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An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

A paint-by-seed mural designed by Jade Leyva, part of the Seeds: A Collective Voice project

Talking seeds at the Placitas Library

On March 8, at 10:00 a.m., join Jade Leyva, Noel Chilton, and Isaura Andaluz as they talk about seed preservation, organic gardening, and health. After the presentation, everyone will be able to participate in creating a “Paint by Seed” mural. This mural is part of the larger Community Multi Seed Mural Project Installation titled “Seeds: A Collective Voice” designed to raise awareness about ancient seed preservation, organic planting, nutrition, and to promote community effort through the arts. There will also be an organic seed exchange, at which you can purchase seeds for your Spring garden.

Number of farms, young farmers, and minority farmers rising in New Mexico

 â€”Longino Bustillos

There have been significant increases in the number of farms, young farmers, and minority farmers in New Mexico in recent years, according to the preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). 

The census shows that the number of farms and ranches in New Mexico is 24,721 farms, which translates to an 18 percent increase from the 2007 Census. That stands in contrast to a national decline in the number of farms over the same period. The amount of farmland in New Mexico was relatively unchanged at approximately 43.2 million acres.

USDA’s definition of “farms” includes farms, ranches, nurseries, greenhouses, and the like.

The number of Hispanic-operated farms jumped from 6,475 to 9,377 in the five-year span.

The average age of the principal farm operator in New Mexico continued its upward trend, rising from 59.6 years old in 2007 to 60.5 years old in 2012. However, there was also an increase in the number of farmers and ranchers under age 34, jumping from 818 in 2007 to the current tally of 1,200.

“I’m glad to see a wider diversity of people getting into farming and ranching in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Diversity in farming and ranching creates opportunity. I’m proud of the increased numbers of young and beginning farmers and ranchers in the state, which assures us that agriculture will continue to be a major economic driver in New Mexico for years to come.”

For more information about the Census, including access to the 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary report and the full report when it is released in May, visit

Orchard management, grape growing workshops offered

—Cooperative Extension Service

The NMSU Sandoval County Extension master Gardeners will be sponsoring an orchard management workshop presented by Gordon Tooley of Truchas Trees at the Anasazi Fields winery in the Village of Placitas, on Sunday March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Anasazi Fields specializes in stone fruit wines and is owned by Jim fish. The workshop is open to the public. Admission is $5 per person. Please bring a sack lunch. Coffee, tea, and water will be provided. for more information, call Anasazi Fields at 867-3062.

A series of four classes will be held at the Sandoval County Extension Office, 711 Camino del Pueblo, old courthouse in Bernalillo, on Saturdays March 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The workshop will be taught by Rex Franklin of Franklin Vineyards in Corrales and will cover site selection, development of new vines, irrigation and pruning, respectively.

Individual classes or the entire workshop series is open to the public at no charge. Registration is required by emailing For more information, call 867-2582.

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