Every time I've eaten at a Las Vegas buffet, I've marveled at the amount and variety of food. I've also fought off a sense of guilt that the nosh around that wasn't eaten could just go to waste.
During a recent Back of House Media Tour, I'm glad to report that there is very little waste involved, thanks to a resourceful North Las Vegas farmer and thousands of hungry pigs.
If you've also wondered what happens to the “all you can eat” food that doesn’t “all get eaten.” Vegas visitors willing to stray far from the slot machines can discover the answer to that – if they’re up for spending an afternoon with bigger pigs than those frequenting the buffet.
R.C. Farms hides away in the dry, dusty reaches of North Las Vegas. With the iconic Strip skyline studding the horizon, owner Bob Combs looks after more than 6,000 swine – all fed by an aromatic stew cooked from the fresh refuse and leftovers of local casino buffets. Once they’re big enough, the thousands of Wilbur wannabes head to Nebraska – where they close the sustainable circle by getting dressed for a return to Vegas buffet plates.
Grandpa Combs was into recycling long before it became eco-chic, raising a family in a friendly house built from discarded WWII era ammo crates.
“We’ve been here for decades,” Combs said. “Nothing goes to waste. Even (the pig droppings) are collected and sent to vineyard as fertilizer.”
Visitors to the farm get a tour of the grounds and a pleasant chat in Mrs. Combs’ kitchen over juice and pumpkin bars. If the glitz and noise (and perfumed air) of the casinos bores you, R.C. Farms is your pink, curly tailed ticket.
R.C. Farms is open to individuals, families and tour groups with a reservation. To visit Combs and family, call (702) 642-0350.