Backyard Farming

Welcome to Backyard Farming Workshops at Gutiérrez Hubbell House! 

We are now back to in-person events!

We will be observing all New Mexico public health guidelines and COVID-safe practices. We are a NM-Safe Certified museum. As of Friday, February 18, 2022, masks are optional in all county facilities except Metropolitan Detention Center, Youth Services Center, and CARE Campus, as per state health order.

Individuals are still welcome and encouraged to wear a face mask if they feel it is the best option for them while working in or visiting a Bernalillo County facility.

Please sign up individually for each member of your group so we can assess group size and use the notes section to let us know of any requests for accommodation.

If you are having trouble signing up, please call 505-314-0400 or email Bernalillo County at openspace@bernco.gov.

Advanced sign-up is required for most programs. 

Upcoming Events

Drip Irrigation Repair for Homeowners  

Saturday, August 13, 2022 • 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. • On-site Workshop • REGISTER HERE 

This hands-on workshop will provide instruction to homeowners on how to troubleshoot problems and make simple repairs to their drip irrigation systems.

The workshop will cover leaking valves, testing solenoids, broken PVC and poly-tubing, and blown/clogged drip emitters. It will also address best practices for adding drip emitters as a landscape matures.

Each participant will receive a bag of drip irrigation parts and will make repairs under the guidance of the instructor. Like all irrigation systems, drip irrigation needs annual maintenance; this workshop is intended to help homeowners feel comfortable with making drip irrigation repairs themselves.

Past Events

Great Backyard Bird Count

Saturday, February 19, 2022 • 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Gain bird ID skills and help out in a citizen science project with the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Join biologist Ariel Eliott to learn about birding and bird identification. They will guide us through the grounds and assist with IDs and spotting our feathered visitors. No experience necessary!

You may wish to bring your own binoculars, birds guides, or download the eBird or Merlin Bird ID app in advance, but none of this is required!

This program will be outdoors, so please dress for the weather. The second half of the program will include a guided walk of the grounds, for bird-watching. If you do not wish to walk, you are welcome to join for the overview and to hear the presentation.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was the first online citizen-science or community science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real time. Birds Canada joined the project in 2009 to provide an expanded capacity to support participation in Canada. In 2013, this effort became a global project when participants began entering data into eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science/community science project.

For four days each February, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days people are invited to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to the GBBC partnership. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Transplanting and Propagation

Saturday, March 5, 2022 • 10:30 a.m. – Noon

Help Gutiérrez Hubbell House get ready for spring with a garden work day. Join us to transplant, divide plants, and do some pruning in the culinary and medicinal garden. Learn about plant division and propagation and take home some starts of your own.

Tools will be provided, but you may wish to bring your favorite gardening gear, as this will be a hands-on session.

Acequia Limpia

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 • 10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Join our Grow the Growers farmers as we prepare for our primer agua, the first water to come through the acequias this spring. Limpias, or communal ditch cleaning days, are an important part of maintaining the acequia system and ensure that water comes through the acequias and makes it to our and others’ fields free of debris. Participate in preserving our agricultural heritage and protecting our water at this work session.

Tools are not needed, but gloves are recommended. We have some gloves, but if you have a good pair of work gloves, please bring them. Bring a water bottle and sturdy clothes and shoes for working in the ditch, cleaning out trash, weeds, and other debris.

BYF en Español: Podar de los Arboles Frutales / Fruit Tree Pruning 

Saturday, March 19, 2022 • 9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. 

Vengan a aprender con nosotros de las prácticas de poda de árboles frutales, seguido por un taller práctico en el manzanal de Gutiérrez Hubble House. Se proporcionan herramientas, pero también puede traer sus propias herramientas.

Join us for an overview of fruit tree pruning practices, followed by a hands-on workshop in the Gutiérrez Hubbell House orchard. Tools are provided, but you are welcome to bring your own tools as well.

Start Your Spring Garden! 

Saturday, March 26, 2022 • 10:00 a.m. – Noon 

Now is the time to start your spring veggies! Learn about how and when to start your garden from seed, participate in a seed swap, and find out more about local seed libraries. Participants will have the chance to go home with seeds and other garden supplies.

This is a drop-in event with presenters available to talk with you and share their seeds and seed knowledge throughout the morning.

Graywater or Rainwater: Which is Right for You? 

Thursday, June 9, 2022 • 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. • Online 

Saturday, June 11, 2022 • 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. • Online 

*Participants only need to attend one graywater session.*

Every homeowner can save water by harvesting rainwater and reusing graywater. But should you do rainwater harvesting, or graywater, or both?

This workshop will provide an overview of residential rainwater harvesting and graywater systems that can supply water for use indoors and outdoors. It will cover the pros and cons of both systems, and the decision factors that inform which system is right for you.

The workshop will also provide information on the free/discounted rain barrels and free laundry-to-landscape gray water kits available through the Bernalillo County Water Conservation Program.

Quarterly Composting Series: Using Wood Chips 

Saturday, June 18, 2022 • 9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. 

The Quarterly Composting Series continues with a session on using wood chips in composting and soil health.

The most resilient and abundant naturally occurring soils on earth have always been  those produced by forests. But we don’t need to cut down a forest, or even a grove of  trees, to harness the same benefits. Come learn how wood chips—which are often  available for free—can be used as mulch or made into compost to create beautiful  gardens, to sequester carbon, and to grow mushrooms, even in our high desert home.

Residential Rainwater Harvesting: Q&A with Local Experts 

Thursday, June 23, 2022  • 6 p.m. • Online Panel 

This workshop builds on a series of training videos released in 2021 on how to design, install, and maintain residential-scale, passive rainwater harvesting features.

In passive water harvesting, rainwater is conveyed directly to a landscaped area and infiltrated into the soil. Local rainwater harvesting experts will discuss passive water harvesting best practices and take questions from the audience.

Participants are encouraged to watch the Residential Rainwater Harvesting video training series at www.bernco.gov/rainwater prior to this workshop. Bring your questions on how to put the guidance in the videos into practice!  

This training is offered through a partnership between Bernalillo County, the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Arid LID Coalition.

Selecting Plants for Rainwater Harvesting Basins  

Saturday, June 25, 2022 • 9 a.m.-11 a.m. • On-site Workshop 

Building on training videos released in 2021 on how to design, install, and maintain residential-scale, passive rainwater harvesting features, this workshop focuses on how to select plants for rainwater harvesting basins.

The workshop will address factors that influence plant selection including local bioregions and wetness zones within the basin. This workshop will take place at the Gutierrez Hubbell House Rainwater Harvesting Learning Landscape, where participants will be able to see an example plant palette chosen for an arid-adapted rainwater harvesting feature.

The training will also include information from the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program on plants that support local wildlife. Participants are encouraged to watch the Residential Rainwater Harvesting video training series at www.bernco.gov/rainwater prior to this workshop. 

This training is offered through a partnership between Bernalillo County, the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, the Arid LID Coalition and the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program