When Dwight Heard, the future founder of Phoenix's Heard Museum, purchased a swath of fertile riverbed land in the 1920s, he saw it as an opportunity to promote rural self-sufficiency instead of urban development. Nestled beside South Mountain, the 12-acre farm demonstrates the same commitment to rustic tranquility today, earning azcentral.com's 2010 readers' choice award for Best Local Treasure and serving as a romantic backdrop for a 2012 episode of The Bachelor, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. In addition to a small farm of naturally grown flowers and produce, The Farm at South Mountain includes three separate restaurants, which tempt visitors with house-baked pastries and locally made sausages.
The original of these three restaurants, The Farm Kitchen, satisfies noontime cravings with picnic lunches in an idyllic patio setting that Frommer's described as "an oasis reminiscent of a deep South pecan orchard." A shade-casting canopy of pecan trees and locally grown clouds surrounds visitors as they sample sandwiches with slow-roasted turkey and chipotle mayo or salads with organic field greens and roasted seasonal vegetables.