Restaurants aren't the only businesses these days boasting locavore status. Many accommodations across the United States are offering guests the chance to get back to the land and experience nature first hand. And three American properties from the East Coast to West boast lush gardens and farmland that would make even the most talented gardener green with envy.
Take, for instance, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a region known for its fertile soil and 300-plus days of annual sunshine. The 20-guest-room inn offers 25 acres of lavender fields, a bevy of beehives, and gardens bursting with Chimayo chiles, Magdalena Big Cheese squash, heirloom tomatoes, and other produce perfect for creating New Mexican staples like chilaquiles and tostadas. Guests can enjoy its Farm Breakfast prepared inside the property’s 1930s casita that incorporates eggs from the onsite hen house and fruits and veggies plucked that very morning from the field. At The Farm Shop, just feet from the lavender farm, visitors can stock up on lavender products like healing salves, lotions and soaps to tote back home.
Another locale that gives new meaning to farm-to-table is the Inn at Blackberry Farm. Located in Walland, Tennessee, the sprawling 4,200-acre property not only uses its sustainably grown produce in most meals, but also cheese from the East Friesian sheep that graze along the property’s rolling foothills at the base of the Smoky Mountains. Clusters of black walnut and persimmon trees dot the fields and the discovery of black truffles has led to the planting of the inn’s very own truffle orchard, which will begin producing in several years, for use on the inn’s tasting menus. (There’s even a team of “truffle dogs” that will sniff out future crops.) Meanwhile, a team of artisans, including a butcher, chocolatier, master gardener and cheese maker, pool their talents to produce delicious fare at The Larder, a whitewashed building adjacent to the inn’s 1800s Amish bank barn.
And over in California, just 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, sits Carmel Valley Ranch in Monterey County, a 139-suite resort nestled against the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains where deer and wild turkey roam the countryside. Guests can don beekeeper garb and sample a swipe of honey fresh from one of the hives at the on-site aviary. Chef Tim Wood whips up meals using organic produce and fresh eggs from the hen house just steps from the kitchen. This year also marks the debut of the property’s 3-acres pinot noir vineyard, which will include experimental vineyard programming by the ranch’s winemaker.