Dine in a secret garden in the city
Nestled in the Farm District at the base of South Mountain lies a 10-acre pecan grove, a secret oasis in the desert city, called The Farm at South Mountain. The Farm at South Mountain is home to three garden to table restaurants, a modern boutique and also local grower, Maya Dailey. The property that The Farm is on today was once owned by Dwight Heard in the early 1920’s. Heard had a vision for the Farm District in the South Mountain area and sold parcels of land with a cow and 50 chickens to those who would use the land for self-sufficiency and sustainability. The Farm’s mission has stayed in tact through the years, and is now a modern version of this vision thanks to owner, Pat Christofolo and her team.
A beautiful view
During my visit to The Farm, I visited Morning Glory Café, the breakfast and brunch restaurant that is located at the back of the property.
The outdoor patio seating at Morning Glory speaks for itself as to why the small café has grown a reputation throughout the Valley. Rose bushes line a cute picket fence enclosing the restaurant into its own garden. As you sip on coffee or a fresh squeezed mimosa, the green trees, beautiful flowers and organic farm all make up your breakfast canvas.
Since I dined on a weekend, I was able to select off the menu that offered the “Pork Is the New Black” Omelet. Fresh Hickman eggs become a blanket to this meaty omelet. Inside was local Meat Shop ham, Shreiner’s breakfast sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, onions, peppers and cheese. All of this was slathered with a decadent sausage gravy that I soaked up with the buttermilk biscuit on the plate.
Going with the Southwest flair on the menu, I also tried the Huevos Rancheros. Two crispy tortillas were covered with over easy eggs, a green salsa and cheese. On the side were traditional refried beans and crispy potatoes.
After the savory options, I was told that I had to try a sweet brunch treat. I went for the Farm Monte Cristo, because it was not only a fluffy French toast, but also a meaty option. Two pieces of brioche French toast were the outer shell of the humungous breakfast sandwich that was filled with ham, over easy eggs and cheese. The sandwich was dressed with syrup and as you cut into it, the egg yolk created another rich sauce. The two flavors of the sweet syrup and the egg yolk made this dish too good to bring home in a to-go box.
After brunch, there was still more adventures at The Farm to be had. I headed next door to a little shop called Botanica. Inside was a dream of a gift shop. Local artisans and food products lined the cute cottage. On the shop’s patio was an art workshop taking place. I was told to check the website for more upcoming classes.
After buying some local honey from McClendon’s Select at Botanica, I walked across to the on-site garden, called Maya’s. Maya Dailey is a prominent local farmer who runs the sustainable garden that harvests certified organic produce. Maya’s provides a seasonal community-supported agriculture (CSA) program for the community to sign up to receive weekly baskets with fresh produce, herbs and flowers, while in return financially supporting this local farm.
Each month, The Farm holds different classes and events, which make for great family-friendly weekend activities. The Farm is also dog friendly, so lots of pups were on the patio enjoying the beautiful weather. Since the breakfast and lunch restaurants are outdoors, The Farm does take a summer hiatus from the end of May to the beginning of September each season.
My morning at The Farm displayed how the property intertwines with the fresh produce grown on site, being used in the restaurants and the support of local businesses throughout the property. Take a break from life in the city soon and escape to The Farm.