29 Palms Inn is sited at the edge of a natural oasis in the Mojave Desert just outside Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. A funky desert getaway spot for Los Angelenos, the inn boasts the usual suspects - a pool and poolside bar, an air-conditioned dining room, a well-tended lawn - along with a more surprising feature (at least to me): an organic farm. Managing to coax a wide variety of vegetables and herbs from parched ground under a beating sun, the farm demonstrates how determination can make 'local' food a reality in any climate. When I visited the staff was busy setting up for a wedding, so I wasn't able to ask anyone about the challenges of managing the garden and water use. Would love to hear what you know, readers, if you've been there!
[Entry sign and view of farm fence]
[The farm is edged by a deep, inviting, shady grape arbor]
[An antique sink under the grape arbor serves as a wash station for produce]
[View of herb beds]
[Overall view of farm beds]
[Rustic crop labels for visitors]