The Garlic Harvest Festival will be “Ajo”rageously fun!


The Garlic Harvest Festival will be “Ajo”rageously fun!

ESPAÑOLA  – Time to get your palas out, wake up early, and harvest some ajo! The eighth annual AFSC@ Sostenga Garlic Harvest Festival will take place on Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 7 am – 1 pm. During this annual event, held at the ¡Sostenga! Farm at Northern New Mexico College (1027 N. Railroad Avenue), the community gathers to celebrate one of the season’s first harvests with music, educational booths, food, and games.

Former lieutenant governor Roberto Mondragon will host this year’s event, sharing his regional repertoire with the audience. David García and Jeremiah Martinez, El Trio Viva Nuevo Mexico, Tim Martinez and Friends, and others will provide music. In addition to some of the finest music you will hear in northern New Mexico, the Garlic Harvest Festival will host several informational and educational booths along side a children’s play area that will include a dunking booth and balloon toss. A breakfast of blue corn pancakes and bacon will be served; the blue corn comes straight from the farm, of course! It is open and free to the community.

The American Friends Service Committee and ¡Sostenga! at Northern co-host the annual event that is meant to bring awareness to the long history of traditional sustainability and small scale farming in northern New Mexico. We often hear the word sustainability used to refer to a “new” movement that encourages growing your own food, recycling and repurposing items, and reducing overall consumption. For many of us in the Norte these aren’t new concepts at all. How many of us grew up scraping left over food into a bucket to feed the pigs? How many of us sat with our grandmas and aunties sewing strips of fabric together to make rugs? We come together to clean the acequia and we work with our families to grow. Northern New Mexico has always been sustainable.  The Garlic Festival highlights these traditions.

Each year two community members committed to traditional agriculture are recognized with the honorary titles of El Rey y Reina de Ajo. Last year’s honorees pictured left to right: Dr. Camilla Bustamante, La Reina del Ajo, instituted the ¡Sostenga! Center for Sustainable Food, Agriculture and Environment at NNMC and started the Garlic Fest in 2007. Center is the MC for the event, Mr. Roberto Mondragon. Pictured right is El Rey de Ajo 2014, Patrick Jaramillo. Patrick is originally from San Pedro and now is a statewide farm trainer for the American Friends Service Committee. Who will be crowned the Rey and Reina of Ajo this year? Join us at the 8th Annual Garlic Festival and find out!

The garlic harvest competition starts at 7:30 a.m. $300/$200/$100 dollar prizes will be awarded to teams respectively for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. To register a team, please call 747-2256. There is no entry charge, but you will need to bring your own pala (shovel). Come out and join us, learn more about your local educational farm and the programs we offer, and have some fun!

For more information or to register a team, call 747-2256 or email