Imagine a family farm where crops had been grown for years in their fields.  Then a developer comes in and buys the property in order to build houses on it.  Many of us have seen this happen often where we live.  A farmer sells his fields and new homes or a parking lot with stores rapidly pop up afterward.  Well, this is not exactly what happened in this case.  The family who owned this farmland decided to tweak things a bit.

Now, there was a subdivision that was built on their land, aptly named “Agritopia”.  But 12 acres of land was reserved for the creation of an urban farm.  There is a grove of olive trees and an orchard with citrus, apples, peaches, plums, apricots and blackberries.  Another area of the farm is a large field where vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown.  

In addition, the family’s original home was converted into a restaurant with beautiful surrounding gardens that are open for all to enjoy.

My first stop was to go and see the community organic farm, which grows food for the restaurant and the residents of the surrounding homes can grow their own plot of vegetables, flowers and herbs here as well.

Being the flower lover that I am, my attention was first captured by the beautiful flowers that were blooming among the vegetables.  The flowers attract bees to help pollinate the crops. 

As a new vegetable gardener myself, I was excited to see what they had growing and so I tore myself away from the flowers and stated to explore the beautiful vegetables that were growing.

Aren’t the artichoke heads beautiful?

Many of their vegetables and fruit are available for sale at The Farm Stand.  

As I finished my walk through the vegetable gardens, I decided to look closely at a crop that does grow in Arizona, that may surprise some of you.  It certainly surprised me when I first moved here 24 years ago.

Can you tell what this is?

Did you guess yet?  They are grapevines.  I love how the grapevines line both sides of the pathway.
At this point, I could smell some delicious food in the air and so I turned my attention across the street where the restaurant is located.

As you can see, it is actually an old home that has been converted into a restaurant.

Diners are invited to eat at any of the picnic tables under the shade of the trees.

In front of the main entry to the restaurant, were two absolutely huge Tamarisk trees.

The trees are so tall as you can see and easily dwarf the diners and the restaurant.
I then took a short walk through the gardens, and came up upon the coffee shop.

I particularly like to visit this coffee shop because the eating area is surrounded by roses – my absolutely favorite flower.

The fragrance of the roses was intoxicating.  

If you look carefully, you may find one of the hidden ‘rooms’ in the garden where you can sit and enjoy your coffee.

The smell of delicious food was in the air and I was hungry, but had no time to stop for lunch.  I will never make that mistake again….note to self, when visiting a restaurant’s gardens, make sure to have time to stop for lunch.

On my way out, I saw the beautiful flowers of the Passion Vine and the colorful snapdragons in the distance.

Okay, seriously, I am not getting paid to promote Joe’s Farm and Grill 🙂 But, it is a great place to visit to sit and relax, enjoy good food, kids are free to run around, the gardens are beautiful and the farm is an educational experience as well.
It is one of my favorite places to visit.
**There are still 5 days left to participate in April’s MGB (Monthly Garden Bouquet).  I’d love to see your garden bouquets.