Frank Martin, owner of Crooked Sky Farms and a believer in ecologically sustainable agricultural methods, developed a profound respect for seeds and their eventual bounty as the child of a farmer and an organic gardener. The farm's humble beginnings date back to 1999, when Frank began cultivating seedlings in his own backyard and showering the plants with water and nightly bedtime stories. The South Phoenix–based farm has expanded to four urban locations, and supplies in-season offerings to local farmers' markets and members of its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative. Each week, members of the CSA visit the farm to collect their eight portions of fruits and vegetables, ideal for culinary pursuits or heightening the realism of Carmen Miranda fashion tributes.
Crooked Sky Farms' crops spring from the Earth without the addition of chemical insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers, earning them a certified naturally grown accreditation. The farm's abundant lanes of dense plants glean their enrichment from compost produced by the farm or sourced from organic providers, as well as natural and time-tested agricultural methods such as crop rotation, the use of protective buffer plants, and serenading clouds to make them rain. The picturesque planting grounds serve as a backdrop for seasonal events featuring cuisine crafted from the farm's produce and live entertainment under the romantic glow of the desert sky.
Demonstrating inventive takes on old myths is par for the course at Great Arizona Puppet Theater, whose adaptation of Cinderella won the 2010 UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence in puppetry. Behind the scenes, professional puppeteers guide the characters through kid-friendly narratives, both ancient and original. Their performances often include a timely moral that parents can discuss with children with the help of accompanying study guides, which encourage guests to analyze themes and ask questions such as "how can puppets talk if they have no brains?"
The puppet masters have more than 50 tales in their collective memory. They perform them in the historical, hand-painted theater space five days a week, as well as at area schools and functions. By crafting scripts that address Arizonian themes, including the conservation of endangered condors and figures in Native American folklore, they hope to educate and engage their young spectators. Guests can interact with the stories even further by adopting puppets from the onsite gift shop or by attending a private party, where they create their own hand puppets out of paper bags. Additionally, seasonal adult shows prove that puppetry can be as edgy as any other art form.
With a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix in Phoenix (Camelback East), you'll be minutes from Biltmore Fashion Park and close to Town and Country Shopping Center. This 4.5-star hotel is within close proximity of Arizona Biltmore Country Club and Wrigley Mansion.
Make yourself at home in one of the 281 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and CD players. Cable programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while wireless Internet access (surcharge) keeps you connected. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, makeup/shaving mirrors, and designer toiletries. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as direct-dial phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including an outdoor pool, a sauna, and a 24-hour fitness facility. This hotel also features a concierge desk and gift shops/newsstands.
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, limo/town car service, and business services. Planning an event in Phoenix? This hotel has 17296 square feet (1557 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom.
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.
Violet and Susan, the owners of Revera, recognize scent as an integral way of calming nerves, invigorating spirits, and balancing a life full of stresses. With the goal of making the sense of smell a larger part of community consciousness, the pair decided to reintroduce the benefits of scent through the aromatic essential oils in their shop. They now craft artisanal bath, body, and fragrance products whose aromatherapeutic qualities aim to correct internal imbalances while surrounding clients in complex, stimulating scents.
Interspersed with jars of nutrient-filled sea salts and skin-soothing creams, the shop showcases herbal milk-bath concoctions blended with flowers, oat tops, and rose petals that work to soothe and soften skin, just like sleeping under a patchwork quilt of fabric softeners. The shop’s bottles of deep-purple glass also protect perfumes and lotions from harmful UV rays, lengthening the lifespan of products while serving as a reusable container for the shop’s refill services. Clients can opt to create their own signature scent in one of the shop’s custom perfume workshops, or sample a new aroma every month in the shop’s Menagerie program, in which clients get a monthly fragrance that blends scents of the season with grated calendar pieces.
After working as a celebrity stylist for more than 20 years in London, Jane McCann left her life in the U.K. to raise her two children in Arizona. But McCann didn't retire her style expertise for long. After a year of selling handbags and accessories from home and receiving an enthusiastic response, she quickly found a business partner in an unlikely place—her children's school playground.
Mayva Kern, a native New Yorker, was also flying solo as a handbags and accessories entrepreneur until her chance meeting with McCann in 2009. On the playground, the two women discovered that their business philosophies synced up, and they quickly decided to strike up a partnership and form Just Jane Boutique. Here, they stock the latest handbags from name-brand designers such as Melie Bianco, Betsey Johnson, and Steve Madden, all of which the duo handpick for stylish design, affordable price, and ability to safely transport goldfish. The boutique also carries fashionable accessories, such as purse organizers, key finders, and purse hooks.