Local News


Three decades of research at this demonstration orchard helps locals wanting to grow their groceries

Urban gardening
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 12, 2024

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At the Center for Urban Water Conservation, you’ll find over 500 fruit trees, grapevines, herb gardens and vegetable beds.

It's the Research Garden & Demonstration Orchard for University of Nevada Extension, which also works in partnership with UNLV.

"One of our purposes is to figure out what grows well in the Mojave Desert and another purpose we have is how do you grow things using less water," Louise Ruskamp, who is the site's manager, told Channel 13.

“We harvest between eight [thousand] and 20,000 pounds of fruit every year," Ruskamp said. "If you are aware of when you can plant things and what you can plant, you can be very, very successful with gardening.”

What? When? How? — All gardening questions answered through decades of experiments at the center.

“We're very happy at the center to celebrate 30 years doing applied and basic research that addresses urban water-related issues," said Dale Devitt, Director of the center.

Not only does Devitt lead the center, he also is a professor of soil and water at both UNR and UNLV. He's authored dozens of studies having to do with water use.

“We have a study where we’re quantifying virtual water....how much water to grow exactly one peach, one plum," Devitt said, explaining some of the recent research. "We have another studying the impact of pruning trees and opening up the canopies."

Farm Stand

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday the center is open to the public, where you can go and buy the produce grown by the enter at the Farm Stand located at 4600 Horse Drive, North Las Vegas, NV, 89131

You can also speak to any of the volunteer Master Gardeners on site, who are there to answer any and all gardening questions.

Center for Urban Water Conservation

Get Involved:
Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener? Registration is now open! Here's what you'd do:

  • Help answer yard and garden questions from the community
  • Provide guidance to homeowners
  • Lead educational presentations throughout the community
  • Work with school and community gardens

Step 1: Complete the two-level training

  • Home Horticulture Certificate Program
  • Master Gardener Training

Step 2: Complete Master Gardener Internship Hours

  • 35 hours volunteering
  • 15 hours continuing education

Step 3: Volunteer as a Master Gardener!

  • 20 hours annually
  • 10 hours continuing education annually

The total cost of the Master Gardener Training Program is $300.

Find more information at the Master Gardeners of Nevada websiteor contact your local Clark County experts via at ExtensionClarkMG@unr.edu or 702-257-5555.

Another place. you can go to get your gardening questions answered is the Botanic Gardens. It's a seven-acre outdoor educational area with 4,500 plants. It's located at 8050 Paradise Road here in Las Vegas.