Past Events & Announcements


Trees in Orchard
Trees in Orchard (Photo by Andres Leighton)

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 6:00-7:30 pm

Join SASC Alcalde in our orchard for a presentation and hands-on experience with fruit tree grafting with Fruit Specialist, Shengrui Yao. Please bring a small sharp knife for the hands-on session.

For registration, please contact Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

Jujube Growing Habits and Pruning Workshops

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

NMSU Los Lunas Center Pruning Demonstration

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 2:00-3:00pm

NMSU Alcalde Center Presentation + Pruning Demonstration

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm

Join Shengrui Yao to prune and learn about jujubes in two separate workshops. Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill), also called Chinese date, red date, or Tsao, is native to China. The jujube fruit is nutritious. It can be relied on to produce a crop every year, because it flowers late and therefore avoids late-frost crop losses common with apples, peaches, cherries, and other traditional tree fruit.

For registration: please call Anna/Augusta at 505-852-4241 or do it online at

2018 Annual Fruit Grower Workshop

Tart Cherry on Branch in Leaves
Tart Cherry (Photo by Shengrui Yao)

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8:30 am- 3:30 pm

Join SASC faculty and staff along with other fruit experts at Los Luceros Ranch, Alcalde, NM for a day of discussion and field demonstrations on fruit growing in New Mexico.Topics include: updates of fruit research at Alcalde (with Shengrui Yao), grape varieties, bee and pollination in fruit production, marketing and local farmers market discussion panel, NM organic certification and regulations, acequia legacy in Northern New Mexico (with Steve Guldan), tree planting and transplanting and management, and gopher management.

Pre-registration fee for meal and materials is $12 per person before Feb. 20 and $15 after Feb. 20. To pre-register, please call Joy at Santa Fe County Extension Office at 505-471-4711.

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

Red Gala Apples in Pile
Gala Apples (Photo by Shengrui Yao)

Thursday, March 8, 2018,1:30- 4:00pm

Join SASC for a day of hands-on pruning and presentations. We will cover apple, peach, cherry, plum, apricot, and blackberry. Instructors include Shengrui Yao (NMSU SASC Alcalde Center), Tony Valdez (Taos County Extension), Tory Hougland (RAIPAP), Don Martinez (Rio Arriba County Extension), Tom Dominguez (Santa Fe County Extension).

This event will be limited to 35 participants. Please register online or Call Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

January Field Day: Growing Winter Greens in Hoop Houses

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

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.


Red Jujube Fruit Hanging on Tree
Jujube Fruit (Courtesy of Shengrui Yao)

Annual Jujube Workshop

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 2:00- 4:30 pm

Fall cool nights and warm days trigger the ripening of fruit, including the Chinese date, commonly called jujube. The annual fruit-tasting workshop, held by Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist Shengrui Yao, will feature a presentation about jujube flowering and fruiting habits, a tasting session of the 40-plus cultivars, and a field tour.

Since 2010, Yao has promoted jujube fruit as a solution to the significant financial impact experienced by northern New Mexico fruit growers because of late frosts in mid-May. Jujube trees begin blooming in June.

"Some of the cultivars are very impressive with around 50 percent of the trees carrying 5-10 pounds or more of fruit in 2017, third year after planting at Alcalde," Yao said.

The free workshop at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde is limited to 40 participants. You can register online or call Augusta/Anna at 505-852-4241.

Shengrui Yao Touching Fruit Tree
Shengrui Yao with Fruit Tree (Courtesy of Jane Moorman)

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

"There are many reasons to graft," says Shengrui Yao, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service fruit specialist. "Grafting can be used to save trees that have partially damaged bark. Or to switch cultivars to make an orchard more profitable."

Join us for a fruit tree grafting presentation and hands-on experience with Shengrui Yao, Fruit Specialist. Please bring a small sharp knife for the hands-on session.

This event will be limited to 20 participants. Please register by contacting Augusta or Anna at 505-852-4241 or register online at: .

From Bloom to Bloom: Medicinal Herbs for Pollinator & Human Health

Bee Balm with Purple Blooms
Bee Balm or Oregano de la Sierra (Courtesy of

Friday, June 16, 2017, 9 am- 12 pm

From Bloom to Boom is a project initiated by NMSU- Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center Horticulturist Robert Heyduck, farmer-researcher Todd Bates of NM Native Plant Recyclers, and queen honey bee breeder-researcher Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute. This first investigation will share information on Oregano de la Sierra- a well known native New Mexican medicinal herb.

Todd Bates will share information on how he cultivates the plant- from its wild mountain roots, to adapting it to lower elevations along the Rio Grande and on its medicinal properties. Robert Heyduck will share information on the process of the investigation and sampling/collection protocol for assessing the potential benefits of this glorious plant. Melanie Kirby will share information on the importance of habitat and its relationship to pollinator health and fortifying locally adapted strains of pollinators.

Additional guest lecturers include: Dr. Don Hyder, a chemist at San Juan College (Farmington) who will share information on chemical analysis and composition of medicinal NM honeys and hive products.... Dr. Olivia Messinger-Carril will share pollinator identification information and about her North American native bee book (Princeton Press), Know the Bees in your Backyard Dr. Ashley Bennett ,Small Farm IPM Specialist, Los Lunas NMSU Agriculture Science Center Dr. Jose D. Villa, USDA-ARS Baton Rouge Bee Research Unit (retired)

This is a FREE event! Open to the public. Registration starts at 8:30 am. Please see flier for more details or call Anna Trujillo at 505.852.2668.

Registration begins at 8:30 am at NMSU SASC in Alcalde. At 9 am the event will begin. At 10:30 am the group will move to Todd Bates field in Embudo. Please consider carpooling and there will be snacks provided.

Annual Fruit Grower Workshop

March 2, 2017, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Come to Los Luceros Ranch in Alcalde, NM for a day of learning about organic fruit production and pruning with Shengrui Yao, crop selection, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), soil building, FSMA food safety requirements, and more! Lunch and coffee will be provided. Pre-registration is due February 15 with a $12 fee. From February 15- 22, the registration fee is $15. Please contact Joy at Santa Fe County Extension Office at 505-471-4711 or Anna at NMSU Alcalde Center at 505-852-4241.

Mountain West Seed Summit & Field Trip

Summit: "Honoring Origins and Seeding the Future," March 3 - 4, 2017

Join Seed Stewards from the Mountain West and beyond for three days of seed knowledge and networking in beautiful Santa Fe. The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the McCune Foundation, presents a two-day summit and one-day field trip focused on training and inspiring seed producers across the Rocky Mountain region. The Mountain West Seed Summit will include presentations, demonstrations, hands-on activities, lively discussions, seed exchanges, art, music, and more!

Two Farmers Walking Plowed Field
Field and Farmers (Photo by Rob Heyduck Courtesy of NMSU)

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference

February 17 - 18, 2017

The 2017 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference is an annual opportunity for farmers, ranchers, and researchers from around the Southwest to share their experiences and expertise at the Marriot Hotel in Albuquerque, NM. New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service is a proud organizer of the conference. Please join us!