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Forest Home Farms offers summer fun

San Ramon historic park to host demonstrations on life in 1800s

San Ramon’s Forest Home Farms is spending its summer offering educational opportunities highlighting what farm life was like in the old west.

As part of its summer activity calendar, the estimated 150-years-old farm is offering family friendly activities with demonstrations in ice cream making, rope fashioning and corn shucking on Saturdays all summer long.

“This summer we have a wide variety of activities and (they’re) all free,” said Mary Ann Simmons, recreation supervisor of the San Ramon's Parks and Community Services Department.

Starting Saturday, volunteers will show participants the finer points of making ice cream with techniques used before San Ramon had been fully settled as a city. We won't ruin the surprise of how the frozen treat is prepared, but organizers say it is as simple as a turn of the crank.

The following weekend, residents will get the opportunity to learn how to make one of the most essential tools used on every farm. The July 21 demonstration will educate participants on how to make rope the old-fashioned way, using a replica antique machine to create some useful knots.

July activities will end on the July 28 with the farms “Ah Shucks!” demonstration. The aptly named activity will teach participants about the significance of corn to early American settlers as well as the practical knowledge of how to shuck corn using the hand and mechanical tools of the day. Later, younger farmers will get to make crafts with discarded corn kernels.

Also on Saturdays, Forest Home Farms offers appointment only group tours, a glass museum and a gift shop.

In addition to special Saturday activities all summer long the farm features an antique tractor and engine museum, plenty of historical displays and live farm animals including chickens and a herd of sheep.

Even on days without special events organizers encourage residents to take a self guided tour and enjoy the “beautiful setting and natural environment.”

Forest Home Farms, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd., is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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