An Old Farm in the Middle of the City

rural oasis

Last Friday, I went on a visit to a very special place, called “The Farm at South Mountain”.  The farm is a rural oasis just 8 minutes from downtown Phoenix.  

My younger sister and her family (residents of “The Refuge”), were in town on a visit and we all journeyed together to explore this peaceful farm. 

The Farm at South Mountain

 The 12-acre farm sits on an old riverbed and is blessed with rich soil.  A large pecan grove, organic vegetable and flower gardens, 3 award-winning restaurants, gift shop, artist studio and spa are all located on the farm.  Entry to the farm is free and guests are encouraged to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the farm.

rural oasis

As you first enter, you are greeted by the large pecan grove with numerous picnic tables, inviting you to enjoy breakfast or lunch from one of the restaurants on-site.  The pecan trees hide the sights of the skyscrapers of downtown Phoenix and make you feel like you are miles away from the city.

*Even in winter, I think pecan trees are beautiful.

rural oasis

The organic gardens greet you as you walk along the walkways.  Rows of vegetables and flowers were neatly laid out.  Roosters could be heard before you could see them nearby the vegetable gardens.

rural oasis

Organically grown vegetables, flowers and herbs surrounded us everywhere we looked.  I felt like a kid in a candy store – there was just so much to see and take pictures of.  

rural oasis

A farmer’s market is held on Saturday mornings at the farm.

rural oasis

Young tomato plants.

Anaheim Chilis

 Anaheim Chilis

rural oasis

The vegetables grown on the farm make their way to local restaurants, schools and markets.

Brocciflower, freshly harvested

Brocciflower, freshly harvested.



Carrots and turnips freshly washed

Carrots and turnips freshly washed.

Green and purple lettuce washed

Green and purple lettuce washed and packaged and ready to leave for a local restaurant.

chicken coop

No need to purchase natural fertilizer, with a ready supply available from the chicken coop.

rural oasis

Huge broccoli plants.

rural oasis

Purple and Green Lettuce.

I love the contrast in the colors of the green and purple lettuce.

compost pile

How is this for a compost pile?

The Farm at South Mountain

Daisy Mom, Fruity Girl, Little Farmer and Pastor Farmer. (Residents of “The Refuge” & “Double S Farms”).

We enjoyed a wonderful morning together and ended it with a picnic lunch underneath the pecan trees.

There was so much to see and I took over 118 photos.  But, don’t worry, I won’t make you look at all of them ;^)

But, I would love to share pictures of the flowers and the herbs and succulents in my next post with all of you.  They were just beautiful.  

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
27 replies
  1. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, What a really enjoyable day out. I cannot believe that this farm is so close to such a large centre of population. And what vegetables, so well tended and organised.

    I was intrigued to see the pecan trees – totally new to me. Are they indigenous to your area or the USA in general?

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    I like the red and green lettuces together in the row. Nice contrast.
    What a treat to have such a great place so close to town to visit. (and great to buy fresh veggies!!)

  3. Gail
    Gail says:

    This is not the kind of look I expect to see outside of Phoenix! What a great resource…I sure was wishing for a few of those tomatoes for dinner tonight…Thank you for the tour…I loved it. gail

  4. Gail
    Gail says:

    This is not the kind of look I expect to see outside of Phoenix! What a great resource…I sure was wishing for a few of those tomatoes for dinner tonight…Thank you for the tour…I loved it. gail

  5. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    I had no idea that pecan trees could grow in Phoenix! What a great farm; I love the rows of veggies, especially the lettuce. It must have been lots of fun for you and your family. Wish I had such a good source for manure!

  6. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    What an idyllic place! How great for your young ones to experience this! I am a bit shocked to see those pecan groves in Arizona! I wouldn't have thought it. It reminds me of the Georgia countryside, as well as the huge pecan growing in the middle of our Atlanta backyard.

  7. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    That is a beautiful farm Noelle, thank you for sharing as we dont have the time to make such tours and picnics. We will surely wait for your next promised photos. I love how Pastor Farmer leads your group as if he really enjoys and knows what he is doing!

  8. Rose
    Rose says:

    Looks like a perfect place for a family outing! This looks nothing like my image of Arizona; how nice to have something so close to the city and yet such a departure from cityscapes. All those fresh vegetables are making me want to get out and plant some!

  9. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    Good Morning Noelle

    What a morning trip – I think I could have spent the whole day there. You would never realise from those photos that there are towerblocks behind those Pecan trees. I'd never even seen a pecan tree till I read this! Noelle your turnips are really small in the US – ours are about 5 times that size.

    Can't wait to see part 2.

  10. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    That is too cool, and right in the city like that! Their ongoing harvests made me drool, too. What a lovely discovery.

    Pecan trees are always beautiful to me, too. 🙂

  11. says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed the tour of the vegetable gardens :^)

    Quite a few pecan groves exist in our area, but pecans are not native to our area. They are an American native and I believe originated in the area around Texas.

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