora-farms.com, or call (624) 355-4564.

Ready for a trip to Los Cabos?  Check out our new School’s Out promotion, featuring great deals for two of the area’s premier hotels, Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo, and Bahia Hotel & Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas. Better book now, the promotion ends on July 31st.

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Photos courtesy of Flora Farms and Chris Sands.

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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

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