Were Chacoans the Master Gardeners of New Mexico?

According to a published study, the core region of Chaco Canyon could only have supported a couple hundred residents. This leads to the conclusion that maize would have had to be imported to sustain the permanent residents. Further analysis reveals there is only about 4,700 acres of tillable land, and not all of it is suitable for growing maize. Does the fact they thrived in this dry, inhospitable canyon for multiple centuries make the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon (aka Ancestral Puebloans) the original master gardeners of New Mexico?

All across the United States there are volunteer Master Gardener organizations that work with the Extension Service and their communities to provide educational services to gardeners. In New Mexico, the first program established was in Bernalillo County in 1981 by Jim Saiz. Training was also available to surrounding counties and later those counties established their own programs. As the need arose and resources became available this web site, the first MG web site for the state, was begun as a service to the community. To contact the Extension agent for the various counties where programs exist write or call to the various counties. They can put you in touch with the volunteers for their counties. Some counties also have web sites for their volunteers and these are also listed below.

All Master Gardeners have received specialized training to help with educating the public on gardening. This web site was designed, paid for, and managed by one of those Master Gardeners to provide on-line help to the public. All materials may be downloaded and copied and distributed as long as those materials are being used for educational purposes and are not being sold by you.

Their Constitution stated “We, the Albuquerque Area Master Gardeners, in order to provide plant science and practical horticulture learning opportunities by which local gardeners may become Master Gardeners, to plan and develop advanced training experiences for them, to increase their knowledge of botany and related sciences, to conduct all types of educational or service activities related to home gardening as volunteers cooperating with and with the support of the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service and the Council of Albuquerque Garden Clubs, Inc., of which we are a member, and to help promote and support botanical and horticultural beautification and ecological projects planned by the City of Albuquerque and the County of Bernalillo, do hereby establish the Albuquerque Area Master Gardeners Association.”