News From the Farm | September 18, 2017

Top Ten Reasons to Join Us at the 30th Annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival: 

Once again that time has come, when the air starts cooling down, the sun stays hidden for just a bit longer, and farmers feel some weight lift off their shoulders as the Summer season comes to an end. Fall is coming, a time when pumpkin patches start popping up, farms stay dark just a few minutes longer and the season of tomatoes and summer squash comes to an end. As people search out their Halloween decorations, and farmers pull out their mud boots, Full Belly gets ready for the Hoes Down Harvest Festival. 

This celebration is a chance to get out to the country and experience some good old-fashioned family fun. Although there are countless reason to come to the Hoes Down, I have done my best to pick the top 10!

#10: The Vendors! The farmers’ market features fresh fruits and veggies, the crafts area offers great crafty gifts from our artists and herbalists, and you can try your luck at our Silent Auction.

#9: The Workshops! Have you ever wondered how to grow harvest and use local grains? How to milk a goat? Or what it takes to have a farm within the city limits? The 2017 Hoes Down workshop lineup is packed with hands-on and practical learning opportunities.

#8: Sunday-Funday! After spending the night camped under the stars, you can wake up to a delicious breakfast and a Sunday filled with activities from in-depth workshops and seminars, to a REALLY fun farm clean up. Don’t go home early! 

#7: 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! 

#6: The Children’s Area!  Kids of all ages can spend hours crawling through the 700-bale hay fort, turning wool into yarn or felt, churning ice cream, or petting the various animals featured in the 4-H petting zoo. Make clay creatures, paint-a-pot or create a prayer flag…

#5: The Music! The musical line-up for 2017 is some of the most toe-tapping, boot-stomping, knee-slapping, kick-your-heels-up, good time music we have ever featured. Make sure to swing your partner ‘round and ‘round during the contra dance, try out your dancing shoes during The Dixie Giants and celebrate another incredible year with our closing act Con Brio!

#4: The Yummy Food! The food alone is worth the drive. From organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh Prather Ranch burgers, you will definitely leave with your belly full and happy taste buds. Over 90% of the food served at the Hoes Down has been donated by amazing businesses who care deeply about the future of agriculture in California! 

#3: The Venue! The Hoes Down gives you the chance to get your toes dirty on a real, working farm. You can take a farm tour with one of the Full Belly Farm partners or fall asleep in the shade of an apple tree. Whatever your speed, Full Belly Farm is full of places to explore. 

#2: The Cause! Every single penny raised during the Hoes Down goes to the Ecological Farming Association and local community organizations, such as the The Farmers Guild, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, the Esparto School District, and the local Future Farmers of America and 4-H clubs. By attending the Hoes Down, you are supporting these important causes!

#1: The 30th Annual! The Hoes Down Harvest Festival is all about celebration. It is a time to form new friendships, strengthen relationships, and spend a weekend playing with those you appreciate and love. In a world where we are often lost in cyberspace, a weekend at a farm is just what the doctor ordered. 

There are literally hundreds of activities to enjoy on October 7th (a circus, Olive Olympics, ice cream churning, local breweries, splashing in Cache Creek, petting farm animals, Manure Pitch Off, sheep shearing, Sudan grass maze, acupuncture, massage, amazing arts and crafts vendors, felting, solar cooking –– the list could go on and on!)  We hope you, your family, and your friends will join us for the 30th annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival on October 7 and 8! 

To find out more about the Hoes Down. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. See you October 7!

— Claire Main