Professional Training for Developing a Hands-On Organic Weed Management Learning Center for Commercial Market Gardens in Local Communities

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $47,933.72
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Beth LaShell
Fort Lewis College

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, sweet corn


  • Crop Production: crop rotation, cover crops, intercropping, irrigation
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop, youth education
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, botanical pesticides, competition, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - living, physical control, mulching - plastic, soil solarization, weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, organic agriculture, permaculture
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, soil microbiology, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, urban agriculture, sustainability measures


    The Organic Weed Management Learning Center has successfully provided educational opportunities for local professionals, students, urban gardeners and community members. We hosted two organic weed management symposiums and recruited additional participants at Master Gardener, Farmer’s Market and tribal workshops. A demonstration/research garden featured 15 different organic weed management techniques that provided production, temperature and weed coverage data. We offered five hands-on workshops to participants that gave them a chance to view ongoing results and learn more about methodology, soil and sustainability analysis, weed control efficacy and market garden production. A blog chronicled the different activities and a website was continually updated.

    Project objectives:

    • Host Organic Weed Management Strategies Symposium
      Meet with regional Extension Agents to identify additional participants
      Continue to gather information on current producer practices and agricultural professional knowledge
      Hire hourly students
      Determine organic weed management strategies to be included at Learning Center
      Coordinate with local agricultural professionals to identify and establish on-farm demonstration sites
      Identify on-farm sites in Shiprock area

      Identify additional on-farm sites in 4-C region
      Schedule multiple workshops on methodology, soil and sustainability analysis, efficacy and production, and managing web-based information.
      Create training documents for each Learning Center workshop. Distribute and make available on website.
      Assist on-farm demonstration site coordinators with maintenance and data collection.
      Collect appropriate data to document efficacy, sustainability and production differences.
      Maintain website and BLOG
      Make all publications available online
      Assess efficacy of on-farm organic weed management strategies
      Create and print summary booklet

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.