Hatch, New Mexico is a Village…
The Village of Hatch is located in northern Dona Ana County in New Mexico just 37 miles northwest of Las Cruces. The population within the village limits is 1,648 and the elevation of Hatch is 4,058 feet. Colonias associated with the Village of Hatch include Garfield, Milagro, Placitas, Rincon, Rodey, and Salem. The Village of Hatch was incorporated with the state of New Mexico in 1928. Hatch is most known for being the CHILE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD and holds its annual Chile Festival on Labor Day weekend at the Village of Hatch Airport a few miles southwest on Highway 26.
Hatch is located in the fertile Rio Grande Valley, about 40 miles north of Las Cruces. The abundant New Mexico sunshine and irrigation water from the Rio Grande River combine to produce lush crops of cotton, corn, vegetables, and of course, chile peppers. “Hatch Chile” is not actually a variety of pepper, but is a term used to describe peppers of several different varieties grown in the area. Actual variety names might include “Big Jim“, “Joe Parker”, “Sandia”, and others. Green Chile is King at the beginning of the season, made into rellenos, enchiladas and stews. Later, the peppers ripen and turn red and are dried to be made into that delicious red chile sauce that flavors a multitude of dishes that will keep you warm all winter!
Everything in the village is about chile this weekend. In years past, most of the chile vendors sold their wares at the Festival, but recently, whether due to festival fees or regulations, many have chosen to stay in town and sell their chile. As a result, the town scene is quite lively, with numerous shops also offering chile-related souvenirs as well as chile powders and other items of interest.
After the parade there’s usually a traffic jam getting out of town heading for the festival grounds, a couple of miles away, so it’s a good opportunity to walk around, check out the vendors, and smell some green chiles roasting, just to whet your appetite!
Admission to the Hatch Chile Festival is $10 per carload, good for both days. Bring sunscreen and a hat. It’s not a “walk around with a beer” event, although they do have a “beer garden” if you care to sit in a cage to have a beer. (We recommend one of the cool refreshing Agua Fresca drinks which are always on hand.)
Info from http://www.focusnewmexico.com/places/hatch.htm
Dry weather forces farmers to pump from underground aquifers. The water spills into irrigation canals that flow onto fields, making up for a short supply in the neighboring Rio Grande. But while groundwater can be a blessing, it’s also a curse. Take a look at the current weather in Hatch, NM
For some of the best eats in the city, I recommend:
- Valley Cafe
- B & E Burritos
- Hot Stuff Restaurant
- Pepper Pot
as featured in our Top 5 Restaurants in Hatch, NM
What more can you want? If you have any questions about Hatch, New Mexico, please let us know in the comments!