A Geocaching Tour of East Valley Farms and Restaurants

In the before-COVID times, it was always easy to support Arizona food and/or our local farm scene: You’d just dine at a restaurant that sourced from local purveyors or visit a farm.

Because there’s no a whole lot of that happening at the moment, the crew at Visit Mesa, which wanted to highlight all the good stuff happening in the scene, had to get creative. It came up with the Fresh Foodie Trail GeoTour.

Geocaching — an outdoor scavenger hunt where participants use a phone app or GPS device to find hidden containers (or geocaches) — isn’t new. Neither is the Fresh Foodie Trail, actually. It’s a curated, road trip-style tour of several Arizona farms, wineries, and mills.

But this food-focused “geotour” is new. Launched in early December, it’s a socially distant activity concentrated in the east Valley. Stops include multiple farms — Steadfast Farms, True Garden Urban Farm, Vertuccio Farm, Agritopia, Schnepf Farms, and Queen Creek Olive Mill (those last two actually offer two geocaches). The food hall Barnone (also at Agritopia) and restaurant Jalapeno Bucks BBQ are also part of the tour.

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Participants can collect limited-edition stickers along the trail, and those who hit all 10 geocaches will get three prizes: a Fresh Foodie Trail recipe booklet, a branded wooden spoon from Visit Mesa, and a mysterious-sounding digital souvenir from Geocaching.com.

To participate, download the Geocaching app. Log in or sign up and search for the Visit Mesa Fresh Foodie Trail GeoTour. Then turn on your smartphone’s Location Services and search under GT49A. Then head out.

Cost is free. For more information, see the Visit Mesa website.

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