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Say Happy Birthday to Ardenwood Farm

Who gets older but looks better with age? No, the answer is not Brad Pitt, but Fremonts own Ardenwood Farm. The iconic and beloved farm and park turns thirty this year, and invites everyone to a birthday celebration this month.

Ardenwoods history began in the early 1850s when George Washington Patterson traveled to California, hoping to strike it rich during the Gold Rush. Although he never shouted Eureka! while looking for gold, his land purchase in 1856 in Washington Township the early beginnings of Fremont proved to be priceless. Construction of the first incarnation of the Patterson House began in 1857.

At first, Ardenwood was primarily a grain farm, like most other farms in the area. Patterson grew oats, wheat, and barley, selling the oats to Europe, hay to San Francisco, and barley to San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco for beer. Eventually the farm transitioned from grain to low crops, growing cauliflower, broccoli, and lettuce. These same vegetables and more are still grown on 75 acres in Ardenwood by local and family run J.E. Perry farm, that sells produce at the park entrance as well as select supermarkets in the area. Twenty five acres are used to grow crops for the parks educational program.


Celebrating Californias green rush of 65

A number of requirements had to be in place when a U.S. Territory petitioned Washington for statehood. Along with an established form of government and a constitution in compliance with Americas constitution, the next two most critical were a minimum population (60,000) and a reliable treasury. The Gold Rush of 1849 certainly resulted in a boom in Californias population as well as a desperate need for civil government, but the wildly fluctuating fortunes gained and lost in the gold fields did not lead to financial stability. California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850, but its rowdy golden youth gave way only fifteen years later to spectacular financial soundness due to the establishment of the California Nursery Company (CNC) founded by John Rock in Niles in 1865.

Rock was the beginning of a line-up of horticultural visionaries that led to the solid foundation of nurserymen anchored by Bruce Roeding and George Roeding III.

Johann Fels, a German immigrant to America, studied plants and horticulture from his early youth into adulthood. He moved from Germany to New York in 1852, changed his name to John Rock and fought on the Union side in the American Civil War. After heroic military service to his adopted country, he moved to California in 1863 and set up his own nursery business in San Jose at Wayne Station, a 48-acre site. Rocks nursery quickly became successful. When landscape gardener Rudolph Ulrich needed plants for the Leland Stanford estate in Palo Alto, he purchased them at Rocks Nursery, which by that time was one of the best-known in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a slithery snake or a crawling lizard, or perhaps see what the differences are between a turtle and a tortoise? Everyone will get the chance to do these and more at the Bay Area Amphibian and Reptile Societys (BAARS) annual Reptile Rally, a free event scheduled for Saturday, July 25 at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center (SCNC) in Hayward.

BAARS will be showcasing a lot of reptiles and amphibians that their members have, said Wendy Winsted, Recreation Coordinator for Sulphur Creek Nature Center, adding, (there will be) a variety of exotic and native snakes, lizards, turtles, and tortoises. Visitors will be able to get face to face with reptiles and amphibians!

People of all ages are invited to check out the event and even make a day of it by enjoying the beautiful SCNC, which Winsted describes as one of Haywards hidden gems. Its like walking down into a little oasis, she explained, adding that people are encouraged to pack a picnic and spend some time in the park itself. The annual event is designed for visitors to easily and casually drop in and see the reptiles and amphibians on display. There will be face painting for the kids as well and volunteers on hand to answer questions about the animals.


It's a Date!
Upcoming Events

July 21 - July 28
Toddler Time $

Ardenwood Historic Farm

July 21
FAME Enrollment Resource Fair

Alameda County Office of Education

July 22
Family Movie Night: Paddington

Halcyon Park

July 23
Moth Madness

Sunol Regional Wilderness

July 23 - July 26
Holy Ghost Festival

Newark Pavilion

July 24
Outdoor Movie Night: Box Trolls

Hayward City Hall

View More Upcoming Events

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