“Going Back to the Earth…” – Not Your Average Famers Market
The Dish: Three Cheese Broccoli and Basil Pizza & Tropical Beet fresh-squeezed juice
The Place: Singh Meadows
The Location: 1490 E Weber Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 (Just south of Big Surf)
By: Laura Stoddard
When heading north on McClintock Drive, the short stretch between Tempe Market Place and Big Surf isn’t the prettiest drive. However!—just before Big Surf is a little road call Weber (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) and if you turn west onto Weber, you’re in for a lovely surprise. Three years in development, Singh Meadows opened at this location in January 2017. It’s a sprawling 70-plus acres of lush grassy hills, trees and ponds (which makes sense, as it used to be a golf course), gardens, and picturesque spaces to lay out a blanket and relax in the sunshine.
The former club house was given new life as space for a farmers market, juice bar and small café. And if the name Singh rings a bell, it’s because Singh Farms in Scottsdale has been a beautiful haven for outdoor lovers and organic foodies for more than a decade. The Farms closed recently, due to parking issues (they simply couldn’t accommodate the growing crowds anymore), but the Meadows was already in the works, so it made sense for visionary and creator Ken Singh, to close his original venture and focus on the new.
Mr. Singh’s claim to fame is his passion for growing, harvesting, and educating people on how to produce toxin-free, organic food. “The idea,” he said, waving his arm to encompass the whole of the landscape, “was to show folks that in Arizona, you can grow year-round. I don’t grow with chemicals, so I had to make compost, and if you have compost you can make desert land productive. That was the whole theory behind this; showing how to put back into nature what came from nature; eat from nature; look at where we get this food; try to harvest the day you eat; take value in what you produce, in who you are.”
His passion for the subject is infectious, and everyone that works at the Meadows seems to have the same enthusiasm. Now, what can you expect to find at this charming location? Beautiful produce from Singh’s farm, of course, as well as vast varieties of homemade goods from local artisans and vendors, such as soap, candles, mustard, jelly, hummus, flavored butter, honey, fresh bread of every kind, fire-baked pizzas, gourmet coffee, pastries and desserts, and much more. My favorite is the gigantic bran muffin, infused with fresh blackberries and topped with a pool of caramel. Did you hear me? A pool of caramel! Take a bite and try not to fall in love. I dare you.
If you want a relaxing weekend picnic, or have guests in town who want to see some of the local Phoenix-valley hotspots, bring them to Singh Meadows. Experience Singh’s vision of, as he put it, “Going back to the earth and creating something that can help humanity. This is just an example that it can be done.”
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