Believe it or not, Whole Foods isn’t the freshest way to get produce. Nothing beats farm-fresh food, but in a desert city like Las Vegas, local farms can be hard to come by. However, they do exist! There are a couple of farms in Nevada that offer farm share programs to Las Vegas residents, where participants can sign up for weekly farm-fresh produce each season. The programs are quite popular, though, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible, as farm share programs are in high demand in the desert and there’s only so much food to go around!
Cowboy Trail Farm
6550 Cowboy Trail Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89131
This local nonprofit farm is known for its variety of vegetables and herbs and features a small orchard with 50-plus fruit trees. It offers three 12-week farm share programs: spring (starting in March or the end of February if the weather warms up early enough), summer and fall/winter (ending by the first frost at the end of November/early December). The cost per season is $325, with half shares available as well where shareholders receive items every other week. Each box includes a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and microgreens, with items changing weekly depending on what’s in season and ready to harvest. Fall/winter produce typically includes lettuces, winter squashes, carrots, turnips and many types of greens, while spring adds garlic and bulbing onions to the mix. Summer highlights include summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, peas, beans, an assortment of greens, sweet and hot peppers and various sweet fruits and berries. Farm shares are announced approximately a month before their start date and payment must be made in full prior to each season. Each box can feed a family of two to four people and there are several locations on the south and mid sides of town to pick them up. Shareholders can also pick up their boxes directly from Cowboy Trail Farm. All of the money received from the farm shares goes back into the farm to help it grow, purchasing the seeds and tools needed to maintain its gardens for future seasons.
Related: Las Vegas Late Summer Produce Guide
Meadow Valley Farm
1012 E. McKnight Ave.
Moapa, NV 89025
This 20-acre family farm, located in a small neighborhood 50 miles north of Las Vegas, began in 2009 as a way to offer the community another choice besides grocery store produce. Its crops and animals are kept on a two-acre spot, with alfalfa being raised on a large portion of the rest. It offers seasonal, naturally grown, farm-raised foods to its shareholders—featuring no chemicals or pesticides of any kind—that’s fresh picked each week, lovingly packaged in a basket and delivered the next day. Being that Meadow Valley is a year-round farm, shareholders can sign up for four different seasons, with winter, spring and fall being 12 weeks each and summer being six weeks. Members sign up in advance for each season or can pay for the whole year. Each half-bushel basket (approximately) ranges from $28 to $38, depending on member preference of Standard Share or Premium Share benefits. Premium shareholders can customize their baskets with nine selections of currently growing items. For an additional fee, members can also choose to have their baskets delivered to their homes or to pick them up at the Las Vegas/Henderson Whole Foods store of their choice. Half-share options are available as well. One of the most popular farm share items is fresh eggs, and Meadow Valley has approximately 150 free-range, egg-laying chickens to meet the demand. In 2014, the farm also raised some chickens for meat and sold out within two weeks! More chickens will be available this year. Two milk goats as also on site, as well as three beehives for honey and two pigs being raised for meat. Other items currently available/in season include carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, radishes, broccoli, kale, collards, Swiss chard, green onions, celery, winter squashes and herbs.
When she’s not interviewing some of Hollywood’s biggest celebs, Heather Turk can often be found visiting some of Las Vegas’ most popular restaurants and spas for Examiner.com. She also covers the Las Vegas market for a variety of other media outlets, including Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.