Photo-Essay by Paul Ross
In a region renowned for chile, at the end of the season of green and in a town synonymous with both, New Mexico has gone red.
The annual Hatch Chile Festival is over and the quiet fields which swaddle the returned-to-sleepy town are newly-plowed and waiting or–dotted with–rich, red, maturing pods of friendly fire.
A few souls gently harvest while their wives and brothers braid ristras in a manner that simultaneously bespeaks tradition and belies time.
With the tourists departed, most of the shops are shuttering-up for the winter. Senor Villegas is a notable exception. He remains and roasts and packs while relating tales of his abuelo’s enslavement by no less than Pancho Villa.
Down the street and around the corner, the B&E restaurant serves up fresh and hearty pots of both red and green now to locals–both Anglos and Hispanics–the townsfolk of Hatch, self-professed “Chile Capital of the World.”