Heat still blanketed the uneven pavements and colourful stucco buildings of San José del Cabo as we (my sister, Clare, my brother, Andrew, and his wife, Shelley) headed out of town on palm-tree lined boulevards.
A steep, curving dirt road led us downhill to Flora’s Farm. Bird song punctuates the sweet, fresh air as we are seated in the outdoor restaurant. Our table is directly beside the farm garden, with a border of perennial herbs on the side closest to us and a tall row of palm trees at the far end. An informal arrangement of flowers adds a bright splash of colour to our table, and we’re pleased to find Baja wines on the menu.
Flora’s Farm is a ten-acre organic farm in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California del Sur, Mexico. They grow a huge variety of different herbs and salad greens, raise their own animals and make their own bread. In the busy winter season, visitors can enjoy breakfast, lunch or supper in the restaurant, go on a farm tour or make their own meal from ingredients purchased at the farm market and store. There are cottages so that you can live on the farm – not one’s typical vision of a Cabo holiday.
Flora’s Farm offers a fascinating range of cocktails infused with their own herbs and vegetables. The Farm Julep is made with watermelon water, while the Gardentini combines vodka, thyme and lemon juice. The Cucumber Smash is cucumber, gin and lime.
We chose a bottle of red wine from Casa Baloyán, one of the many excellent wineries in the Guadalupe Valley near Enseñada in north Baja. If you are interested in learning more about this new, relatively undiscovered wine region, I recommend reading Wines of Baja California: Touring and Tasting Mexico’s Undiscovered Treasures by Ralph L. Amey.
First up was a basket of homemade breads – white, wholewheat and a wonderful olive/nut bread. So good – high quality bread can really set the tone for a meal. We then shared an appetizer, two salads and a main course.
The Ricotta Crostini were fragrant with lemon, olive oil and thyme. The Field Greens were a wonderful mix of greens fresh from the garden, including less common varieties, such as purslane and amaranth. But the real hit was the Tomato Panzanella Salad with crunchy chunks of bread, ripe red tomatoes and fresh mint leaves in a mouth-watering dressing rich in extra virgin olive oil.
The main course was spaghetti dressed with 10 different herbs grown on the farm and topped with a fried egg. Simple yet delicious and something that I will try to imitate at home. Our only criticism was that spaghetti was a little boring; Andrew would have preferred a different form of pasta.
One must always leave room for dessert, and we were glad we did. The chocolate cake was rich and moist, but we especially enjoyed the pineapple/mango upside down cake.
The service (in English) was impeccable, and we enjoyed meeting Vanessa Olsen, who I believe is one of the owners/managers. Her enthusiasm for providing customers with fresh, organic, local produce in the farm setting was infectious. We also had a chance to meet some of the 10 rescue dogs who roam the property, and a large butterfly/moth landed on our table while we were eating. (Fortunately, the fan kept the insects and flies away!)
Pablo Oporto’s guitar playing and singing twined its way in and out of our conversation and was totally delightful.
If you are in Cabo San Lucas/San José del Cabo, be sure to visit Flora’s Farm. Let your senses enjoy the sights and flavours of a tropical farm.