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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host seed saving workshop, chile variety trial tour in Los Lunas

LOS LUNAS, N.M. - Do you have a favorite chile pepper, squash or tomato growing in your garden and would like to produce it year after year?

New Mexico State University is hosting a workshop on seed saving and introductory vegetable breeding Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Los Lunas for individuals interested in learning the basic techniques to produce and harvest vigorous, true-to-type vegetable seeds.

"A grower may wish to protect and maintain heirloom vegetable varieties by conducting an on-farm breeding project," said Stephanie Walker, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service vegetable specialist. "By attending the workshop they will participate in hands-on demonstrations to learn how to isolate their crops, save their seeds, and implement other participatory breeding techniques."

Walker and Luz Hernandez, NMSU Extension specialist, will conduct the hands-on demonstrations.

In addition to the workshop, Walker will conduct a field tour on Thursday, Aug. 29, at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas. She will discuss the landrace chile variety trial being conducted at the farm.

"Landrace chile varieties, including 'Chimayo,' are uniquely original New Mexico specialty crops that are recognized by consumers for their excellent flavor," Walker said. "These varieties were developed through many generations of selection and seed saving by farming families in northern New Mexico. This trial was established to demonstrate the unique quality characteristics of 15 different landrace chile varieties."

The Wednesday free workshop will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Valencia County Extension offices, 404 Courthouse Road.

The Thursday tour will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Agricultural Science Center at 1036 Miller Rd.

For additional information, call Walker at 575-646-4398 or Mary Curtis at 575-646-1715.