On the purposefully unmarked road heading into Bolinas, there is a very wonderful spot you don't want to miss. The Gospel Flat Farm is a family-run organic edible haven, with an honor-based farm stand that is open 24 hours a day.
Sam Love and I were introduced to the farm when we met a couple of wonderful free spirits, Kalie and Scott, while hiking in Samuel P. Taylor Park a few weeks back. Scott is the resident bread baker at the farm's wood powered oven, and he and Kalie invited us to a photography show and autumnal equinox gathering down at the farm. So last Friday, after a sun-soaked hike on Mt. Tam, we wended our way down the hill to Bolinas to explore the farm.
By the time we got there, the stone oven was already working away, roasting a huge platter of fresh farm veggies, and while he gave the vegetables a turn, Scott told us about the relationship he has formed with the ancient-looking oven. Baking bread becomes a two-day process, starting the night before, when he loads the oven with wood, lights it, and then comes back the next morning to remove the embers. The oven reaches almost 1000 degrees, which then cools throughout the day, and the heat gets used to bake and then, later on, to roast our dinner.
Inside the farm stand, Kalie showed us her beautiful photographs, that document the wood fire baking process. The images are evocative and also mysterious, capturing the beauty and power of traditional breadmaking.
We sat and drank fresh peppermint tea with other guests, and helped make a batch of guacamole, while we waited for the veggies to finish roasting. Before we left, we picked out some precious artichokes from the farm stand and a bunch of flowers. Sam Love and I were so relaxed and contented, having escaped the rush of the city and made new friends -- with our bellies full with farm delights. Hugs all around and then it was time to leave.
A coyote watched us from the side of the road as we slowly wiggled our way along Stinson Beach, back home to San Francisco.