Guy, Austin, Travis, and Skyler Jones
Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove
(Opposite, from top) Guy Jones raised his sons (pictured left to right) Austin, Skyler, and Travis on this farm. Weekend chores for these three were serious business. Now, market shoppers (and young taste-testers) are welcome to their market and weekend brunch.
Thirty-five years ago, Guy Jones began organically farming rich Orange County soil — long before “organic” was the ubiquitous buzzword it is today. He has since raised three sons on the property, expanded the scope of the business, and most importantly, built community. Today, Jones can be found around the creeks, gardens, and footbridges surrounding the farm store and restaurant, mingling with visitors every weekend, nearly all of whom he seems to know on a personal level. They are all devotees of the farm motto, “Don’t buy food from strangers.”
Blooming Hill Farm is “selling people pastries so that they will come buy carrots,” admits Guy Jones.
While Blooming Hill Farm’s primary function is still the production of a diverse array of vegetables grown on the hundred-acre farm, it has perhaps become more known in the region for its amenities, which Jones’ sons oversee. People flood in on weekends to grab airy pastries and savory sourdough pizzas during brunch; they come for monthly long-table community dinners, which at times have been cooked by some of the world’s best chefs; and many come with friends and family on their wedding day. These additions to the original farm provide a valued supplement to the business, but as Jones puts it, they are still “selling people pastries so that they will come buy carrots.”
In truth, it’s not just the pastries that draw people in but the close relationships, the integrity of the farming process, the beautiful setting of the farm itself, and the pragmatic value provided to subscribers of their popular community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Members of their CSA buy shares up-front that they can spend over time. The farm gives them 10 percent off. According to Jones, “most people like it better [than a traditional CSA] because they are able to pick what they want rather than having to take what they’re given.”
While there is no shortage of patronage to the farm by weekenders and professional chefs alike, Jones understands that “it takes more work for restaurants, supermarkets, and individuals to support local agriculture, and we appreciate it.”
Blooming Hill Farm features a CSA, farm store, weekend brunch, farm dinners, and open grounds (at main site). Weddings and private events can be booked. www.bloominghill.farm