There is a housing community nearby that is centered around a working farm, with a restaurant and a coffee shop on the premises as well. It's rather cool. Well, super cool. Even the people who work there are cool. If you ever visit the restaurant, Joe's Farm Grill, make sure to visit the restroom. I can't bring myself to dispel its mysteries, but I'll just say it is the coolest restroom I've ever seen. And bizarre. Think 60s saturday-morning space-adventure.
The community was built on the family farm of a local restaurant developer—the Joe of Joe's Farm Grill. When this Joe sent word out on twitter last Saturday that they were opening their groves for u-pick apples, Charlotte and I concocted an apple-centric plan for Father's Day breakfast.
I clearly had apple-picking good times on my mind when I got dressed. Charlotte intuited my intentions and picked out clothes to match. When Isaac woke up and staggered into the room to find us in technicolor peasant clothes, he teased, "What's up with you and the russian doll clothing? The two of you look like rainbow refugees."
I said, "Hey now. We're going apple picking. What better to wear?"
He must have agreed because no sooner had I finished tying my scarf than Isaac trotted out of the closet in a floral shirt, a fedora, and aviator glasses, all fancied up and ready to join us.
Here's the best part. When we pulled up to the grove, the man working the scales wore an outfit identitcal to Isaac's: folky shirt, fedora, and aviator glasses to boot. He was entirely too cool to be working a farm. Isaac and I could barely keep a straight face as we greeted him and got directions. I meant to sneak a picture of the two of them, but our camera only had a dribble of juice left in it. It died too soon.
It was bright out. And hot. But with the farm being only a mile from our home and apple-picking consuming only a few minutes of our day, I'm sure we'll be doing this more often. They grow everything from peaches, citrus, grapes and apricots to squash, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers.
One day I'm going to track that Joe down and shake his hand. It's inspiring to have such a visionary neighbor, bringing style and humor together with panache. If you ever visit Gilbert, AZ, stop by Joe's Farm Grill or one of his other restaurants, Liberty Market or Joe's Real BBQ. They are hands-down the coolest places in town.
If you're interested in coffee, stop by Joe's Roaster Project blog. It looks like he's developing a new commercial machine for coffee roasting. Restaurants, inventions, a community farm. His ideas are big—and all over the place.
I can relate.