Full Belly Farm Hoes Down

Outside the Bay Area

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


Volunteering at Hoes Down

Sept 2012

My family's volunteering at the Hoes Down this year; it's our first time and I've got questions their website hasn't answered so I'm hoping there are some BPN families out there with experience. Does the volunteering come with perks other than waiver of the camping fee? We have two kids, 6 and 8: any activities we should be extra careful not to miss? How much money should we plan to set aside for food/activities/trinkets? (I am wondering whether I should start budgeting now for a special occasion splurge at the farm in October). For budgetary frame of reference, we are a family that can't afford to eat at the Off the Grid food trucks but *can* shop at the farmers' markets if we're somewhat selective about what we buy, so I guess I'm asking if the Hoes Down is more like the food trucks or more like the farmers' market. Any pointers gratefully received! Full Belly Newbie

Hi! I am a coordinator for the Hoes Down and I would love to help you make the most of your Hoes Down experience! Volunteers, in addition to receiving free entrance and camping, also will receive a wrist band that allows them to eat one meal for free in the volunteer kitchen. The food at the food booths is very reasonably priced, with the highest costing dinner plate at $12.00. Most are in the $5- 10 range and include a lot of great, organic, locally sourced food! You don't need to spend money on drinks- you can fill up your water bottles for free- but if you choose to drink beer or wine, they range in prices from $3- 6. In terms of money for activities, once you are inside the gate, almost everything (with the exception of food and drinks) is free. All of the children's hands- on activities are free, as are workshops, horse wagon rides, etc. Don't miss the circus (Circus Bella!), the entire kids area, or Sunday breakfast. If you have any other questions, email info [at] hoesdown.org. See you soon! Hallie

Tips for Full Belly Farm Hoe Down

Aug 2008

We'd like to go to the Full Belly Farm Hoes Down this year and would like to get the inside scoop from veteran families. Any info would be welcome. Some questions I thought of are: When should we leave to get there Saturday morning? Can you get there early and set up camp? Best place in the orchard to camp. Best time to set up. Best activities for a 4 and 6 year old and those to skip. How to deal with food? bring your own or rely on the food available there. What food is available? What to bring from home and what is unnecessary. Best clothes to pack -- hot weather/ cool evenings/etc.? Info on swimming in the creek. Anything else you think would be helpful. Thanks so much - here's to the power of BPN! Suzie

IT's been years since we've been to the Full Belly Hoe's Down, and we never camped....so that said, it was really fun. I think we went for 4 or 5 years in a row (my kids are now 13 and 17).There were lots of little kid activities. In fact I thought there was more to do for little kids then adults. Swimming in the creek seemed to be popular, depending on the year, climate, level of water. But...there is no lifeguard and it's a creek down a hill...not much beach if I remember. Be careful of Poison Oak. I remember food being plentiful. We never brought our own. I remember water-melon eating contests. MMMMMMMM.

It can be pretty hot, and it's sunny,so be prepared. I also remember water games and ways to get wet (hoses?) and cool off. You might want to bring drinking water.

Since we never camped, I don't know what the nights are like. It's not a long drive...maybe an hour and 15 minutes? There was never much traffic when we went...we always got there in the AM. Have fun. Sounds like a great adventure. former Full-Belly family