This Week at the Barn
Dan was sipping an insanely colored drink after a long, glorious day spent digging and planting in the gardens. Made with dried hibiscus flowers and heavenly scented lilac honey we infused at the farm last spring, it was a perfect drink for spring; bright and packed with sharp sweet flavors. It was so tasty I’ve asked Isabel to put a rendition of it on the Spring Cocktail List. For those craving a spirited lift, it will be paired with Barr Hill Vodka, made by honeybee loving friends in Vermont. An N/A version, with a hint of Seedlip, will be available as well, as elegant as it’s boozy cousin.
Our intrepid farm manager is also responsible for the profusion of Barndiva Farm bouquets delighting guests in The Barn and The Gallery. These blowzy arrangements are a visual history of our life up here on Greenwood Ridge. Marisa Moore and Miss Edna Camellias Victoria planted 70 years ago now bloom alongside Double Ruffle Daffodils, Panda Anemones, Apricot Beauty Tulips, and Thalia Daffodils as our collection, which we add to every year, continues.
Next up on the bars and in the windowsills: more Hellebores, flowering Rosemary and cascading wands of Cherry and Apple Blossom branches.
And more cocktails, of course.
Guests who came for lunch last week had to gaze wistfully out at the gardens, which won’t officially open until the Pink Party on April 14. Good thing Danny brought spring to the plate with a gorgeous salmon tartar, studded with pine nuts, bright with curry and citrus, served with lentil papadoms. Truly the ultimate gluten free Omega 3 spring lunch. Burrata is still on the menu, served with grilled Redbird Pain au Levain, great as a starter or to share over cocktails. And hey, if you’d love to sip extraordinary library wines but without committing to a whole bottle, check out Chappy’s three new chalkboards in The Gallery. We are justly proud of our wine director. Stay tuned for exciting wine news next week.
And expect to see new dishes from the kitchens as the season kicks into gear.
This Week at the Farm
Onion shoots started in the greenhouse made it to their own beds this week, while Bodega Reds, Ark of Taste potatoes gifed from Dan’s dad, were slit and put out in the sun to scar up. Our microgreen program is in full swing and we encourage you to put our servers to the test by asking them to identify what’s hot and what’s long on a buttery sweet finish.
We’re also confident Kendall and Fern can identify all the blooms in our floral arrangements should you inquire. Flowering bulbs swiftly come and go, therein lies their mystery, and magic. Up on the ridge they slumber underground most of the year, drinking up the rains and suffering through long hot summers. We don’t dig them up except to split and redistribute. Come spring they burst forth during those few weeks when the sun warms up for a few hours midday.
One of the great truths in life is that being in nature soothes something in the soul, with the power to make us healthier if not happier human beings. In a world which is overwhelmingly transactional, where social media has made us unabashed attention seekers, Nature is one of the last outliers offering the opportunity to just be, no agenda necessary. You don’t have to climb a mountain or cross a desert wilderness to get the hit I’m referring to. Sonoma and Mendocino Counties are resplendent right now - the perfect time to step off and wander through a garden, field or forest and touch the hem of renewal we all crave after a long winter - and this has been one crazy winter. There is nothing quite like the experience of being in Nature as it replenishes itself. Get out there. It won’t wait for you.
If you must take your phone, load it up with a great plant and bird identification app and just… go.