In 2008, the San Juan Basin Research Center, located at the Old Fort Lewis in Hesperus, received a two-year Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) grant to Develop a Hands-On Organic Weed Management Learning Center for Commercial Market Gardens in Local Communities.
The Learning Center will train participants in organic weed management strategies such as mulching, mechanical control, intercropping, solarization and organic herbicides. While there are a broad range of weed management techniques, knowledge of organic-only strategies are needed by agents to assist producers who may be organically certified or determined to use organic-only methods. Over the two years of this project, the Learning Center will provide not only training but also how to evaluate their efficacy and long-term sustainability. The Learning Center will offer short-course workshops on methodology, soil and sustainability analysis, control-measure efficacy, managing web-based information, and establishing on-farm demo sites.