A morning at Sierra Vista Growers

Kids can learn a lot by visiting local growers. We often visit local growers as a family. It is of great fun for our kid as well as us. One such place is Sierra Vista Growers.

The address of Sierra Vista Growers is 2800 NM Highway 28, Anthony, New Mexico 88021. The website of the growers states that the city name is La Union. It does not quite matter what the city name is. The latitude is 31°57’4.00″N and Longitude is 106°38’28.71″W, which will never change despite any redistricting. It was a Saturday morning this summer (2016). We reached there a little before 10 am. We went there last year but memory is becoming a bit blur about the visit last year. We took enough pictures this time, some of which are shared in this post.

Although Sierra Vista Growers is in New Mexico, it takes only twenty to twenty five minutes to Sierra Vista from the Westside Walmart on North Mesa Street. We saw many exciting scenes on our way to Sierra Vista, which includes motorcycle riding, horse riding, bicycling teams, horse farms, cranes drinking water, windmills, and of course all the green crops in the fields. The driving time was quite cheerful for our son!

Riding a horse.
Someone was riding a horse.

The big sign in front of the Sierra Vista Growers retail store is very informative. A picture of the sign is provided below. The operational hours, phone number, and website, everything is provided in the sign.

Great entrance. Any visitor will be able to collect a lot of information right on the entrance.
Great entrance gate. Any visitor will be able to collect required information right at the entrance.

Once we parked our car, we started seeing the nature. We saw some corn plants near the parking area. There were colorful flower beds as well as Zucchini and squash plants.

Corn Flower plants.

There is moderate size Modesto Ash tree under which some bicyclist were taking a rest. An insect trap was hanging from the tree. Such traps are set by government researchers to check if there are new species of insects. The specimens help the researchers analyze many parameters regarding pest control.

Zucchini near the parking! Squash flower and squash right near the parking!
Zucchini plant! Squash flower!
Modesto Ash tree. Insect trap.
Modesto Ash tree! Insect trap!

The front side of the retail store looks historic! There were some carts and bicycles in front of the store. There was no rush; everyone around seemed to be enjoying their work! Visitors were asking questions to the people of the store regarding plants, fertilizers, and how to take care of plants. The overall setting of the place was very soothing. The above 90 degree Fahrenheit temperature did not seem to be bothering us at all.

The front side of the store.
The front side of the store.

There is a patio in the left side of the entrance of the store. There are some outdoor and indoor flower plants, beautiful vase and flowering pots, and a sitting area.

In the patio area of the store. In the patio area of the store.
Plants in the patio area. Plants in the patio area.
In the patio area of the store. Nice planting pots!
Plants in the patio area. Garden pots!

Sierra Vista has some wooden outdoor furniture for sale. The furniture pieces were pretty strong and well polished. The curves on the seat of the wooden chair (in the picture below) were symmetric and looked well-designed. We have plans to purchase some outdoor pieces from Sierra Vista but that is a discussion of another time. Note that Sierra Vista is not a furniture retailer. I think, someone in the nearby farms made the furniture and Sierra Vista is selling them. Sierra Vista has only a few pieces of such outdoor furniture.

There are furniture as well!

Sierra Vista is known as a grower and the term “grower” is well-justified when one takes a look at the long a passage connecting rows of many different kinds of plants: herbs, flowers, fruits, shade trees, indoor, outdoor, tropical, vines, and what not!

Isles of plants!
A passage between rows of plants!

We did not keep track of many of the flower plants, given that there were too many varieties for us to write them down in a short period (especially when our toddler is super excited)!

Lemon trees! Flowers!
Lemon and lime Plants! Flowers!
More flowers! Flowers!
More flowers! More flowers!

The Celosia plants, assorted blooming plants, Cabaret, Sedum Autumn, Butterfly Weed, and sweet potato vines, all looked healthy and beautiful. Sedum Autumn joy is an easy perennial for hot dry areas that blooms in the fall. Asclepias (also known as Butterfly Weed) is another perennial that is easy to grown in dry regions. It is known to help Monarch Butterflies by providing them a place to lay eggs.

Celosia plants! Some assorted blooming plants!
Celosia plants! Some assorted blooming plants!
Cabaret! Sedum Autumn joy: easy perennial for hot dry areas. Blooms in fall.
Cabaret. Sedum Autumn joy.
Butterfly Weed/ Asclepias: Best perennial to help Monarch Butterflies. Easy for hot dry areas. Sweet potato vine.
Butterfly Weed/ Asclepias. Sweet potato vine!

We saw Ligustrum and Tam Juniper plants. Ligustrum plants are also known as privets. They have high tolerance level of temperature. They are bushy shrubs, easy to grow, and great for home landscaping. Tam juniper is a low height ground-covering shrub. It is an evergreen shrub. We saw golden bamboo there; I am sure no introduction is necessary regarding bamboo plants. Another interesting plant was Lemon Bottlebrush. As the name suggests, the leaves in the branches look like bottlebrushes. The foliage smells like lemon. There you go, now we know why it is called Lemon Bottlebrush! The plants bloom fragrant flowers.

Tango Neon Purple Geranium: lightly-scented Flowers
Tango Neon Purple Geranium!
Some other flowers!
Ligustrum Tam Juniper
Tam Juniper!
The golden bamboo! Lemon bottlebrush.
Golden bamboo!
Lemon bottlebrush!

There are many other plants including Windmill palm tree, Natchez Crape Myrtle, Tropicanna Canna, and Grape vine. Natchez Crape Myrtle and Tropicanna Canna bloom beautiful flowers. Natchez Crape Myrtle is a large shrub with exfoliating bark. It has dark green leaves and flowers bloom all summer!

Windmill palm tree. Natchez Crape Myrtle
Windmill palm tree!
Natchez Crape Myrtle!
Tropicanna Canna Grape vine
Tropicanna Canna!
Grape vine!

There is a rich collection of fruit plants at Sierra Vista, which includes peaches, apples, persimmon, pomegranate, and pears. Apples and peaches have many varieties. Some of the varieties of apples are: Golden Delicious, Jonathan, and Granny Smith apples. Many of the plants already have fruits hanging from the branches, as can be seen in the pictures.

Peach Bonanza Dwarf Golden delicious apples!
Dwarf peach bonanza!
Golden delicious apples!
Golden delicious! Jonathan apples!
Golden delicious apples!
Jonathan apples!
Fuyu Persimmon. Pomegranate tree!
Fuyu persimmon!

The collection of shade trees is large as well! A few names are Fruitless Mulberry, Arizona Ash, Raywood Ash (Claret A.), Fruitless Weeping Mulberry, Weeping Willow, Globe Willow, and Modesto Ash. The collection is very rich. Anyone can plan for getting front yard shade trees from Sierra Vista.

There are many kinds of shade trees here including Fruitless Mulberry, Arizona Ash, Raywood Ash - Claret A., Fruitless Weeping Mulberry, Weeping Willow, Globe Willow, and Modesto Ash.
Shade trees.

There are some ornamental flower plants near the shade and fruit trees. Pictures of two ornamental flowers, Tecoma Orange Jubilee Staked flower and Yellow Bells, are provided below. Actually, these two flowers are like cousins. Orange Jubilee is sometimes called Orange Bells. Both the plants can stand up to the heat of the deserts. They can tolerate the humidity of the tropics as well. However, they are sensitive to severe cold like many other flower plants.

Tecoma Orange Jubilee Staked: Ornamental flower! Yellow Bells: Ornamental plant!
Tecoma Orange Jubilee Staked flower!
Yellow Bells!

We almost missed the houseplant greenhouse assuming that access is restricted. One of the employees of Sierra Vista informed us that it is open for everyone; they keep the door closed (but unlocked) to make sure that the temperature of the greenhouse is controlled properly. The door has a sign with “Welcome: Houseplants, Geraniums, Bougainvilleas” written on it. We missed the “Welcome” part first. 🙂 Anyway, the view completely changed once we went inside the greenhouse. The color, the temperature, and sound of the blowing air, all together create a heavenly feeling. I tried to take a panoramic picture and was able to capture a lot of the plants in one shot but failed to capture the beauty.

Since the whole view was not be captured, I decided to take a panorama. Still no luck; this beauty cannot be captured in one shot.
The beauty cannot be captured in one shot.

Some of the pictures we took inside the greenhouse are provided below. We do not have a high end SLR or DSLR camera. All the pictures below are taken using an iPhone 6. Some additional information pieces regarding the plants are provided in the captions of some of the images below.

Garden Geranium. Bloom all summer. Large fan!
Garden Geranium. Blooms all summer.
Large fans for air circulation.
Geraniums! Asparagus fern.
Asparagus fern!
Mexican Blue Sage, evergreen plant, cobalt blue flowers in Spring and Fall. Gardenia
Mexican Blue Sage! Evergreen plant. Cobalt blue flowers in Spring and Fall.
Rosemerry Coleus
White hibiscus! The red hibiscus
White hibiscus!
Red hibiscus!
Hibiscus Natural perfection. Hibiscus.
Hibiscus! Natural perfection.
Perennia Perennia (purple)
Perennia (red)
Perennia (purple)
Tropical flavor! There is another door marked "Employees Only" but one can take a peek and easily see that there are more plants in the other side of this door. Pretty amazing! : -)
The entrance area of the greenhouse has a tropical theme!
There is another greenhouse with restricted access. Amazing collection! 🙂

The greenhouse is definitely a must-see place! After we had enough pictures in the greenhouse, we went to the store. The store has many kinds of seeds, farming tools, fertilizers, hats, as well as some food items. We are big fans of organic eggs from growers. We find these eggs more delicious than the organic eggs sold in departmental stores. One picture of the eggs we purchased is provided in the following group of images. The authenticity of cage-free nature is expressed by the varying colors of the eggs! Other images in this group are taken inside the store. We saw a very large (real) cat inside the store! We were so thrilled that we forgot to take a picture of the cat.

Inside the store! Inside store!
Inside the store!
Hats! Eggs we purchased. Notice the authenticity by different colrs !
Hats! Eggs (brown, light brown, green,  white)!

We came out of the shop and saw the sign in a small garden: “In loving memory of our dear friend and co-worker Rosie Castañeda”. Although we did not know her, we mention Rosie Castañeda in this post to pay our respect because of her contribution in making this place so lovely.

It was already 11:30am. Time to go back home! The day is becoming hot. There is a nursery near the parking area where there are many shade trees and possibly many other kinds of trees. We did not go to the nursery. May be some other time!

Outside near parking!
Nursery near parking!

We know that some farmers sell produces and fruits in their front yards in this area on Saturdays. Once we came out of Sierra Vista, turned right, drove a few hundred yards, we noticed such a front yard garden sale. We stopped the car there to check if there is anything interesting. We had only two dollars of cash. Most front yard garden sales do not accept credit cards; they only accept cash. We told the owner that we will purchase two dollars worth of commodity!  🙂  The owner said that we can take anything and pay them back whenever we will come to the area again. She was so kind! Anyway, we did not want to exceed two dollars, and surprisingly two dollars were good enough for four large corns, and one pound of zucchini. The name of the farm is Tellez Farms. They arrange their front yard garden sale almost all Saturdays! Some pictures from the sale is provided below!

IMG_8999 Tellez farms
Patty Cake Squash!
Tellez farms Tellez farms
Some kind of pumpkin!
Tellez farms Tellez farms
Ripe cucumber!

We came back home. In the evening we cooked the corn and the Zucchini. Corn preparation was fairly simple. There was no doubt that these corns were organic and pesticide-free! Look at one of the following pictures. We were able to retrieve three midsize cobs from four corns. We boiled the cobs. Our son likes corn cobs a lot. The corns came out of the cob very easily with each bite. These cobs were like one hundred times more delicious than regular corn cobs we purchase from departmental stores.

Proof of pesticide free growing. Notice the green worm. Before boiling the cobs!
Pesticide-free growing. Notice the green worm.
Before boiling the cobs! Fresh and worm-free parts!

Cooking zucchini is quite easy as well. We used a very simple recipe. The process is illustrated here in the following group of pictures.

Zucchini Zucchini chopped
1. Clean the zucchini.
2. Cut them to small pieces.
Onion and tomatoes fried Fried
3. Fry some onion and tomatoes.
4. Spread the amount of salt you are comfortable with and a half teaspoon of turmeric powder. Fry for a few minutes.
Put the Zucchini cuts Stir for some time until cooked.
5. Drop the zucchini cuts .
6. Stir/cook but make sure that the zucchini cuts do not become too smashed.

Ta-dah! Ready to eat with rice or tortilla!

As always, bringing in the ingredients and the preparation is what make a dish great! It is always the experience of preparation that makes a dish lovable and memorable. Our son enjoys to be involved in the whole process. He is a big helper, at least he thinks so!

Settle in El Paso


6 thoughts on “A morning at Sierra Vista Growers

  1. I have a profound interest in growing flowers, however, I never succeed in creating a beautiful flower garden like the one that are in the photos. Since growing followers was difficult, I switched to growing vegetables. I found some success on vegetable growing.

  2. One thing I’ve come to enjoy most of your articles is the descriptive way you always explain places and events. The Sierra Vista must be a place to visit with the nice shots you took while there.

  3. You have knocked me down with this post. Imean you have everything there, a lot of beautiful flowers that I have seen only in pictures, and a lot of good looking vegetables, those dishes looks great and tasty. And those apples in the tree is like in heaven.
    This is a wonderful place to visit and stay for a few days!

    1. Yes, this part of USA has a lot of exciting things — from desert to mountains to rivers — everything. I am glad that you liked the pictures. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  4. I remember this place with fondness. My husband was stationed at ft Bliss in el Paso and I would make a day trip to the flower market here every other weekend. I was saddened to read that Rosie has passed on. She was quite a special lady and instituted the furniture sales. I believe her husband created and built the patio pieces they sell there. Thanks for the nice trip down memory lane for me.

    1. Thank you, Suze. We are glad that you visited this page. Happy to be able to be able to give you the memory lane ride. We never got a chance to meet Rosie but we definitely felt that she was very special and her passing away touched everyone.

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