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Sip tea, cook summer meals, compost at home and maintain a landscape during a drought

Find local news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening. This week includes afternoon tea at Filoli, cooking classes at Sur La Table, backyard composting workshop at Hidden Villa and drought landscape maintenance information from the City of Palo Alto.

TEA TIME ... Sip tea from china teacups as the scent of blooming begonia floats through the air on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at Filoli, 86 CaƱada Road, Woodside. Starting at 1 p.m., small groups of friends can gather to enjoy afternoon tea in the the late summer ambiance offered by the historical home and garden. This Filoli tradition includes sandwiches, seasonal salads, scones and pastries. Reservations must be made in advance. Tickets cost $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers. Price includes general admission to the house and garden. Info: 650-364-8300, ext. 508 or Afternoon Tea at Filoli

IN THE KITCHEN ... Master new cooking skills and savor the last days of summer with classes offered by Sur La Table, 855 El Camino Real, Suite 57, Palo Alto. Programs scheduled for August include "Healthy & Delicious Summer Cooking" (Leah Joo, Aug. 22, 4 p.m., $69); "Handmade Summer Pastas" (Nicole Henri, Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m., $69); "Great Grilling: 4 Essential Recipes" (Joe Sivils, Aug. 25, 11 a.m., $69); and "Spectacular Summer Salads" (Joe Sivils, Aug. 27, 11 a.m., $69). Sign up before seats are gone. Info: 650-289-0438 or cooking073@surlatable.com

BACKYARD COMPOSTING ... Learn how to manage organic waste, from food scraps to yard trimmings, on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. at Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. By composting, residents can cut their contribution to the landfill, conserve water and create healthier soil. The workshop teaches participants how to build, maintain and use a home compost pile. The event runs for two hours and costs $5 per person. Registration is required. Info: Hidden Villa compost event

DROUGHT MAINTENANCE ... Discover drought maintenance methods during a workshop presented by the City of Palo Alto on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.== at the Lucie Stern Community Center, Ball Room, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Residents can help their landscape and garden thrive during a drought by implementing a few simple changes to their landscape maintenance routine. Instruction will cover irrigation systems, water schedules and more. The workshop is free, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required and can be done by phone or online. Info: 650-329-2241 or Drought Landscape Design workshop

Send notices of news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening to Home Front, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or email bmalmberg@paweekly.com. Deadline is one week before publication.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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