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FOOD + DRINK

Serene Accommodations and Fresh Produce at Flora Farms, San José del Cabo

FOOD + DRINK

Serene Accommodations and Fresh Produce at Flora Farms, San José del Cabo

Sustainability and tranquility at this charming estate in Mexico

by Katie Olsen
on 11 September 2017

Founded back in 1996, Flora Farms is positively ancient when it comes to the current farm-to-table movement. The working farm—located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San José del Cabo, Mexico—was started in order for Gloria Greene to supply her restaurant (named Flora, which was in Cabo) with high-quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Word got out that Gloria and Patrick Greene were producing excellent organic produce at Flora Farms, and chefs began seeking them out. While Flora the restaurant closed down, the passion for farming and cooking—and their perfect combination—stuck. Now Flora Farms comprises a farm, ranch, restaurant and market where everything is grown organically, animals are treated humanely, and everything is hormone- and antibiotic-free. The farm is worked almost entirely by hand, with a focus on companion planting. If there's a need to fumigate, it's done naturally with chili pepper, herbs and garlic essences. Truly a practice in sustainability, the team continues to find new ways to benefit the plants and animals there.

On site there are also 20 hand-built hay bale cottages. This year, they opened the Farm Spa where treatments use flowers and herbs from the site. For events there is an herb garden amphitheater, a lush lawn under fairy-lights, a hilltop altar and more. Positive vibes abound, of course, but the destination's charm is also drawn from its sheer beauty, nuances and all the details. Further, Gloria Greene has much to say about connection, comfort and community.

The philosophy behind the farm is simple she begins, "Our aim is to make, grow and raise all that we offer at the farm." That said, the 10-acre estate has—understandably—gone through plenty of changes over its 20+ year history. "We started out as a small organic restaurant in town and started the farm to provide for that. We eventually moved the restaurant to the farm, started the market to sell our goods, then built the first cottages for guest that wanted an extended stay at the farm. We built our Mango Grove Barn to host local music events and charities and found that guest also wanted to use it for weddings and events. The farm grew very organically—for lack of a better word!" she says.

Aside from all the fresh produce, healthy and tasty meals, environmentally friendly farming techniques and serene accommodation, Flora Farms has another important focus—and that's on community. "We support different local charities by providing them food [for example, Casa Hogar Una Luz en Mi Vida] or by hosting their Fundraising Events [Inspire Mexico, BAJA SAFE, Red Autismo and more]. We also have the Day of the Dead Altar Competition—one of our favorite events of the year—and prizes go to local charities," Greene tells us. That sense of spreading kindness extends beyond humans too—as the farm is home to lots of dogs who were abandoned or stray. "Most of the farm dog pack just show up at the gate or are rescued nearby," Greene says. "The turtles keep appearing, and the large pond is dedicated to them. The ducks, horses and burros are all rescued as well."

Without being pretentious or too idealistic, Flora Farms offers warmth and serenity. It's not without excitement, of course—from the pooches running around to the occasional live music. But the compassionate attitude and focus on health (for humans, animals and the planet) translates into a genuine sense of wellbeing. Greene concludes that, "We hope our guests sense the connection between the farm and their plate. That the food they see growing in the field is what is appearing in front of them. That they relax, breath, and reset. We want our guest to leave with a sense that their meal was delicious and a warm feeling for the sense of place here at Flora Farms."

First and third image courtesy of Flora Farms, all others by Cool Hunting

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