Free Bee & Pollinator Awareness Day: June 22

June 21, 2013 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, on June 22, 2013.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the bee and pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center on Saturday June 22 between 10 am and 4 pm, you do get to taste honey and see a bee hive. You can also learn about pollinator-friendly plants to grow in your garden, and meet an Albuquerque beekeeper to find out how you could do it yourself.  They’ll also have screenings of the film Queen of the Sun about why bees are disappearing.

Children’s activities include seeing a live honeybee colony, trying on the beekeeper’s veil, and making a native bee nest or a seed ball filled with pollinator plants.

See the full Bee and Pollinator Awareness Day schedule at the link. Some talks/events only happen once during the day. The bee celebration takes place:

  • When: Saturday June 22, 2013
  • Time: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of the National and New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise pollinator awareness of species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, and if you’re interested in keeping bees yourself, don’t forget to check out the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).

–Tania


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Free Composting Classes

June 19, 2013 by  
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Free composting classes and vermicomposting classes too? I’ll need my rubber gloves for this one!

As far as I’m aware, there are three advantages of composting.  Firstly, it’s a good way to dispose of veggie peelings and other food and organic waste, including leaves and cut grass. (The smart people at the Open Space Visitor Center tell me that food waste is the single largest and least recovered waste stream in the USA.)

Secondly, composting is great for mulching and aeration if you’re into organic gardening, rather than buying commercial fertilizers. And last but not least… it’s free!

I’m no gardening expert. (Mr Cheap has the green thumb around here. With the exception of my lovingly-tended herbs, I usually only have to look at a plant and it withers… even if I have my make-up on.) But I’ve planted a strip of green beans, kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli this season, all nourished by our own compost, and they’re doing pretty well so far. Fingers crossed!

If you’re interested in learning about composting, Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters offer a bunch of free composting classes for all ages at various locations, including vermicomposting or composting with worms.

Although the classes are free they usually require registration before the event, so check details at the link to see where to phone or email to register for each class, as well as full info on times and locations.

These are the upcoming free composting classes for the next few months, but check the schedule in case of additions or changes:

  • June 20 : Vermicomposting or Worm Composting Class: 1:30 pm at the Open Space Visitor Center
  • July 13 : Bucket Composting With Bokashi 1:30 pm (Open Space Visitor Center)
  • July 16 : Basic Composting Class (North Valley Senior Center)
  • July 31 : Basic Composting Class (Barelas Senior Center)
  • September 25 : Basic Composting Class (Barelas Senior Center)
  • October 10 : Backyard Composting Class (Open Space Visitor Center)

–Tania

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Herbfest 2013: May 11 – 12

April 30, 2013 by  
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The Rio Grande Nature Center is one of my favorite places to escape from the bustle of town and hang out on a sunny day. And I love herbs, so let’s go…

The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center present Herbfest 2013 on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12. This free event is an Albuquerque celebration of native plants, herbs, and wildflowers at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and the weekend includes a bunch of family-friendly activities:

  • Bird walks
  • Nature walks
  • Gardening and herb talks, and garden tours
  • Arts & crafts vendors
  • Herbs and plants for sale
  • Kids’ crafts
  • Live music and a raffle

Check out the entire PDF schedule of free Herbfest 2013 events for more details and to decide which day (or both!) you want to attend.

Note that while admission to the event is FREE for all, there is a parking fee of $3 per car,  unless you’re a member of The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located at 2901 Candelaria Rd NW.

–Tania

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Water Conservation & Xeriscape Expo

February 25, 2013 by  
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Living in a desert, we all know the need to conserve water and make our yards as self-sustaining as possible. And in this economy, we have an added incentive to save our hard-earned cash by reducing our water bill.

The 2013 Water Conservation & Xeriscaping Expo this weekend March 2 and 3 will help you do just that. And it’s all free. We mean all!  Let’s start with the admission: FREE. And the multitude of seminars? FREE.  OK, there is a parking fee if you drive there, but let’s not quibble.

The Expo organized by the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico features a host of exhibitors where you can find out about cool stuff like xeriscape technology and green home and garden products, as well as browse and buy plants.

Free admission also gets you access to free seminars, including:

  • Xeriscaping and Xeric design
  • Water harvesting
  • Drip irrigation
  • Water budgeting
  • Waterwise food growing
  • Tree selection for Albuquerque
  • Soil problems and solutions
  • Pruning
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Beneficial bugs for the garden
  • Strategies for adapting gardens to changes in climate
  • The living landscape of New Mexico
  • And more!

See all the seminar times here. The 2013 Water Conservation & Xeriscaping Expo takes place:

  • When:
    Saturday March 2, from 9 am – 5 pm
    Sunday March 3, from 10 am  – 4 pm
  • Where: Expo New Mexico in the Creative Arts Building.
  • Admission: Free, although expect to pay for parking – usually $5 at Expo NM, home of the State Fairgrounds.

–Tania

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Free Christmas Tree Recycling

January 2, 2013 by  
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Yeah, it’s sad, but the Christmas trees have to come down some time, and now what do you do with them?

If you haven’t heard about this Free Christmas Tree Recycling service from the City of Albuquerque and Public Service Company of New Mexico, you’ve got until January 6 to dispose of your tree for free, and recycle to save landfill space. That’s an earlier date than in previous years, but hey, that’s the deal.

The Christmas Treecycling – ha ha! - is available through Sunday January 6, 2013. Drop your tree off between 8 am and 5 pm, at the locations below. Note that this is only for residential customers – if you’re an Albuquerque business you’ve gotta make other plans.

Each person can drop off up to five Christmas trees – Five? Do they think I live in a palace? But I guess you can team up with neighbors and one person drop off several trees – save gas and recycle trees to save landfill space.

Plus, as the Christmas trees are chipped at each location, you can also take away free tree chippings to use as mulch. Sweet!

Free Christmas Tree Recycling locations:

  • Eagle Rock Convenience Center, 6301 Eagle Rock NE
  • Montessa Park Convenience Center, 3512 Los Picaros SE
  • Ladera Golf Course, Coors and Ladera NW

Maps and phone numbers for each location are at the above link.

–Tania

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Free Composting Classes

November 5, 2012 by  
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Free composting and vermicomposting classes? I’ll need my rubber gloves for this one!

As far as I’m aware, there are three advantages of composting.  Firstly, it’s a good way to dispose of organic waste, including leaves and cut grass. Secondly, it’s great for mulching and aeration if you’re into organic gardening, rather than buying commercial fertilizers. And last but not least… it’s free!

But what do I know? Mr Cheap has the green thumb around here. With the exception of my lovingly-tended herbs, I only have to look at a plant and it withers. (Even if I have my make-up on.)

If you’re interested in learning about composting, Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters offer a bunch of free composting classes for all ages at various locations, including vermicomposting or composting with worms.

Although the classes are free they require registration before the event, so check details at the link to see where to phone or email to register for each class, as well as full info on times and locations.

These are the upcoming free composting classes for the remainder of 2012, but check the schedule in case of changes:

  • November 6: Backyard Composting Lecture at 7 pm (Rio Rancho)
  • November 10: Advanced Composting forum for those with composting experience (Gutierrez-Hubbell House)
  • November 14: Basic Composting Class
  • November 17: Vermicomposting / Worm Composting Class
  • December 1: Basic Composting Class
  • December 15: Vermicomposting / Worm Composting Class

–Tania

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Free Bee & Pollinator Celebration: June 23

June 18, 2012 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet the beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, on June 23, 2012.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the bee celebration and pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center you do get to taste honey, see a bee hive, feed a butterfly, see and learn about pollinator-friendly plants you could grow in your garden, and meet Albuquerque beekeepers to find out how you could do it yourself. We’re told there will be children’s activities, and (at 3 pm) a screening of the film Queen of the Sun about why bees are disappearing.

  • When: Saturday June 23, 2012
  • Time: 10 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center (see the full schedule at the link)
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise awareness of pollinator species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, so kudos to all, including the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).

–Tania

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Albuquerque Coop and Garden Tour: June 9-10

June 4, 2012 by  
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The Albuquerque Coop and Garden Tour 2012 offers inspiration to grow your own backyard edibles and keep chickens. But even if you aren’t ready to take the plunge into poultry-rearing just yet, this free tour looks like a fun way to get outside this weekend!

The Albuquerque Coop and Garden Tour tour was established in 2008 as a celebration of backyard gardens, city chickens, community food efforts, school gardens and anything else connected to growing food and sustainable gardens in the city.

Join the city-wide tour to see a range of gardens open to the public for the event, most of which contain chickens. I reckon kids will love it! And if you’re interested in gardening or keeping chickens yourself, there will be people around to share information about urban farming and coop design.

  • When: Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10, 2012
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Price: Free and open to all!

Check out the Albuquerque Coop and Garden Tour map for all the stops.  At time of writing, it works like this: On Saturday June 9, the tour will be only at the map stops north of Central Avenue, on Sunday June 10 only at stops south of Central.

–Tania

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Herbfest 2012: May 12 – 13

May 7, 2012 by  
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The Rio Grande Nature Center is one of my favorite places to escape from the bustle of town and hang out on a sunny day. And I love herbs, so let’s go…

The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center present Herbfest 2012 on Saturday and Sunday, May 12 and 13. This free event is a celebration of native plants, herbs, and wildflowers at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and the weekend includes a bunch of family-friendly activities:

  • Bird walks
  • Nature walks and a children’s nature walk
  • Gardening and herb talks, a demo and slideshows, and garden tours
  • Wildlife Rescue
  • Arts & crafts vendors
  • Plant sales
  • Kids’ activities and face-painting
  • Live music and storytelling
  • Raffle to win $100 and a free night’s stay for two at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa.

Check out the entire PDF two-day schedule of free Herbfest 2012 events to see all the activities and decide which day (or both!) you want to attend.

Note that while admission to the event is FREE for all, there is a parking fee of $3 per car,  unless you’re a member of The Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is located at 2901 Candelaria Rd NW. 

–Tania

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Recycled Art Fair: April 21

April 18, 2012 by  
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The City of Albuquerque’s fourth annual Recycled Art Fair talks trash on April 21, 2012, with plenty of free family fun and workshops.

The Albuquerque Recycled Art Fair at the Open Space Visitor Center is on Saturday April 21 from 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is free.

First off you can see recycled art – a.k.a. upcycled art – made from discarded materials, both in the juried art show and for sale at the booths. I guess at least you know that every piece of art is unique!

The event also includes demos and free workshops on how to make your own recycled art, including a tin punch workshop, paper-making, and free writing workshop, sustainable gardening info, kids’ activities, live music and (of course) food vendors. Highlights include:

  • Kids’ creativity center and face painters
  • Workshops in composting, worm composting, water harvesting, seeds, and waterwise gardening
  • Styrofoam print workshop at 10am
  • Free reload Your Writing workshop with Lisa Piatetsky for beginning to advanced writers at 11 am
  • Chautauqua on conservationist Rachel Carson by Ann Beyke at 2 pm

The Recycled Art Fair schedule might change (or be recycled) so see the latest event details at the link.

  • When: Saturday April 21, 2012
  • Time: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Free

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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