Magazine article Sunset

Taos Harvest Drive: Sample New Mexico's Autumn Bounty

Magazine article Sunset

Taos Harvest Drive: Sample New Mexico's Autumn Bounty

Article excerpt

Loaded with baskets of tree ripened red and gold apples, plums, pears, and other produce, northern New Mexico's farm stands are at their autumn best this month. Stationed along the 75 miles of road between Santa Fe and Taos, most stands are right on the highway and--often brightly bedecked with crimson chili ristras--beckon passing motorists to stop. Pick the right stands and you can easily spend an afternoon sampling the glories of the harvest season.

The first stop is on U.S. 84/285 in Pojoaque Pueblo, about 8 miles north of Santa Fe, at Martinez Chiles (closed Tue; at intersection of State 503; 505/753-9431). A roadside landmark, its canvas canopy shades tables heaped with blue cornmeal, apples, dried pozole, and pumpkins. Plump bags of pure dried red chilies, both Hatch and Chimayo, tempt buyers to stock up for the winter.

As you follow U.S. 84 north to Espanola, the aroma of roasting green chilies wafts through stalls packed with fresh local squash, apples, potatoes, dried beans, honey, and sweet pinion brittle at Arlo's Produce (511 S. Riverside Dr.; 505/852 2384). Out-of-state buyers drive here to get their chili fix, selecting fat burlap sacks of peppers to go into the roaster. The extra hot ones sell out fast. …

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