Hoes Down Harvest Festival

The 33rd Hoes Down Harvest Festival will be held on October 5 & 6, 2024

Registrations for the 2024 Hoes Down Harvest Festival will open August 2024. All registrations are through the EcoFarm website.

The Hoes Down Harvest Festival is dedicated to honoring and promoting the knowledge of agricultural arts and sustainable rural living through inspiration and education. Our goals extend beyond the weekend of fun and education.

For over 30 years, the Hoes Down has generated valuable resources for local and statewide organizations working on projects which benefit sustainable agriculture and rural communities.

**If you or your business are interested in sponsoring the Hoes Down Festival or making an in-kind donation, let us know! Contact hoesdown@fullbellyfarm.com.

A note from Paul about Hoes Down 2023:

The Hoes Down Celebration of Rural Living will return this year, in a new, reimagined version. The 32nd Hoes Down will be happening on October 7th! 

From the start of our Full Belly farming experience here in the Capay Valley some 40 years ago, one of our principal goals was sharing our farm with our patrons, and with our friends, farmworker community, neighbors, and the curious. From the start, we believed that the reality of individual farm families slogging it out in their attempts at survival, would not be our model. We wanted to make an open and tangible farm. We felt that a farm was to be something shared through direct experience, the weekly Beet, and the flavor and freshness in the food we grow. It was clear to us that food was a nexus for sustainable community connectivity, and that our survival as a farm needed intertwining with your lives. 

This goal started with a different farm design that shortened the distance between our fields and your table. Farm crops were picked today for consumption tomorrow. We have also had a goal of bringing our friends and patrons to the farm to put their feet on this earth, raise dust, share our farm, and sleep on this land. After our marathon summer harvest, in early October as exhausted farmers, we were ready to dance, sing, learn, eat, celebrate, and play with you all. 

The Hoes Down is both a fundraiser and a friendraiser, a means to raise funds for the many groups who are essential to building a new food system and strengthening our rural community. Over the 32 years of this event, we have raised and given away an estimated $2 million. This support has benefited organizations essential to the support of organic farming like Ecological Farming Association and Community Alliance for Family Farmers, and has also provided local groups (including the local Regional Library, volunteer fire department, and 4-H) with funds to enhance the wellbeing of our entire rural community.

Since the first Hoes Down celebration 36 years ago, it has been a time to welcome you to our farm, to this little patch of earth where we are entrusted to keep and bring forth its life. We have worked hard to make our farm bountiful and, in all ways, more beautiful. Welcoming you back each year allowed us to share the maturing of our vision and increasing complexity of our tenure here. Each event brought evidence of the power of bringing like-minded souls together and how enchantment soon followed.

We made the Hoes Down to celebrate. When you came and danced and slept here and woke to a breakfast sizzling on open grills, it was magic for this place. You added a timeless drumming of feet on the land with your rhythmic do-si-dos and Virginia reels. Your dancing was a signal to our microbes and earthworms They thanked you, wiggled a bit in syncopation. Our below ground life here has missed your presence here celebrating with us.

The Hoes Down was a time to share our work with you. We danced and sparked. We toured and talked. We walked our fields explaining the magic of season, new insights into soil, the wonderful complexities engendered by the relatively simple act of growing food for you (grab some seeds, open the earth a bit, add some water and care, and bingo it becomes food with more seed inside for another round of making more food).

Over the past three years, we missed our celebrations here as gatherings of all types were put on the shelf. We shared in the society-wide time of closing things down. For three years, we shared your pandemic of uncertainty where trust, faith, sharing and human connections were abruptly altered. It was a time of suspension- normal relations were lived at a masked, arms- distance from one another. During that time, to keep our crew safe, our vision of fostering direct experience with this place was replaced by a sign at the top of our road asking people to mask up or stay away. Now in 2023, as the world figures out the New Normal, the conditions feel right to hold our normal fall celebration, albeit with a few tweaks and changes. Hoes Down returns but Hoes Down Slows Down.

So, our Hoes Down is going on, with planning that makes it smaller, in a new spot, but still stuffed with fun, good food and music. A gathering of our community of friends, around 2000 or so attendees. A fundraiser and friend-raiser. We’re doing our planning and will see many of you in October. You can get more information and register to join us.

Thanks for your continued support,

Paul Muller

National Geographic Magazine called Hoes Down the “Best in the Nation”.