I love the shade. There is nothing quite so refreshing as a large shade tree in order to be able to escape the sun on a warm day. Well, guess what? Vegetables enjoy some shade as well when temperatures start to rise in May in the desert.
I was fortunate to spend Saturday at a wonderful organic vegetable farm that is covered in a canopy of large shade trees. My brother-in-law (Farmer Dad from Double S Farms) told me about it two weeks ago and I knew that was where I wanted to go for Mother’s Day.
Now, this farm is located right by a freeway that I have driven on countless times. It is actually located on the edge of an Indian reservation. You would never know that it existed – their existence is spread solely by word of mouth. They do not advertise and don’t even have a website. They provide produce to farmer’s markets as well as local restaurants.
And so our day began. I was anxious to explore this farm with my husband and kids. To be honest, I can’t think of a nicer way to spend Mother’s Day then going somewhere new with my family.
One of my first glimpses into the farm revealed numerous vegetables growing underneath large Mesquite and Palo Verde trees. I could hardly wait to get started, but first, my kids had to explore the outside of the store.
This is my son, Kai who loves to explore and is always running ahead to see what is yet to be discovered.
Such as a swing….
My three youngest children, Ruthie, Gracie & Kai. We are particularly enjoying time spent outdoors where Kai can be active since he will be having another surgery later this month which will leave him wheelchair bound for a couple of months.
The trail beckoned us onwards.
Now, like most boys, Kai loves to run ahead of us wherever we go. It is sometimes a chore to keep him close by. But here, he was free to explore on up ahead of us. As we caught up to him, we found him exiting an Indian tepee.
Even though the temperatures were quite warm, it was very comfortable throughout the farm because most of it was covered in shade.
Tomato plants were flourishing underneath this Mesquite tree.
Then we came upon a group of perennials growing. I didn’t tell my daughter, Ruthie what it was but told her to rub the leaves between her fingers and then to smell them.
She was quite surprised to find out that mint comes from a plant. You know, I just love how much kids can learn from visiting a farm.
Now, I have no idea what these plants are…..can someone enlighten me?
Although we saw many types of vegetables and herbs being grown, there were some unusual things that we came across.
For example, three Mariachi singers were performing in the middle of the garden….
This scarecrow would have scared my daughter, Gracie, but luckily she did not see it.
An open area by the store boasted an adobe oven.
There was even a place for Gracie to have a talk with her dad under the shade of the trees.
As we neared the end of our visit, we noticed something lurking
outside of the chicken coop…
It was a beautiful peacock, furtively sneaking about. As we got closer, we saw the reason why….
This pretty female peacock was inside of the chicken coop and he was stuck outside 😉
On our way back to the entrance, we walked by some huge cabbage.
And beautiful Artichokes…
At the end, we finished off our visit at the little store. I was surprised when I walked inside to discover that the floor was dirt.
Vegetables and herbs of all sorts were available for sale.
But I think the favorite part was the free bread and butter samples that my kids enjoyed.
In addition to the little store, there were also some plants available for sale along with fish fertilizer.
One of the most popular things about this farm, is their compost. You can come and get compost in a burlap bag for $16 or a load in the back of your truck for $40. I will definitely be getting my compost from them in the future.
I had an absolutely wonderful Mother’s Day on Saturday at the farm.
Me and my kids. Rachele, me, my son-in-law Jeff, Brittney Gracie, Kai and Ruthie.
I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day.
**For those of you who would like to visit Singh Farms. They are located on the northeast corner of Thomas Rd. and the 101 Freeway in Scottsdale. They are open only on Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 1:00.
It is a wonderful place to visit.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."