Hatch, New Mexico

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Hatch is a village in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,673 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is experiencing moderate growth, along with its outliers of Salem, Arrey, Derry, and Rincon.

Contents

History

Hatch was originally settled as Santa Barbara in 1851, however Apache raids drove the farmers away until 1853 when the nearby Fort Thorn was established.[1] When Fort Thorn closed in 1860, the town had to be abandoned again.[1] It was not until 1875 that it was re-occupied and at that time it was re-named for Indian fighter Edward Hatch, who was then commander of the New Mexico Military District.[2]

Economy

Hatch enjoys the distinction of being the home of "The World's Best chili pepper", according to a report by the BBC World News.[citation needed] Hatch chile is best prepared by roasting over an open flame. Each year during chile season, dozens of chile vendors can be found lining the streets of Hatch roasting the local chile.

The Hatch Chile Festival[3] is an annual event that occurs each Labor Day.[2] This event attracts people world wide to a place known as the chile capital of the world. The small town has accommodated up to 30,000 people for this event. This small farming community is known world wide for raising very good chile. Other crops such as onions, cotton, and corn are also raised there. Irrigation of local farms is accomplished by water wells as well as irrigation ditches which divert water from the Rio Grande and two lakes approximately 20 miles north of Hatch named Caballo (Spanish for "horse") and Elephant Butte Reservoir (named after a rock formation in the middle of the lake that looks similar to an elephant).

Hatch is 40 miles north of Las Cruces, New Mexico on Interstate 25, and 34 miles south of Spaceport America, a new purpose-built spaceport being built by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority with State and county funding.[4]

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