Backyard Farming Series
Since 2010, Bernalillo County Open Space and its partners have offered a free series of workshops that provides the public with practical experience and knowledge for transforming their backyards into a thriving urban oasis of food, medicine, and wildlife habitat. The guest speakers for this series are all experts in their field who present firsthand knowledge on topics such as irrigation, livestock, insects, gardening, seed saving, and much more. The workshops are held at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House History and Cultural Center from February to November.
A dedicated website and interactive blog has also been developed to extend the experience and offer ongoing resources. The website also provides information on upcoming workshops, past speakers and materials, and additional local gardening resources. Visit us at http://OSbackyardfarming.wordpress.com.
The Backyard Farming Series partners include:
Farming in the South Valley
Part of Bernalillo County Open Space's mission is to protect prime agricultural lands. Bernalillo County manages five agriculture-based properties in the South Valley: Sanchez Farm, Durand, Hubbell North, Gutierrez-Hubbell House, and Pajarito Open Space. Through a formal request for proposals process, Bernalillo County obtains lease agreements with the most qualified applicants to manage these properties. All of these properties have perimeter walking trails as part of the prescription trails program, and include other site amenities such as furnishings and signage. Twenty-five percent of these agriculture-based properties are planted for wildlife habitat, while the remaining land is cultivated for food or grains. Sanchez Farm Open Space is managed by La Plazita Institute (LPI) as a community garden. As part of the Agri-Cultura Network, LPI also produces greens for select Albuquerque Public Schools. The Gutierrez-Hubbell House property is managed by the Bernalillo County Extension Office for educational purposes. Durand and Pajarito Open Space are both farmed by Scott Rasband, who is a local dairy farmer. Finally, the Hubbell North property is farmed by Bernalillo County Land Management as a tree farm for county parks and open space.
Farming at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House History and Cultural Center
The property is divided into three main agricultural fields that are managed by the Bernalillo County Extension Office. A variety of grains, including heirloom corn, are grown in the north field. An additional hoop house was constructed in 2012 and is used to extend the harvest season for vegetables. A historic orchard and vineyard occupies the middle field, interspersed with pollinator plants. The south field is used for event parking where hardy grasses grow. All three fields are flood irrigated using the adjacent Pajarito Acequia. An additional demonstration garden is near the house and features medicinal plants and traditional rainwater harvesting techniques.
Food For People
The food produced by Bernalillo County Extension Office is donated to the Roadrunner Food Bank and widely distributed to a number of groups and individuals in need. Julie Anderson with the Roadrunner Food Bank says fresh produce is the first thing to go when people are selecting their food for the week. In 2013, the Gutierrez-Hubbell House will serve as a distribution center for other backyard farmers who want to donate extra fresh produce. If you are interested in donating produce, call farm manager Gabe Bauman-Baker at (574) 238-8957.
Junior Master Gardener Program
In 2011, John Garlish launched the Junior Master Garden program at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House. Youth from Los Padillas Community Center and home schooled students go on weekly field trips to the property to learn about the wonders of nature and growing food. After attending the course, participants receive a certificate along with many memorable experiences. The program gets kids outdoors learning while having fun. Contact John Garlish at firstname.lastname@example.org
to sign your child up for this program.
For additional information, contact the Open Space Coordinator at (505) 314-0398 or email email@example.com
To view the informational video about the Backyard Farming Series, please click on the icon below.