Six years ago, Roz Brooks started a garden.
Back then it was a dusty plot of donated land that was seemingly unfit to harbor life, but today it’s a thriving community space that grows fruits, vegetables and herbs of all kinds.
“When you see the before pictures and you see the garden now, I still ask myself what was I thinking,” Brooks told KNPR's State of Nevada.
Brooks started the garden, in part, to make up for the Historic Westside’s lack of grocery stores, but there’s been just one problem: She hasn’t quite reached the community she intended to help.
“It’s just this whole cultural shift," Brooks said, when asked why neighbors don't shop at the garden. "It is this, ‘that’s not how we eat,’ or ‘that’s not what we do.’”
Brooks said the garden had more produce than they knew what do to with.
“One of the issues was although we were growing lots and lots — I mean pounds and pounds and pounds of produce — there was not enough people coming in to get it,” she said.
So Brooks is hitting the road in her Veggie Buck Truck, a farmers market food truck she uses to set up shop in and around downtown.
The community garden can't fill the entire truck, so they get help from Gilcrease Orchard and school gardens that aren't being harvested in the summer.
It has only been on the road for a few weeks, but Brooks said the response has been positive.
The truck isn't just about bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to people, but also about teaching them how to use those nutritious foods.
When the truck parked outside a welfare center, customers weren't buying the kale until Brooks revealed that she had used it in her smoothie samples.
“The cooking demos are going to be key. The smoothie demos are going to be key,” Brooks said.
Vegas Roots offer rents garden plots and gives instructions on what to plant when. They also have a you-pick farm, where visitors can pick their own produce.
Or they can always buy from the truck.
“I know that over the course of the next few months and the next year so many really, really cool unforeseen things are going to come out of this,” Brooks said of the Veggie Buck Truck. “I’m really excited about that.”
Find more information at VegasRoots.org.
Roz Brooks, founder, Vegas Roots Community Garden
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.