A stark contrast to the surrounding arid scenery, Elgin Nursery and Tree Farm’s lush 35-acre grounds yield verdant trees and plants sure to thrive under the searing desert sun. Since 1986, the expansive gardening center has supplied metro-area green thumbs with native, desert-adapted, Mediterranean, and tropical plants, and trees that sprout legal tender despite parents' contradictory opinions. Its staff is comprised of a group of knowledgeable horticulturalists, some of whom are bilingual, as well as two ISA Certified Arborists, who share their expertise on the proper diagnoses for sick plants, solutions for irrigation issues, and other planting advice, The center's packets of seeds and all manners of gardening tools, planters, and charming yard art also vie for the attention and lasting affection of strolling visitors.
Far more than a purveyor of organic matter, Elgin Nursery and Tree Farm also expands its patron’s grey matter with free gardening workshops on topics such as vegetable gardening, pruning, and landscape irrigation. They also offer delivery and planting services in the Phoenix-metro area for an additional fee. The neighborhood arbor hub supports seniors, military members, and frequent visitors with additional discounts, in addition to guaranteeing all plants for one-year after the date of purchase.
In 1906, Tollef Skarsgard emigrated from Norway to pursue an American education. After attending school—and learning English along the way—he started a farm in North Dakota, which he first seeded in the spring of 1912. One hundred years and four generations later, Skarsgard Farms continues to produce a wide variety of crops. Tollef’s great-grandson, Monte Skarsgard, now oversees an upgraded version of the estate, where he harvests organic fruit and vegetables, and dresses scarecrows in designer overalls. The farm also distributes prepackaged produce from a variety of regional organic farmers year-round through an online delivery service called the Harvest Box Program.
Descending from three generations of dairy farmers, siblings Casey and Alison Stechnij carry on their family's legacy by maintaining Superstition Farm's 30 acres. The brother-and-sister duo regularly shepherd informative tours through the landscape, summoning horses, chickens, goats, and sheep to greet guests and share their perspectives. The four-legged residents also assist in horseback riding lessons and appearances at the onsite petting zoo.
Every Thursday, local food trucks flock to Superstition Farm for a weekly market, where they vend fresh produce, breads, and meats alongside the farm's own dairy products, including the house-made Udder Delights brand of ice cream and artisanal cheeses. Superstition Farm further disseminates its farm-fresh cuisine via a 30-foot-long food truck that makes appearances at local events and defends cattle against the persistent threat of monster trucks.
Rated the top nursery for the last 10 years by AZ Business magazine, Moon Valley Nurseries complements its extensive inventory of plants and trees with services such as delivery, installation, and tips for care. The knowledgeable staff can help customers navigate the green aisles of trees and plants, which encompass such Plant Kingdom constituents as Palm Trees, Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and, during the holiday season, Christmas Trees. They also grow their own inventory so they can maintain direct control over the health and well being of their plants, whether treating them with the correct combination of fertilizers or pressuring admittance boards to make sure each seed gets into the best of nursery schools.
The Phoenix New Times crowned it the Best Place to Buy a Live Chicken in 2012. An unusual accolade, but one that The Stock Shop’s founders happily accepted nonetheless. When they opened The Stock Shop more than 30 years ago, it wouldn’t have been eligible for the award, since their inventory consisted solely of feed and tack—no live chickens. But as business grew, so did their offerings. Today, staffers still fill the shelves with natural, grain-free, and organic pet foods from brands including Nature’s Variety and EVO. But they also peddle baby chicks, potbellied pigs, and bunnies, gear from John Deere, and all the equipment needed to farm organically, especially in an urban setting. That’s in addition to goodies for pets—leashes, treats, chew toys—and even the occasional cowboy hat. Plus, there’s onsite dog grooming that specifically caters to anxious pooches.
Filled with insightful reporting and eye-catching photography, the glossy pages of Phoenix Magazine broadcasts the latest in Valley news and trends to more than 385,000 readers. Armed with monthly print issues or digital access, subscribers zero in on new places to shop or dine out, the best place to buy a house, or top-rated health professionals to ask about that spot on their elbow that looks weirdly like their late grandmother Ethel. Annual Best of the Valley issues crown the area's best-loved sushi restaurants, Indian buffets, live music venues, and bands, as well as local celebrities.
Phoenix Magazine also publishes several themed supplements throughout the year. The special Medical Directory compiles information on over 7,000 different physicians, helping readers take charge of their health, while the yearly Arizona Travel Guide helps to plan vacations with features on destinations such as the Grand Canyon or Tubac.