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Planting Edible Gardens

Here are the top five things to do in Menlo Park, California.

1. Growing Urban Edibles

At today, a gardening class with the University of California Master Gardeners of San Mateo County and San Francisco County. They will be leading a series of workshops on gardening that kick off today with the first two-part session on preparing for spring planting. In today's class and the one that continues Saturday, you can learn about microclimates, site selection and preparation, soil, and garden beds. The classes will be taught by Master Gardeners Denise Kupperman, Theresa Lyngso, and Jonathan Propp. The class costs $30 and meets from 10 a.m. to noon today and Saturday at Little House, 800 Middle Ave.  For more information, call Dea Smeed at (650) 326-2025 ext. 221 or e-mail dsmeed@peninsulavolunteers.org.

2. Take a self-guided tour of the USGS Research Center

The Menlo Park Science Center has been the flagship research center for the USGS in the western United States for more than 50 years. It is the largest USGS research center in the West and houses extensive research laboratories, scientific infrastructure, and library facilities. If you and your children are at loose ends today with no school in session, this is a good opportunity to take your own self-guided tour. And it doesn't matter what the weather is like! Go to Building 3 where you can pick up pamphlets and written material and explore at your leisure. There are 14 stops in the self-guided tour and some of what you can view is an"Earth as Art" display and a rock collection, among other things. The USGS Menlo Park Science Center is at 345 Middlefield Road. If  you like what you see on your own visit, you can arrange to come back for a guided tour, offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, by calling (650)329-4498.

3. Breakfast with the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce

The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is holding a breakfast gathering tomorrow morning to share news with the community. Get an update on what the Chamber is doing and the direction in which it will be moving. Hear about Menlo Park's projects, priorities and survey results from Mayor Rich Cline. And as always, take this opportunity to network with your friends and colleagues. The breakfast will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Menlo Presybterian Church's Social Hall at 950 Santa Cruz Ave. Reservations are required. For more information and to RSVP, call (650) 325-2818, or email info@menlochamber.org.

4. Take your own tour of Sunset Gardens

Your children are off from school and if you are home, too, you may have some time together that is not part of your usual routine. Take the time to explore one of Menlo Park's special treats at Sunset Gardens, 80 Willow Road at Middlefield. Sunset Gardens is the home of Sunset Magazine and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., visitors are permitted on the grounds to take their own self-guided tours.  If the weather cooperates, it could be a great place to spend a couple of hours with your children. Or if there are no children to bring along, just enjoy it on your own.  The landscaped grounds surrounding the headquarters of Sunset have more than 300 kinds of shrubs, trees, vines, ground covers, annuals and perennials in the garden at any given time.

5. How to Skype

Many of us are familiar with Skype, that Internet tool that lets you talk in real time via your computer or mobile device to anyone, anywhere. But if you are among the some of us who haven't quite figured it out yet, today is the day to change all that. Skype can let you stay in touch with family and friends who live around the corner or around the world. Today you can learn all about Skype at with guest instructor Tom Gordon, the Founder and CEO of eOffice® Network. The class meets from 2 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. and costs $35. is at 800 Middle Ave. For more information or to register, call the Little House Front Desk at (650) 326-2025.

samantha cooke February 23, 2011 at 01:39 PM
One suggestion- if you are planting a community garden with children, consider adding the plant that moves when you tickle it to get them excited about gardening. TickleMe Plants will close their leaves and lower their branches when tickled. Ten minutes later their branches raise back up. These plants can be grown indoors year round and the pots can be placed outside during summer. In our gardens and classrooms, our children run to class or garden to tickle their plants first thing in the morning. The plants also will produce puffy pink flowers and are great for plant science experiments. Search TickleMe Plant or got to www.ticklemeplant.com to see a live video of the plant in action and to grow your own

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