The Las Vegas Farmers Market at Downtown Summerlin converted into a drive-thru last weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People can still get their eggs, fruits, and vegetables fresh from the farm, only instead of wandering the different produce stands to select apples, citrus, eggs, and leafy greens, they wait in their cars under the outdoor shopping center’s pavilion while employees fill orders and drop them in the trunk.
“We’re just trying to figure out how we provide produce without having groups of people coming, because that’s usually what it looks like it at Downtown Summerlin on a regular basis,” says Rod Huebert, who owns the Las Vegas Farmers Market and Rod’s Produce Market in Reedley, California, that provides the products. The third-generation farmer says that he harvests crops one to two days before loading up his trucks to head to the farmers market in Las Vegas.
“Everything does come from our farms here,” he says. “Nothing is purchased off a dock somewhere.”
Staff at the market limits their contact with customers and product, and wears gloves, and sometimes masks, to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus. A number of hand-washing stations and sanitizers are set up as well. Five or six employees gather orders.
Huebert says he has 14 types of citrus, including blood oranges, Mandarin oranges, and lemons, as well as three types of apples, pears, golden beets, baby carrots, regular carrots, onions, potatoes, yams, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, and mustard greens arriving this week. Eggs have been in high demand.
So far the response has been positive. “They thank us over and over again for being here, especially during this time where it’s very hard to find fresh produce and grocery store lines are miles long,” Huebert says.
“We had an overwhelming response,” says Halee Mason, marketing director for Downtown Summerlin. “We are looking to bring it back this weekend and hopefully each weekend as we see fit.”
The Downtown Summerlin Farmers Market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Bruce Trent Park Farmers Market at 1600 N. Rampart Boulevard takes place on Wednesdays from 2 to 7 p.m. The Skye Canyon farmers market at 10115 W. Skye Canyon Park Drive runs on Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m.
Huebert says he’s working with his other locations across Las Vegas to come up with drive-thru solutions.
”This is our livelihood too. It just feels good to provide a service like that to the community,” Huebert says.