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NMSU Bernalillo County Extension slates three-part urban farming series

ALBUQUERQUE - To help promote a local food shed for the Albuquerque Metroplex, New Mexico State University's Bernalillo County Extension office is hosting a three-part Urban Farming Series beginning Dec. 9.

"The three workshop series is designed specifically for growers facing the challenge of producing food in urban areas," said Jeff Bader, Bernalillo County Extension program director. "All of the workshops will include both NMSU Extension faculty and successful producers as instructors."

The first session will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Central New Mexico Community College South Valley Campus, 5816 Isleta Blvd. SW. The free workshop is titled "Entrepreneurship and Business Planning for Small Scale Farmers" and will be led by Michael Patrick, Extension economic development specialist, and Jeff Graham of Mysterious Horizons Farm, where organic produce, pecans and medicinal herbs are grown.

"I will be presenting information for planning for success, while Jeff, who is a successful small producer, will be sharing his thoughts on what to do and what not to do, based on his many years of experience," Patrick said. "The workshop will engage attendees in discussing and evaluating questions regarding their interest in small scale farming."

The issues to be addressed include personal and family considerations, identifying alternatives, marketing, production, profitability and financial feasibility.

The second workshop in the Urban Farming Series will be Growing Great Soil to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Central New Mexico Community College South Valley Campus. The program will be free. Joren Viers, Bernalillo County Extension urban horticulturalist, will present the session.

The final workshop will be High Value Fruit Production on Small Acreages and will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Historic Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta Blvd. SW. There is a $10 fee for this workshop, which will cover the cost of lunch. Viers and Ron Walser, Extension fruit and urban farming specialist, will lead the session.

For more information about the Urban Farming Series, contact Bader at (505) 243-1386.