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NMSU Valencia County Extension office hosts hoop-house workshop

LOS LUNAS, N.M. - Want to get a jump on next year's garden? One way is to build a hoop house to extend the growing season into late winter.

Volunteers learn to build a hoop house during a New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service workshop. The hoop house is used to extend the growing season for gardeners and farmers' market vendors. Valencia County's Extension office will host a workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 20. (NMSU Photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University's Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a free construction workshop beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. To register and learn the location of the workshop, call Kyle Tator, Valencia County agricultural agent, at 505-565-3002.

"This is a great way for a kitchen gardener, or even a farmers' market grower, to extend the growing season," Tator said. "This workshop gives people an opportunity to learn how to build the structure."

Participants will get hands-on experience while learning 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. The training will be conducted by Tator.

This is one of seven hoop-house workshops being held around the state. It is in response a request by gardeners and farmers' market vendors to learn more about extending the growing season with hoop houses.

"During a series of workshops for farmers' market vendors the producers indicated they would like to know more about extending the growing season with hoop houses," said Michael Patrick, NMSU Extension community resource and economic development specialist. Patrick is coordinating the program, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant from the Western Center for Risk Management Education at Washington State University. "We are providing these trainings to fulfill that request."

Workshops will also be held in Black Hat, Tucumcari, Portales, Silver City and Tijeras during November with Del Jimenez, Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, who designed the hoop-house structure; and Kyle Tator, Valencia County Extension agricultural agent, as trainers.

For more information about the Los Lunas workshop, call the Valencia County Extension office at 505-565-3002.