Wild foods: A new Age of Discovery

tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Some species of milkweed flowers are edible. Botanical explorer Joseph Simcox advises foragers to be sure to get a positive ID and check references before eating wild plants.

Last year, I ate lots of small, yellow, wild plums from a tree that the birds planted. Like most wild foods, these olive-size plums were much smaller and less sweet than a cultivated variety, such as the Santa Rosa plum developed by horticulturist Luther Burbank. It took a lot of time to collect them, but they made great desserts.


Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is a mature specimen at an arboretum.

Arboriculture instructor Jocelyn Cohen summarized her pointers for pruning some common native shrubs - manzanita, ceanothus and toyon - during a presentation at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show last month.

"Be respectful and have fun," she advised. "Look to nature, mimic nature."


Rhyme on My Hands: An ode to libraries is one for the books

Perhaps the most family-oriented place in town is the Los Altos Library. Don’t believe me? Go in there on a weekday morning and you’ll likely find strollers double-parked just outside the Children’s Room.


Annual family events herald spring & summer

/Town Crier Colorful sculptures and the work of nearly 200 artists fill Lincoln Park during the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Fine Art in the Park event.

The end of the school year brings a lull to the hustle and bustle of daily life for parents and students alike as they have more time on their hands. What better way to spend it than outdoors. Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View offer a wide variety of family-friendly events, some of which are long-standing traditions.


Get your garden growing: Expert offers vegetable picks

LILA P30newNow that winter has passed, it’s time for the sun to come out, shorts to be worn and seeds to be planted.


Playing out loud: Local venues and events offer live music

/Town Crier An audience gathers to hear a musician perform at a First Friday event in downtown Los Altos. The city boasts a variety of venues that offer live music of many different genres.

Music legend and U2 frontman Bono once said that "music can change the world because it can change people."

For enthusiasts, music can encourage love, happiness, passion and devotion. It is a powerful unifier, bonding together seemingly disjointed groups of people in a shared experience. From jazz to ragtime, boogie-woogie and hip-hop, music offers something for every ear.


Welcome to Los Altos: A newcomer’s guide to life in the land of the apricots

/Town Crier Vibrant Chinese Pistache trees enhance downtown Los Altos streets in the fall, a welcome sight for newcomers accustomed to the change of seasons.

I moved to the Los Altos area from San Francisco years ago, largely because it felt right for my growing family. It’s not an unusual story for local transplants, as many relocate for their careers, the benefits of Peninsula living and/or the high-performing schools.


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