<strong>Time for Tix to Calabash:</strong> One of fall's sweetest events, Calabash: a Festival of Gourds, Art and the Garden, is coming up Sunday Oct. 6 from 1 to 5 p.m. in downtown Forestville's Food For Thought AIDS Food Bank.
This year is particularly special, as Food For Thought is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It is the 13th annual gourd celebration.
The focus of Calabash is its silent auction of scores of gourds, grown in the food bank's garden and transformed into gorgeous art by more than a hundred artists from throughout the Bay Area.
As guests bid on gourds, volunteers, wearing whimsical hats decorated with little gourds, pass yummy appetizers. There's plenty of good local wine to enjoy, too.
This year, there will also be a sale of garden art and a special selection of items from Food For Thought Antiques.
In honor of Food For Thought's anniversary, expect more entertainment than in past years and other surprises.
Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. They are available at Food For Thought, 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville, by calling 887-1647 and through the web site, <a href="http://fftfoodbank.org" target="_blank">fftfoodbank.org</a>.
<strong>Rain, Rain, Don't Stay Away:</strong> On Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., Cleo Woelfle-Erskine hosts a tour of the demonstration rain garden at Salmon Creek School, 1935 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, and discusses how you can create your own rain garden at home. With the rainy season soon upon us, this is a great opportunity to learn how to beautify your garden with native plants, attract beneficial bugs and provide a sanctuary for bees, birds and other pollinators.
Woelfle-Erskine is the co-author of "Creating Rain Gardens: Capturing the Rain for Your Own Water-Efficient Garden," (Timber Press, 2012).
The event is part of the Bodega Land Trust 2013 Walks and Talks series and is co-sponsored by the Salmon Creek Watershed Council.
Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. To reserve a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
<strong>Redwood Empire Food Bank Celebrates:</strong> On Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., the Redwood Empire Food Bank hosts a grand opening, celebrating its brand new facility.
The new building, at 3990 Brickway Blvd. in northwest Santa Rosa, serves as the primary hub of food distribution to those in need in Sonoma County and beyond.
The fete includes live music, yummy foods from the facility's community kitchen, interactive experiences, tours, activities for kids and more.
There is no admission charge and the entire family is welcome. For more details about the food bank and its services, and to register for the event, visit <a href="http://refb.org" target="_blank">refb.org</a>.
<strong>Heads Up, Whiskey Lovers:</strong> On Monday, Sept. 30, the Sonoma County Single Malt Society hosts a very special whiskey tasting with George Grant, co-owner of Glenfarclas Distillery.
Grant will pour a remarkable selection that, as of press time, included 10-year, 12-year, 17-year, 21-year, 25-year and 40-year-old Cask 105 whiskies. He will also talk about his distillery, which is one of the last remaining family-owned distilleries around.
The tasting, hosted by society founders Michael Traverso and Fred Thumhart takes place at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel, 170 Railroad St., Santa Rosa, with a 6:30 p.m. check-in and 7 p.m. start time. Cost is $40 for society members and $60 for the general public.