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NMSU Valencia County Extension hosts hoop house workshop in Bosque Farms

BOSQUE FARMS, N.M. - Why wait until the last freeze to start your garden? There is a low-cost, practical way to extend the growing season -- by building a hoop-style greenhouse in your backyard.

Garden enthusiasts in Valencia County and Albuquerque's South Valley have an opportunity to learn how to build the hoop-house structure, which is 16-feet wide by 32-feet long and made of PVC pipe, wood and greenhouse plastic covering.

New Mexico State University's Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service will host a hoop-house construction workshop beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 8, at Hays Honey Farm, 400 Esperanza Blvd., Bosque Farms.

The training will be conducted by Del Jimenez, Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project (RAIPAP), who is stationed at NMSU's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde. The hoop-house structure being built was designed by Jimenez, who has built hundreds of hoop houses throughout New Mexico.

"This is a great way for a kitchen gardener, or even a farmers' market grower, to extend the growing season," said Kyle Tator, Valencia Count Extension agricultural agent. "Materials for this size hoop house cost about $1,000. This workshop gives people an opportunity to learn how to build the structure."

Participants will help build the structure from the ground up. Admission is free and no pre-registration is necessary. Lunch and snacks will be provided. For more information, call (505) 565-3002. The event is co-sponsored by the Valencia County Extension office and RAIPAP.