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September 6, 2005 > Garin Apple Festival

Garin Apple Festival

by Sunil Dhar

King David, Pink Pearl, Skinner Seedling, Beitgeheimer and Foxwhelp are just five of the many varieties of apples that can be found in the Garin Regional Park apple orchard and will be available for tasting at the 15th Annual Garin Regional Park Apple Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10. The Garin Park heritage apple orchard contains 200 apple trees with over 160 varieties that are typically not found in grocery stores. These apple tree varieties are all historic era apples found in early 1900s California.

According to Park Supervisor Ron Mueller, the antique apple orchard was started in 1985 when Richmond resident Emil Lindquist suggested the idea and provided the trees. Lindquist had potted trees in his backyard and wanted to find a permanent home for them. He approached the park district and volunteered to donate the trees, as long as the public could enjoy the collection. The park planted the trees over a period of four years and by 1989 had more than 200 apple trees. It was at that time the park district decided to hold an apple festival.

Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Park, located in the Hayward Hills, is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system. It is actually two parks joined together, unique for its apple orchard and ranching barn. The orchard covers over three acres of land and at this time of year is overflowing with the rich scents, colors, and flavors of this luscious fruit just waiting to be enjoyed.

"Garin Park's primary goal is to depict ranching life from the 1920s to the 1940s," Mueller said. "The Garin Apple Festival was started up to help promote the understanding the history of the ranching pioneers and how they lived and worked on the ranch."

At the Garin Barn visitors will enjoy stories and demonstrations of how pioneers worked on the ranch including livestock roundups, blacksmith forging and tools such as branding irons and barbed wire for fencing used by people in the early 1900s.

Other activities include a kid's area with lots of old fashioned games to play, square dancing to a live band, apple tasting and cider press demonstrations.

Visitors are encouraged to taste and get familiar with the apples they enjoy because a week later, on Sept. 18, there will be an opportunity to take some home at a public harvest.

"The public apple harvest on Sept. 18 from noon to 4 p.m. is free; however, a $5 donation is encouraged for each five gallon bucket of apples picked," Mueller said. "The money all goes toward park improvement."

A tour of the orchards is also available at the top of each hour during the apple festival. The tour takes visitors into the orchard where a park official will identify trees and share samples giving people an opportunity to become familiar with the different types of apples so they can pick them at the public harvest.

The events are free (parking is $5). For more information, visit www.ebparks.org or call East Bay Regional Park at Coyote Hills (510) 795-9385.

Garin Regional Park Apple Festival
Saturday, Sept. 10
Noon to 4 p.m.
1320 Garin Ave., Hayward
(510) 582-2206

Public Harvest
Sunday, Sept. 18
Noon to 4 p.m.
1320 Garin Ave., Hayward
(510) 582-2206

 
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