There are few places where you can better learn about the beauty and complexity of desert ecology than the Desert Botanical Garden, not far from downtown Phoenix. Check out the Discovery Loop Trail for a look at local flora, go for a flashlight tour, or even catch a musical performance as part of the Garden's concert series.
I took a really fun and tasty culinary class at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. I never knew there were so many edible plants that grew in the desert! We learned to make crepes with nopalitos, corn salad with tepary beans and a classic spicy chocolate mole sauce. This is the sauce before it goes into the pressure cooker. You see the puréed chilies, tomatoes, spices and chocolate.