The weather is warming, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining… Spring has sprung and summer is near. I can’t help but think of barbeques and lazy days by the pool. I’m craving berries, juicy tomatoes and fresh salads. Grocery stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Glazier’s and Fresh & Easy get us through the seasons with produce. Nevertheless, I’m also seeking that farm fresh taste. I like to support local farmers whenever possible, here at home or while visiting other cities. Las Vegas is in the middle of the Mojave, so we don’t have extensive markets like those you’d find in San Francisco or Seattle. But we do have our fair share. We have local farmers like Gilcrease Orchard, as well as those that come from California, Pahrump and Northern Nevada.
Bet on the Farm, the Molto Farmers’ Market was a favorite for its rare epicurean delights. Every Thursday afternoon foodies would flock to Mario Batali’s warehouse for his three Las Vegas restaurants (Enoteca San Marco, B & B Ristorante and Carnevino) on Dean Martin Drive. However, these days white asparagus, blonde raspberries, and truffles are harder to come by. Earlier this year, the warehouse was forced to close its doors to the public because of Clark County Zoning issues. The market was shut down until concerns over business-license classification can be sorted out. A couple months have passed and Bet on the Farm is no closer to re-opening its doors. Rumor has it, a new location is being scouted and the Molto Farmers’ Market will be back in business as soon as the details are sorted out.
Meanwhile, there are a few other farmers’ markets around the valley that are growing and could use your support.
First, there is Fresh52 (9480 S. Eastern Ave.) which operates Sundays 8:30am-2:00pm. Although, it will be closed April 24 for the Easter holiday. Vendors sell produce, crafts and other wares. My favorite booths include Gilcrease Orchard, Bon Breads and Bistro Blends. Bon Breads is the supplier for many top-notch restaurants on and off the strip. Try the multi-grain, it is fantastic. Or grab a baguette and dipping oil from Bistro Blends for a special treat. Come early for apple cider from Gilcrease Orchard, it is known to sell out fast.
On Tuesdays from 4:00-8:00pm head over to the Gardens Park Farmers’ Market (10401 Gardens Park Drive). It is a bit smaller with a couple tents selling produce. One grows all fruits and vegetables organically near Fresno, California. Prepared foods like chili dogs, BBQ ribs and baked desserts are sold. Handmade jewelry, soaps and other items are also available for sale.
Then, on Wednesdays similar vendors can be enjoyed at the Bruce Trent Park (1600 N. Rampart Blvd) from 4:00-8:00pm. Both farmers’ markets are put on by Las Vegas Farmers Market and they’ve recently added a third location at Floyd Lamb Park (9100 Tule Spring Rd.). It is held every third Saturday beginning in May from 10:00-2:00pm.