The Hoes Down Harvest Festival is October 5th.
Registration is now open and sells out fast!
My daughter trembled at my feet while we listened to the storytellers speak of grain being harvested by crows and coyotes by the banks of the river. Sheet lightening was illuminating the sky in the distance while dozens of paper lanterns appeared to float to and fro during the strong gusts of wind.
Then there was a big streak of lightening, and a crash of thunder and the skies opened up. The hundred people gathered sought cover in the sunshades set up as well as the enclosed changing room tents. But the rain was bouncing and coming in vertical so somehow we still managed to be getting wetter. From out of nowhere a group of drummers assembled under the canvas shade tent and started pounding away. The lanterns on sticks were leaned into the center of the structure and folks started dancing in tight circles. But then something got our attention in the river and we left the safety of the structure to take a closer look, getting wetter was no longer a concern. There was a fire dance going on in the middle of the river. Using a variety of LED lights, a team stood in the middle of the shallow river and performed a fire dance while the rain, thunder, lightening and drums beat along with them.
My daughter and I have come to the Hoes Down a handful of times before but had never experiences anything like that. The Hoes Down Harvest Festival takes place the first weekend in October each year at the Full Belly Farm in Yolo County. It is a celebration of food, music, animals, land, and people. There are dozens of activities scheduled all day Saturday, with an old fashioned circus, all sorts of workshops, amazing crafts, hands on animals, delicious healthy food options, as well as beer and wine. There are three stages with live music throughout the day. A massive hay bail pyramid with tunnels throughout the many levels provides hours of entertainment. You can ride in a fun mini dunk roller coaster, grind your own pizza, make a head wreath, sculpt clay, carve or paint pumpkins, and go on a horse and buggy ride. If it is all too much, you can escape to the river for a dip. For those not ready to go at the end of the day, you can stay and camp. We like the walk in apple orchard for relaxed camping, but you can also drive in on the other side if that is more your style. All you need is a tent and a sleeping bag in either case. Some folks stay up and dance until the wee hours of the morning, while others crash out early exhausted from all the days activities. When you wake up the next morning you can head back over for a delicious cooked breakfast then join one of a number of day ours that are arranged, by foot or by bike. You can also sign your child up to go work the farm for a few hours in a summer camp like setting.
No matter what you do, you are bound to eat well, learn, explore, indulge, dance, sleep like a baby, and count down the days to the next Hoes Down Harvest Festival.
Saturday, October 5, 2019
11 am - 11 pm
Full Belly Farm, Yolo County
Keep your toes tapping all day long.
Live music plays on three stages from 11am to 10pm.
Amazing organic food and drinks will be served from 11am to 9pm. Beer, kombucha, and coffee will be served all day.
Learn about organic fruit trees, grassfed beef, cow milking, herbs and flowers, pest control, sheep shearing, small farm equipment and more... Some workshops available in Spanish! Several walking tours of Full Belly Farm are also available.
Saturday is a jam-packed day, with all kinds of activities, from heirloom tasting to circus performances.
Kids (aged 0-99) have their own hands-on area with all sorts of arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, petting zoo, ice cream churning, and more. Get wet in our water roller coaster with dunking tank; beat your time through an obstacle course made of farm found objects; climb on the towering hay fort; go on a nature walk; and then listen to a story in the tipi or on the children's entertainment stage. Yahoo, there's so much to do!
Spread your wings on the shores of Cache Creek, and spend the day relaxing, listening to music, playing volleyball, and enjoying the sunshiny weather.
Shop for beautiful, handmade farm crafts and gifts. Experience demonstrations in age old crafts. An all-day farmers market boasts the bounty of the season: fresh-picked melons, apples, nuts, pumpkins and more!
A full range of amazing treats, from farm dinners to wine to gift certificates for farm getaways. Spend time perusing the items before coming to the festival.
Children (2-12): $5
Under 2: Free
Saturday Night Walk In Camping: $10 per person
Kids 12 years old and under camp free.
Article and images by Cara Guyot, The Cubby Coach.
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.
Every year, for 31 years, the Hoes Down has generated valuable resources for local and statewide organizations working on projects which benefit sustainable agriculture and rural communities.
Many organizations rely on Hoes Down donations each year to do critical community work. Thank you for your help to continue this tradition.