Home & Garden Show offers ideas, advice for southern New Mexico homeowners – Las Cruces Sun

February 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

LAS CRUCES Are you planning to build an addition to your home, remodel what you already have, get more eco-friendly or spruce up your yard and patio?

You’ll find ideas for all that and more at the annual Las Cruces Home Garden Show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 8 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 9 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave.

Highlights include more than 100 venders, along with cooking demonstrations, gardening and outdoor living features and how-to sessions conducted by experts.

The event “showcases businesses that cater to the home improvement and new-home construction markets. People who want to build new homes or improve their existing ones are encouraged to bring their project materials and questions to the show and receive advice from industry professionals,” according to the show’s website.

In line with current emphasis on environmentally-friendly practices, symbols will be posted throughout the convention center to help visitors identify green exhibitors and learn more about sustainability and green living.

“We wanted to bring in themes that focus on the green aspects of building this year, including through renovation, retrofitting, new building, high efficiency and green products. We have an area we’re calling the green mile that will focus on building green, but it will be a theme throughout the conference center,” said Steve Chavira, director of the Las Cruces Home Builders, sponsors of the event.

About 3,000 attended last year’s show, Chavira said.

Master Gardeners of Doña Ana County will be on hand to offer spring gardening advice, and it’s none too soon.

“We’re about three weeks early on spring this year. We’re seeing redbuds in mid-February and we usually see that in mid-March,” said Jeff Anderson, Doña Ana County agricultural agent with the New Mexico State University Extension Service.

“We’ll have presentations on palm trees, insects and kids in the garden, container gardening and more,” Anderson said.

Doña Ana County Extension Service county program director and home economist Karim Martinez will offer a presentation on “Gourmet Cooking From Your Garden.”

Also featured will be displays of native plants and succulents that do well in high desert climates.

“There are a lot of questions this time of year from people who’ve forgotten or who have just moved here. The Master Gardeners are volunteers who complete a 16-week course in order to help people with home gardening advice. They’ll talk about pruning, planting, soil preparation or whatever people want to know about gardening here,” Anderson said.

“The Home Garden Show is an opportunity to really see what is available here in Las Cruces as to home improvement. If people are interested in staying in their own home rather than building their own home, they can get a lot of ideas and if they are thinking of building, they can talk to a variety of people and they don’t have to go to El Paso,” said Hale Huber of Sun-Tech Services, a company that focuses on solar-heating systems and solar swimming pool systems and Kinetico water-softening and reverse-osmosis systems.

Huber said he who has been participating in the show for three decades and he feels this year’s green focus is especially timely.

“Alternative energy is really a hot item now, with 40 percent combined federal and state tax credits going in. There will be four or five comopanies doing photovoltaics in the show this year. It’s one of the most productive community shows,” Huber said.

Among show attractions will be seminars with practical tips on things like ways to finance your good green intentions.

“We’ll be offering seminars on financing for residential solar systems at 11 a.m. March 8 and 1 p.m. March 9,” said Larry Perea of Solar Smart Living of El Paso.

A solar system offers both environmental and financial benefits, Perea said, “and after eight years, it’s generating revenue. It’s looking like a really good return on your investment, with 30 percent federal income tax credits and 10 percent state income credits now. Pretty much all of a system’s cost can be paid off over eight years, and a good system has a 25-year warranty and an expected life of 30 years and is pretty much maintenance- free once installed.”

Admission is $5 and free for children under age 12. For information, contact the Las Cruces Home Builders Association at 575-526-6126, email office@lchba.com, or visit lchba.com and LasCrucesHBA on Facebook.

S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at 575-541-5450.

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