Spring Garden Party to provide education, entertainment

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Gardeners, farmers and students interested in learning more about how to build healthy, moisture-retaining soils are invited to the annual Spring Garden Fair at Arboretum Tomé on Saturday, May 31.

The Arboretum Tomé, a botanical garden, is a tree nursery started 22 years ago by Michael Martin Melendrez, the owner of Trees That Please and Soil Secrets, LLC.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Michael Martin Melendrez, owner of the Tomé Arboretum, Trees That Please and Soil Secrets has one of the largest collections of Quercus oaks in the United States. His arboretum is filled with trees from the Southwest, Chihuahuan Desert region and many rare and endangered species from all over the world.

The tree nursery is known across the Southwest as the grower of New Mexico high desert trees, the best low water trees for the region’s climate and soil.

There are likely one million trees in landscapes all over the Southwest and the Rocky Mountain region that were propagated at Trees That Please, Melendrez said.

Melendrez, who has a degree in the health sciences, was naturally led to study soils for the success of his tree business. He studied soil sciences at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University and has developed products to build healthy soil.

Soil Secrets is known across the nation for its unique soil building product, TerraPro, developed by Melendrez and his professional staff.

TerraPro is used for soil reclamation by mining companies, and Soil Secrets is the only company in the world that has these particular biological materials that can repair topsoil with toxic mine tailings, Melendrez said.

Called bio-organic matrixes, these organic carbon molecules are the single, most essential part of a healthy, productive soil. They define what a topsoil is. Soil Secrets manufactures these molecules and sells them as a soil application to farmers, homeowners and anybody else that wants to repair soil, he said.

“These same molecules that can heal a farm and make your garden very fertile and beautiful, will also clean up oil,” said Melendrez.

The Garden Fair will host two soil expert lectures beginning at 10 a.m.

New Mexico State University agronomist Rudy Garcia, a USDA soil scientist with the National Resource Conservation Service, will discuss how to improve local soils to grow healthier, more nutritious crops, more sustainable lawns and robust trees.

“He will talk more about the science of how soils work and how to fix them and make them healthier,” Melendrez said.

Kim Costion, of Ashokala Gardens in Snowflake, Ariz.,, will tell her personal story how she converted a desert soil into a fertile farm able to feed many families.

“She will show you pictures of building three to four inches of black topsoil in three years, even out in the desert,” Melendrez said.

The Spring Garden Fair starts at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m. Visitors can bring a picnic or purchase food from Pa Pa Hank’s Barbecue wagon.

Hundreds of trees will be labeled for self-guided tours, and there will be live music performed by Mike Montiel and his band from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Arboretum Tomé is located at 9 Gilcrease Road in Los Lunas. Signs will be posted along the way.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.