Celebrate the Season

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

A busy day at the Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival

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The 14th Annual Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, from at the San Lorenzo School, 2655 Highway 35.

This family-friendly event is held facing the Black Range, with views down the green corridor of the Mimbres River Valley to Cook’s Peak, and offers something for everyone.  The Harvest Festival is a major fundraiser for the exemplary San Lorenzo Elementary School and includes a health fair in the school.  

Foods include traditional red enchilada lunch plates in the cafeteria, Filipino food, fry bread with fixings, eclectic healthy and green chile cheeseburgers. Take pies for the pie contest to the pie tent by 10 a.m.

The music line up begins 11:15 a.m. with River’s Bend Band with their home-grown, Mimbres Valley gospel and folk. From 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Brandon Perrault takes the stage with Tex-Mex, country cool, soft rock and jazz. And finally, blues man Jammin’ Jeff Cerwinske plays from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m.   

Grower’s Row, the farmer’s market section, also features informational booths on agriculture, industrial hemp and other subjects. Those interested in growing the newly, re-legalized hemp plant and those with hemp seeds and cultivars for the area or information about how to obtain them, as well as those with information about portable processors or seed mills, are invited to hang out in the hemp booth. 

Doug Fine, a New Mexico-based goat rancher, hemp farmer and author of books like “Hemp Bound,” “Too High to Fail” and “Farewell, My Subaru,” will give a 15-minute talk at the Harvest Festival about lessons he’s learned from four years of planting and marketing farm-to-table hemp all over the world. He’ll discuss genetics, cultivation, harvest and marketing options for independent farmers.

Fine’s social media is @organiccowboy and his website, that includes National Public Radio appearances, is dougfine.com. Fine will do a book signing following his talk at the Harvest Festival.

This year a new festival tradition will be the first annual Solar Cook-off. Solar chefs are invited to bring a solar hot plate or oven to cook together and are welcome to a potluck of solar-cooked food at 1 p.m.  Bring ovens to set up outside the ag info tent area on Grower’s Row.

Organizers suggest bringing a cooler with blue ice when shopping at the large farmer’s market on Growers Row.  There will be fresh raspberries and just picked produce as well as raw milk from a Grade A certified dairy and frozen range raised beef from a valley ranch. Shoppers will also find apples, pumpkins, Long Island cheese, winter squash, pinto beans, walnuts and pecans.

Silver City beekeeper Travis Kirkland will give a talk on beekeeping followed by Q & A in the ag info booth. 

Mimbreno Asher Gelbart has a Green Energy Now booth with photo portfolio and displays of rain water harvesting earthworks and cistern projects, information on DIY low-tech sustainable projects (composting toilets & domestic solar hot water) and solar fountains.

Gabriel Feldman of Honey Hawk Farm is selling grafted-from-local-heirloom-fruit trees (apple, plum, apricot, cherry) as well as drought-tolerant native trees for shade, edible native bushes for berries and grasses for seeds, like Giant Sacaton.  His wife, Chelsea, will offer samples of mesquite-baked goods as well as mesquite flour for sale and information about cooking with mesquite and native grasses.    

Artisan vendors include potter Kate Brown, gourd painter Margaret Streams, Monika Walters with her mosaics and glass and John and Linda Rokoz of Ruckus Ridge who make specialty kitchen ware, game boards from reclaimed wood and mixed media items from gourds and old bottles.

The horseshoe tournament begins at noon and has a $10 entry fee. Register by contacting R.J. Nelson, a man with a passion for the “shoes” at  rjriverrock@gmail.com. 

For more information about the festival and vendor forms, go to www.mimbresharvestfest.com. Parking is available at Mimbres United Methodist Church and Roundup Lodge.

Corre Caminos will provide a shuttle between parking and the festival. Golf carts are available at the school entrance to transport people with mobility issues to the festival in the field behind the school.

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