Story and Photos by Selena Marroquin
Tucked away in the historic village of Los Luceros eight miles north of Española on the River Road to Taos sits Ice’s Country Tea Room and Organic Farm. With humming birds dancing outside of the windows of their cozy tearoom, Gayle and Ron Ice shared their experiences and adventures with farming.
“He loves to plant tomatoes,” Gayle told me as she explained how it all started. They began gardening when they retired—when their garden began to produce too much for the two of them, they decided to sell at a local farmers’ market. The following year, Gayle and Ron deliberately planted a little more and soon added a commercial kitchen for Gayle’s jams and jellies all made from their own produce. Be sure you try out her dandelion jelly, it’s quite a treat. Today, nearly twenty years later, the farm boasts an orchard, rows of lavender, corn, sugar snap peas, garlic, and, of course, a few varieties of Ron’s favorite, tomatoes. Continuing their farmers’ market tradition, Gayle and Ron regularly sell at the Los Alamos Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
Take a tour of the farm, and then enjoy afternoon tea at a table adorned with fine silverware, plates, and goblets pulled from Gayle’s personal Royal Doulton China collection. The tea room is only open on Tuesdays, May through September, so make a reservation early. In addition to tea, Gayle serves up a five-course meal using as much from the farm as possible. Even the edible flowers lining the walkway to the tea room are used to garnish the plates. Iced tea, hot tea, fresh-picked salads, sweets and scones, homemade sorbets, and more are all on the menu.
Road 1097, House 33, Los Luceros, 505-852-2589
The GCCE (www.culturalentrepreneur.org) has partnered with edible Santa Fe to invite readers to explore food and farm traditions of our state with the people who are keeping these traditions alive and thriving. Visit our farms, eat local, and share your stories with us as we support our regional agritourism sites. www.ediblesantafe.com/agritourism