The Lyric of Place
 |  AN OASIS OF PLENTY  | 
We celebrate a true labor of love — the working garden at Casa del Tesoro, and a flourishing idea to ‘dig in’ to fertile soil and community.

STORY BY CINDY GOMBERT

Just outside the grand Spanish gates of Stephanie Parker and Jay’s urban Spanish Colonial home, an astonishing ‘oasis of plenty’ hums with chattering wildlife, dancing fountains and the rustling of lush vegetation. The expansive grounds echo a Costa Rican Eden — boasting unusual flora including ginkgo biloba, guava, mahogany, pomegranate, and macadamia. Remarkable fate, really, as Costa Rica held a deep affection from recent travels.

— CONTINUED BELOW —

“I feel better in my garden — pruning the roses, and having my morning coffee. I couldn’t ask for a better place to spend my time and energy.”

— Stephanie Parker
 |  TENDING TO THE OASIS OF PLENTY  | 

Stephanie and Jay Parker moved into their 8,000-square foot home in early 2021, after an extensive interior remodel with nationaly-awarded interior design firm, Earth & Images. During the remodel, the surrounding gardens, called out like a muse, holding a special connection to favorite places, and Jay’s childhood roots of a small, working farm. As it seemed, both proved to be fertile soil for a renewed labor of love. Stephanie, undaunted by the expansive gardens, challenged herself to seize the opportunity by enrolling in the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Master Gardner program. The 17-week program, educates and certifies home horticulturalists and community gardeners for environmentally responsible gardening. The Desert Institute of Gardening site, also offers valuable resources, a help desk, and holds events for local gardeners | resource: https://extension.arizona.edu/maricopamg. Determined to flourish and thrive in her new venture, she eagerly set out to learn as much as she could, meeting with locals, community gardeners, and expanding her knowledge of zones, and plantings.

In time, as with any true labor of love, the tending, soiled hands and tenacity eventually brought fruit. With inspiration and heart, the harvest made its way into jars and jams and something special began to materialize. A friend introduced her to The Uptown Market community exchange table, where she presented her garden veggies and artisan jams. The community response was staggering, and it quickly gained a loyal following. A new venture — Si Cómo No (“yes, why not?”) Orchard & Farm was born. The namesake, captures perfectly her sense of adventure and curiosity — and a taste of undaunted purpose.

Stephanie’s oasis brought such wonder and inspiration, and she sensed the jams should embody the same feeling — flavor profiles such as Blackberry-Basil-Lime, Pineapple-Jalapeño, and the crowd favorite, Blueberry-Lavender were intentionally crafted. During the holidays, the Pomegranate-Cranberry sells out quickly, bringing a special kind of magic, transcending the taste of the holidays in a jar. The buzz seems to be catching on, and in 2023, Si Cómo No was awarded Phoenix Magazine’s editor’s pick for ‘Best Urban Farm’. This year, the same publication nominated them for ‘Best Artisan Jam’.

“I love watching the look on their face when they first taste the jams — their eyes widen and they look back with a huge OMG! — it’s so rewarding.”

— Stephanie Parker

Stephanie, friends, and farmhands have hands in the soil and kitchen year-round — planting, pruning, fertilizing, maintaining, and harvesting. Long days often extend into the evening during production, with familiar 90’s tunes keeping them motivated into the night. ‘Law & Order Friday’s’ are always a faithful companion during these times, as jars line up faithfully in 600 qty batches, and the farmer’s market eagerly awaits its 6:00 am call. But joy continually abounds and the local community brings enrichment.

Si Cómo No brings a varied harvest from her eclectic garden supplemented by a collection of local producers to create her artisan products. Gems including Parisian limes, peaches, garden tomatoes, peppers, squash, berries, apricots, beets, and her exotic harvest of pomegranate, macadamia, fig, persimmon, and guava.

Her undaunted creativity brings welcome indulgences such as pickled beets and peppers, house-brined olives, and her famously-addicting celery salt. Artisan jams bring expressive flavors to baked breads and charcuterie, as a beautiful glaze for fish, and offers a unique ingredient for specialty and craft cocktails. During the holidays, specialty gift boxes and corporate gifts are also offered.

The orchard and gardens surrounding Stephanie and Jay’s grand Spanish home have brought significant richness to their time here…enhancing not only their lives, but the land, its creatures, and the community. During the remodel, windows and walls were opened-up, bringing this vitality to the inside — with it, a sense of continuous honor fills the space.

Life grows and unfolds here — both in flora and all who reside — The Lyric of PlaceTM

You can find her products from September through May at Uptown Market, as well as these fine purveyors:

https://sicomonojam.com
https://uptownmarketaz.com
Mama’s Makers Market
and more.

OTHER RESOURCES:
https://extension.arizona.edu/maricopamg
https://www.phoenixmag.com/2023/07/06/best-of-the-valley-in-local-products-and-farm-goods/

Follow Si Cómo No on Instagram for updates and retailers @ si_como_no_phoenix.