Visit a farmers market and you’ll never want to buy
tasteless grocery store produce again (I’m looking at you, tomatoes).
I believe the old truism, “Food is medicine,” and as a
result I’ve been spending more time at farmers markets lately. Eating more fruits and veggies is a good idea
no matter where you buy them, but if you want produce at the peak of its taste
and nutritional value, farmers markets are the way to go.
Tivoli Village Farmers Market
You can find farmers markets throughout the week at a
variety of places in the Las Vegas valley. While most of the produce comes from
California, you’ll find locally produced honey, eggs, herbs, and micro-greens. These
markets are small in comparison to what you’ll find in greener areas, so if you're looking for something on the scale of a farmers market in California or Oregon, dial down your expectations.
we’re in the desert, much of the food at our farmers markets comes from further
away than the locavore’s gold standard of being produced within 100 miles--but
the 400 miles between Vegas and Fresno is far less than the miles most produce travels
before hitting the grocery store shelves. It’s also been allowed to ripen
before being picked, which is why it all tastes so good.
Summertime’s bounty of fruits has just passed us, but we’ll
soon see apples and citrus (as my favorite fruit vendor told me a couple of
weeks ago). Can’t wait. My family is so excited to find out what fresh apples
Another way to get fresh produce is to pick it yourself at Gilcrease Orchard, or sign up for
which is a subscription-type service from a community farm. You can pick up
local eggs and honey on weekends at The
Farm, which is also an animal rescue, and you can check with the Vegas Roots Community Garden to
see what they have for sale.
I have to warn you: if you start shopping at farmers markets
and local farms/gardens, be prepared to work it into your weekly schedule.
Grocery store produce will start tasting like cardboard in comparison. Trust
me. I tried to make pico de gallo with grocery store tomatoes, and it just made
me sad. They were tasteless, watery, sorry excuses for tomatoes. Once your
taste buds get used to fruits and veggies with actual flavor, there’s no going
* * *
Here’s my current list of Las Vegas farmers markets. Keep in
mind that hours and locations may change, and weather is a factor for most
markets. Some markets may also close for winter and/or winter holidays. If you have corrections or additions, please leave them in the comments:
On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman unleashed the
equivalent of machine gun fire into a crowd of 22,000 people who were gathered
on the Las Vegas Strip for a country music festival. For 10 minutes, he fired in bursts. At the time of this post, 58 people are dead and nearly 500 injured. Some remain in critical condition.
The gunman, Stephen Paddock, used his suite on the 32nd
floor of Mandalay Bay as a sniper’s perch to carry out this mass murder. He
killed himself before Metro’s SWAT team blew the door open. His motives are
still unknown. Details continue to emerge at each new press conference.
In the aftermath, the city remains in shock.
Like many people in Las Vegas, I woke up on Monday to
messages from friends and family who wanted to know if I was O.K. Their
messages sent me to the television, and from that point on, everything has felt
The magnitude of this crime is hard to get your mind around.
I’m still struggling.
Many people want to know what they can do. The blood banks currently
are stocked due to an overwhelming turnout of donors (although it's worth noting that United Blood Services has pointed out that blood will be an ongoing need). Ditto for donations of
water and food to the Red Cross and the assistance center set up at the
Convention Center, but you can visit Clark County's Emergency Information Page to find out where else you can donate and volunteer. Vegas Seven's page also has a listing of needs--Metro's Enterprise Area's Command is "In needs of lots of coffee," for instance. You can donate to the GoFundMe that Commission Chair Steve Sisolack and Sheriff Joe Lombardo started. Its initial goal was to
raise a few hundred thousand dollars for the victims and their families, and it's now close
to $10 million dollars. That’s not counting the $3 million that MGM Resorts
Because I, too, like to be helpful, I’m going to suggest two
things everyone can do that are free and can be done from the comfort of your home.
#1 - Don’t contribute to the spread of fake news and
By early afternoon on Monday, I had to go for a walk to take
a break from the news. While I was walking, I overhead a woman on the phone
telling someone she was sure the shooting was some kind of government
conspiracy. I’ve seen stories online insisting there was more than one shooter.
I even heard conjecture about whether or not the gunman was actually dead, but
that was before the crime scene photos were leaked. Please, don’t spread these stories.
I don’t personally know the people who are investigating
this heinous crime, but I know the kind of people they are because I worked for
Metro for 22 years. I know every piece of evidence is being carefully collected
and cataloged. I can’t even imagine how long the crime scene analysts must have
worked on the concert grounds. It’s mind boggling to think of the size of the
scene and how many locations were involved. The pictures I saw of the concert
grounds reminded me of a debris field from an airplane crash, although not as
large and with one notable exception: instead of body pieces, there were whole
bodies littering the grounds. It’s incomprehensible.
The authorities are working as fast as they can to piece
this all together. In the meantime, don’t spread disinformation. Make sure
you’re posting from a credible news source. Better yet, take a break from
social media and the news--it’s too easy to get sucked into the coverage of
this story and become overwhelmed.
#2 - Be a little extra kind.
While this might seem like a suggestion that applies pretty
much always, it’s particularly relevant in Las Vegas right now. We’re all in
this one together, folks. This tragedy has touched an immense number of people
in the valley and beyond. For all you know, that less-than-efficient grocery
store clerk you got today might have a loved one in critical condition. Or worse.
Anyone on the Strip on Sunday at the time of the shooting
was affected, even those who weren’t at the concert.
One of my husband’s friends was at the Bellagio on Sunday
night when the first wave of 40 or 50 people fleeing the massacre burst into
the casino. A second wave hit, and the Bellagio prepared to put the property on
lock-down, but this man wasn’t having any of that. He’d heard the shooter had a
machine gun, and he had no intention of being herded into a ballroom, which was
in the process of happening. People thought the shooter (or shooters--no one
knew) was on foot and headed in their direction. “I wasn’t going to be a fish
in a barrel,” he said, and he and his friends started looking for ways out of
He and his pals wound up searching for an exit through
employee-only areas, surprising (and scaring) groups of employees they
encountered in the process. Finally finding an exit, he and some of his friends
made their way to the Rio, where he called someone to come get him. Some other members
of his group were separated in the scramble to get out, and those folks spent
the night hiding in a pool-side cabana at Caesars Palace.
Impressively, he still made it to work on Monday morning.
Las Vegas, keep standing strong. In the immortal words of
I get knocked down, but I get up again You are never gonna keep me down
Nothing will keep our city down, not even this heinous
Keep that middle finger attitude, my friends.
#VegasStrong ____________________ I'm not sure who to credit for this graphic. If anyone knows the original source, please leave it in the comments. You can visit these pages for for more information and resources:
If the neon boulders at Seven Magic Mountains remind you of the colorful rock formations found throughout the Southwestern United States, you understand what the artist had in mind.
Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains inspires strong reactions. I’ve read both derisive comments that question its artistic merit and enthusiastic reviews extolling the giant land art. I recently visited the piece one Sunday afternoon and found the area full of happy people who were snapping pictures and exploring the stacks of boulders. Whatever the detractors may say, the people I saw were enjoying the sight of Seven Magic Mountains, situated with the dry lake bed of Jean on one side and I15 on the other.
So, is Seven Magic Mountains “art”? I’ve read plenty of comments from people who think it’s not. That begs the question: What is art? To me, it’s creative work that inspires, enlightens, informs or delights. For some people, it’s all about technical mastery or technique, and they only see art in things like a Renaissance painting or a Rodin sculpture. That’s the thing about art: it’s subjective. Rondinone took five years to create Seven Magic Mountains, which is built from locally-sourced limestone boulders. According to an interview with the artist in Art News, he took inspiration from hoodoos and the “meditation practice of balancing stones.”
Some of the most striking pictures I've seen of the piece were taken at sunrise or sunset when the towers are standing alone in the desert. But on the day I visited, the presence of people made it feel like a mini-festival. My hubby, our dog Gigi, and I walked from a crowded parking lot down a short desert path filled with a stream of people. A woman in front of us was carrying a little drone, which we later got to watch fly as we walked around the boulders.
Not long after we arrived, a tour helicopter flew in, buzzing in a quick arc around the towers before turning and zipping back toward town.
Nearby on I15, the cars and trucks were speeding by. Despite their 30-35 foot height, the stacks are dwarfed by the vastness of the Mojave, which appeared an obvious metaphor for Las Vegas. I loved seeing people wandering around in the desert, taking pictures of not just Seven Magic Mountains, but of the landscape around them. Whether or not you like Rondinone’s artistry, you have to acknowledge the magnificence of the place where it sits.
Seven Magic Mountains is planned to be on display for two years. It opened May 11, 2016. Background Note: For those who are concerned about taxpayer funds being spent for the project, don’t worry--Jane Ann Morrison at the RJ reported that of the $3.5 million it cost, only $100,000 came from taxpayer monies via the Nevada Commission on Tourism. That makes sense to me, considering the international attention the installation has drawn. The rest of the funds were raised from donations. Have you been to Seven Magic Mountains?