THE DIRT ON DIRT ... Mark House, assistant garden manager at the Ecology Action headquarters in Willits, Calif., will teach a couple of classes on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Common Ground Education Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. "Introduction to Grow Biointensive," from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will deal with principles of deep soil preparation, composting and soil-building, intensive and companion planting, carbon and calorie farming and use of open-pollinated seeds. "Composting," from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., covers effectively recycling kitchen scraps, maximizing carbon and nitrogen in the pile. Students should bring a 5-gallon bucket of green material (grass clippings, weeds or non-meat kitchen scraps). Each class costs $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
TOURING OLD MOUNTAIN VIEW ... Five recently remodeled homes in Old Mountain View will be on tour on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. as a fundraiser for the Mountain View Educational Foundation. Experts and designers will be on hand to talk about the transformations of traditional, modern, Japanese, eclectic and contemporary homes. Tickets are $25 online or $30 day of tour (if available; check at 360 Velarde St., Mountain View). Information: mvef.ejoinme.org/housetour
HARVEST SEASON DINNER ... Lou Pappas will offer a participation-style cooking class — "An Indian Summer Dinner" — on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Gamble Garden Carriage House, 1431 Waverley St., Palo alto. Menu features hot pesto-stuffed mushrooms, basil olive tapenade, smoked salmon and pickled ginger on cucumber slices, tomato bounty salad, chicken breasts stuffed with zucchini and goat cheese, corn on the cob, peach-berry cobbler and wine. Participants are asked to bring excess tomatoes from their garden. Cost is $55 for nonmembers, $45 for members. Information: 650-329-1356 or www.gamblegarden.org
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