Historic gardens, nestled between the coastal forest and the ocean, are the home of The Stanford Inn By The Sea.

Big River Nurseries is our USDA Certified Organic farm. In 1985 we began farming at the site of the China Gardens, which provided produce for loggers and mill workers. Fresh water from springs is rare along the coast. The land here is characterized by such a spring which provides fresh water throughout the year. Originally held in a pond formed by a dam made of redwood timber, Chinese farmers were able to grow produce during the summer and fall. The China Gardens were abandoned by the turn of the last century, 120 years ago.

We began farming as a landscaping feature. It was productive and we had yet to build our restaurant and offered our produce and herbs to selected restaurants and grocers. Today, our production goes to Inn’s Ravens Restaurant.

Using French intensive, biointensive, and organic methods, we raise a wide variety of lettuces, cabbages, spinach, radishes and gourmet vegetables such as radicchio, mizuna, arugula, and tah tsai. Some beds are used to provide edible flowers for garnishes and salads and others are rose beds. We are also experimenting with a wide variety of fruit trees, learning which will flourish on the coast.

We are excited by our farming – particularly in that we can present this approach of gardening/farming to you. It is productive and beautiful while remaining in balance with nature.

Practicing sustainable and organic farming for over 30 years.

  • We are dedicated to responsible farming, your health as well as the health of the present and future planet.

  • The gardens are “double dug,” raised beds to enable better use of square footage and to reduce erosion.

  • Those who work in our gardens share the Inn’s philosophy of caring for plants, animals and people alike.

  • Demonstration salad gardens line the Inn’s decks.

Garden Tour