Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde

We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30am - 4:30pm; closed for lunch from 12:00 - 1:00pm.

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.


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Jujubes on Branch
Jujube Fruit (Photo Taken by Shengrui Yao)

AmeriZao Jujube Fruit Tasting Workshop at Los Lunas

Friday, September 28, 2018, 2- 4 p.m.

NMSU Extension fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will lead the workshop where participants may sample 40-plus varieties. "Since jujube cultivars are originally from China, where Zao is the word for this fruit, I wanted to keep the traditional name in the trademark," Yao said. Thirty-four varieties receiving a new trademark are propagated from cultivars Yao received from China in 2011. She has studied each cultivar for traits that will thrive in New Mexico's various climate zones. Gradually, she will publish the top performers in each region and for different purposes. "Jujube fruit trees are an excellent alternative fruit for growers in northern New Mexico," Yao said. "The trees bloom from late May to early August, so late frosts will not prevent fruit from setting. They also do well in semi-arid conditions. Jujubes are low maintenance plants and produce a reliable crop annually." The workshop will include a presentation about jujube flowering and fruiting habits, followed by a fruit tasting session and a field tour.


Announcements

Shengrui Yao with Jujube Tree
Shengrui Yao with Jujube Tree (Photo Courtesy of Jane Moorman)

NMSU Launches Website Featuring Newly Trademarked Jujube Cultivars

AmeriZao is the new trademarked name for jujube fruit trees tested by New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

"Since these cultivars are originally from China, where Zao is the word for this fruit, I wanted to keep the traditional name in the trademark," said Shengrui Yao, NMSU Extension fruit specialist. "AmeriZao cultivars are American jujubes since they have been propagated and tested in New Mexico."

Yao hopes the NMSU Jujube website will help people identify the cultivar of jujube they may currently own, or help growers select cultivars in the future.


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

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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