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COOP TOUR ... The fifth annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop bike ride and chicken coop tour is taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. This free, self-guided bicycle tour of chicken coops and backyard urban homesteads will include honeybees, worm composting, and organic gardening, and, of course, chickens coops (Read about last year's event here). The organizers also hope to energize those "on the fence" to jump into the urban homesteading movement. This year's tour features a variety of coop tour routes, with individual city loops (5-10 miles) and a larger 50- to 100-mile loop including stops from San Jose to Menlo Park and every city in between. Participants, or "tourists" register for a limited number of reservations on Eventbrite and a few days prior to the tour receive a printable map showing the tour route. Full details are available at the Coop Tour website,

DWELL HOME TOUR ... Dwell Magazine will host a Silicon Valley Home Tour Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $100 for a self-guided tour of five homes. A "Meet the Architects" night will be held the night before, Sept. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. at a location to be revealed upon registration. Tickets for the meet-the-architects night are $25. To register, go to

HIDDEN VILLA FARMERS ... Hidden Villa farm in Los Altos Hills has various kids' classes, as well as farm tours coming up. Sunday, Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 there will be Afternoon Farm Tours, 1-2:30 p.m., to tour the gardens, see pigs up close and feel sheep wool. After-School Adventure classes for kindergartners through sixth-graders start Sept. 21 once a week through Dec. 9. Children will explore Hidden Villa’s farm and wilderness. The education staff will help students work in small groups (eight-student maximum) to engage with farm animals, observe wild critters, take hikes, discover native plants, cultivate their green thumbs, and express their creativity and curiosity in a natural setting. Through inquiry-based learning, this program will reinforce the new Next Generation Science Standards used in most classrooms and feel more like play than instruction. Cost is $275 per child. Go to to register.

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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.

Contest Details