The popular HomeGrown event is back again. Find out how to cross everyone off your shopping list in one weekend.
Written by Shelby Seward
It’s been just two years since the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum first joined forces for HomeGrown: A New Mexico Food Show and Gift Market–and the event keeps getting better every year.
The museum was looking to host a fall event, and NMDA’s vision of promoting products made in-state and allowing vendors to sell directly to their consumers fit the bill perfectly. “The partnership is proving to be quite successful,” says NMDA’s Felicia Frost. “The museum provides an unbeatable venue and additional staffing to plan and execute the event, while NMDA recruits exhibitors and further promotes the products through food samplings out of the NMDA concession trailer.”
Sheer variety makes this event a must-attend. There is truly something for everyone. Foodies will want to check out the booths selling jerky, oils and spices, salsas, wines, popcorn, pecans, chile products, and biscochitos. Those searching for that perfect gift will find leather bags, clothing, jewelry, wind chimes, and a slew of other handmade crafts.
Vendors are on hand, not just handing out free samples, but also talking with attendees about where their products are grown and how they are made. And if there’s something you’d like to see that’s not available, it is the perfect time to share requests and suggestions. That interaction between vendor and consumer is what truly sets this event apart.
“Being able to get out and meet members of the community is one of our favorite things,” says Shawna Runyan of Organ Mountain Produce, a local farm that grows chile, pinto beans, and onions. “We enjoy talking with the consumers about our products, about buying local, and really being aware of where your food comes from.”
Jim Hawman, owner of The Truck Farm, a specialty food store on Alameda Ave, says he sets up at HomeGrown to chat with customers about products like his popular Besito Caliente, a blackberry habanero sauce often poured over cream cheese and served up as an appetizer. “I like talking to people about how we make our products, plus I always try to support NMDA because they continue to support us as producers,” he adds.
And it’s not just the vendors who are thrilled with HomeGrown. “This is an undeniably fun event filled with diversity and common satisfaction in maintaining the integrity of our community,” say Las Crucen Niq Howie. “This event captures the true essence of its name: HomeGrown. From hand-spun wool to my discovery of jalapeno jelly, it was quite the evening. I will definitely be back with the whole family next year.”
Samantha Lish attended the first HomeGrown event and was delighted with the turnout for the second. “This is the perfect show to see what New Mexico has to offer. Being able to try salsas, pecan pies, and biscochitos that were made within a 25 mile radius is next to impossible these days. It’s great to be able to try these food items and see these gifts that are all made within the state.”