I Love New Mexico

About all things New Mexican

Posted by admin on September - 22 - 2011 | 3 Comments

Wagner Farms - We're finally here!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year in New Mexico.  Cooler nights, green chile roasting, corn mazes, high school football.  And more green chile roasting. 

Chile Roasting at Wagner's

There are green chile purists out there who will argue that Hatch green chile is the only way to go, that the best chile in the world is grown in the southern Rio Grande Corridor of New Mexico.  I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong, but I have to say that, consistently, the best green chile I’ve ever put in my freezer came from Corrales.  And that green chile always came from Wagner Farms.

The front portal at Wagner's

It’s been a tradition in my little family for a long time.  At least one Sunday in the fall (sometimes two, sometimes three), we’d load up for the drive to Corrales and an afternoon at Wagner Farms.  They’re at 5000 Corrales Road in Corrales, on the north end of the village, located in a long adobe building that may have been there for the 100 years that the Farm’s been in existence.

Johanna at Wagner's circa 1993

There’s a ritual to our trips to Wagner’s – we go in and pick out our chile (Sandia Hot and Big Jim Medium), wander through the mounds of jalepenos, choose a bag of roasting ears, a basket of peaches and apples, and then we pay for our veggies.  We get a number for our roasted chile (which is carried out to the roasters under the lean-to on the north end of the building) and then we head for the green chile stew and caramel apples.  It’s a rule – we don’t go to Wagner’s without getting a caramel apple. 

Johanna at Wagner's 2011

After I moved to Logan, I missed the Wagner’s ritual for a few years.  I really missed it.  But a couple of weeks ago, Johanna and I set aside a Sunday  to get our Corrales green chile fix.  We had breakfast in the village (more about that later. . .), wandered around the Farmer’s Market, and then when we couldn’t stand the anticipation any longer, we headed to Wagner’s.

The new lemonade and apple cider refreshment stand at Wagner's

They’ve fancied up the building a bit – there’s a cafe in a new addition on the south end, and they’ve added more roasters, and there’s a cute little beverage stand next to the cash registers.  But the ambiance is still the same – it’s eating locally, home-grown produce with the same guy calling your number for your chile, the same kids (Wagner grandkids, I’m guessing) handing us our caramel apples and taking our money.  There are still ristras hanging from the portal, and there’s still that amazing smell of green chile roasting in the air.

 Their website says that they also have a corn maze and pumpkin patch, which sounds like just another great excuse to visit.  My best New Mexico advice is this:  Head out to Wagners’ some Sunday this month or next.   Create your own chile gathering ritual.  And if you can’t get there from where you are, they’ll ship.  You can have your own 25 lb bag of chile delivered to your door. 

The tastiest and hottest jalepenos I've ever found are at Wagner's

Taste it and see if you don’t agree – it’s definitely as good, if not better than Hatch.  But maybe I need another bag of Hatch to compare. . .

View of the Sandias from the Wagner's parking lot

 

 

3 Responses so far.

  1. This is too cool, Bunny! I didn’t know the green chile was that good at Wagner Farms, but I used to drive through Corrales every day for work for over a year. I should have stopped at least once. I’m so glad you and Johanna made a trip of it and had a wonderful little trip. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Roxie Moreland says:

    Wagner’s has awesome chili and to be honest I have had both and they are so similar that you could go either way. I live in Rio Rancho so Wagner’s is just down the road from me. They are truly wonderful people. My children are now grown with children of their own but when my kids were in grade school the school that they went to threw a Halloween carnival to keep the kids off the street and out of trouble and the Wagner’s donated tons of apples for us to bob and also cider that they pressed. I try to keep it as local as possible also.

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for writing about Wagner’s. It reminded me that I have not purchased their chile in over ten years. Your write up got me inspired to go to Corrales and get some more chile. When I worked in Bernalillo, it was easier to swing by.
    I agree with you, I think it is better than the Hatch variety.

    Rand
    http://www.newmexicochileproducts.com


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