Green chile festival provides family-friendly fun

A new offering this year is green chile lemonade

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
  • The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sutherland Farms planted 10 acres of chiles this year or more than 100,000 plants.
  • Visitors who purchase green chiles at the festival can have them roasted on site.
Spivey Vasquez carries green chile to the roasting area Thursday at Sutherland Farms near Aztec.

AZTEC — After a successful, but slightly late, chile harvest this year, Sutherland Farms is preparing for its annual green chile festival.

The free, family-friendly festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 745 County Road 2900 outside of Aztec.

This year, people interested in trying a new treat can purchase the Purple Cow Kafe's green chile lemonade. D'rese Sutherland, an owner of the farm, said the cafe that operates at the farm introduced the new lemonade this week.

"We always try to do something different with green chile," Sutherland said.

The green chile festival will also feature local bands, "train" rides for children in small cow-shaped cars pulled by a tractor, a petting zoo and face painting. 

In the past, the farm has seen about 800 people a day attend the festival, Sutherland said.

"We always like having the families," she said.

A burlap sack filled with Big John chiles waits to be roasted Thursday at Sutherland Farms near Aztec.


A variety of produce is available for people to purchase at the Sutherland Farms market, including sweet corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, winter squash, potatoes and onions.

One of the biggest draws is the roasted green chiles. Sutherland said the farm planted 10 acres of chile plants, or more than 100,000 plants.

The unseasonably cool weather in June followed by a hot July did delay the harvest by one week, but Sutherland said the farm had a successful harvest of Animas medium, Animas hot and Big Jim chiles.

Matthew Prespentt checks on a batch of green chile as it is roasted Thursday at Sutherland Farms near Aztec.


People can purchase the chiles and immediately have them roasted at the farm's market. The aroma of roasting green chiles is also part of the atmosphere that has made the festival a popular family event for the past 16 years, Sutherland said.

"People like smelling the chile roasting," she said. 

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.