Urban Farming in Downtown Las Vegas

From foodtank.com, by Clare Algozin
Urban Farming in Downtown Las Vegas

Vegas Roots is a community garden program operating on over four-acres of vacant property in Las Vegas. As the city’s first urban farm, Vegas Roots brings together schools, universities, corporations, nonprofit organizations, community groups and residents to help operate the garden and to build a sustainable food system for the community.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Rosalind Brooks, Garden Director at Vegas Roots.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Rosalind Brooks (RB): Our community garden provides the local community with a full-circle system.  Plot owners are able to have their own gardens and learn how to grow their own food.  Locals not taking part in that program are able to come and pick their own produce.  As a community we help each other by sharing resources, recycling and reusing, and contributing to the overall functionality of the garden.  Locals can drop off their food scraps for composting, contributing to the rich soil used in the plots.

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

RB: The program that Vegas Roots is most proud of is our Adopt-A-Plot program.  Families or individuals can rent a plot and grow their own produce.  In the 5 years the program has been running, we have educated and enabled over 85 local families in growing and harvesting their own fresh, organic food.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

RB: We have a few goals we are working on right now.  One of our main goals is to start a mobile produce market called the Veggie Buck Truck.  It will bring locally grown produce to low-income areas at affordable prices and utilize government-funded programs like SNAP/EBT to increase availability to consumers.  Future plans also include a youth-run farmer’s market, where the youth are responsible for managing their own table.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

RB: Start growing what food you can and learn to appreciate the process from seed to consumption.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

RB: We are always happily accepting volunteers, and have open plots available for rent.  Our website lists the type of volunteer activities available, and has a form to request more information.

Download the 2015 Good Food Org Guide HERE.