Antonio Velasquez 1942-2013
Española Farmers’ Market has lost one of our long-time market vendors. Antonio Velasquez died on Monday, February 11th in a tractor accident while preparing his fields for planting. He was seventy-one. His spouse of 21 years, Rosa Espinosa (shown above with Antonio), was away visiting kin in Mexico at the time of his death. His son José, also a market vendor, had spent the day with his father in Penasco, and stopped by his house early the following morning, ready to help in the fields, and found him pinned under his overturned tractor, already beyond rescue.
Antonio, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico, had lived in New Mexico for thirty-one years, enriching our agricultural traditions with his lifelong farming skills. After working in the chile fields in Hatch, he settled on a small farm in Lyden and had lived here for the past eighteen years. Market customers enjoyed the many varieties of finger potatoes that he sold, a vegetable Antonio had first introduced to the market after another local farmer, Danny Farrar, shared his seed crop. His ground red chile powder was a favorite as well as his beautifully dried chicos and other foods.
The food we find at the market comes at the price of hard work and the danger of accident, but Antonio loved farming and brought his warm spirit and friendliness to all of us on market days. Antonio is survived by his spouse Rosa Espinosa, his son and daughter-in-law, José Velasquez and Josie Gallegos of Velarde, and family members in Mexico.