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October 5, 2010 > Harvest festival ushers in fall

Harvest festival ushers in fall

By Alissa Gwynn

With the beginning of October comes crisp fall days, pumpkins, and, for the 25th year, Ardenwood's Harvest Festival. On Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10, participants will have the opportunity to become a share-cropper for a day and help harvest Indian corn planted earlier this year.

Corn, or maize, is a member of the grass family (Poaceae) and originated in Mexico. Characterized by its straight, solid stem with large, narrow leaves, maize is considered to be one of the most important and widely consumed agricultural products in Americans' diets. Participants who would like to help harvest corn should bring their own bags so they can take home half of their harvest. Then, in November, when the corn has dried a bit, you can make popcorn by simply placing an ear of corn in the microwave for two-and-a-half minutes!

People of all ages, from senior citizens to young children, are encouraged to come out to the festival. In addition to corn harvesting, there are scheduled activities sure to please everyone, including cider pressing and tasting, horse-drawn train rides, ice cream making, and corn husk doll making. Patterson House tours will be offered as well, so participants can learn more about George Washington Patterson, who came west in 1849 to seek his fortune in the goldfields of California, and the 19th-century country estate itself. Today the Historic Farm exhibits agricultural practices from the 1870s to the present, demonstrating the transition from horse-powered to horsepower.

Live music from the 19th century will be provided by Dan Engle and Ray Frank, and David Maloney performs his very special kids sing-along, though parents are invited to sing as well! Last but not least, Brian Scott will have a "Wizard Training Show" on the Patterson House lawn.

Tickets for the Harvest Festival are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (62+), $5 for children 4-17, and free for children younger than 3. Parking is free.

Ardenwood Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 9 to Sunday, October 10
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797
www.ebparks.org/node/1411

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