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NMSU, Valencia County Master Gardeners to host annual home and garden expo

LOS LUNAS ? What are the best plants to grow in a New Mexico garden or landscape?


Baker Morrow, author of several Southwest gardening books, has the answer and will be sharing it at the annual Valencia County Home and Garden Expo on Friday, April 7.

New Mexico State University?s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will host a day of seminars and demonstrations of activities for the home and garden from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Road in Tome.

The $5 attendance fee includes lunch. To attend, an RSVP is required by Monday, April 3. To register, call 505-565-3002.

The event is hosted by NMSU?s Cooperative Extension Service in Valencia County and the Valencia County Extension Master Gardeners.

?This event is a great way to start the spring gardening season,? said Newt McCarty, NMSU Extension agricultural agent in Valencia County. ?We have two tracks of sessions dedicated to garden and home activities.?

The day will open with a session on seed saving titled ?Extending the Harvest for Years to Come.?

?We have established a seed bank at our office and we want to encourage gardeners to take advantage of it as well as learn to save seeds from their own favorite vegetables to share with our community through the library,? McCarty said.

The event?s keynote speaker will be Baker Morrow, professor of practice at UNM?s School of Architecture and Planning and principal of Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller, Ltd.

Morrow has practiced landscape architecture in New Mexico and the surrounding region for over 40 years. Among Morrow?s award-winning projects are the Journal Center, Park Square, the Albuquerque Academy and Yale Boulevard in Albuquerque.

Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller, Ltd., the architecture firm where Morrow is president emeritus, also developed plans for many other important New Mexico projects, including the Big I landscape in Albuquerque.

During the garden track sessions will include container gardening, raised beds, soil health and drip irrigation.

?Sometimes we have big ideas on what to grow, then once we have a bountiful crop we don?t have any ideas what to do with all of the produce,? said Laura Bittner, Valencia County Extension program director and family and consumer science agent. ?The home track workshops will provide tremendous opportunities to gain ideas on how best to use the garden produce that is grown.?

The home track sessions will include food preservation, preparing your harvest, herbs for your health and how to make freezer jam.