Tucked in the hills of Malibu with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, One Gun Ranch in Malibu is a little slice of Instagram-ready heaven.
Sadly, Instagram is the best place to view the majestic ranch as visiting the 20-acre compound is one of the toughest tickets in town.
Don’t despair. One Gun Ranch is open to the public several times a year, when owners Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring host workshops on composting and practical farming. You just have to consult their Instagram feed to find out when.
While you patiently wait, the couple’s gorgeous new book, “One Gun Ranch Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living” (Regan Arts, $40), takes you behind the scenes of their working farm with tips on biodynamic farming, an ages-old approach that fuses agriculture with spirituality, exercise offerings and simple recipes.
Need more reasons to go?
Rescued animals roam free on the property, including alpacas Eleanor, Louise, Clementine, pictured below, Roosevelt and Winston.
Horses also roam free at the ranch and on nearby trails. So free, in fact, that Blue walked up to a table and started noshing on some carne asada at a recent press lunch.
Animals play a big role in creating a closed loop, or self-sustaining ecosystem at One Gun Ranch. Manure from all of the animals — horses, chickens and goats — is used as fertilizer. And unsold produce is never an issue with pigs like Othello around, pictured below.
Luna and Billy
Among the 14 dogs at One Gun Ranch: Billy, pictured below, Boo, Snoopy, Dr. Watson, Whiskey Bravo and Woodstock, to name a few.
Another reason to go:
Laird Hamilton is a neighbor
Interviews in the book cover chats with leaders in the biodynamic movement, including the authors’ Malibu neighbors Laird Hamilton and wife Gabby Reece.
Farm to table recipes
The new book also includes simple farm-to-fork recipes spanning beetroot soup (we can confirm its excellence) to turmeric poached halibut. Superfoods like fennel and spinach, shown below, are highlighted to demonstrate the vitamin-rich foods that you can grow at home.
Think you have a black thumb? This is the book for you.
“You learn from doing,” says Bamford, a film producer and the daughter of an English lord — JCB Chairman Paul Bamford. “It’s about the right approach. We describe how to grow something in a raised bed outside or in a box in your kitchen window sill.”
Bamford confesses she never set out to write a book.
The book came about when famed book publisher Judith Regan visited One Gun Ranch.
“She loves good food and grew up on a farm,” Bamford says of Regan. “She came to visit us at the ranch and we ate in our campfire kitchen. She said. ‘I’m in love with what you’re doing and everything you stand for. There is a book here.’”
What’s up with the name?
In case you are wondering, the ranch gets its name One Gun from its original owner, Matt Sorum, formerly of Guns N’ Roses.
The book will help you learn how to make your own biodynamic compost at home using a wide range of scraps and biodynamic preparations such as nettle, yarrow, chamomile, oak bark and dandelion.
Back to basics
The book’s emphasis on biodynamics is a back-to-basics approach to life.
But is it really possible to slow down enough to take a spiritual approach to life?
More specifically, plant, harvest and eat according to the cycles of the moon?
That’s Bamford’s hope.
“I want people to take away the belief that there is joy in living with the rhythms of nature,” she says. “Just go outside and do something. It’s a good tonic.”