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Farming in Las Vegas

Farming in the desert my sound impossible for some but others know it is not. There has been an increased farming trend here in Vegas and it is continuing to grow. There are different strategies to farming in the desert soil that takes a bit of practice.  A majority of the vendors you will see at the local farmers market are from California and rightly so since that is a great place to farm. I’m excited to say that recently there have been several vendors pop up who grow right here in the valley.

This is a great opportunity for others who are interested in farming to try it. The university cooperative extension teaches classes on how to get started for a small fee.  There are several options for growing here in the desert. One way is called “hydroponics” which allows you to grow inside using light bulbs. This also allows you to control the “weather” so you can yield more harvest consistently without mother nature getting in the way. The downfall to this is the amount of electricity it uses which can be costly. You also must have the indoor space to achieve this.

Growing in raised beds has become popular because it gives your garden an organized modern look and can be convienent for those who have problems crouching down to tend the garden. You achieve this by constructing wooden containers and buy garden soil to empty into it. Then you are ready to plant. Beds do eventually break down and have to be replaced.

One other way to grow here is as it’s always been done by popping some seeds in the ground and tending to them as they grow. I may have made this sound easy but it can be difficult because you have to prepare the soil for plants to thrive in. As you probably know desert soil is extremely hard and sandy so the first year will be a bit of a challenge. An expert horticulturist Robert Morris believes mending the soil is the best way to go and has created his own strategy to achieve this. The upside to this is, although it may be a bit costly the first year, once you get it done you will never have to do it again. After 3 years you should have a great yield of your harvest with more to come.

So there you have it Vegas. Amazingly people have made the impossible possible by making the dry desert a place to practice sustainable living by growing their food. The next time you go to a farmers market check to see if it is a local farm.

If you would like info on how to grow in the desert friendly horticulturist Robert Morris has a blog at http://xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com/

Please comment or email me directly at RDTokken@gmail.com I would love to hear ideas and ways you are improving the quality of life.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Valerie Fletcher Adolph
    May 29, 2012 @ 20:25:02

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. I’ve read your recent posts with fascination – it gives me a whole new appreciation of Las Vegas (which I’ve never visited) Thinking of people doing their own small farm-gardening in the desert is amazing. Good on them!

    Reply

    • offthevegasstrip
      May 29, 2012 @ 20:48:16

      People are so creative. I grew up in the midwest and at first thought moving here was no way.I went to a presentation that Robert Morris was hosting and he has been desert farming for years and had done good things for this economy. Simply amazing. He also works in underdeveloped countries like Africa and teaches them how to grow in their hot conditions. 🙂

      Reply

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