Urban Seed Is Sprouting Fresh Ideas About Local Food
May 10, 2017
It was less than a year ago that Las Vegas was introduced to Urban Seed, an urban-farming concept that seemed—at best—far-fetched in the desert.
But Urban Seed has planted roots, literally and figuratively, since. “We wanted to make sure we spent a lot of time educating chefs, partners and the community about our capabilities and the way we are growing food,” says Rachel Wenman, a co-founder and vice president of Urban Seed.
The company aims to be a sustainable-food provider in the industry, ensuring the chef community receives only the best produce. While building its facilities are underway this spring, Urban Seed is working to get its message to the public by planning tastings to introduce people to the food grown using hybrid aeroponics, the process of growing plants vertically in a fog environment. With 42,000 square feet of grow space, Urban Seed believes its model can yield the highest crop per square foot in the industry and change the way Las Vegas grows and consumes produce.
Construction on the first two (of six) boutique greenhouses located on a patch of land on Wynn Road has begun. Urban Seed expects to produce more than 25 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, radishes, peppers, beets, basil, mint and more. It’s working with seed distributors that are non-GMO, pesticide-free and chemical-free. Eventually, the goal is to use its own homegrown seeds.
As the temperature heats up, Wenman expects good things as the first large-scale farm producing fruits and vegetables in Las Vegas takes shape.
“What’s been really neat as a native Nevadan has been to watch the culinary community and the whole Las Vegas community come together, seeing how obsessed and hungry they are for fresh food,” she says. “The response from chefs and the community has been overwhelmingly positive, motivating and inspiring.”
To date, Urban Seed has secured major partnerships, including plans to provide its first harvest to spots such as Mina Group restaurants, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group restaurants, Top of the World, DW Bistro, Border Grill and off-Strip restaurants including the soon-to-open Sparrow + Wolf.
The company has also been busy with the launch of Urban Seed Foundation, which focuses on working with community partners to relieve hunger needs and food deserts in Nevada.