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NMSU Hidalgo County Extension to host garden open house June 13

LORDSBURG ¬– New Mexico State University’s Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension Service will host a garden open house at 9 a.m. Friday, June 13, at the Hidalgo County Fairgrounds in Lordsburg.

This is a photo of raised bed gardens.
The colorful Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden in Lordsburg, N.M., makes use of discarded materials to create functional garden beds. Dried yucca stems protect the plants from the harsh desert sun. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

The event will highlight the Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden, an initiative started in 2012 by John Allen, Hidalgo County Extension agriculture agent. He saw the need for better access to fresh, local produce in the county, and took steps to make it happen.

“Hidalgo County was actually identified as a food desert, which means that the access to fresh foods is very limited here,” Allen said. “We have one small grocery store in the entire county. Everyone else from the outlying areas have to travel in. Our closest Walmart is about an hour away, so it can be really difficult, especially for seniors, or people who don't have the means to travel those distances to get their food.”

Allen will provide information about cover crops and drip irrigation at the event, while Carol Sutherland, NMSU Extension entomologist, will discuss pest control in the garden.

The event will include a tasting of produce grown in the demonstration garden.

The open house is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Hidalgo County Cooperative Extension office at 575-542-9291 or allenj@nmsu.edu.