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NMSU to host vegetable farming workshop in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE ? Buying locally grown vegetables and fruit is growing in popularity nationally, and increased traffic at farmers markets in New Mexico indicate it?s becoming big business here, as well.


As the demand for fresh produce increases, so do the challenges to providing produce for the buyers.

To help the producers meet those challenges, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service agricultural agents in the Middle Rio Grande Valley will host a vegetable-farming workshop Friday, March 13, at the NMSU-Albuquerque Center, 4501 Indian School Road NE.

?We are educating farmers on soil health, pesticide-free farming methods and the certified organic process, as well as market gardeners on scaling up and marketing their produce to be able to sell to a variety of markets, including restaurants and schools,? said John Garlisch, Bernalillo County Extension agricultural agent. ?This is part of our efforts to ramp up our farmer trainings providing them more education on production methods.?

The day-long workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Presentation topics will include:
? Soils, presented by John Idowu, NMSU Extension agronomist
? Cover crops, presented by Dan Bloedel, Natural Resource Conservation Service
? Insects, presented by Tessa Grasswitz, NMSU integrated pest management specialist
? Hoop house management, presented by Stephanie Walker, NMSU Extension vegetable specialist
? Marketing, presented by Laura Bittner, NMSU Valencia County Extension program director
? Healthy business practices, presented by John Garlisch, NMSU Bernalillo County agricultural agent
? Transitioning into organic farming, presented by Khan Muhammad, New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Division.

Cost of the workshop is $20, which will include lunch. Seating is limited, so RSVP is requested. Visit http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/vegetablefarming to register.