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 April 26, 2013
Ask This Old House

David: Nick Mackos grew up watching the PBS series ?This Old House? while growing up in Massachusetts.

So it was a surprise when the series? companion show, ?Ask This Old House,? decided to film a segment on building and planting a chile garden at Mackos? far Northeast Heights home on Tuesday.

?I was watching TV one Sunday and we had just discovered a leak in the garage,? he explained. ?I wrote to them about the problem and we talked about what else I would like fixed. About a week later, they were asking me if they could come over to film a couple of segments.?


?Ask This Old House? began in 2002 on PBS and the premise of the show is that viewers submit questions about various home repair or improvement projects, which are answered by the experts.

Guest experts appear to answer more specialized questions. The show takes place in ?the loft? of a rural barn somewhere in the Boston area. Most of the questions are answered in the loft, but one or two homeowners in each episode receive a visit from one of the show?s three tradesmen who assist in either starting or completing the task with the homeowners? help.

For this episode, Roger Cook, who is the landscape expert with the show, worked with Stephanie Walker from New Mexico State University?s Chile Pepper Institute to build and plant the chile garden. Mackos, being the homeowner, also had a hand in building the garden.

According to the institute, chiles have existed in New Mexico for many hundreds of years and the harsh climate ? dry growing season, cooler nights, higher elevation ? stresses the chile plants and causes them to have a full and spicy flavor.

Heath Racela, associate producer for the series, said this is the first time the show has been to New Mexico since 2008.

Mackos was grateful that the crew picked him for a segment and appreciated the expert advice.

?I would have never been able to build this on my own,? Mackos said of the garden. ?Since my wife and I moved out here, I?ve grown to love spicy foods. Once the garden is up and going, we?re going to eat them all.?

The crew will be in Albuquerque today to work on a drip irrigation project. Then on Thursday and Friday, show host Kevin O?Connor will host two segments to be filmed in Santa Fe. The episodes are slated to air later this year.
? This article appeared on page C01 of the Albuquerque Journal

 photo house-350x232_zps3cef8b2f.jpg
Cameraman Jay Mauer, left, films as ?Ask This Old House? personality Roger Cook, second from left, laughs, while NMSU Chile Pepper Institute?s Stephanie Walker and Albuquerque homeowner Nick Mackos look on. The crew was filming an episode on building and planting a chile garden. (Pat Vasquez-Cunningham/Journal)