My grandma used to say that “nothing in the world that is worth doing comes easy. If it is really worth it, it will require effort and sacrifice.” So as I bounced my way down a bumpy pothole-riddled rode to get to Flora Farms Field Kitchen Restaurant outside the Mexican city of San José del Cabo, I couldn’t help thinking that this place was going to be special. Mind you, any successful restaurant located in the middle of a farmer’s field is something worth checking out.
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Flora Farms – Organic and Humane
Flora Farms is owned by Patrick and Gloria Greene, a pair of California expats that purchased the farm in 1996 and began producing organic fruits and vegetables in the Mexican desert. From humble beginnings the farm has grown and today more than 80 different varieties of fruits, herbs and vegetables are grown onsite. The Greenes own more than 150 acres of farmland and even produce their own organic free range chicken and pork at a location away from the main restaurant site.
Flora’s Field Kitchen
In 2010, Flora Farms Field Kitchen Restaurant was built in the middle of one of the vegetable fields. It’s a complete farm-to-table cuisine concept. It is one of those “if you build it they will come” stories in their very own “Field of Dreams.” Over the years, the restaurant has become one of the hottest dining spots in Cabo. Hollywood celebrities have even been known to venture out on the long bumpy road just to enjoy an evening on the farm. The restaurant is said to be a favourite dining spot of both George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston.
Touring Flora Farms
Like most visitors to Flora Farms, I began my visit with a tour of the extensive gardens. Our guide, Sonja, an expat from Calgary, described the many different species of vegetables and explained the unique techniques used to grow them organically and ecologically in a desert-like environment. Weeding and harvesting is all done by hand and about 100 local people are employed by the farm. There is a community garden onsite, a restaurant, a bar and a unique housing project with vacation homes built around the vegetable gardens. Part of the appeal of owning one of these vacation properties is that owners have the opportunity to walk out into the Flora Farms fields to harvest fresh fruits and vegetables to use in their own kitchens.
What to Take to Cabo
Los Cabos has become one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. It’s a casual place with lovely beaches, upscale hotels, a good night club scene and great local restaurants. I like to bring my own microfiber beach towel, a good sunhat, polarized sunglasses, a swim suit, shorts, sun dresses, sandals and swim shoes.
On the Farm Cooking Classes
Taking a cooking class at Flora Farms is one of the best ways to learn to make authentic Mexican food from scratch. I signed up to take a seasonal salsa class with Chef Victor and his assistant Delores and that was my next stop. Chef Victor, or Tío as they call him on the farm, taught our small cooking group how to make a roasted tomato salsa, an uncooked salsa fresca, and a traditional guacamole. Delores taught us the techniques for making fresh corn tortillas.
As might be expected, the cooking class was laid back and relaxed. At first everyone participated in blending the ingredients, but after a few of margaritas from Flora Farms bar there was a lot more sampling than mixing happening.
By the time our class was finished, we were all impressed with how simple it was to make these basic Mexican dishes. One of the participants vowed that she would never purchase pre-made salsa again. It was a bold statement, but then again she had consumed a few more margaritas than the rest of us.
Lunch at Flora Farms Field Kitchen
I capped off the afternoon by having lunch at Flora Farms Field Kitchen Restaurant. Rumor has it that celebrities are often seen at the restaurant, but I didn’t notice any during my visit. What I found instead was a great menu with pizzas and other American specialties as well as classic Mexican favorites. I enjoyed organic chicken enchiladas served with a fresh garden salad, beans and rice. I usually don’t eat dessert with lunch, but the farm fresh key lime pie was too good to pass up.
Flora Farms is Worth the Effort
As I prepared to take the long bumpy road back to my beach resort in Cabo San Lucas, I knew that my Grandma was right once again. It isn’t easy to get to Flora Farms, but it is definitely worth the effort. For reservations or information, visit: www.flora-farms.com. Note: I stayed at the luxurious Esperanza Resort while I was in Los Cabos.
Related: Check out our post about The Best Tacos in Puerto Vallarta.