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NMSU to host hoop-house workshop in Tucumcari

TUCUMCARI, 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 back into late winter.

Participants will get hands-on experience while learning how to build the hoop-house structure at the Tucumcari workshop Nov. 9. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University's Quay County Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a free construction workshop Nov. 9, beginning at 9 a.m. at Tucumcari's Community Garden at 129 Seventh St.

"The benefits of having a hoop house is that it extends your growing season," said Tom Dominguez, Extension agricultural agent. "You can plant a little early and keep harvesting a little later. If you're gardening for home or for profit, this will provide for more produce for you to can, consume, sell or just plain give away to neighbors."

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 Del Jimenez, Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project and designer of the hoop-house structure.

"Participants should come prepared to work, bring tools and wear clothing appropriate for the weather," Dominguez said.

This is one of several hoop-house workshops being held around the state. It is in response to 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 state-wide program, which is funded by a USDA grant from the Western Center for Risk Management Education at Washington State University. "We are providing these trainings to fulfill that request."

To register and get directions to the Tucumcari workshop, call Dominguez at 575-461-0562.

Jane Moorman, senior communications specialist with New Mexico State University, contributed to this release.