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October 22, 2010 > A fall afternoon on the farm

A fall afternoon on the farm

Months of sowing seed, carefully tending crops and finally harvesting the fruits of many hours of farm labor is about to complete another cycle on the farm. For most city dwellers, this pattern has been lost and the rhythm of farm life is but an ancestral memory. In the late 1800s, farm life was common and even city dwellers were in close contact with farming areas. Although today, many daily lives are far removed from farming and cultivating land and livestock, Ardenwood Historic Farm offers a way to recapture the essence of farm life of a century ago.

In the midst of speeding traffic, modern residential developments and fast food franchises dwells a bit of nostalgia that transports visitors through time and space. Removed from contemporary surroundings, Ardenwood remains as it was during the days of George and Clara Patterson. In the fall, most crops have been harvested and the farm is preparing for winter. These are special times when plenty of fun activities keep everyone busy.

Farm activities include a horse-drawn train, a Victorian garden that looks much like it did near the turn of the 20th century, tending to farm animals - sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, goats, and cows - and peacocks roaming the grounds. A resident blacksmith works at his forge making sure farm implements are repaired and ready for use.

This week, Saturday afternoon on the farm also includes pumpkin carving and a bit of arm wrestling with an old fashioned apple press. Cider, directly from the press will be available to quench thirsty weekend farmhands. During the evening hours, visitors can ride the Halloween Train and tour the Patterson House, open this weekend (Friday and Saturday) for "candlelight tours." The glow of candles will reveal the grandeur of this mansion in a distinctly different light.

A fall afternoon and evening on the farm is safe passage to life over a hundred years ago. As the hustle and bustle of winter holidays approaches, step back and unwind at George and Clara's house. The park is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (minimal entry fees apply) and selected evenings for Patterson House tours.

Special Activities
Saturday, October 23

Pumpkin Carving
12 noon - 1 p.m.
Carve a Jack-O-Lantern; learn the history of Halloween.
Bring your own pumpkin or buy one from our farm

Apple Cider Pressing
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Lots of kid power is needed!
Meet at the Granary

Halloween Train
7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Children 12 years & under

Candlelight Tours
Fri, Oct 22 & Sat, Oct 23
7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 8:30 p.m.
Patterson House
(510) 791-4196
Registration required
Fee: $7 in advance, $8 at the door

Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797

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