FREE Fermentation Workshop Saturday 9/20/14

This Saturday will be the final workshop this year in the Bernalillo County Open Space Backyard Farming Workshop Series at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House. Come learn about food preservation via fermentation and dehydration with Sophia Rose of La Abeja Herbs! I look forward to seeing you there!

More details about the series can be found here. RSVP to Colleen McRoberts.

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Free Canning Workshop Saturday, 9/6

Food Preservation I : Hot Bath Canning and Pressure Canning

Saturday, September 6

This much loved workshop is back again as part of the Bernalillo County Open Space Backyard Farming Workshops! There are many ways to enjoy the harvest all year round. Join Kim Pophal at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House to find out how to put food up for the winter with methods such as hot bath canning and pressure canning. Participants will learn about methods, appropriate equipment and trouble shooting. We will get hands on and tasting! Bring your favorite recipes to sample and share! RSVP to Colleen Langan. This workshop starts at 9:00am and takes place at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta SW.

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FREE Backyard Barnyard Workshop Saturday 8/16

Interested in keeping goats or sheep or pigs? As part of the Bernalillo County Open Space Backyard Farming Series, I will be teaching a free workshop on dairy goats at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House this Saturday, August 16th, starting at 9am, and Robin Miller will be teaching a workshop on sheep and pigs starting at 11am.

Desi says she wants to go to Farm Camp!
RSVP to Colleen Langan to secure your space and don’t forget to register when you arrive to be entered for our giveaways at the end of the workshop. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

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Float-Rope Doormats

I rarely post product reviews, but I am so happy with these doormats from the Maine Float-Rope Company, and they’re made in the United States, and they are made with recycled float rope, the repurposing of which helps keep our oceans clean, and they look good!

Maine Float-Rope Doormat

Pretty purple doormat!

No shedding of annoying fibers with these doormats. They work great!

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Free Organic IPM Farm Walks

NMSU and NMDA are hosting another series of Organic IPM Farm Walks. These are always a wonderful way to get an inside look at some local farms. There is no charge for these walks, but you must pre-register.

You may or may not be surprised to find out that there isn’t a good direct link to this information on NMSU’s IPM site. In lieu of a website link, for more information, email Deborah Sandoval at NMSU. And here is a link to an article about the walks in Green Fire Times.

There are two walks in September: 

1. Sunday, September 8th, 1-4pm at Skarsgard Farms.

2. Sunday, September 22nd, 1-4pm at Freshies in Lyden (Alcade area). See 3 acres of certified organic apples, peaches and mixed vegetables and a bonus peak at their mushroom operation. 

And don’t forget about the Urban Farm Festival on September 15th and the Local Food Festival on October 13th at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House! 

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Upcoming Events In Albuquerque

Happy new year, dear readers.

It’s true. I’ve been remiss in posting. While you wait for more recipes and farm animal lore, here are some (mostly) FREE events happening here in Albuquerque.

1. Bug Love

Wednesday, February 13th, 6-7:15 PM at Bachechi Open Space. FREE. A fun talk with my favorite entomologist Dr. Tess Grasswitz. Details here.

2. Beekeeping 101

Saturday, March 2. Erda Gardens. Details here.

3. ABQ Beekeepers Meeting

Thursday, March 7, 6:30-8:30 PM. FREE. Details here.

4. Empowering Women in Agriculture Seminar

Friday, March 8th. FREE. MRGCD Agricultural Collaborative. Register and details here.

5. Edible Landscapes

Saturday, March 9, 9 AM-12:30 PM at the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House. FREE. Part of the popular Bernalillo County Open Space Backyard Farming Workshop Series. Details here on this and other workshops this year.

And don’t forget…now is the perfect time to plant your spring garden (under row cover, of course). Plant lettuces, greens and spring root crops for an early April harvest. While I don’t use straw bales anymore (I simply use two layers of row cover and wire wickets), here is a blog about an easy way to create a quick cold frame to grow spring greens.

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NM Native Pollinator Pocket Guides

My favorite entomologist, Dr. Tess Grasswitz, has published new and FREE guides to beneficials in New Mexico. They are available for download from NMSU’s website and have great photos and descriptions. Go to the above link and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link for either IPM for Home Gardeners or the Guide to Beneficial Insects of New Mexico.

There is a ton of great information on Tess’s Integrated Pest Management website, and the information is applicable to more than just New Mexico. Take a look. Thanks, Tess (& thanks, Rebecca, for sharing the link!)!

Lady Beetles and larvae on dill that’s gone to seed.

Here is one of my favorite tips for increasing beneficials in the garden:

Let plants go to seed. Especially dill, wild carrot, cilantro, basil, fennel, etc. This can be tricky when you have a small garden, but try to include a row for pollinators. The benefit of doing this really hit home a few years back when I let the collards that I grew over the winter go to seed in the spring.

I briefly worried that I would be creating habitat for early populations of the cabbage moths, but what I discovered instead was that although the cabbage moths had an earlier food source, so did the parasitic wasps that preyed on them. What I noticed after a few years of letting collards go to seed was that not only were my populations of cabbage moths reduced, the large branched collard plants provided seed (and insects) and perches for birds, habitat for spiders and lady beetles (which I typically see more in the umbelliferae plants but perhaps early in the spring they take what they can get). And, I had “free” new collard plants growing without having to do any work on my part.

Again, this is really only practical in a “wild” type garden, but I always keep some wild areas along the micro-managed gardens for beneficials and have noticed very minimal pest pressure on the veggies (except for squash bugs, but that’s another post!). I’d love to hear what others are doing in smaller gardens to encourage beneficials.

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