Although backyard gardening is most popular, some homeowners are replacing their front lawns with a vegetable garden, creating an edible landscape. Growing in your front yard is legal in most municipalities, although homeowner association by-laws may prohibit the growing of food in front yards.
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Our website, Local Food New Mexico, provides a variety of support and information for both those who grow in their own yards and those who grow with others in a community garden setting.
There are a few community gardens in our region, and the demand for more is high. View a listing of area community gardens.
Starting a community garden often requires a lot of time and energy upfront, but it is well worth the effort in the end. A great place to begin is by looking at the American Community Gardening Associations publication on how to start a community garden. The best resources however are the managers and members of existing community gardens in your area. You will learn quite a bit by talking with them and seeing how their garden operates.
Again, it depends on where you live, so it's best to check with your municipality or homeowners association before you start keeping livestock. In the city of Albuquerque, for example, you can keep up to 15 chickens per household in single family residential areas, and bee keeping is also permitted. Keeping hoofed animals, such as cows and pigs, depends on property size and zoning.
Growing zones in New Mexico's mid-region can be a bit tricky to understand due to a variety of elevation changes and valley micro-climates. New Mexico State University has a great publication that can help you determine your growing region (PDF). The best way to find out however is through experience growing at your location, and by talking with other growers in your immediate area.
There are a variety of great resources to help cultivate your green thumb. For starters, check out the New Mexico State University publication Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico, which details eight easy steps for a successful home garden. Also, they have an extensive publications page with topics ranging from worm composting to growing raspberries. The Albuquerque Area Master Gardeners has an online monthly garden calendar with gardening tips and reminders, and you can also call them with questions. Be sure to also check out our local food and agriculture events calendar, as there are a variety of workshops and classes offered year-round.
The Agriculture Collaborative hosts monthly meetings on a variety of topics, many of which are of interest to crop and livestock producers. Sign up today for our e-newsletter and learn about upcoming meetings and workshops or view our past meeting topics online. Our local food blog and our events calendar can help keep you up to date on what is happening locally and nationally with local foods and agriculture. Be sure to also see the gardeners resource listing.