More Nevada Farms Mean More Local Produce

Jan 4, 2016

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Nevada has seen an increase of more than 1,000 farms since 2007, most notably among small farm operations. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Even though Nevada imports most of its food supply, the local farm movement is here to stay.

Megan Messerly has written about Nevada’s agriculture for the Las Vegas Sun, and she recently spoke with our public radio partner KNPR in Las Vegas. She says the increase in farms has a lot to do with demand for locally-sourced ingredients from high-end restaurants.

“That’s actually encouraged a lot of farmers, knowing that there’s actually a market for their food," Messerly explains. "This gives them more of a local one-to-one relationship where a farm can have a relationship with a restaurant.”

This means farmers have to grow more crops in Nevada’s less-than-ideal climate., but that’s where hoop houses come in handy.

“They’re these large, half-circle-like structures that protect their plants from the wind, and the rain and the cold,” Messerly says. “It’s not the most favorable environment for growing produce, but in general, the farmers have figured out some ways to get around that.”

Most new farms in the state are small, community-based operations, not the industrial types seen in areas like California’s Central Valley.

NOTE: This story was produced with information from a recent interview produced by our public media partner KNPR in Las Vegas.