Recently I had the opportunity to meet Lady Carole Bamford, the founder of England’s forward-thinking Daylesford Organic Farm Shops. She has three shops 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.
She traveled with her husband Sir Anthony Bamford to Malibu, California to visit their daughter Alice Bamford at her mountain and ocean view One Gun Ranch for a media tour of her book Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm. Alice describes her biodynamic ranch as “The Wild West Coast surrounded by nature that elevates the spirit,” I thought it was more like the West Coast Downton Abbey. A long wooden table was beautifully decorated and set for twenty guests out on a lush lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A staff of seven poured sparkling and rose’ wines from Chateau Leoube an organic vineyard in Provence, France. Others came around with big wooden bowls filled with salads made from fresh organic ingredients. While we sat under the warm sun, Alice introduced her mother.
“I grew up enjoying the fruits of the land on Daylesford Organic Farm in England (a 1500-acre estate near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds. “Mum harvested her organic garden while I was in a pram,” said Alice (who is pregnant with her second child). Growing up, Lady Bamford prepared dishes from the fresh produce harvested from her gardens. This fond memory inspired Alice to continue the tradition for her own family. Meeting celebrity realtor Ann Eysenring, the duo purchased Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum 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 titled Nurture. 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 to a conscious, mindful way of life.
Forty years ago, Lady Bamford noticed her crops were thriving, but her roses were dying. When she asked one of her gardeners why? He told her he was spraying a new product named Roundup. Carole thought it might be protecting her crops, by killing weeds, yet what is it doing to our environment?”
Desiring to feed her family healthy food, Lady Bamford’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 Lady Bamford, with the farm leading to the growth of a brand of sustainable food. “I was looked upon as a slightly strange woman,” said Lady Bamford. “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 buy organic. It may be more expensive, however, the cost of illness costs a lot more.” Another way is to eat less meat. “I have four restaurants in London, and have a No Meat Monday policy because as we know, cattle are bad for the environment,” said Lady Bamford.
Determined to change the way we think about our food and our environment, Lady Bamford reminds the readers of her book that mindfulness is the key to a happy, well-lived existence. “We all need nurturing because we all live a crazy life.” Nurture is filled with delicious seasonal tried-and-trusted recipes that were created at Daylesford. There are a spring green minestrone soup and a pannacotta with poached rhubarb, blood orange, and ginger. Try the roast salmon, peas, bacon and braised Little Gem from her summer selection. There are pickled blackberries and red cabbage with chicken liver in autumn, and the bone marrow and barley risotto created for winter.
Before leaving Lady Bamford said, “I hope my book helps empower readers to reinvent the way they eat and exercise, as well as rejuvenate their minds and bodies.”
For further information on Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm by Lady Carole Bamford, visit
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1113383/nurture. Available also on Amazon Books.
This article was featured on JustLuxe on May 15, 2018 Lady Carole Bamford