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NMSU to host workshop on growing winter greens in hoop houses

ALCALDE ? Passive heating techniques in low-cost hoop houses allow growers to produce winter greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce during the winter months in northern New Mexico.

Man on his knees picking plants
David Archuleta, farm and ranch supervisor at NMSU?s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, picks spinach during study on growing winter greens in hoop houses. A workshop on Friday, Jan. 16, at the science center will inform producers about the findings of the study. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University researchers will share the results of research on the techniques at a field day from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde.

The free event will include a tour of the hoop houses. Refreshments will be provided.

?We invite people to come and see the kind of plant production possible during the winter in these unheated structures,? said Steve Guldan, an agronomist in NMSU's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the center's superintendent.

?Even with the short days and cold temperatures that are a normal part of January, the spinach and kale are growing fairly well inside the hoop houses,? Guldan said.

Del Jimenez, NMSU Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, will discuss the construction and durability of the hoop houses.

Mark Uchanski, a horticulturalist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will give an overview of crop and temperature results to date.

The Alcalde staff requests that visitors not bring dogs onto the farm property unless they are assistance dogs.

For more information, or directions, contact the Alcalde center at 505-852-4241.