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Garden columnist opens Valencia County Master Gardener Home & Garden Expo

LOS LUNAS – Garden advice columnist and PBS gardening show host Curtis Smith will be the keynote speaker at the fifth annual Valencia County Home & Garden Expo on Friday, April 1, at the UNM-Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Road in Tome.

Smith, retired New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service horticulturalist, will talk about how gardening helps improve the environment. The event is sponsored by NMSU’s Valencia County Master Gardeners.

Smith’s Southwest Yard & Garden column has appeared in New Mexico newspapers since 1995, including the Albuquerque Journal for many years. He prides himself in using new information for each weekly column.

He was also host of the Southwest Yard & Garden television series that began in 2000 and ran for five years. How-to videos from the television series are still available through NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences website at http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/howtovideo/.

The free home and garden expo will be from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A free lunch will be served, so RSVP would be appreciated. Call the Valencia County Extension office at 505-565-3002 to save a space.

“The Home and Garden Expo is a great way to gain useful information and creative ideas for both in the home and outside, not to mention a wonderful opportunity to meet other members of the community who share common interests,” said Laura Bittner, Valencia County Extension program director.

There will be two tracks of programing with a variety of presentations.

The home track will include presentations on:
• Food preservation by Cindy Davies, Bernalillo County Extension program director.
• Cooking with garden products by Laura Bittner.
• Indoor plants by John Garlisch, Bernalillo County Extension horticulturalist.
• Green cleaning by Anne Marie Wilson, Valencia County Extension home economic agent.
• Gourds by Dar Stone, the Gourd Lady.

The gardening track will include presentations on:
• Raised bed and companion gardening by Israel Calsoyas, NMSU graduate student.
• For the Love of Roses by Loretta Torres, Valencia County Master Gardener.
• Native landscape design by Mike Halverson, Santa Ana Gardens.
• Gardening for hummingbirds by Ted Hodoba, Whitfield Conservation Area.
• Walking Garden Tour by Curtis Smith.

During the expo, the Valencia County Master Gardeners will have a variety of plants for sale, including spring season vegetables, herbs and flowers.