Another year, another harvest and another iconic chile festival in Hatch, New Mexico.
“We grow up eating chile from when we’re babies all the way up until we’re older in age,” said Tony Cano, who has farmed the crop for several years. “It’s part of us.”
This year, the festival attracted visitors from all over the country.
“They sell the Hatch chiles in Tucson all the time,” said Brian Koppy, from Arizona. “But unless you come here and get to enjoy them firsthand, you really don’t know how good they are.”
There were even a few international guests in the hot sun.
“I come here to Hatch for the chiles of course,” said Benedikt Detramann, who is from Bremen, Germany.
Detramann did tell ABC-7 he is working in Las Cruces right now. However, farmers said there were also international visitors from Mexico and Canada.
In past years, floods have damaged the crops in Hatch. However, this year, farmers say dry conditions haven’t helped.
“Having to deal with the floods has hurt the plant,” explained Alonso Grajeda. “But the hotness, how it was this year, hurt it a bunch too.”
Grajeda has been farming for ten years. He said rain or shine, heat or humidity, he’ll continue to harvest the plant.
“As long as I can do it, I’m going to do it,” Grajeda said. “You can see the joy on everybody’s face when they come taste our chile, that’s the best thing also.”