CONDOR RIDGE RANCH
Condor Ridge Ranch is an event venue we all adore, 43 acres high above the Bacara Resort in the Santa Barbara foothills, it is a hidden gem of ocean views, a beautiful lake, lush rolling hills and a certified organic farm full of exotic sub-tropical crops. Jay Ruskey and his family bought the farm in 1990 and are successfully growing coffee farther from the equator than any other place on earth. It’s fantastic coffee too! In 2010 Jay was the recipient of the innovative small farmer of the year award from University of California. Additionally, the farm, Good Land Organics, grows hass avocados, cherimoyas, caviar limes, passion fruit and dragon fruit; all are available online.
What Jay and his team are doing is far from ordinary farming, there is no flat land. Rather, they farm up and down gentle (and in places, not so gentle), slopes. Organic cultivation requires extensive hand labor as well. Their approach to farming some may deem “unconventional”, though many of the basic tenets they embrace stem from practices in sustainable crop production. Through the years, they often have bucked local ways to experiment with new techniques, and introduce new crops, sometimes to a chorus of traditional nay-sayers who were accustomed to, and content with maintaining the region’s classic mono-crops of lemons and avocados. In that practice we find a kindred spirit we very much respect and encourage.
They do fascinating coffee tours and provide a rich history of the coffee cherry, the process of production and delicious tastings. You can even purchase your own coffee tree.
The property is exquisitely layed out with events, large and small, in mind, and has a lovely natural amphitheater with a stunning vista back drop view.
I’d like to see the coffee, caviar limes and other seasonal organic produce used in the planning of the next event there. I think it would make for a memorable and unique experience! I’d love to do an oyster bar with the caviar limes or Jay says they’re great in champagne, bouncing up and down like sea monkeys and adding a tiny burst of citrus. The passion fruit is glorious with our Lobster Beignets! The coffee tour would be wonderful for a corporate lunch or sunset cocktail hour.
Let’s get this next party started! Let me know if I can help~
Lynette La Mere
Executive Chef, Pure Joy Catering