- Converting from Crazy - Wyoming, Detour to Utah and Back to WyomingFriday, November 17, 2017
Boo, hiss, bummer! The weather forecast stated snow and cold going north toward Jackson, Wyoming. Snowy roads and super cold temps don’t mix with motorhome travel and we didn’t want to make our trip more exciting than it needed to be. So where do you go when your home is on wheels? How about Utah! Although it wasn’t in the original plans to visit, we researched the state and found some foodie restaurants in Provo, Salt Lake and Park City, so south we went. We also started research on a four-legged fur sister for Sasha. Shhhh. Don’t tell her. It’s a surprise!
Along the way we stopped at the Flaming Gorge for a couple of nights where it was warm enough for a fire pit and s’mores.
Sasha was reading about the first explores of America and found out that John Wesley Powell sailed down the Green River and named the Flaming Gorge due to its beautiful, red sandstone flaming cliffs. Couldn't get the flaming effect of the gorge due to the weather but it was still beautiful. As we climbed higher leaving the gorge it started to snow! I mean really snow! Good thing we had Robert at the wheel and good tires on the motorhome thanks to Professional Sales RV!
Along the way to Salt Lake City we had a near catastrophe of Sasha being eaten by a dinosaur at the Dinosaur National Monument! What a cool place out in the middle of nowhere.
Although we visited a couple of restaurants in the Salt Lake City area, our favorite was Communal. Welcomed by a large community seating table, this open kitchen made you feel like you were eating at someone’s home. Our lunch was fabulous, and we were able to visit with the lunch/brunch chef as well as the dinner chef. Their prep area was downstairs, and after speaking to both chefs, it was not recommended if given a choice. So glad to have that choice in designing our own kitchen!'
For years now our dear Sasha has been asking for a younger sibling. Every time she brings it up we tell her that the Grill is our other “child” and is too demanding for another sibling. Yes, it’s true, being a restaurant owner is an incredibly time consuming, hair raising/pulling and challenging just like children. Sasha has been very tolerant of our lifestyle (or lack of) due to this business. So for an early Christmas present we surprised her with a short road trip up to Paradise, UT to meet her new little sister (so to speak), Gracie! What a better time to bond with a puppy than on a 2 month road trip in a motorhome! The first picture is of Sasha finding out she's getting a puppy.
With puppy in tow (or more like in lap) we are headed back to Jackson, WY now that the storm has passed and the roads are clear. We were really excited to experience another small mountain town. There are a lot of restaurants in Jackson but we chose one called Gather based on a recommendation (and it's a cool name). Cheff Matt showed us around his kitchen explaining what works and what doesn't. Below is a picture of some micro greens they get from a local farm called Vertical Harvest which grow their greens and vegetables in a three story hydroponic greenhouse year round. This bowl of butternut, ale cheese soup shows how to use microgreens as a garnish.
Before we could leave Jackson, we had to visit the Grand Tetons. Chef Matt recommended that we park at the Signal Mountain Resort and walk along the lake with the Tetons in the background. We had a perfect day to do so. These mountains are majestic!
Now we are headed to Idaho!
- Soothing Violence by Joel SalatinWednesday, May 08, 2018Joel F. Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author who is now the editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer magazine. The Stockman Grass Farmer brings its readers the latest information on high profit grassland ideas from all over the world; each month profiling leading farmers and ranchers with details as to how and why they are successful. Salatin and his extended family raise livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. He is a leader in the regenerative movement and a true mentor for hundreds of farmers and ranchers worldwide. This editorial from the May Stockman Grass Farmer speaks to our hearts as modern day grass farmers.
- Fresh Cut Flowers - A Tradition at the James RanchWednesday, February 08, 2018Fresh cut flowers have been a long-standing tradition at the Gardens at James Ranch. For over two decades Jenn and Joe Wheeling and their family have tended this wonderfully productive plot of land, supplying the Durango area not only with wonderful vegetables, but with gorgeous flowers as well. As the Wheelings move on to other pursuits, Mountain Belle Flower Farm is proud and delighted to be continuing this flower-growing legacy at the Gardens at James Ranch.
- Heather and Wayne Houk start ‘Tilted Earth Farm at James Ranch’Wednesday, February 08, 2018The 2018 growing season will be the first year that Heather and Wayne will be providing as much of the produce as possible for the James Ranch on the beautiful land that Jen and Joe Wheeling have cultivated for the past 18 years. They promise to grow the famous sugar snap peas that Jenn has shared with the community as well as a wide array of other veggies. The hope it to have almost all the lettuce, herbs, greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, peppers, squash, onions, broccoli, pumpkins and so much more grown right here on the Ranch.
- Converting from Crazy - Ida, Ida IdahoWednesday, December 07, 2017With a new clue received from a local magazine picked up in Jackson Hole, the Stewarts are headed to Driggs, Idaho to meet a like-minded chef then head to Boise, which has been touted as a new foodie city, then up to Coeur d' Alene which is headquarters for Tractor Sodas, the Grill's new organic soft drinks.
- Converting from Crazy - The Denver/Boulder InspirationWednesday, November 17, 2017The Stewart's are on their epic research trip and stopping off first in Denver and Boulder. There are a lot of great restaurants in the area, but there are three that actually have their own farms/ranches that supply a majority of their ingredients just like the Harvest Grill. Their goal is to see the kitchens and meet with the chefs.
- Converting from Crazy (The Stewart family’s quest for knowledge)Wednesday, November 16, 2017Cynthia and Robert decided to research their next adventuring into the restaurant world by taking a research trip in a motorhome to different restaurants around the western United States. Their goals are to see other kitchens, talk to chefs, understand the restaurant culture and learn how to recruit an employee team that will join in their dream of the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience.
- Farm To LunchboxWednesday, September 21, 2017Are there any other parents out there like me who groan internally with the thought of crafting a daily, nutritious, filling school lunch that your children will actually eat? I’m sure there are. I am deeply committed to feeding my family nutrient-dense foods from our farm as much as I can. So for this reason, I roll up my sleeves and do a little planning. At this time of year, there is such amazing, local food available that it is a natural fit to work some of it into your kids’ school lunch.
- Dryland Corn and Elote Con CremaWednesday, September 07, 2017Four years ago I (Cynthia) was walking through the Durango Farmer’s Market to see what I could buy for the Grill to serve. I stopped at a booth that had a corn stock that was only 4 feet high but had these large, beautiful ears of corn jetting off the sides of it. This was my first introduction to dry land corn.
- Wasps Are Friends, Not The EnemyWednesday, September 02, 2017Since I have been actively working on the ranch the last few years, I have been paying attention to the wasp populations and actively encouraging their numbers by building housing and planting more and more bushes and plants with flowers to feed them. Beneficial wasps, both predatory and parasitoid, are another way we accomplish chemical-free, organic farming.
- It Takes A Village To Feed A VillageWednesday, August 10, 2017The families of the James Ranch provide a well-rounded variety of organically grown food products for the local community: 100% grass-fed beef, artisan raw milk cheeses, pastured pork and eggs, fresh produce and flowers, and our restaurant (Harvest Grill and Greens at the James Ranch Terraces). It's a family affair and we have a lot of moving parts that come together to offer our community the freshest, most nutrient-dense food in the Four Corners. We are also proud to carry products from other local farmers! We'd love to take a second to introduce to you the current lineup of farmers that we'll be supporting and carrying at James Ranch Market and Harvest Grill.