News from the Farm | October 9, 2023

Well folks, we did it. The 32nd Annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival has come and gone and the farm is almost back to normal. We transformed a working farm into a weekend festival for over 2000 people, we fed, taught, and entertained them, and then we cleaned up and turned it back into a working farm so that we could resume our normal Monday farm activities. That “we” is a big group. SO many people and SO much work goes into this really special event, even if it was Hoes Down in a “slowed down” format.

So we have many many thanks you’s to all of those who made is possible. This week we want to take a moment to express our sincere, deep gratitude for all of those who helped make the Hoes Down Festival the success that it was. 

Individual volunteers: 

Over 300 people volunteered their time to the Festival. Volunteers have always been the real backbone of this event and it couldn’t happen without them. These folks painted signs, parked cars, flipped pancakes, chopped onions, ran workshops, picked up garbage, sorted recycling, scooped hundreds of ice cream cones, assisted kids grinding grain – phew! The list goes on and on. Many of these hardy volunteers have come for well over a decade because they LOVE the volunteer energy and commitment to making the festival happen. It is like a small town  -friends (and even marriages!)  have been made through volunteering and everyone was so happy to reconvene and reconnect after the four-year hiatus. 


Almost all of the food for the event is donated by generous and socially responsible businesses that have values aligned with sustainable and organic agriculture. We are so thankful to all of them for their giving kindness. We received gallons of organic milk and cream from Alexander Family Farms, Straus Family Creamery donated 60 gallons of the BEST organic ice cream that we combined with hundreds of apple galettes from Frog Hollow Farm. Stemple Creek Ranch donated hundreds of their grass fed beef burgers that were grilled alongside Mary’s chickens donated through the Sacramento Food Coop. All of the food was served on compostable plates and bowls donated from Birchware and will be turned into compost and added back into our Full Belly Farm soil! The list of food donors was well over forty businesses and we wish we could shout them all out here but there simply is not enough space! We do have a more complete list on the Festival website.


The sponsor list is also more than forty names long – from individual donors to businesses – many of whom have donated for decades to the Festival.  We are incredibly thankful for their generosity and dedication to making the Hoes Down happen. We would like to shout out our 6 main “Bridge Builders”: Sacramento Food Coop, Nugget Markets, Clif Bar, Whole Foods, NorCal Produce, and Haystack Farm in Sonoma. 

Please visit the Hoes Down website to see the complete list of food donors and sponsors and thank these sponsors when possible!

Over the past 32 years, the Hoes Down Festival community has raised and donated over $2,000,000 to local and regional organizations committed to sustainable and organic agriculture. These organizations help to grow new farmers, educate consumers about agricultural issues, and provide support to the organic agriculture community. The Hoes Down has become a vital fundraiser for these small non-profit organizations. Thanks to all those who joined us to help us with this goal – by attending, donating, or volunteering. If you weren’t able to join us this year, we hope you can join us in a future year.