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Field of Dreams: A New Kind of Farm—for Members—at Noci Sonoma

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Field of Dreams: A New Kind of Farm—for Members—at Noci Sonoma

February 26, 2018

In 2014 when Chris Adjani and Aria Alpert Adjani stumbled upon a forgotten and unloved former vineyard on Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg, California, the couple knew they’d found the perfect place to create a new kind of membership-based modern farm.

The idea behind Noci Sonoma was simple: to celebrate the land by planting gardens and a wildflower meadow, and to build an outdoor dining pavilion, natural swimming pool, and clubhouse to attract a like-minded community of members willing to pay $500 a month to have the run of the facilities.

Fast-forward nearly four years: With construction under way and a sprawling edible garden and open-air outdoor kitchen in place, the Adjanis and their two young sons harvest their own food, cook dinner outdoors, and roam the nearby woods and creek. Members are met at the entrance and handed a basket to fill with up to 100 pounds a month of fresh-picked vegetables, berries, and herbs. The Adjanis call it “the ultimate edible garden experience.”

Photography by Mimi Giboin.

Blueberry bushes, planted after the couple cleared the  acres of debris (including rusted cars), already bear fruit—and in a few years will form a natural hedge at the edge of the edible gardens.
Above: Blueberry bushes, planted after the couple cleared the 24 acres of debris (including rusted cars), already bear fruit—and in a few years will form a natural hedge at the edge of the edible gardens.
From artichokes and asparagus to strawberries and tomatoes, the gardens produce seasonal food for members to harvest themselves.
Above: From artichokes and asparagus to strawberries and tomatoes, the gardens produce seasonal food for members to harvest themselves.
The Adjanis designed the farmstead to be inclusive—accessible and alluring to members (and their children) of every age. Last year the farm&#8
Above: The Adjanis designed the farmstead to be inclusive—accessible and alluring to members (and their children) of every age. Last year the farm’s 150 members ranged in age from their twenties to their eighties.
&#8
Above: “This is a real place. A real farm. We are working it,” the Adjanis say. “This is not a Four Seasons, and you shouldn’t expect it to be. It is and will be very stylish and designed, but we are not a resort.”
Neighbors in the Dry Creek Valley include more than 60 wineries and 0 grape growers.
Above: Neighbors in the Dry Creek Valley include more than 60 wineries and 150 grape growers.
The open-air pavilion, complete with a working kitchen and fire pit, is a slatted wood structure that owes its stylish black exterior to a coating of pine tar and linseed oil, a water-repellant treatment widely used in Sweden to avoid the need to use pressure-treated wood.
Above: The open-air pavilion, complete with a working kitchen and fire pit, is a slatted wood structure that owes its stylish black exterior to a coating of pine tar and linseed oil, a water-repellant treatment widely used in Sweden to avoid the need to use pressure-treated wood.
The Adjanis are working with architect Whitney Sanders of LA-based Sanders Architects to construct a farmstead complex with root cellars, an office, a clubhouse for members, a wood shop, and a large kitchen to cook food harvested from the gardens.
Above: The Adjanis are working with architect Whitney Sanders of LA-based Sanders Architects to construct a farmstead complex with root cellars, an office, a clubhouse for members, a wood shop, and a large kitchen to cook food harvested from the gardens.
Blueberry bushes flower in preparation for setting fruit.
Above: Blueberry bushes flower in preparation for setting fruit.
In the open-air pavilion a kitchen has a prep station where Aria prepares asparagus for grilling.
Above: In the open-air pavilion a kitchen has a prep station where Aria prepares asparagus for grilling.
Call it the modern root cellar, with jars of pickled vegetables on display.
Above: Call it the modern root cellar, with jars of pickled vegetables on display.
A wood-burning fire pit can be covered with a grill for cooking.
Above: A wood-burning fire pit can be covered with a grill for cooking.
Dinner under way.
Above: Dinner under way.
Another black-slatted structure is the farm&#8
Above: Another black-slatted structure is the farm’s entryway, framing the view of a bucolic landscape.

For more information about memberships, see Noci Sonoma.

See more tips and design ideas, along with inspiration from some of the most beautiful edible gardens we know:

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