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September 7, 2010 > An apple a day

An apple a day

By Fina Mora

We've all heard the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," but what the doctor did not take into consideration was the different varieties of apples. Did he mean a Red Delicious or Granny Smith? How about a Foxwhelp, Dutchess Mignon, or Alcatraz? If you've never heard of these varieties, now is your chance to discover them at the Garin Apple Festival in Hayward this weekend.

Garin Regional Park is home to an apple orchard with varieties of apples you won't find in your local grocery store. Every year, Garin hosts the festival where visitors can see more than 200 trees, bearing nearly 160 different varieties of the fruit.

The park's primary goal is to depict ranching life from the 1920s to the 1940s, and the Apple Festival serves to help visitors understand that history. At Garin, visitors can hear stories of ranch life or watch demonstrations of ranch life, including roundups, blacksmith forging, and using tools such as branding irons and barbed wire for fencing used by people in the early 1900s.

The festival is a chance to leave high technology for the day and live the simple life. Why not try an egg toss or gunny sack races? Live music will be played all day, and visitors of all ages can participate in barn dancing. As for the kids, there will be face painting and the opportunity to play old-fashioned games like Tug-o-War and Kick the Can.

Most of the fruit will be available for sampling. Have some ice cream to keep you cool outdoors or drink several varieties of apple juice. A tour of the orchards is also available at the top of each hour. The tour joins visitors with a park official who will identify trees and share samples, giving people an opportunity to taste a bit of history.

Garin Apple Festival
Saturday, September 12
Noon - 4 p.m.
Garin Regional Park
1320 Garin Avenue, Hayward
(510) 544-3213
www.ebparks.org/parks/garin

Free event; $5 parking fee

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