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September 9, 2009 > Tasty ... any way you slice it

Tasty ... any way you slice it

Garin Apple Festival celebrates 19th year

By Alyson Whitaker

Legend has it that a falling apple inspired Sir Isaac Newton to develop "Newton's Law," explaining the rules of gravitational pull. A single bite of the tantalizing fruit resulted in Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden. Johnny Appleseed's name wouldn't have quite the same ring if he'd planted figs. Throughout history, the apple has been at the core of many folklore tales and historical legends.

Apples originated in Turkey and southwest Russia, but travelers and settlers have brought the fruit to nearly all corners of the earth. Easy to eat, packed with flavor and nutrition, an apple is the favorite fruit of many. Research has shown that the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," may have more than just a seed of truth to it. The nutrition in apples-mainly fiber, flavonoids, and fructose-does a great job of keeping us healthy. The two types of fiber in an apple team up to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risks of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke.

For many of us, an apple means a Red Delicious or Granny Smith. How about a Foxwhelp, Dutchess Mignon, or Alcatraz? These are just a few of the unique and antique varieties of apples that will be sliced at the Garin Apple Festival in Hayward this weekend.

Garin Regional Park is home to an antique apple orchard with varieties of apples you won't find in your local grocery store. Taste-test them all to find your favorite! Garin opens its gates each year for a sample of these otherwise unavailable apples. There are more than 200 trees, bearing nearly 160 different varieties of the fruit. The orchard is maintained and operated strictly by volunteers, who donate their time to keep the trees healthy and bearing fruit.

This celebration is a chance for visitors to experience farm life as it was in the 19th century. Ever wonder what families did for fun back then? Without an X-Box, Wii or iPods to entertain, people played instruments, sang, danced and played physical games together. This festival gives people an opportunity to play old-fashioned games like "Tug-o-War" and "Kick the Can", along with an egg toss, gunny sack races, and more. Live music will be played all day, and visitors of all ages can participate in barn dancing, as well as arts and crafts. Try your hand at the cider press or hand crank ice cream, and enjoy the tasty result. Tours of the park will be given all day.

While you may not be inclined to write a theory paper on physics after attending the festival, you may find yourself inspired to go home and make a fresh apple pie. Just don't forget the ice cream!

Note: If you're also interested in returning to Garin Regional Park for the harvest, apple picking will take place on Sunday, September 27 from noon to 2:30 p.m. For a nominal $5 fee, you can pick a bucket full of apples to take home and enjoy. Buckets will be provided for picking, but visitors must bring their own container to transport apples home.

Garin Apple Festival
Saturday, September 12
Noon - 4 p.m.
Garin Regional Park
1320 Garin Avenue, Hayward
(510) 544-3213

The event is free, but there is a $5 parking fee.

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