Master Gardeners to hold statewide conference in Albuquerque Aug. 31-Sept. 2

While the gardening season will be coming to an end the last of August, gardeners will be looking to the future and what they might do next year.

A place to obtain information and insight will be the New Mexico Master Gardeners Conference, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid Hotel, 5151 San Francisco Road NE.

“Whether the gardener is a beginner or advanced, this conference is for them,” said Lynda Garvin, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service horticultural agent in Sandoval County.

“You don’t want to miss it,” said Sam Thompson, Sandoval County Master Gardener and co-chair of the conference. “There will be high-powered experts to teach seminars and lead hands-on classes on topics that are crucial in these times of climate change.”

Seminar topics will include growing zone changes, edible seeds and plants, seed-saving techniques, pollinator gardens and water wise growing.

Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 1, when Jeff Goebel will share thoughts on “Finding New Ground” during his keynote speech. Goebel is the leading expert in helping individuals and communities attain their goals and remove the obstacles that lie in the way. He will also present a seminar titled “Shift Happens: The Power of Consensus.”

As an award-winning consultant in private practice, Goebel has worked on catalyzing positive change with everyone from non-profits to government agencies, multi-national corporations to small family ranchers. He has developed a highly effective program of respectful listening, visioning, and planning that attains long-range and long-lasting change through 100 percent consensus and engaged commitment of all parties.

Noted author and Southwest gardening expert Judith Phillips and landscape architect and author Baker Morrow are just a few of the specialists who will also present at the conference.

“In addition to the conference there will be self-guided tours to three Master Gardener projects in the Albuquerque area from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 2,” Thompson said. “There will be Sandoval County Master Gardeners and staff at each of the gardens to guide the visitors, answer their questions and help to make the visit an enjoyable learning experience.”

The gardens are the Rio Rancho Water Wise Garden at 950 Pine Tree Road SE in Rio Rancho, Seed2Need at 176 Manierre Road in Corrales, and Desert Oasis Teaching Gardens at 6400 Wyoming Blvd NE in Albuquerque.

The Sandoval County Master Gardeners are hosting this activity-packed, three-day event. Conference registration fee is $160, with online registration at

Registration also includes a Friday welcome reception at Casa San Ysidro, 973 Old Church Road, Corrales, from 4 to 7 p.m.; conference attendees may include a guest for $33 for this event. An optional dinner will be held on Saturday evening at Vinedo Pajaro Azul, a private vineyard located at 2004 Calle de Alondra NW, Albuquerque, for an additional $44 per person. Live music, an Italian-themed buffet hosted by M’Tucci’s, and a cash bar will be featured.

Visit the conference website at for a complete list of speakers and their session topics.

The Master Gardener program, administered by New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, consists of trained volunteers assisting local NMSU Cooperative Extension Service county offices in providing accurate, research-based gardening information to county residents.