The annual Hatch Valley Chile Festival took place in Hatch, New Mexico Sept. 2 to 3. Tens of thousands of visitors trekked to the small village of Hatch and filled the streets. More than 70 vendors, many of them local to Hatch, set up shop. Most sell chile. The bright green skin of the green chile slowly turns brown as vendors roast it in front of customers. Chiles crackle and pop as they roast — chile seeds fly from the burned flesh like a stray firework. Red chile is bought by the bushel and can be hung to dry in a ristra. Though chile may seem like the life blood in the small farming community, it is not the only thing grown. After the chile harvest, many farmers will prepare their land for cotton, alfalfa, onions and corn.
Anthony Jackson is a freelance reporter and photographer with the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.