“There’s something about this place,” a guest said to me. “It’s the energy.” She took a deep breath and sighed. I smiled. I have heard this before, often.
It’s why I’m here. You can’t stay in your tightly-wound-up stressed mind while you are here because Spirit Hill calls to you. It says, Slow down. Be with me. See me. The trees say it. The plants say it. The gophers eating the roots of the plants say it. The chickens say it.
Spirit Hill asks you to join it in living at the pace of nature, and the invitation is so sweet people tend to lean back into the ease and relax.
But this post is not about relaxing. It’s about where I go to get radicchio and carrots!
It takes a lot to get me to leave Spirit Hill because…uh…it feels really good to be here, but I also love love love two things (well, I love more than two things, but I’m only talking about two things here for obvious reasons): a gorgeous drive in the car and delicious organic vegetables.
The drive from here to Bodega Bay takes about 20 minutes, and the curvy Bodega Highway is like driving through one postcard after another. The drive takes 20 minutes unless you stop first at Wildflour Bread in Freesone and then, right around the corner, Worker Bee Farm.
Then it takes a little longer. And the little longer is worth every yummy second.
What I love about Worker Bee Farm is…everything. I love the way you cut off Bodega Highway and drive down the gravel driveway (post COVID shut-down, does the open sign ever get flipped to closed?) to park and head into the farmstand which is an oasis of vegetable, fruit, and flower delight. You can also keep walking to the viewing area and see the farm spread out before you, and, if you are like me, for some reason your heart swells with pride because you are part of this somehow. You are participating in all rewards of the hard work that clearly goes into this place by eating!
Life can be so generous!
Now, I work my butt off at Spirit Hill to create a garden the guests can walk through and pick to their heart’s delight, but I stink at growing radhiccio and carrots. The carrots I grew this year did obscene things underground and when I pulled them, they came up wrapped around each other like lovers. They were fun to take pictures of, but the embrace had made them tough and not that fun to eat. I think I forgot to plant radicchio or else I did and I don’t know what happened to it.
Who even cares. I love being in my garden, but Farmer Will told me that Worker Bee is a place that farmers come to buy their produce. It makes so much sense. You’ll know what I mean after you visit.
Besides being a celebration of hard work and excellence, Worker Bee is also a celebration of trust. Farmer Will works with the honor system, and he takes cash, checks, or I.O.U.s. You write down the produce and flowers that you take and the amount you owe, and then you put your money in the wooden box.
When I was a kid, my family held hands at the Thanksgiving table and sang a song that was fun because everyone watched my father and my grandfather to see which words they would get wrong that year.
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you God for everything.
If the word God doesn’t feel right for you, you could sing to Farmer Will or your mom or best friend or spirit or some other holy entity.
And then dig in and have a wonderful day.