By Jackie Caradonio
The call of the great outdoors reached an undeniable crescendo during the pandemic. After all, nothing could make the urge to be out in nature more intense than being told to lockdown and shelter in place. So, the arrival of NewTree Ranch in the rolling hills of Sonoma County couldn’t have come at a better time. Opened in 2019, the 120-acre property is more farm community than resort, home to just two exclusive-use residences (the two-bedroom Barn and the four-bedroom Ranch Estate) and endless opportunities to become one with the prime California landscape—and the planet.
A sprawling biodynamic farm resides at the heart of the estate, creating a closed-loop food system in which all the cuisine for the resort’s plant-based culinary program is sourced on-property. The chemical- and pesticide-free farm populates chef Matteo Silverman’s creative menus (not to mention his line of hot sauces, jams, and pickled everything—the perfect souvenirs) and also serves as a living classroom. Guests who join NewTree Ranch’s farming workshops partner with seasoned agriculturalists to learn the principles of self-sufficient ecology, from compost building to permaculture. In the garden, tea-making seminars explore the basics of growing, pruning, hanging, and drying medicinal herbs. The ranch also teaches children the fundamentals of gardening and agriculture, along with crafts classes inspired by the natural surroundings.
NewTree Ranch’s ethos of clean living extends to its holistic wellness experiences too. The spa’s facials use organic and biodynamic ingredients championed by Julia Faller, a pioneer in plant-based skincare. You can experience Tibetan singing-bowl sound journeys by the lake, art and flower-arranging classes in the garden, equestrian lessons at the stables, and Wim Hof sessions—which teach the power of meditative breathing in order to withstand the frigid waters of healing ice baths. The farm’s resident animals, meanwhile, aren’t raised for meat but rather to provide yet another learning experience: Workshops dedicated to interacting with the Scottish Highlander cows, Nigerian dwarf goats, and miniature horses that call NewTree Ranch home lead guests to share with them an inner calm.
After a few days of cleansing the body through conscious eating, quieting the mind, and tending to the land and its inhabitants, you can’t help but feel calmer, more collected, and certainly a bit healthier. Perhaps even more crucial in this year of reopenings and rebirths is the long-lasting result of reconnecting with the earth, something that has immeasurable benefits to the mind, body, and soul—just when we needed it most. From $2,000/night; newtreeranch.com