Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pomello Farm and Another Kiss

I never expected An Experience when we left the North for the South of California the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I just expected to have some good cousin time for the kids, some good talking time with the family and some good food at the feast.  However, when we walked into the french doors of Pomello Farm a cup of hot mulled cider awaited us weary travelers and we got our first taste of the place. 

Warm, inviting, complicated, rich, tangy, flavorful.

Pomello Farm is actually a rental property on about an acre of lemon trees surrounded by McMansions on all sides.  But my sister Aleli and her husband James have touched the place and it has turned into something much better.  Found objects, salvaged furniture and bohemian sensibility come together in this labrynthian house and fit perfectly.  The smell of some kind of essential oil greets you at each turn in the strange maze of rooms and eaves that make up the interior.

Around here someone (Aleli) is always picking something out of the earth and saying "Here eat this. It has a very sweet/piney/sassafrassy/earthy flavor. Plus it is very high in iron/vitamin C/ Vitamin B/ antioxidants.  And did you know it is actually a weed that the state of California is trying to eradicate?!? Genocide, I tell you.  Here, eat it with (pluck)'s like nature's chewing gum!"

Liters of organic, savory and (need I say it?) free soup fill the refrigerator. Tomato, black bean, butternut squash. And piles of day old bread, pastries, muffins and MACAROONS lay in heaps on platters all around for the taking.
James makes runs to and from Le Pain Quotidien(the restaurant he manages) for all of these convestibles. He is always finding an extra table, chair, ladder, vacuum cleaner, a meal and a way.  He only stops to savor the view of the hills from his front patio.  He is a blur of resourceful energy until you see him parked serenely in a salvaged chair with a cup of tea soaking in the beauty. Then off he goes again.

Kids get dirty here. Their feet get stung by stinging nettles. (Did you know you could eat stinging nettle. True. Just fold it up  like a little taco and your saliva will nuetralize the sting. Plus it is very high in iron and has such a rich earthy flavor. I learned this at the farm.) Their cheeks get red and hot in the dry California wind but there is fresh pomegranite lemonade on the porch to drink so you can keep on spinning and playing and lemon launching as long as you feel like.
Aleli and James had Deedee, Mymy, and Zuzu sleep over so they could get extra time with Kai, Keoni and Eden before they left to spend Thanksgiving with their dad. They dealt with the intensly weird energy my kids give off when they are tired until two in the morning. And then they had games and activities all over the place to entertain them the next day.  They made everyone feel welcome and comfortable.   (And this was all BEFORE they hosted the Thanksgiving Feast. A post worthy event in and of itself.) They gave us all An Experience. For that I would like to give them The Golden Kiss.

Some images from the farm.

Cousin Time! We love Kai, Keoni, Eden and Julian!

Some favorite women. Diane with exactly 23 grapes in her mouth. The beautiful Aleli, my seester (we go waaaaay back). My beloved mother (a saint, no question.) And Katie, a joy. Jeremy is not a girl but I like him anyway.

Launching Lemons. Aim for the cow bell target, try not to hit a mansion.(Look at Uncle Ethan's strenf.)

The Compelling Couple, Aleli and James.

Marauding Verver (probably under James's care.)

The Wednesday Crew (waiting on baited breath for the Thursday contingent to arrive.)

Sweet Hannah (in a pose).

And of course we ended the day in spontaneous song around a campfire built by james accompanied by Steve on the guitar while eating s'mores. Cumbaya my lord. Cumbaya.

The truth is, the whole thing just smacked of summer November.
Thanks again you crazy cats!

For more on James, Aleli, Kai, Keoni, Eden and Julian go here to read about their experiment last August.


  1. It looks like an Experience, indeed! Magical.

  2. i want to go to there.
    ah darn it, i hate when people clearly copy/quote quirky things tina fey says on 30 rock, but it seemed, well so perfectly fit in this sitch. plus it's 1 am and why aren't in bed?
    blerg, nerds, etc. and so forth.

  3. Do the PrettyHearts take reservations for non-family members? (Remember I'm adopted and could possibly be the bastard child of any family and I will use this mystique to its full advantage.)

  4. Glad you had fun, but I have to say that it turns out you have lied to me. I've been looking and looking, and I don't see it!

  5. Karyn, as far as I'm concerned you are always invited to EVERY gathering. You are IN.

  6. Wow! What an amazingly fun family and experience. It actually sounds warm and dreamy! Your sis and her hubby are go getters! Right on! Hoping the best for them and their restaurant! Wow!!