Hoes Down Harvest Festival

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Image Courtesy of Full Belly Farm, Guinda CA

By Hallie Muller of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

Twenty five years ago the Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm started as a seed with the intent of bringing people out to the country, creating a memorable time and at the same time planting in their heads the significance of organic agriculture and a rural way of life. Well, by golly, that seed germinated, sprouted and has blossomed into one of the biggest organic events in the state of California. We hope that you will join us on October 6 & 7 to celebrate.

At a time of year when the Full Belly Farmers should be easing into a deep winter rest, we instead are creating all kinds of to-do lists. One of my favorite lists is this one:

Top 10 Reasons to come to the 25th Annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm

:  Get gardening ideas! Check out the seeds and starts used at Full Belly and chat with the farmers about things that will work in YOUR garden. Take a stroll through the succulent garden at the Straw Bale House or the big farm garden to get inspired about your own gardening space. New for this year, we are excited to feature an experimental garden, grown with organic seed, with fun varietals of carrots, squash, melons, and greens – all of which you can taste!

Image courtesy of Full Belly Farm, Guinda CA

#9:  The Illuminated Carved Pumpkins! Every year, over 500 pumpkins are carved by festival- goers and they are all displayed on the path leading to the heart of the festival. Folks of all ages and talents use Full Belly pumpkins to create masterpieces that make the Hoes Down so special. One of our favorite moments is when the pumpkins are all lit – it is not a sight to miss!

:  Cow Plop Bingo! We are bringing back some oldies for the 25th annual, including this much-loved game of chance. Guess the correct square where the “plop” will land and you could win eternal bragging rights with your friends!

:  The Fiery Night-walk! This after-dark adventure is the ultimate experience for all ages. From fire-dancing in the river to story telling, this is something you will want to be to see!

:  The Workshops! Have you ever wondered how to raise backyard chickens? How to prune a peach tree? How to identify the good insects in your yard or garden? The 2012 Hoes Down workshop lineup is one- of- a- kind, and packed with hands-on and practical learning opportunities.

#5:  Si Se Puede! Every single penny raised during the Hoes Down goes to the Ecological Farming Association (eco-farm.org) and local community organizations, such as the Davis Farm to School, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, The Kathleen Barsotti Foundation, and the local Future Farmers of America and 4-H clubs. These are the organizations that help shape that agricultural climate of our region. By attending the Hoes Down, you are supporting these important causes!

Image courtesy of Full Belly Farm, Guinda, CA

:  Honor Farmers! Join us for a special celebratory toast to celebrate the farmers. At 7:30pm, we will raise our glasses, hoot and holler to the moon, and thank the farmers for the bounty they bring us year after year. A local vineyard will have sparkling wine available – or you can fill your glass with fresh pressed apple juice!

:  The Food! The food alone is worth the drive- such mouthwatering sensations can only be found at the Hoes Down! From organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh Prather Ranch beef, you will definitely leave with your belly full!

:  The Music! We have pulled out all the stops for the 25th annual Hoes Down and are excited to feature The California Honeydrops  and Diego’s Umbrella  on the main stage, as well as almost 15 other terrific acts from Northern California. The Utah Philips Family Stage has a great line-up of talented entertainers, and the Local Lore Stage (set on the shores of Cache Creek) will feature the best up-and-coming artists from the area.

:  It is the 25th Annual! An entire generation has been raised with this festival as a key experience in their lives – including me. I was a wee babe when the Hoes Down was founded and I look forward to October every year because it means inviting friends from all walks of life onto Full Belly Farm to experience the richness of rural living. Whether this is your first or 25th Hoes Down, we are excited to share it with you!

These are just a few reasons – there are literally hundreds of activities that happen during the Hoes Down (wine tasting, a circus, Olive Olympics, ice cream churning, local breweries, splashing in Cache Creek, petting farm animals, Manure Pitch Off, 700- bale hay fort, sheep shearing, sudan grass maze, contra dancing, felting, solar cooking- the list could go on and on!) that help to create a truly magical weekend. We hope you, your family, and your friends will join us for the 25th Annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival on October 6 and 7!

To find out more about the Hoes Down, visit  hoesdown.org.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email info@hoesdown.org. See you October 6!


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