Did you know Arizona has a Fresh Foodie Trail where food lovers can engage in an agrotourism sampling of seasonal goods and produce? The tour begins in Mesa and winds through nearby East Valley cities such as Gilbert and Queen Creek. Here’s a rundown of the Fresh Foodie Trail, from the folks at Visit Mesa:
In Mesa, our bountiful harvest is one that we proudly share with our visitors all year long. Here, fresh experiences and a treasured heritage of family farms and long-standing festivals make for lasting memories. The area has long served as a culinary gateway to Greater Phoenix with the neighboring farms and agritourism attractions providing a continuous bounty of seasonal goods for visitors to enjoy. Now, visitors can hop in their car and take a road trip filled with delights and culinary education. A dozen popular food-driven experiences line the Fresh Foodie Trail® that winds visitors through Mesa and beyond into our regional Southeast Valley towns. Experience charm and serene landscapes as you head south and east on a quest for the freshest food you can find – all from Arizona.
Plan your visit at all these stops on the Fresh Foodie Trail®:
- The Orange Patch
- True Garden Urban Farm
- Superstition (Dairy) Farm
- Queen Creek Olive Mill
- Schnepf Farms
- Hayden Flour Mills at Sossaman Farms
- Vertuccio Farms
- Mesa Urban Garden
- The Pork Shop
We recommend calling ahead for updated hours of operation, event schedules and more. Some attractions require admission fees.
The Orange Patch
2600 E. Lehi Road
Arizona has deep roots in the citrus industry when explorers brought the curious fruit with them to the “New World”. For Mesa, farmers began planting citrus crops in the late 1800s as Arizona’s climate was admired for its minimal frost, low humidity and of course – sunshine. You can still experience the joys of the harvest at The , where visitors can taste, shop and tour the farm stand while taking in the fragrant orange blossoms each winter.
5949 E. University Drive
This 5,000-square-foot vertical urban farm is a center of education, sharing knowledge on how to produce healthy and nutritious food using no soil. Visitors to True Garden can learn more about organic growing practices, nutrition, overall health and wellness and enjoy their weekly farmer’s markets featuring living produce. Call ahead for a list of current events and educational seminars. Private tours available for groups of 10 or more.
Superstition (Dairy) Farm
3440 S. Hawes Road
Visitors to Mesa can roll up their sleeves and get a taste of life on the farm. Tours are aimed at demonstrating to visitors the daily life on a working “agritourist” family farm. In addition to learning about modern dairy operation and how farmers work to be environmentally conscious, guests also discover the dedication taken to the care, comfort, and health of every animal. Also on site is a petting zoo, Milk & Ice Cream Bar, and Mooster’s Moo-tique – a fully-stocked boutique featuring toys, novelty items, games, candy, fresh eggs, cheeses, and local jams and honey.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S. Meridian Road
Queen Creek, 480-888-9290
Arizona’s only family-owned and operated working olive mill and farm, where olives are grown and pressed for the production of high quality extra virgin olive oil. Experience their Olive Oil 101 class (offered hourly) and enjoy complimentary tastings of oils, olives and vinegars. Visitors are invited to dine at the mill’s Tuscan-inspired eatery featuring fresh gourmet sandwiches, panini’s as well as soups, salads, gelato and fresh roasted espresso from Superstition Coffee. Relax in their olive grove with libations at The Pit, featuring specialties from the grill.
24810 S. Rittenhouse Road
Queen Creek, 480-987-3100
Just east of Mesa in the charming town of Queen Creek, visitors can explore the one-of-a-kind Schnepf Farms – celebrating 75 years of operation. This fourth generation family farm and the largest organic peach grower in Arizona is not just a festival or event farm, they are truly a farm where you can come and experience Arizona agriculture at its finest. If planning a day trip, make sure to visit the website and see what’s happening that week on the farm. Guests may be able to experience everything from peach picking to watching a historical re-enactment, enjoying a classic car show, or an antique craft fair, fireworks, one of the unique seasonal farm festivals, ice skating, or just picking veggies in the u-pick garden. Designated an Arizona Treasure by the Governor, Schnepf Farms is open 10 months a year (closed July 5 through Labor Day). Seasonal events include: Pumpkin & Chili Party (October), Winter Wonderland (December), Peach Blossom Festival (February), Dinner Down the Orchard (Spring), Easter Egg-citement, and 4th of July Fireworks Celebration.
Hayden Flour Mills at Sossaman Farms
22100 S. Sossaman Rd.,
Queen Creek, 480-557-0031
Taste Arizona history at Hayden Flour Mills, a family-owned flour mill focused on native seeds and growing hand cultivated heritage grains with minimal processing. Sossaman Farms has been growing wheat for more than 100 years in neighboring Queen Creek and visitors can enjoy a full-sensory culinary experience that starts with a tour of their milling operation. Here, Hayden Flour Mills showcases flavorful grain and its importance to the American diet highlighting everything from artisan breads, pasta and wheat berries to Bourbon, craft brews, grain-based oils and more. Retail store inside.
Mesa Urban Garden
212 E. 1st Ave., Mesa
This community garden features stunning murals by local street artists, bringing vibrant life to the walls of the garden. Signature community events include free yoga classes on the last Wednesday of the month, salsa night on the second Friday of the month featuring their produce, and other annual events including the Great Mesa Potluck and Picnic in the Garden.
Agritopia & Joe’s Farm Grill
3000 E. Ray Road
Joe’s Farm Grill is a ‘60s-era modern-day diner that was converted from the Johnston Family homestead. Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the menu showcases classic American fare with farm fresh ingredients. Located in Agritopia, this certified organic “urban farm” was designed to flourish in the urban setting and was named the country’s leading ‘agri-hood’ by New York Times. The same-day harvest is also sold at 24-hour The Farm Stand.
Vertuccio Farms / Power Road Farmer’s Market
4011 S. Power Road
Enjoy seasonal u-pick produce and stop by the neighboring roadside farm stand to enjoy fresh goods and shop for many of Arizona’s finest purveyors. Fresh salsas, spices and more are for sale here all year-round. Every October, take a stroll through Vertuccio Farms’ giant corn maze and experience their Fall Festival complete with hot kettle corn, a pumpkin patch and amusements for the kids. Seasonal operation, call ahead for hours.
The Pork Shop
3359 E. Combs Road
Queen Creek, 480-987-0101
Located in Queen Creek, the Pork Shop is home to the best pork in the country. From fresh cuts of pork to seven types of smoked bacon, this third generation farm also sells a collection of fresh sausages, snack sticks, lunch meats and more. Their gourmet sausages include green chili, potato, beer brats, andouille and jalapeno flavors – as well as a line of cheese sausages and brats.
Check out this culinary and agritourism online itinerary planner:
or download a printable version of our Endless Itinerary, focusing on Mesa’s Culinary and Agritourism experiences.
Source: Visit Mesa