Well we continue building the new Communal Building. Progress has been slow to date but now we are stepping up the progress. The west stone wall is complete and we have framed and roofed the north flat roof. Next we will built the fireplace, set the 2 south sliding glass doors, which are on site, and frame and roof the south sloping roof. Our goal now is to be closed in within 6 weeks.

This building will be a welcome addition to our 2 BnB rooms allowing guests to prepare food on their own, have a living room atmosphere to relax in and a private patio with a fantastic view up Mescal Canyon. We are anticipating to now be complete before the cool weather sets in.

 We will keep you posted!

Well we have continued slowly on this new building here at Mescal Canyon Retreat. The native stone walls continue to go vertical and now the "Earth Friendly" insulated concrete form walls have started to go up. We will be grouting those walls and pouring part of the floor slab later this week (1-18-2015).
The building has gone up slower than we anticipated due to our outside commitments but progress is now underway. For those who are not aware we are building a new community building which will provide a living/eating/cooking area for our guests. it will include a fireplace and outdoor deck that looks up Mescal Canyon. We anticipate completion by this summer.

Building on Our Strengths

on Nov 23, 2013

The evolution of Mescal Canyon Retreat has been organic in many ways. The property has evolved from a homestead site situated in a desert wash, to a small home and garden plot with a couple of solar panels, then to multiple buildings and a larger garden beds, then came the addition of the Cedar Studio and more solar panels, and on and on. The transformation has been incremental, but the motivation has been the same: the idea that self-sufficient and sustainable places are created through a labor of love and a commitment to create a built environment that compliments and responds to nature.  Change is constant here and every season brings a new opportunity to make this place better.

One of the exciting projects happening at Mescal Canyon Retreat this fall and winter is the construction of a new building on the property. Over the past few years of operating the Bed & Breakfast on the property, many of our guests have expressed interest in use of a kitchen. We have also seen, especially during the winter months, the need to offer our guests the option to have breakfast inside. Rennie designed a new space in respons...

The Truth About Olives

on Oct 10, 2013

Olive trees are beautiful. Their thin, silvery leaves and the smooth bark on the sprawling branches make for a tree that begs for kids to climb up, and also an elegant appearance. Since the Verde Valley's climate is similar to certain places in Italy, olive trees do well here. The trees here at Candlewood are certainly doing well here, too! 

Over the past week, we harvested over 10 pounds of olives for making oil and over 30 pounds of olives for curing and brining. This was the biggest harvest yet! But, after harvesting thousands of olives and after watching countless videos and reading dozens of articles on how to process olives into oil and for eating, we have a new found appreciation of the olive product that we cook with and eat every day. And we almost decided that it would be just as easy to harvest the olives and then fly to Italy where they have the processing method down to a literal science. A small amount of olive oil, as it turns out, comes from dozens of pounds of olives and hours of work, especially when you don't have exactly the right equipment. The 10 pounds we harvested only produced enough oil to ...

Summer to Fall

on Sep 23, 2013

The  Fall Equinox is upon us and we finally feel like a change is truly in the air. Fall is typically a busy time of year for us at Mescal Canyon Retreat... we've already planted our fall garden and we have lots of visitors coming from all around the country, and world! Before we turn toward our fall activities, however, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the incredible people we met over the summer. We were very fortunate to have some wonderful guests from all over the country that made this summer very special... we've met the most interesting people and we feel that the time we spend together here at Mescal Canyon Retreat is something special.

Here are some comments from some of our amazing summer guests. Thanks for making this summer great!

"This could not have been a more perfect and transformational eight days. GREAT location to slip out to Jerome, Cottonwood, the canyons, the red rocks, the desert, the art, the food, etc., but...it was truly a struggle every day to feel compelled to leave at all because this destination is so lovely.Butterflies, birds, bees, kitties, chickens, vistas, beautiful architecture, doggies, gardens, massage, stars, f...

2013 brought new changes to Candlewood. In the spring, we were surprised to receive a letter from Candlewood Suites, a corporate hotel chain based in Atlanta. They wrote us to tell us that our use of the name Candlewood for our Bed & Breakfast conflicted with their right to the name Candlewood for their hotel chain. We were surprised that a national corporate chain found our  Bed & Breakfast in rural Arizona a threat to them. And despite the inconvenience, we understood that this was happening for a reason. We took the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, by name. 

For 30 years, we have always called our home and this property Candlewood, and we will continue to call it just that. Our Bed & Breakfast, however, is now Mescal Canyon Retreat. We chose this name because, in fact, Candlewood sits in Mescal Canyon, an off-the-beaten-path part of the Verde Valley that lies at the base of Mingus Mountain. We wanted to keep our tie to place as much as possible, and honor the surrounding beauty that drew us to this place originally. For those of you who have been here in the past, you'll find that little has changed here except for the name. For those who will come for ...

Harvest Time at Candlewood

on Aug 17, 2013

'Tis the season for harvesting grapes in the Verde Valley. As you travel to the area's many vineyards, you see that the growers are hard at work harvesting many different varieties of grapes. We planted wine grapes here at Candlewood nearly three years ago and we're close to the time when we can harvest our grapes for our own, boutique wine.

While we're not quite to that point, we did have a tremendous harvest so far this summer! From only 4 of our vines we were able to make delicious wine grape jelly, enough to share with our Bed & Breakfast guests at Mescal Canyon Retreat and for our friends and family! 

Even though you can't drink wine directly from Candlewood yet, remember that fall is incredible time for wine-lovers to visit the Verde Valley. If you're coming this way to stay with us at Mescal Canyon Retreat, remember to check out the harvest festivals in town: Sedona's Wine Festival is September 18 & 29, Page Springs' Harvest Festival is Saturday, October 5 and Alcantara's Harvest Festival is Saturday, October 12. Join us this fall and have a taste of the Verde Valley!


Autumn Anouncements

on Oct 9, 2011

Since it has been several months since our last post on the blog there are lots of things we have done here at Candlewood Retreat. The vines have been planted since May and 7 out of 100 did not survive the summer but the others took wonderfully. There are Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Malvasia Bianca, and our own rooted Petite Syrah & Negro Amaro for our varietals. In a few years we will be making our own house Chianti for our guests! Because of well timed rains, many yellow blooming wild flowers and tall blooming grasses soften the hillside around us. The cooler nights bring good “sleeping weather” and the abundant sunshine and cooler days are perfect for hiking and exploring. We’ve recently hosted a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Stone Circle in Mescal Canyon, with a reception after in the Cedar Studio & the newly weds stayed here with us at the bed & breakfast for a few days after. Thank you Nathan & Kira for honoring us with such a mile stone in your lives and it was a pleasure hosting such a unique, sacred & blessed event. There have been some interior renovations on the Caretakers house and we als...