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Spring Veggie and Herb Starts Available at Orchard

Posted 2/25/2011

Most spring garden transplants have to be shipped hundreds of miles from out of state growers into Las Vegas. Not anymore! Local transplant grower Bruce Nielson in Sandy Valley has been growing vegetable and herb transplants for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) Orchard for two years. Now these same transplants are available to the public on three consecutive Saturdays: March 5, 12 and 19 at the UNCE Orchard in North Las Vegas from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Because local growers in the past did not grow transplants for Las Vegas, these out-of-state transplants were available at the wrong time of year, the varieties were not the best for our climate and they frequently did not arrive in good condition for sale. Using local growers reduces the carbon footprint, provides plants closer to the time when they are needed and local producers listen to the desires of local consumers. Not only that, buying locally puts money into the pockets of Nevadans and helps bolster the local economy.

Spring vegetable and herb seasonal transplant sales have been conducted at the UNCE Orchard for the past two years in conjunction with UNCE’s Producer to Chef Program. The Producer to Chef Program focuses on fostering the development of local producers of fruit and vegetables instead of shipping in all of our food from out-of-state. This means that if local producers want to compete with out-of-state corporate farms they must focus on the production of high quality transplants that are desired by local consumers and at the right time of year.

This educational program, conducted by Cooperative Extension’s horticulturist Bob Morris and The View and Las Vegas Review Journal columnist, is intended to encourage both backyard and small-scale food production in southern Nevada. The UNCE Orchard is a research and demonstration facility designed to test the suitability of fruit and vegetable varieties and transfer the knowledge on how to grow them in our harsh Mojave Desert climate.

For more information and to enroll in the class, contact Morris at morrisr@unce.unr.edu or call the Master Gardener helpline at 702-257-5555.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is an outreach arm of the University that extends unbiased, research-based knowledge from University of Nevada—and other land-grant universities—to local communities. Educational programs are developed based on local needs, sometimes in partnership with other agencies and volunteers. For more information about University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, please visit the website at www.unce.unr.edu

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