Blue Lizard Farm is in Lincoln Co. NV, 150 miles north and 2500 feet higher than Las Vegas. It’s a little cooler in the summer and a lot colder in the winter, and probably couldn’t be any more different than what usually springs to mind when people think of “Vegas”. The county is nearly the size of Vermont, but with only 5500 people spread over six towns.
There isn’t a single traffic light in the whole county. It’s the kind of place where, for good or bad, everyone knows everyone. If you’re ever not sure what you’re doing, just ask your neighbor, because they’ll tell you. Kids run around being kids, and people chat in the grocery stores and post offices. There are parades down main street, fundraiser barbecues for the volunteer firemen and the VFW, and Little League games in the parks. It’s a pretty amazing place. Below is a photo of the Meadow Valley, which lies between the towns of Caliente and Panaca. Blue Lizard Farm is up against the hills on the east side of the valley. (The cattle are not ours.)
We came to Lincoln County in 2005, after spending six years in Vegas doing Africanized bee removal. Rodney is a self-taught beekeeper who began keeping bees in Tucson, AZ in 1992, about the same time Africanized bees became an issue in Southern Arizona. We did bee removal in Tucson for several years, then moved north with the Africanized bees to Las Vegas in 1999.
During our time in Vegas Rodney had the opportunity to become UNLV’s beekeeper, maintaining research colonies for the Biology Department, which lead to affiliation with the Cooperative Extension’s Research Orchard in North Las Vegas where we began to rekindle an interest in agriculture and a desire to get out of the city. When the chance to sell our business and start over on a new adventure appeared, well, we jumped on it and didn’t look back. We bought ten acres of sagebrush, saltbush, tumbleweed, assorted critters, and nothing else. We sunk a well, put in utilities, and set about trying to find a way to support ourselves off a small patch of desert.
And this is where we are today. We’ve got thirteen 20×96 steel frame hoop houses and a state inspected packaging facility. We grow a wide variety of produce throughout the year, with some varieties year round. We sell produce to several Strip and Downtown Vegas restaurants, but what we love best are farmer’s markets. There’s nothing like getting to meet the people who will enjoy the fruits of our labors.