Just recently I met Barbara and Dan Goodrich. I went to their farm to take some photos so I could include them on the blog, and especially on Sunday, since it is San Luis Obispo Sunday….
I met Barbara at the farm, and she told me about the backstory…
Hartley Farms was started by Barbara and Dan Goodrich as an extension of Barbara’s already flourishing wedding venue business: Hartley Botanica (www.HartleyBotanica.com) in Somis. The county decided that 60 events per year was all an outdoor venue could do, so Barbara set out, in 2003, searching for a property to build another venue.
In 2005, Barbara took her Dad, Richard, to look at a piece of property in San Miguel. Barbara grew up in the nursery business her dad started, and she trusted his judgement in finding the perfect piece. When Richard saw the San Miguel property, he knew this was it. He already had a plan in his head before Barbara even signed the offer. Barbara had her own ideas. Thirty-seven acres was a lot of property for only a weding garden.
After learning that the property sat directly on top of the aquifier, she knew she had to keep everything organic. The grape market seemed a little saturated in the area, and Barbara loves to be different. So, the idea of an organic orchard was hatched, then a unique jam line from the farm’s fruit (since organic fruit might not always look perfect). Of course, there were no improvements to the property, and with the economy taking a turn for the worse, it was pretty hard to convince a bank this was a good investment. I mean, putting fruit in a jar instead of a bottle?! It’s insanity! This is wine country!
Little by little improvements were made: drilling a well, bringing in power, building the gardens. Then, in 2006, Barbara met Dan. While Dan worked on building roads, and tended to the orchard, Barbara worked on jam recipies, and marketing the event space. Weddings booked, jam was canned, the orchard grew, babies were made, and now here they are! The jams are so dog gone delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking of having them again.
By 2017, we expect to have the first two rooms of our Bed & Breakfast completed, and start to rent The Cottage as a vacation rental. We also plan on adding up to ten Farm Stays: small cabins or tents for glamping, and offer agri-tours, and canning classes. Stop in and see what’s new at The Farm! The place is a little oasis of unexpected beauty!
These are a few of the photos I took at the farm. One will notice as they are strolling in the garden area, relaxation washes over us like a gentle rain fall. Oh, it was just a fantastic visit! Barbara and Dan made us feel so welcome as soon as we walked up to the door. Visit the website, and then come out to visit the small but adorable town of San Miguel, we really do have a lot to offer.