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Home front: Seed-saving, changes to city Clean Up Days

Also: A workshop on drought-tolerant, shade-loving plants

A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including a workshop on saving vegetable seeds and a change to city Clean Up Days.

SAVING SEEDS ... Plan for next summer's bounty now by collecting seeds from current crops. The UC Master Gardeners presents a free workshop on saving seeds, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Los Altos Library. Get tips on harvesting and storing seeds for many common vegetables. The class also covers how seeds are formed and how to prevent cross-pollination as it relates to seed saving. The Los Altos Library is located at 13 S. San Antonio Road. Los Altos. For more information, call 408-282-3105 or visit mgsantaclara.ucanr.edu.

CLEANUP DAY CHANGES... GreenWaste of Palo Alto has announced a change in service for its Clean Up Day program, when residents can have extra recyclables or trash and bulky items (appliances, furniture) picked up for no charge. With the change, which starts in September, single-family households will have two pre-scheduled cleanup days annually per neighborhood, six months apart. Previously, residents scheduled a pickup as needed, with a limit of one per year. Eric Cissna, GreenWaste Environmental Outreach Manager, said the change was in response to the City of Palo Alto's request to expand the Clean Up Day program."This was the most efficient way to offer two Clean ups (per year) for residents," he said. Pre-scheduling is meant to allow GreenWaste to increase pickups while avoiding a glut of calls at one time. "With the previous on-call system, typically we had a lot of residents waiting until the end of the year to call in," Cissna said. The change aims to encourage wider use of the program, which has a new emphasis on reuse, Cissna said. Pickups will now include a broader range of items, such as construction waste and clothing. Cissna said GreenWaste is partnering with organizations to reuse some items, as appropriate. With the change, residents can have up to six bulky items (three per Clean Up Day) picked up each year — the previous limit was four items per annual pickup. Cissna said that residents can also still request an on-call pickup, but they will have to pay for it, with fees depending on the item(s). For multi-family homes, a property manager must schedule a pickup. For more information, call GreenWaste customer service at 650-493-4894 or visit greenwasteofpaloalto.com.

DRY SHADE GARDENING ... Not every shady spot in the yard needs to be a fern grotto. Learn about shade-loving, drought-tolerant plants at a free workshop on Sunday, Aug. 25, 9-9:30 a.m. at SummerWinds Nursery in Palo Alto. Plants that thrive in dry shade are perfect for planting under trees like oaks that don't need much water. SummerWinds Nursery is located at 725 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. Register at summerwindsnursery.com or call 650-493-5136.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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