Owners Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring speak to how their biodynamic farm, a local mainstay, navigates the changing times
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
For One Gun Ranch’s Alice Bamford, Malibu is “a wildly elemental, incredible vortex.” The city is home to both the biodynamic farm she and partner Ann Eysenring own and the two-story general store called Ranch at the Pier they opened at the end of Carbon Beach’s landmarked jetty. Since Bamford and Eysenring planted roots here in 2008, they have constantly discovered new ways to nourish their community.
On Sundays, Bamford and Eysenring, who live on their ranch, load up a vintage airstream and ’74 Ford truck with fresh produce. “Once a week, the ranch comes to the pier,” quips Bamford, who stocks crates with seasonal goods like avocados, grapefruit, limes, shishito peppers, jalapenos and a host of herbs and spices, all grown in the ranch’s signature Super(ior) Soil.
Raised amid her family’s sprawling organic farms in the Cotswolds, Bamford quietly disseminates her soil-first philosophy while selling seeds and even her trademark compost (a biodynamic mix of manure and alfalfa layered with yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelions, horsetail and valerian flowers) at the outpost on the pier.
Among the harvest is a new show of L.A.-based artist Jade Antoine’s drawings of rural homesteads, farms, cowgirls and prairie life that runs through January. “Her work is happy and uplifting, reminding us of living in the moment and connecting with nature,” Bamford says. A year after the devastating Woolsey fires, for them, finding creative ways to connect back to the land is vital.
“We don’t sell anything that we wouldn’t want to take home”
Beyond garden-grown offerings and Antoine’s artwork, Eysenring, who grew up in Malibu, has curated an assortment of beach-inspired goods, from Bay Area-crafted It’s-It ice cream sandwiches to Santa Cruz skateboards and the Bamford apothecary line.
The couple supply restaurants including Spago and Little Beach House Malibu with seasonal produce and create weekly farm-fresh boxes. They also find themselves explaining to rapt admirers the fundamentals of biodynamic farming: following moon cycles for planting, creating alkaline compost for crops and constantly regenerating and revitalizing soil. And lately they’ve been fielding inquiries about their goats, which munch brush to reduce the ever-present fire risk. At the end of a long day, the pair watch the herd roam through the hillsides protecting their slice of heaven.
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310-456-8031.
Feature image: ALICE BAMFORD and ANN EYSENRING at ONE GUN RANCH.
This story originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of C Magazine.
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