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NMSU Valencia Extension to host fourth Home and Garden Expo

LOS LUNAS - With gardening season just around the corner, many people are beginning to plan what to plant. Others are wondering how they will use the produce once it is harvested.

New Mexico State University's Valencia County Extension will present its fourth Home and Garden Expo, from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 14, at UNM-Valencia Campus.

"This is a fun way to welcome in spring," said Laura Bittner, Valencia County Extension county program director. "It's time to start thinking about gardening and how to use the produce grown. I know our presenters will provide interesting information to be used in both the home and garden."

Keynote speaker Joran Viers, NMSU urban horticulturalist, will speak on the benefits of gardening to open the event.

Participants will be able to choose between two tracks of programs - gardening and the home.

Programs in the garden track will include how to pick, plant and care for landscape trees; home composting; and herbs, presented by Viers and Master Gardeners from Valencia and Bernalillo counties.

Gardening is not just about growing plants; for many people it is about producing food. During the home portion of the expo, participants will learn ways of preparing the vegetables during a cooking demonstration by Bittner; and how to preserve the produce, presented by Cindy Davies, NMSU Bernalillo County home economist.

"The cooking demos will be hands-on, with the participants preparing recipes with fresh garden produce," Bittner said. "I think people will really enjoy getting to taste the final dishes."

Not all gardening occurs outdoors, so there will be a session on caring for indoor plants presented by John Garlisch, NMSU Bernalillo County horticulturalist.

There is no fee for the event, but participants are asked to RSVP by Monday, March 10. Register by calling the Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service office at 505-565-3002.