Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde

We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30am - 4:30pm.

For general information or questions, please contact the Rio Arriba County Extension Service at 505-685-4523 (Abiquiu) or 575-588-7423 (Tierra Amarilla). Or go to Rio Arriba County Extension Services.


Save the Dates!

Chard in Hoop House
Chard in Hoop House (Photo Taken by Alec Richards)

January Field Day: Growing Winter Greens in Hoop Houses

Friday, January 19, 2018, 1:00- 4:00 pm

Passive heating in low-cost high tunnels (also commonly referred to as hoop houses) allows growers to produce greens such as spinach, kale, and lettuce during the winter months in Northern New Mexico. "We've seen that cool season crops can do well despite the low temperatures and short days. We keep experimenting with different crops, varieties, and management practices to see how winter production can be maximized," according to Robert Heyduck, Senior Research Specialist.

Del Jimenez, NMSU Extension agriculture specialist with the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, will discuss the construction and durability of the hoop houses; Heyduck and Ivette Guzman, a horticulturalist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will give an overview of crop and temperature results to-date. "We invite people to come and see the kind of growth possible during the winter in these unheated structures," said Steve Guldan, an agronomist in NMSU's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the SASC Superintendent.

The event is free and open to the public and will include a tour of the hoop houses. Refreshments will be provided. For more information or directions, contact the Alcalde center at 505-852-4241. The Alcalde staff requests that visitors not bring dogs onto the farm property unless they are assistance dogs.


Announcements

Hive Bar of Full of Bees
Bar of Bees (Courtesy of Zia Queen Bees)

SASC at Alcalde Part of Team that Receives USDA Grant to Conduct Experiment with Honey Bees and Oregano de la Sierra

The NMSU SASC has partnered with San Juan College, the USDA-ARS Bee Research Lab, and a pair of local producers (Melanie Kirby and Mark Spitzig of Zia Queen Bees and farmer Todd Bates) in an experiment entitled "From Bloom to Boom: Investigating Oregano de la Sierra (Monarda fistulosa) for Potential Bee and Human Health."

The project received a year long USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) in 2016. The team will determine the phytochemicals present in the nectar of Monarda fistulosa var menthifolia and in honey originating from its flowers, and evaluate their effects on bee health and nutrition. At each of three Northern New Mexico sites, bees will be fed Monarda nectar in isolation and free-choice. Nectar and honey will be analyzed by gas chromatography for a range of plant chemical compounds that have shown bactericidal, viricidal, and miticidal activity in previous research, among them carvacrol, thymol, p-cymene. By feeding bees in isolation and free-choice, the team will seek to determine a potential bee preference and evaluate the parasite loads of bees fed different diets. The team also aims to identify a range of native pollinators that also visit Monarda. Results will be disseminated through a local field day, through the website Herbs4Bees, and at national and international professional meetings.

The goal, as a team of professional farmers and researchers, is to examine and promote Monarda as a new crop and/or accessory planting to positively affect bee health in situ and also produce a hive product and field crop that can be processed in a number of ways either as honey, a dried herb (flowers and leaves), or as an extracted product containing the volatile compounds.


Students a Building Hoop House
Students Building a Hoop House (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

NMSU Receives USDA Grant to Expand Agricultural Education Program to 18 Pueblos

  • News Release: "NMSU Receives USDA Grant to Expand Agricultural Education Program to 18 Pueblos"
    New Mexico State University's beginning farmers and ranchers program that helps Native American farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture has been extended three more years and expanded to include both the eight northern and 10 southern pueblos. For the past three years, NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service's Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project has conducted the Southern Pueblos Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program helping 59 Native American beginning farmers and ranchers to improve their agricultural operation.



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Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde
371 County Road 40
P.O. Box 159
Alcalde, N.M. 87511
Phone: (505) 852-4241
Fax: (505) 852-2857
Email: alcalde@nmsu.edu

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