One of the first members of the biodynamic farm One Gun Ranch I met was Waffle, a rescue donkey. Waffle was near Billy, a light yellow retriever who limps from a broken back. These are two of about 30 rescue animals that help make this bucolic place a success.
It all started with Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring. Bamford grew up enjoying the fruits of the land from her mother Carole, owner of the Daylesford Organic in England. Mom harvested her organic garden and prepared dishes from the fresh produce. Bamford wanted to continue the tradition for her own family. Meeting celebrity realtor Eysenring, the duo learned that former Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum was selling his home with acreage.
The modern-style multi-million dollar home with a luxury pool overlooks exotic rock formations and a slice of the Pacific Ocean. It was the ideal place with full sun for Bamford to grow her garden.
After purchasing the property, this duo attended a Malibu Agricultural Society meeting to learn more about the region. They were introduced to a local biodynamic guru, Farmer Jack McAndrews. Under his guidance and friendship, and with help from volunteers from the society, they began to cultivate their farm and make their own biodynamic compost, thanks to their rescue animals.
Corrals were built for horses, alpacas, a donkey, goats and pigs to keep them safe. At least five dogs roam the property to alert the residents of newcomers and for protection. During the day, the animals graze freely around the property. Their manure is part of the Super soil compost the farm makes. Herbs and alfalfa are added to make it rich and healthy. This soil produces larger and more flavorful produce offering the best nutrition.
I recently met both Bamford and Eysenring at One Gun Ranch to learn about their new book – “One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living.” Bamford told me, “Without healthy soil, one can’t grow healthy plants.” Now the biodynamic, sustainable farm grows nearly 50 different crops. “All living things on the farm are reused and recycled back into the land.” said Bamford.
These dynamic ladies well being book offers home-grown garden wisdom, with more than 100 nutrient-packed recipes, easy exercises that include wild food foraging hikes and full moon meditations. There are tips for planting a garden with optimal root days, fruit days, leaf days and flower days.
The book also provides a growing, harvesting and eating calendar based on the cycles of the moon. “Besides the sun to help your garden grow, the moon brings energy down to the seeds to help the roots grow,” said Bamford.
Their garden became the “talk of the town” and soon they began selling many of their crops to top local chefs. One Gun Ranch can be found on menus throughout Malibu and Los Angeles, including Little Beach House Malibu and Sotto House.
Almost two years ago, the duo began operating the store Ranch at the Pier at the tip of the Malibu Pier. Seedlings are the most important part of a garden and these women nurture them daily. One Gun Ranch makes custom farm boxes for the public to purchase with seedlings growing in a garden box to take home. These can be purchased at the Ranch Store at the Pier. The ladies also offer community classes on how to develop a biodynamic green thumb.