Saturday, October 9, 2010

Put yer Hoes Down!

Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the 23rd annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm in Yolo County, CA. There are so many amazing things to point out about this particular event. Established in 1985, Full Belly farm was one of the first (if not, THE first) organic farms in California. Today, they have 400 acres of mind blowing biodiversity. In addition to crops ranging from tomatoes and peaches to walnuts and wild flowers, the farm boasts an extensive livestock collection including pigs, chickens, bees, lamb, sheep, llamas, and goats!

Two of the four owners/ farmers of Full Belly were featured in book called Farmer Jane. It's definitely on my must read list, and I think it should be on yours, too!

Now on to the party...Every year, the farm hosts the now famous Hoes Down festival. Attended by thousands of yuppies and hippies alike, the primary goal of the celebration is to educate people about agricultural arts and sustainable rural living. There is an abundance of good food, music, dancing, arts, crafts, sustainable farming talks and demonstrations. There are also countless activities for the kiddies...petting zoo, bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving contests, making wildflower crowns, weaving wool, etc etc etc. With so much going on, it is no wonder that many families make the choice to camp out in the orchard over night.

In addition to promoting agricultural education, the fest is a fundraiser benefiting many community organizations like EcoFarm, Future Farmers of America, Yolo Land Trust, and their local 4H chapter.

So, whether you want to make pine nut bracelets, shop for handmade candles, gaze at the blacksmiths in wonder, play in the creek, or enjoy a hayride through the farm, there is a little bit of something for everybody.

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