An autumn tradition, the Hoes Down Harvest Festival, will be celebrated this weekend in the Capay Valley. The celebration promotes agricultural arts and sustainable rural living through two days of workshops and events.
On Saturday, the Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm will feature educational farm tours, a children’s area, games, live bluegrass music and an abundance of fresh, organic food. Hay rides, pulled by a team of draft horses, will continuously tour the farm.
Workshops will be offered on an array of agricultural topics such as organic fruit trees, grass-fed beef, cow milking, herbs and flowers, sheep shearing and small farm equipment. A craft marketplace will showcase farm-made products and an organic farmers market boasts the bounty of the season: fresh-picked almonds and walnuts, a huge variety of melons, apples and, of course, pumpkins.
The children’s area features arts and crafts, storytelling and music, farm animals to visit and lots of games and contests — all with an agricultural theme. Kids will have a chance to watch a cow being milked, make felt out of wool and grind their own corn.
Tickets are $20 for adults (purchased online in advance) or $25 at the gate and $5 for children ages 2-12. Camping on Saturday night costs $25 per car; no reservations are needed. Full Belly Farm is off of State Highway 16, just past Guinda in Capay Valley.
On Sunday, Oct. 6, several in-depth seminars will be offered at farms throughout the Capay Valley, highlighting the agricultural diversity of the region. Subjects include backyard beekeeping, pasture-raised poultry, modern suburban homesteading, introduction to small-scale dairy farming, kids’ camp, a bike ride tour of farms in the valley and in-depth farm tours.
Admission for individual workshops ranges from $5 to $30. Pre-registration is required.
The Hoes Down Harvest Celebration is a program of the Ecological Farming Association, a nonprofit organization. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit sustainable agriculture, local organizations and worthy projects benefiting the environment and rural communities.