Home Front for Sept. 21:COMPOST FOR BEAUTY ... UC Master Gardeners and the City of Palo Alto will offer a free workshop on how to "Compost to Create a Naturally Beautiful Garden" from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive. The class will include a demonstration of how to make and use compost and how to sheet mulch using chips and cardboard to create garden paths. Information: Pre-registration is required; call 650-496-5910.
MORE SOIL PREP ... Robin Mankey, co-author of Ecology Action's "Booklet 34 - Food for the Future Now" and owner of a local company, Take Root, will teach about "Soil Prep for the Urban Gardener" from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Common Ground, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. The class includes information on soil reports, soil amendments and costs and a demonstration of double-digging at the Common Ground Garden. Cost is $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
END OF SUMMER SWAP ... Neighbors will come together to share crafts, clothes, books and music at the free End of Summer Swap from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Deborah's Palm, 555 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto (behind the building). Besides bringing something to share — extra arts and crafts supplies, no-longer-wanted books or old clothes, participants can sew in a sew-off, make music with found objects and watch craft demos. Bring a bag. The swap is supported by Deborah's Palm, Palo Alto Green Teams, Opalz, Fabmo, SCRAP, Transition Palo Alto and Transition Silicon Valley. Information: transitionpaloalto.org
CREATING ORDER ... Roberta Barnes will talk about "Creating Order From Chaos — or what to do with those plants" at the next meeting of the Garden Club of Los Altos at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Her focus will be on organizing plants by texture, color, shape and size. The group meets at Los Altos Lutheran Church, 460 S. El Monte Ave., Los Altos. Guest fee: $5. Information: www.gardencluboflosaltos.org
HOMES AND HOPE ... Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage just launched its 14th annual fundraising campaign, hoping to raise $363,000 by Oct. 12, throughout Northern California. The Homes and Hope fundraising effort benefits Habitat for Humanity, for homes to be built in 2013. Raffle tickets, at $2 each, are available at local Coldwell Banker offices. Information: coldwellbnakerhabitat.com or 925-275-3085
RESTORE HABITAT ... On the second and fourth Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers work with Acterra to restore habitat at the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve (1530 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto) and local creeks. Gloves, tools, snacks and training are provided. Tasks include removing invasive plants, collecting seeds, spreading mulch and planting native grasses. Wear long sleeves and long pants and bring a hat and reusable water bottle. Information: www.acterra.org/stewardship.