(Gus) Wagner's (Farm) -- the current Center of My Life



Growing up, the fall lineup of family activities included the occasional trip out to Gus Wagner's to buy squash, corn, and (if I remember) apple cider. As a kid, I hated doing things with my family, so I hated Gus Wagner's.

But now that I'm a grownup (bonk, bonk on the head! bonk-bonk! bonk-bonk!), and these days I work in Corrales about half a mile from there. Gus Wagner's, now just called Wagner's Family Farm (I believe Gus has long since passed away), is brighter, cleaner, and has far more interesting stuff in it than I remember. They have literally tons of pumpkins right now at 25¢ a pound (best price in town, including McCall's), volleyball-sized decorative gourds for a buck each, apples out the wazzoo, corn, and chile for miles! (Red or Green?)

We went and got a bushel (or you can get a whole sack, of course) of hot green roasted today, about $20 including a tip for the roasters. Beautiful. Big, thick, meaty pods roasted perfect so the skin comes away and leaves the entire chile intact.

On top of Wagner's being the most wonderful and economical place to get local produce, they have a little cafe there now, The Apple Tree Cafe, which serves amongst other things, some of the best burritos in town, of course loaded with fresh chile from right there. They have beef, chicken, bean, and breakfast varieties. I get a bean with green and potatoes added. It's the size of your forearm and fresh and filling. Most people I know (both my bosses and my honey) get the chicken. They also make some surprisingly great french fries (thin, crispy, salty), and they've got pretty sweet mini fruit pies and turnovers. I can't recommend it highly enough. BUT, it's a seasonal business, and the season is getting along, if you hadn't noticed.

Wagner's family farm is on Corrales Road, across the street from the Catholic church, on the east side of the road. Go get some chile, squash, pumpkins and burritos before it's too late!

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Comment by Jen on October 20, 2008 at 5:03pm
I too was dragged unwillingly as a child on fall trips to Wagner's. They only started selling caramel apples and the like as I got older!

But this year, we took my son to Wagner's to buy our chile. We watched with glee as he looked at the produce, asked us questions about the tractor out back, and stared in wonder at the chile roasters working their smelly magic.

Sichler farms has their produce stand about 1 mile from my house, and their stuff is always good. But to me, fall isn't fall--and chile isn't chile--unless it's from Wagner's.
Comment by mombat on October 20, 2008 at 8:03pm
MMMMM cider, apples, the smell of leaves and the smell of chile and good dirt.
we will have to go I haven't been there in years.
Comment by Pat O. on October 21, 2008 at 7:25am
Went to Wagner's about 3 weeks ago. It was the usual madhouse, but the smell of roasting chile and drying ristras made it all worthwhile. We bought a watermelon and some cantaloupe. We don't have a deep freezer, so no chile for us ;^(.
Comment by IrishRider on October 21, 2008 at 9:51am
We bought their extra hot during the Harvest Festival this year, (which I HIGHLY recommend to everyone), and it definitely lives up to it's name.
Comment by Suzanne on October 21, 2008 at 11:11am
You can get a bushel of canning tomatoes for $10. I canned tomato soup (8 quarts and 12 pints) and spaghetti sauce (6 quarts and 12 pints) this year.
Comment by Jill on October 21, 2008 at 2:10pm
Wagners is my favorite place. Their apple turnovers are to die for.
Comment by Khan on October 21, 2008 at 10:01pm
And might I add, the chile we got the other day is the most perfectly roasted I have ever had in my life!
;
Comment by zoodeb on November 4, 2008 at 7:20am
Hurray! I love finding out about wonderful new outdoorsey fun local places to warm my heart! And, now I have the time since my show is up and running.... I've got an urge for green! (I've been working at Los Poblanos lately for my veggies...)
Comment by Shock on November 14, 2008 at 2:49pm
I love this story! I have the best memories of Wagner's- my mother and I used to go and stop at a little drive-in near the Frontier Mart (?) and get a Dr. Pepper- why Dr. Pepper I don't know but to this day I favor it over Coke. Anyway, I wanted to share this recent experience: My aunt and uncle were here last month visiting from France. One night I cooked green chile enchiladas and of course the dinner conversation evolved (or devolved) into the significance of NM green chile, how you can't find it anywhere else, how it's roasted, etc...they reacted with a mixture of polite disbelief (why do these people get so worked up about this stuff) and confusion (how does the roasting machine work?) So the next day I took them to El Pinto (I like other place's food more but they loved the ristras and the cottonwoods) and then on to Corrales to Wagner's. I didn't expect there to be much going on since it was late in the season but there were folks roasting chile and bins brimming with produce. My family took all kinds of pictures and I had a blast showing them this local piece of heaven.
Comment by cc on July 12, 2009 at 12:57pm
ABQ Preschool Coop would take their kiddos over there on field trips - we were able to see the preschoolers wander through an apple orchard and after decades of going there to buy produce it finally dawned on me that all of that produce they sell is grown in Corrales! Amazing!

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