When venturing down Pacific Coast Highway, drivers will notice a few obvious Malibu landmarks: the La Salsa man, the Malibu Pier and that sign for Paradise Cove Beach Café. What they might not see is a hidden gem: The Malibu Fig Ranch at 29127 Pacific Coast Hwy, right near Cavalleri Road.
The fig ranch is a full-service farm that grows (of course) figs, along with mustard greens, oregano, dill, parsley, tarragon, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, avocados, wild arugula, tangerines, turnips, beats, radishes, fennel and basil. Anything that isn’t grown there is brought in at the peak of flavor and nutrient density from farms from Oregon to San Diego.
Head of operations Kerry Clasby, aka “The Intuitive Forager,” is a former tech executive and hotel franchise developer who opened the farm in 2016. She prides herself on providing fresh produce to customers and chefs from Malibu Farm, Nobu and Soho House.
“We curate a collection of the finest organic specialty and staple products from the best farmers who have committed to being transparent about their growing practices, and have made a commitment to growing food the right way,” Clasby said in an interview with The Malibu Times.
The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and customers can purchase honey, jams, bread, cheese and holiday gifts in additional to the produce. Recently, Clasby, who began growing her own food years ago after her son was diagnosed with a dysentery-type illness from store-bought produce, began holding events at the farm in order to promote community building in Malibu.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, she hosted an event called, “We’re All So Happy to Still Be Festival,” which featured music, storytelling, poetry and wood-fired cauliflower crust pizza from Malibu Farm. The festival served as a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Woolsey Fire. All of the performers had been in the fire, some of whom had lost their homes.
When the fire struck Malibu, it burned down the homestead of the Cunninghams, the family who originally owned the farm, as well as Clasby’s office and the farming shed where she kept her tools and supplies. While it was tough, she was comforted by the fact that the community was there for her when she needed them the most.
She said that when her grandmother was a child, she was ice-skating one day on a lake in her town in Nova Scotia. Then, her grandmother saw her family’s home burning down, and she realized she didn’t have any shoes anymore.
Many decades later, Clasby lost her boots in the Woolsey Fire. Thankfully, members of the community were able to provide her with new ones.
“Since the fires, I have realized the importance of these connections and the importance of people having a place to keep those bonds and connections going,” she said.
After the success of the first event, Clasby held a cacao ceremony, where people gathered around a fire, played guitar and ate chocolate. She also recently hosted a holiday farm and gift boutique featuring artists, artisans and farmers and, in the future, she’ll be inviting people to the farm for open mic nights.
Though Clasby has only had the farm for three years, she’s already realized how tight-knit her community is, and has cemented her place as an integral part of the Malibu family.
“The fire was a pretty unbelievable tragedy and trauma, but also there have been many community bonds that been made,” she said. “People have been opening their hearts and their homes and reaching out to each other. It’s been amazing to watch.”