Home and garden news, upcoming events

SEBASTOPOL: Seminar on capturing rainwater

If you're interested in learning how to capture rainwater, now is the time to get started, while there still might be some raindrops on their way.

Harmony Farm Supply is offering a two-hour seminar on March 2 introducing the basics of collecting, storing and using rain water. The class will cover the best tank for your property, how much rainwater you can collect on a typical North Bay house, how to safely store the water, the best ways to install a rain tank and different methods to use the water on your garden.

There will be a number of rain barrels, tanks and accessories on display and an opportunity to ask questions about this ancient water-collection method using modern materials.

The class will be presented by Bruce Hallinan, accreditedwith the American Rain Catchment Systems Association.

Hallinan has installed dozens of rainwater harvesting systems around the Bay Area, inspired by the recent explosion in rain collection in his native Australia.

Classes are limited to 30 so registration is advised (visit the old website at harmonyfarmsupply.com.) 10 a.m. to noon. 3244 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 823-9125 or harmonyfarm.com.

SANTA ROSA: UC Davis soils expert free talk

Sonoma ecologist and soils expert Susan Harrison will talk about California's serpentine soil Feb. 19 as part of the California Native Plant Society's "Third Tuesday Program.

Harrison, who is on the faculty at U.C. Davis, heads a lab that investigates the ecology of plant species and communities on California's serpentine soils. She is studying how fire, grazing, natural climatic variations and human-caused climate change may affect the species that thrive in serpentine soil.

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