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Farming Workshop Looks at Weeds, Seeds

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Those pesky weeds invading your backyard and rising through the cracks in the sidewalk may actually taste quite well in a salad or be useful for curing common ailments.

Residents wondering just which weeds might be useful can find out during Bernalillo County’s next Backyard Farming Series, which takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta SW, three miles south of Rio Bravo.

The workshop, Native Seeds and Foods, is in honor of New Mexico’s centennial birthday and will be split into two parts, according to Open Space coordinator Colleen McRoberts.

If you go
What: Bernalillo County’s Backyard Farming Series: Native Seeds and Foods
When: Saturday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with check-in at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta SW
Cost: Free
RSVP: 314-0398 or email

The first portion of the workshop will focus on identifying native foods that grow in the area.

“They are growing right in our neighborhoods,” McRoberts said. “There may even be some weeds that are growing up in the cracks in the sidewalk or a residential alley.”

While most people think the desert is barren, she said there are plenty of natural foods to be had.


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“You would be surprised at the things you think of as weeds but are healthy,” she said. “They are packed with nutrition and medicinal properties.”

But McRoberts warned that people should not just go out and start eating various plants. Some are only good when they first sprout and others would not be good at all, she said. Using local plants takes some knowledge, she said, and the workshop will offer an introduction to those healthy plants and help people identify them.

The group will take a break at 10 a.m. and then Joshua Cravens, project manager for Cuatro Puertas, Arid Crop Seed Cache, will discuss ways to preserve seeds and use them for next year’s crop.

“One of the best things you can do is learn to save seeds so you can use them again next year,” she said. “There is a different process for different seeds.”
— This article appeared on page 1 of the West Side Journal