Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Lady Carole Bamford, the founder of England’s forward-thinking Daylesford Organic Farm Shops. We sat down at her daughter Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring’s One Gun Ranch in Malibu. Alice fondly calls her ranch and biodynamic farm “The Wild West Coast surrounded by nature that elevates the spirit,” I thought the day reminded me of The West Coast Downton Abbey! (You can meet Lady Bamford on Mother’s Day at her Sunday book signing from 11am-1pm at One Gun’s store, The Ranch at the Pier.)
Bamford grew up 40 years ago enjoying the fruits of the land from her mother’s Daylesford Organic Farm in England. “Mum harvested her organic garden while I was in her pram,” said Alice (who is pregnant with her second child). Carole prepared dishes from the fresh produce, which has always been a fond memory of Alice. When Alice moved to California 10 years ago, she continued the tradition for her own family. Meeting celebrity realtor Eysenring, the duo learned that former Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum was selling his home with acreage. “Without healthy soil, one can’t grow healthy plants.” said Alice. So she converted the acreage into a biodynamic, sustainable farm that grows nearly 50 different crops. “All living things on the farm are reused and recycled back into the land.” said Alice.
As soon as Alice’s gardens were thriving, she wrote a book with Eysenring – “One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living.” Alice inspired her mother to share her own beautiful story – Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm.
Published by Penguin Random House, this beautiful 300 page guide to living and eating mindfully is filled with exquisite photos, seasonal recipes and an inspiring story of Bamford’s ideas and principles that have brought her to a conscious, mindful way of life for over 40 years.
Alice Bamford introduced her mother by saying “On a hot summer day in 1976, my mother had me. While pushing me in a pram, she would stop and tend her garden. When she noticed her crops were thriving, but her roses were dying, she asked one of her gardeners why? He told her he was spraying a new product named Roundup. Momma thought, it might be protecting her crops, by killing weeds, yet what is it doing to our environment?”
Desiring to feed her family a better way, Carole’s farm became one of the most sustainable farms in the UK; a model of traditional, responsible farming by following organic principles. Her willingness to take such a risk has resulted in an unexpected, yet enormously fulfilling career for Bamford, with the farm leading to the growth of a brand of sustainable food. She owns four farm shops, including three in London, as well as a Cookery School, the Daylesford Cottages, The Wild Rabbit pub, the Haybarn Spa and the Bamford line of clothing and natural bath, body and home products.
As we sat down to a seasonable table for brunch Alice told us “the stars are aligned today. I am so happy and proud of my momma. She is a credit to the world.”
Carole Bamford stood up with pride talking about how Alice is so special. “While she talks about gardening together and being together, it was the inspiration for her to purchase One Gun Ranch in Malibu. Not only did she become a gardener herself, but she went organic and then one step more – biodynamic. “It wasn’t easy 40 years ago having an organic farm. I was looked upon as a slightly strange woman,” said Carole. “With organic, how can we afford not to do this” She explained how pesticides damage the soil, plants, animals and people. We can all make a difference. One way is to eat less meat. “I have four restaurants in London, yet have a No Meat Monday policy, because as we know, cattle are bad for the environment.”
Carole is determined to change the way we think about our food and our environment, while also reminding her readers that mindfulness is the key to a happy, well-lived existence. “We all need nurturing, because we all live a crazy life.” Whatever we do, Carole stressed “Buy organic, it may cost a little more, however the cost of illness costs a lot more.”
The delicious seasonal tried-and-trusted recipes in the book nurture have been created at Daylesford. There is a spring green minestrone soup and a panna cotta with poached rhubarb, blood orange and ginger. Try the roast salmon, peas, bacon and braised Little Gem from her summer selection. There is pickled blackberries and red cabbage with chicken liver in autumn; and the bone marrow and barley risotto created for winter.
For further information on Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm by Carole Bamford, visit
Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm – which helps empower readers to reinvent the way they eat and exercise to rejuvenate their minds and bodies.