Before they left for Italy, the owners of the house where we are staying threw a little dinner party to introduce us to some of their closest friends so we would have contacts while they were away. Over dinner, there was talk of “the ranch,” and how we simply must go for a visit. I am thinking, “Okay, well after growing up on a farm, you’ve seen one ranch, you’ve seen ‘em all,” but I was still eager to go along for the ride for a Sunday outing.
The first indication that this might not be any ordinary ranch was the instruction to “Turn left at the undulating wall.” Seriously? Just how “undulating?”
This was about as typical a “ranch” as Michael Jackson’s “Neverland,” and obviously a hobby for a very wealthy Californian with clearly more money than he knew what to do with. The closest thing to a ranch was one donkey and a vegetable garden. The rest was straight out of “Alice in Wonderland meets Gaudi.”
Completely “off the grid,” the facility has solar panels, composting toilets, and rainfall collection system. Add some chickens or goats to their already abundant vegetable garden, and you could have a completely sustainable existence. A field of yucca plants are grown for horticultural resale.
There is not a square angle on the place, and many of the rooms are “themed,” such as the “Octopus’ Garden” bathroom, and the stained glass windows in the bedroom depicting the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
The entire property is covered with one uniquely organic structure after another. In the “back 40” is a two story “cocktail tower” for viewing the sunset. It overlooks a mayan-style courtyard with a labyrinth for walking meditation…
What does one serve their guests at such an odyssey, you might ask? Fresh radishes straight from the sun-baked earth, of course!