LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip, near Tropicana and Wynn Street, lies the People’s Farm.
Founder Mark Engler said there’s no better place to bring the hyperlocal company right here in the food desert of Las Vegas.
“We’re here to affordably feed people nutritious food, starting with family, friends, and neighbors,” Engler explained. “We’re a controlled environment agriculture company that specializes in growing microgreens and as you’ll see it’s because microgreens are very prolific.”
It starts by sowing the seeds on a hemp mat with no chemicals, dirt, or fertilizers. Only using pH-balanced water and oxygen, it’s then rolled into the germination room where the greens sit for 48 hours.
“The germ room is at 80 degrees, 80% relative humidity, the grow room during this time of year is 80 degrees and 50% relative humidity,” Engler added. “We germinate in the dark then we expose the plants to the light which is five days under the light and then we harvest.”
The grow process only takes 7-10 days and The People’s Farm also traditionally uses 95% less water and recycles all of the water too.
“Why do we grow microgreens? They’re 4 to 40 times more nutritious than their adult counterpart,” Engler said.
The plants are never exposed to the outside heat and stay in the cooler until harvest time which goes out to local consumers like restaurants in Summerlin.
“Our struggle has been with retail grocers, they do not have their distribution centers here in Las Vegas, they’re in Phoenix and in LA. So, Las Vegas ends up kind of being the end of the trail, so Las Vegas does not get really good, specialized health food,” Engler added. “So, we’re working on that.”
It’s a chance for urban cities to experience a new type of agriculture firsthand, where anyone can be a farmer, even here in the desert.
You can get your greens at The People’s Farm. There are 11 different varieties of vegetables including radishes, cabbage, mustard, greens, peas, sunflowers, and more at $2 an oz.
They are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. You can learn more here.