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West Georgia

LiVing July / August 2018

Life . Art . Music . People

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Vol. 8/Issue 4


2 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


3 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


July-August

Features 18

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The facts about the life of bees and how they help our farms.

24

2018

Ag-Ed gives youths a hands-on experience in farming.

Even in the postindustrial era, our region is still rooted in agriculture

PLUS Don’t let the Mr. Haneys in this world divide us - 8 Antique tractors fascinate folks of all ages- 36 Haralson County is wine country. - 46

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West Georgia dairy is steeped in family traditions.

On the Cover: A farm in rural Carroll County Photograph by Jessica Gallagher 4 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

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Farms get clean energy straight from the sun with solar panels.


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West Georgia

Li Ving Volume 8 . Issue 4 July / August 2018 Publisher Marvin Enderle publisher@times-georgian.com

Editor Ken Denney ken@times-georgian.com

Advertising Melissa Wilson melissa@times-georgian.com

Photographer Jessica Gallagher jgallagher@times-georgian.com

Design Richard Swihart rswihart@messenger-inquirer.com

Contributors Ryan Ayers, Robert C. Covel, Susan Garrett, Russell Ives, Erin McSwain-Davis, Molly Stassfort, Josh Sewell, Leigh Thornton, Haisten Willis.

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

W

elcome to our annual “agriculture issue,” in which we take time to celebrate and honor our region’s roots in farming and rural traditions. Haisten Willis starts us off with a personal remembrance of how Douglas County has made the transition from a rural past to an urban future as part of metro Atlanta. Just like Carroll and Haralson counties, Douglas is trying to hold onto its farming heritage as the economy moves into the 21st century Next, we shift into a look at what modernday farming is like in these counties. Erin McSwain-Davis begins with a look at apiary farming - or beekeeping. It’s a business that’s every bit as risky as other forms of farming. Ryan Ayers tells us how county schools are working to bring more young people into agriculture, teaching them modern farm techniques that get the notice of even well

experienced farmers. Molly Stassfort takes us to west Georgia’s only dairy farm and creamery, where milk products are made according to long-time family traditions. We also take a look at how farms are gaining some energy independence through solar power. Then we head out to the wine country of Haralson County for a quick lesson in the vintner’s art, and enjoy a sip or two on the porch. And of course there’s lots more. Our resident chefs explore a new cooking technique that will really kick your summertime barbecue skills up a notch. We explore the artworks of west Georgia’s favorite muralist, and we take a look at a new book about one of the more sobering times in our history. In all, there’s a lot to explore in this issue. We hope you enjoy it.

Departments A R T I S T' S C O R N E R 60

Kuykendall paints murals - and a lot more

53

A new take on your summertime barbecue

57

Just what does a ‘county agent’ do, anyway?

9

Assessing the field of films about agriculture

64

‘The Blood of Emmett Till’ draws a solid review

FOOD To advertise in West Georgia Living, call Melissa Wilson at 470-729-3237. West Georgia Living is a bi-monthly publication of the Newspapers of West Georgia.

GARDEN

Submissions, photography and ideas may be submitted to Ken Denney c/o The Times-Georgian, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, GA 30117. Submissions will not be returned unless requested and accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. West Georgia Living reserves the right to edit any submission. . Copyright 2018 by the Newspapers of West Georgia

6 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

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Land spreading out so far and wide ...

I

n the 1960s, there was a TV series called “Green Acres,” one of several comedy shows on the CBS network that contrasted the lives of city folk and country folk, with comedy ensuing. Oliver Wendell Douglas, a blue-stocking Manhattan lawyer, decides to give up the big city life and get back to the “real America,” which he imagines to be a place where hardworking, close-to-the soil people seek an honest living upon the rolling, fruited plains. Douglas drags his big-city loving, Hungarian-born wife along and they wind up in Hooterville. It’s a town of people who, at first glance, seem to be rubes with their own form of madness. But they are actually shrewd people, with a sophistication that is utterly different from the Madison Avenue values of the New York outsiders. Douglas wears a three-piece suit as he rides around on his Hoyt-Clagwell tractor, and, over the course of several seasons, is slowly driven insane by the upside-down world around him; a place nowhere like the rural ideal of his imagination. The series went off the air in 1971, part of a “rural purge” by CBS. The network eliminated shows like “Green Acres,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and others that its advertisers felt lived too far from big city shopping malls. This may have been the first shot in the socalled “culture wars,” which itself is rooted in the idea there are really “two Americas.” One America lives on either the east or west coast; the other America dwells in the countryside that coastal residents “fly over” as they commune with one another. But the idea that one of those two Americas is somehow better than the other is fiction. And a dangerous fiction at that, serving only to feed political agendas that are as divisive as they are false. There is only one America, of course, made up of city folks and country folks, each with

8 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

their own foibles that, let’s face it, need to be made fun of occasionally. But the fact that an idea is false doesn’t mean there are true-blue adherents. There are those on the right who say our culture is being formed and shaped by beliefs alien to that of “true Americans.” There are those on the left who say that American beliefs are being stymied and altered by old ideas rooted in privilege, not right. And, so, we isolate ourselves in our individual tribes, neither side talking to one another; neither side stepping outside the bubble of media, mainstream and social, that reinforces our unexamined beliefs. In the self-referencing, sealed universe that everyone’s making for themselves, there are a lot of things getting mashed up and confused. These zealots on both sides are dividing up the things that America stands for and claiming some for themselves alone. There’s a real need for all of us to step back a minute and gain some perspective. We’re being taken to the cleaners by the Mr. Haneys of both sides, pundits and advocates selling us a bill of goods to their own profit and our collective loss. When country folk and city folk actually meet and get to know one another they usually find plenty of common ground. City folks meet intelligent, thoughtful people out in the country, not the backwards rubes their pundits have described. Rural folks don’t meet city slickers, they meet people much like themselves, with faith and children and hopes and fears. Those people who trade in stereotypes and stir up trouble aren’t doing any good for anybody but themselves. When we buy into their divisiveness, they take our gullibility to the bank. Here’s a big secret: everybody’s a country folk. Everybody is a city folk. We’re all the same.

KEN DENNEY

“The Andy Griffin Show” was another 1960s TV series about rural life. It was a show about a small-town sheriff, his excitable deputy and a town full of just folks. It was, of course, pure fiction; no town in America was ever really like Mayberry. But the show remained popular, right up until the day its final spinoff was purged, along with its sister shows. There was one episode that’s worth remembering. It was called “Man in a Hurry,” and was broadcast in January 1963. It was about a big-city executive whose car breaks down as he is driving through Mayberry on a Sunday morning. Because it’s the Sabbath, he can’t find anyone to work on his car, which he needs to make his big-city meeting on Monday. He gets increasingly angry and frustrated. He finds the locals too slow to suit him. He doesn’t understand how they can enjoy a weekend on the lake or chatting with friends. And then, forced to spend the night, it dawns on him that always being in a hurry isn’t good for anybody. And he remembers that his life always wasn’t like that. City people live in the world, same as we. They feel the sun on their face and smile at their grandchildren and work so that they can play. Rural folks have troubles like city folks, and we also have friends and family and jobs. We’re all the same, and neither of us have life better or worse than the other. There are always people with agendas waiting to divide us, to cancel our TV shows or to tell us who’s against us. But there is also a quiet place, whether real or a dream, where you can stroll down to the fishing hole with your kid; where folks are zany but also lovable. Like Oliver Douglas, we are all in search of a place of green acres, where there’s fresh air and honest work and land spreading out, far and wide. It doesn’t matter if we’re from the city or the country. If we start to forget that, and instead listen to some sponsor’s message, is that their fault – or ours? WGL


CINEMA

A scene from “Mudbound,” Dee Rees’s film adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel. Steve Dietl/Netflix

A HARVEST OF FILM A

t first glance, farming and other aspects of agriculture don’t seem inherently cinematic – it literally involves watching plants grow. However, those with experience in the field (pun slightly intended) know there’s far more drama in the process than you might think. When people’s livelihoods are on the line – when too much or too little rain can bankrupt them, for example – the stakes are incredibly high. Tapping into that kind of stress is what makes certain movies involving agriculture such a riveting watch. As always, compiling an extensive list of those films is impossible in the context of a brief article. Think of these 10 selections as a random sampling intended to represent several eras over the 20th and 21st centuries.  

“The Grapes of Wrath” (1940) Why not start with one of the biggest and best? John Ford’s classic – based on John Steinbeck’s iconic novel and starring Henry Fonda – focuses on the Joads, a poor family who loses their farm during the Great Depression. They head west to California in search of a better life and encounter dozens of other families hoping for the same. What they find is far bleaker than they could have imagined. “Shane” (1953) One of the greatest Westerns ever made, it’s a “David and Goliath” tale about a mysterious gunslinger (Alan Ladd) who rides into town and feels himself drawn to help a homesteading family being

JOSH SEWELL

threatened by a cattle baron who wants their land. Although it’s not a feel-good tale (it tackles some of the same revisionist themes found in “Unforgiven” four decades later), it’s a stirring experience thanks to gorgeous cinematography, a beautiful score and strong performances. That heartbreaking final line is frequently cited as one of the most memorable moments in film history. “Charlotte’s Web” (1973/2006) Whether we’re taking about the HannaBarbera animated version or the late Gary Winick’s underrated modern adaptation, this tale still serves as many kids’ first experience of getting emotionally destroyed by a movie. (In case you’re curious, others include “Old Yeller,” Where the Red Fern Grows,” “E.T.,” “The Land Before Time,” and practically everything Disney and Pixar July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 9


Dorris Bowdon, Jane Darwell Casy and Henry Fonda, “The Grapes of Wrath,” 20th Century Fox, 1940

Alan Ladd as “Shane,” Paramount Pictures, 1953

ever made.) Based on E.B. White’s beloved book, the story revolves around an adorable pig named Wilbur who is spared from a gruesome death several times thanks to his friendships with Fern, a brave, wise little girl, and Charlotte, a creepy-yet-maternal spider. “Witness” (1985) Harrison Ford delivers one of the best performances of his career in this 1985 drama that seems to be receding from our collective pop-culture consciousness. He plays John Book, a detective investigating the murder of an undercover cop who eventually discovers that a small Amish boy (Lukas Haas) witnessed the crime. Even worse, he learns the perpetrators have figured that out too. Book heads to Amish country so he can interview and protect the boy, although he eventually falls in love with his widowed mother (Kelly McGillis) and 10 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

their quaint, peaceful way of life. “Field of Dreams” (1989) “If you build it, he will come.” Easily one of the most quoted lines in movie history, it’s at the center of this sentimental tale full of heart and magical realism. Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer who hears a ghostly whisper and interprets it as a sign to plow his corn field under and build a full-scale baseball diamond. His family and neighbors think he’s crazy until the ghosts of White Sox players show up to throw the ball around. Scientific research has proved that the final scene will transform even the toughest men into blubbering infants.   “A League of Their Own” (1992) A few years after our previous entry, audiences got another heartfelt story where agriculture and baseball intersect. Most people remember outstanding performances

from Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, and of course “there’s no crying in baseball!” However, many viewers forget that the two sisters at the center of this fact-based (albeit highly fictionalized) narrative made their living as dairy farmers before Major League Baseball execs convinced them to step up to the plate while male athletes were fighting in World War II. “Son-In-Law” (1993) This Pauly Shore “comedy” is about as far from a classic as it gets, but it’ll always hold an indefensible place in my heart thanks to co-stars Carla Gugino and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. I was 12-years-old when it hit VHS, so the presence of those actresses more than made up for a compelling story or realistic characters. Gugino plays an Oregon farm girl who goes off to college in California. That’s where she meets Shore’s character, the weird, goodhearted resident


Amish farmers raise a barn in “Witness,” Paramount Pictures, 1985.

Charlotte and Wilbur, “Charlotte’s Web,” Paramount Pictures, 2006

advisor of her coed dorm. She brings him home to meet her family for Thanksgiving and hijinks – along with lots of John Denver music – ensue. “Food, Inc.” (2008) Hijinks are noticeably absent in this bleak documentary that examines corporate farming in the U.S. As you might imagine, companies that put profits over health, quality and safety result in an abusive system that’s harmful to both animals and employees, as well as a polluted environment and frequently contaminated food. It’s not the most uplifting film, but it’s highly educational and marks a turning point when many consumers began to pay closer attention to what they chose to eat.  

environment, and the strong screenplay from Dee Rees (who also directed) and Virgil Howard – based on the book by Hillary Jordan – keeps the plot from getting too cliched. “Mudbound” (2017) This stark drama about two sharecropper families – one black, one white – struggling to survive in post-World War II Mississippi captures the feeling of reading a great novel. That’s partly because multiple narrators (played by terrific actors including Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and Mary J. Blige) constantly shift viewers’ focus, adding nuance to a deceptively simple story. Rachel Morrison’s stunning cinematography adds depth and authenticity to the characters’ bleak

“A Quiet Place” (2018) In a postapocalyptic world where creatures kill anything that makes noise, a family (played by John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) hides out on a remote farm in upstate New York. Considering this is a horror movie, it’s safe to assume things don’t go well – especially since the matriarch is nine months pregnant. In an environment where it’s not a good idea to scream, going into labor is challenging to say the least. The result is an already-classic scene staged with terrifying precision by director and cowriter Krasinski. WGL July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 11


Remembering Even in the post-industrial era, west Georgia’s agricultural roots remain strong

T

he agricultural history of West Georgia, like all the South, runs deep. If your ancestry in this region dates back far enough, you’re guaranteed to find rural roots. Agriculture dominated the South’s economy from the earliest days of European settlers. As recently as 100 years ago, cotton remained the number one agricultural product in this part of the state. Today, however, cotton is long gone, along with most other row crops. Most west Georgia residents probably don’t know what guano is, and while they may have learned about the boll weevil in school, they’d have a hard time pointing one out in a lineup. But agriculture – indeed the idea of agriculture – remains important in west Georgia. Especially in Carroll County, which is far larger geographically than Haralson and Douglas.

According to the Census of Agriculture, roughly one quarter of Carroll’s 504 square miles, or 85,000 acres, are listed as farmland. Haralson consists of 16 percent farmland, and Douglas, mere miles from the City of Atlanta’s western border, boasts just 6.5 percent farmland. Most of Carroll County’s acreage is dedicated to roads, housing, retail, schools, parking lots and other development, and supports a region with a population nearing 300,000. And that percentage will only increase as Georgia is expected to pack on 1.9 million more residents over the next 12 years. Rural Roots Like any long-time Southerner, my rural heritage is undeniable. It’s just that, in the 21st century, I can’t recall much of it firsthand.

STORY BY HAISTEN WILLIS PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER 12 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


g the RURAL Acres of rural land are being turned from pasture to parking lots, from rural to retail, as the plows of progress push through.

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 13


began springing up in the 1870s, and by the My grandmother, once she retired, began 1920s the region was a worldwide leader in expertly tracing our family’s history back the production of yarn and cloth. through the generations. Her work fills several folders inside her bedroom closet. The farm-to-mill transition features Most everyone she found in our family tree lived in Georgia or Alabama, dating back to the immigrants who boated Donna Gerling on over from England and Scotland. her farm in Mt. Zion

rivaled that of William Faulkner. The first, 1932’s “Tobacco Road,” details a poor sharecropper left behind by the industrialized world. The protagonist, Jeeter Lester, is unable to adapt to the new economy, harboring only fantasies about planting crops and making a living as he once did.

There are some interesting tidbits. Our ancestors helped found the expertly-named city of Enterprise, Alabama, for example. There was a county commissioner in the family not too far back. But mostly she found a long list of millhands, sharecroppers or tenant farmers.

The second Caldwell novel, “God’s Little Acre,” was released one year later and details a violent mill strike pitting union workers against management. Neither is exactly bright and cheery, but their setting and themes both represent the transitioning South in that era.

“And they didn’t live next to any Wright brothers either,” she once said, referring to a TV commercial for an ancestry research service.

While I don’t have a direct link to the purely agricultural world of farming, I do have ancestral ties to the related industry of textile mills. My dad worked for nearly a decade inside Columbus, Georgia’s Bibb City mill, eventually working his way into a management role after graduating from Columbus College.

None of my immediate family ever worked on a farm, because the South slowly transitioned to a textile mill economy beginning in the late 19th century. Mills 14 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

in two famous novels by Coweta County native Erskine Caldwell, whose immense popularity in the 1930s once


Textile mills took the place of farm work for many, driving the South’s economy for decades. That’s particularly true of west Georgia, where mills in Bremen, Bowdon, Carrollton, Villa Rica and Douglasville once hummed with industry.

That’s not to say I never spent time on a farm. My grandfather owned one in Marion County, southeast of Columbus. We heard cows moo, stepped in patties a few times,

As I grew up, Douglas County blew up. According to U.S. census figures, the county’s population stood at 54,573 in 1980. It grew to 71,120 in 1990, to 92,174 in 2000 and to 132,403 in 2010. A 2016 estimate puts the county’s population at 143,882, nearly three times the 1980 Census figure.

But those days weren’t to last. When I was six months old, my dad got laid off in an obvious precursor of things to come: the entire mill shut down a few years later. It was transition time again. He set off working for another Columbus icon, Tom’s Snacks, purchasing a vending route and, like millions before and after, moving closer to the big city to make a living. His route happened to include Douglasville, where we moved when I was a year old. In other words, I wouldn’t be writing for this magazine without the influence of globalization on the South’s economy.

But he worked for Tom’s too and lived in Columbus. The farm was more of a getaway, a vacation home where we could drive four-wheelers and shoot guns. I’m grateful for the experience, it just wasn’t agriculture.

In the 1980s, Douglas County could claim rural bona fides. It’s a lot closer to Atlanta now than it was then. even dared each other to touch the electric fence. My granddad drove a tractor around doing farm-like things.

As a child, it was obvious to me that the county was growing. New stores opened. New subdivisions sprang up, many of them named for the rural families who sold their land to developers. July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 15


JAG Farms near Mt. Zion in Carroll County.

If you had to pick one date as the time when Douglas County became part of metro Atlanta, it would have to be Oct 13, 1999. That’s the fateful day Arbor Place Mall opened. I was there for the ribbon cutting, a freshman in the high school marching band. It was a happy moment and a signal of progress, but also a jumping off point for Douglas as a suburban county. When I enrolled at Georgia Southern University and moved to the tiny town of Statesboro, it was love at first sight. It felt like everybody knew everybody, and even today I can’t spend more than five minutes in my old college town without running into someone familiar. It occurred to me only recently that my love for Statesboro might stem from growing up in a small town, even if that same town doesn’t fit the description anymore. In my opinion, the fate of those once prominent mills is the greatest tragedy of my lifetim. When they left, so much went with them.

16 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

Bibb City, once the largest cotton mill in the country, was destroyed by a fire in 2008. Four years later, Douglasville’s historic mill burned down as well. I covered it for the Douglas County Sentinel, wishing all along that I could write the mill a better ending. Go West While there’s nothing wrong with Douglas County fully and forever joining metro Atlanta, it is nice knowing the two counties to the west boast relatively strong rural and agricultural elements. In 2012, 9.6 million broilers and other chickens were raised under Carroll County chicken houses, and another 2.7 million chickens were raised in Haralson County. Crop and livestock sales in Carroll County stood at $192 million in 2012 and reached $42 million in Haralson. While Douglas lags its western neighbors, it still turned in just over $1 million of farm product that year. Carroll is growing rapidly as well, with

more than double the population today compared to 1980. Carroll has grown nearly 25 percent since 2000 and is expected to continue adding residents at a rapid clip over the next decade. It’s a much larger geographic county than Douglas, but there will no doubt be chunks of rural land turned over from pasture to parking lots, from rural to retail, as the plows of progress push through. Douglas County is studying how to strike a balance between those two elements. The county’s comprehensive plan is for commercial development, especially the massive distribution centers sprouting up along Riverside Parkway, to live in harmony with nearby residents. No doubt planners in Carroll and Haralson are watching closely as they plan for their own future growth. Farms and rolling pasturelands have been receding in West Georgia for decades, but there’s no reason they’ll need to succumb to the same fate as the mills. WGL


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ichard and Kim Littleton became beekeepers in 2012 just for the honey. But since then, their bees have changed their lives. And their once small garden is bigger than it ever was and the Littleton Family Farm is now the couple’s business. It’s located on Water Spaniel Lane, just west of the town of Whitesburg in Carroll County. It’s a small operation that produces locally grown produce, including vegetables, fruits and jams and jellies. And, of course, bees, which flourish because of all the growing things around the farm – which, in turn, flourishes because of the pollination the bees carry out. “Before it was for honey, but now we are happy just to have them help with our plants and produce that we grow,” said Kim Littleton. “We grow fruits and vegetables to make our honey bees happy, such as squash, cucumbers, peas, butter beans, and gourds. For our native honey bees, we plant a couple rows of sunflower seeds.” Kim said that bees also get their nectar from trees, but they pick up pollen from all sources. “We feed our bees sugar water in the early spring, so they will start making new bees and we just want to give them a little jump start so they will be up and go well,” said Kim. “Honey bees actually come from Europe; they are not native to America, so we need to help them adapt and be happy.” Honey bees are perhaps the most important species of insect to farming. Flowering plants, including vegetable plants, produce nectar, which is used to attract pollinating insects, including bees. As the bees flit from one plant to another, they collect nectar to feed the hive, but also pick up loads of pollen. The next time a bee visits a flower, the pollen is distributed, allowing the plant to reproduce. It’s a

STORY BY ERIN MCSWAIN-DAVIS PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER 18 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


buzz about bees

Richard and Kim Littleton.

symbiotic relationship that benefits both plant and insect. Bees aren’t always found on farms, however. The main way bees reproduce is by establishing new hives. They do this when a queen bee leaves an old hive and takes most of the worker bees with her. The new hive can be established just about anywhere, such as a tree. But sometimes they are established inside a barn or a house. A hive of bees is not necessarily something someone wants in their home or business, so when that happens, beekeepers like the Littletons are asked to remove them. That recently occurred when a swarm took up residence at Central Elementary School in Carrollton. The Littletons went to the school and cut the tree branch on which the swarm had settled. “We sprayed sugar water on it to make them happy July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 19


and then we closed the box and drove them home,” said Kim. “Then they got busy making eggs.”

for the day to not hurt them, but there are several things that bother the bees and the one big thing we found is the Varroa mites.”

When newborn bees hatch, Kim said, the young bees begin what apiary farmers call an “orientation dance.” It’s sort of a teambuilding exercise for new worker bees: the young bees dive in and out of the entrance of the hive and dance around telling the other bees that the hive is their home.

The Latin name for this pest is certainly apt: Varroa destructor. It’s a tiny, 1-1.8-millimeter long mite that reproduces only in beehives, laying its eggs on a bee larva as it is growing. When they hatch along with the newborn bee, they feed

“When we get a new hive, we give them a little head start with a honeycomb that has already been done by other bees,” said Kim. “The orientation dance helps them learn about their hive, what it looks like, and anything and everything about their home.”

“Really it’s the Varroa mites,” said Kim. “We do use a few pesticides after the bees forage 20 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

“Many beekeepers have the trouble of finding a source of water for their bees, or providing water sources. But for us, it comes easy because we have a creek in our backyard. Most people don’t have that.

Richard said that even though America has its native pollinators, honey bees are more hardworking and diligent. The native pollinators such as bumblebees will bounce around from flower to flower. Honey bees, however, will pick one crop a day and pollinate that crop for that entire day. Each day, he said, the bees focus on a different crop.

“There is stuff at the bottom of the hive that has been pushed out. That is actually the old branch pieces that the bees have cleaned out. Bees are very clean creatures, and they want a sterile environment.”

But weather is not the only thing that can affect the health of a beehive.

There are other challenges to beekeeping, Kim said.

“We are having an issue with the bees going towards the neighbor’s (swimming) pool and it’s very hard to break them of that. They are creatures of habit and they really like the chlorine.”

During a visit to the farm, Kim pointed out bees who were sweeping debris out of the corner of the hive.

Like other kinds of farming, raising bees is dependent on the weather. The past couple of years, Richard Littleton said, have been rough weather years. The three years before, he said, were the farm’s best years for producing honey.

forage for nectar, will essentially work itself to death. It will leave the hive in search of nectar, but not live long enough return and feed the hive.

off the bee and spread a disease called varroosis. Kim explained that the Varroa mite is devastating because it weakens the hive without killing it. Kim said that bees typically live for only three to four weeks. The varroa mite is harmful because, as they feed off the bees they sap the host’s strength. The bee, instinctively driven to

“Many beekeepers who are new will get very frustrated and quit after the first year,” said Richard. “You have to be very persistent when it comes to beekeeping. You’re going to have some bad years, like we have in the past two years. But then you’re going to have very good years where you make pounds and pounds of honey. “With beekeeping, you can ask different beekeepers the same question and they will


all give you different answers. And even though the answers are all different, they are all right.” Richard said that he lost his bees his first year because he had too many in one area. But in 2016, he gathered 44 pounds of honey from just eight hives. The Littletons are still learning how to raise their bees by analyzing the factors that are currently affecting the hives. “We look at the reasons why now why bees aren’t doing too well, and the number one is the Varroa mite. But, if you look at other things, people will say pesticides. However, we don’t really do a whole lot of that, so you can tell it’s other things such as pollution and or genetics,” said Richard. “There are just so many things that can affect bees and impact the overall well-being of them.” Some apiaries are introducing a Russian bee into their hives as a way of improving the genetics of their bees. But the Littletons have not done this.

“The honey bees that (farmers) have now, that come from Europe and whatnot, are pretty overworked and it’s taking its toll,” said Kim. “So, they’re trying to improve the genetics with the Russian bee because it is more aggressive with grooming,” said Kim. “This means that when there is a Varroa mite, that Russian bee will actually clean the mites off of other bees. They’re very practical. They pay more attention to detail and housekeeping.” Richard feels the best solution for beekeepers is genetics: raising stronger, more resistant broods. “The thing is, though, in order to have a stronger apiary, you have to let those weaker bees die off to let the stronger ones live and carry on the better genetics,” said Richard. “Survival of the fittest as some would say. Bees are tough, but if you stick with them and love and care for them, you will find that they are both rewarding and a true benefit to your land.” WGL

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 21


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F

arming is not a job, it is a lifestyle. I still remember my greatgrandfather, Ed Garrett, who was a full-time farmer, and who farmed up until the age of 91 and loved it.  The thought of retirement was foreign to him. The members of the Carroll County Young Farmers likewise have no desire at all to stop raising cattle, sheep, goats, timber, poultry, and produce.  How many accountants, doctors and lawyers do you know that wake up every day cherishing retirement? Just like everyone, farmers live for their job; the hard work and the idea of serving others while caring for their land. I teach agriculture to students across the county, and I can tell you that agriculture here is strong and vibrant, thanks in no small part to the commitment of these young men and women. In the past two years, Carroll County Young Farmers organization has grown substantially, with more than 150 members at present. It’s encouraging to see how these students of farming network with established farmers, and for those older farmers to glean new ideas from the next generation. The growing need for young people to enter agriculture prompted the establishment of this program, and our organization seeks ways to encourage a love for farming and agriculture in our community’s students. We do this through high quality monthly educational programs, field demonstrations for beginning and experienced farmers, and youth development activities for 4H and FFA members. But more than education, we hope to instill in

STORY BY RYAN AYERS PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER 24 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

AG-E


ED

Students get hands-on training in farm and livestock management

Patrick Hutchinson raises chickens on his family’s farm.

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 25


this young generation those feelings only understood by those who live off the land: the sight of a new born calf in the spring; the cackle of a hen telling the world she just laid an egg. The feeling of knowing that the first ripe red tomato of the summer will bring enjoyment to others. We know there are many young people in our community called to the farming life, and it is our mission to nurture and develop that call. Learning by seeing The Young Farmers association supports the six wonderful agricultural teachers that serve Bowdon High School, Temple High School, Mt. Zion High School, Central High School, and Villa Rica High School. During the school year, we host career development events in the areas of forestry, livestock production, tractor operations and maintenance, and soil science. In addition, the Young Farmers host cattle and broiler shows in which young people can show to others their efforts in agriculture. Field demonstrations were an integral part of our program this past year. These demonstrations have been well attended and seem to engage the interest of farmers in the area. Also, these events typically attract more beginning farmers and younger farmers. The goal of the forestry demonstration event is to prepare students for a potential career with the forestry industry. This year, it was held at McIntosh Reserve Park and was sponsored by the Carroll County Farm Bureau. The students participated in 10 different activities related to forestry, competing in Tree Identification; Forest Disease and Disorders; Land Measurement; Compass Practicum; Timber Cruising for Cord Volume; Timber Cruising for Board Foot Volume; Ocular Estimation; Timber Stand Improvement; Timber Management; and Reforestation. The names of some of these activities may be self-explanatory, others less so. Tree identification is easy; students must 26 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


Amelia Ayers, daughter of the author, raises breeds of hair sheep.

identify by common name certain trees from cut or standing specimens, or from their leaves and fruit. The compass practicum is basically learning how to navigate using a magnetic compass. Timber cruising involves using measuring equipment and math formulae to calculate how much lumber or wood a tree might yield.

One of the more interesting demonstrations for members was a cattle processing lab, where beginning farmers learned the correct way to administer vaccinations and to castrate cattle. For soon-to-be cattlemen, learning to process bull calves is a valuable lesson in how their passion can be a profitable business. It can quickly lead to increased

profits of $75 to $100 per head, which in turn can make a big difference. For example, a farmer, with help, can process 20 head of bull calves in two hours. This two-hour of investment in time can lead to a return of up to $2,000. Another field demonstration was the use of a no-till vegetable transplant machine. No-till farming has become important

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 27


to the industry, because soil that has not been disturbed by digging or plowing is healthier soil. It can also control erosion. No-till farmers plant a cover crop over their fields after a primary crop is harvested. During spring planting, the cover crop is terminated, and the primary crop is planted, without plowing, so that the soil keeps its nutrients intact. For our demonstration this year, Richard Littleton planted rye on his vegetable production site after harvesting his summer crops. Rye provides a wonderful weed barrier, promotes the buildup of organic matter in our soil, helps maintain its nutrient levels and is easily terminated for subsequent spring vegetable crops. For these reasons, rye is considered the king of cover crops. During the demonstration, participants were able to see two different methods of termination of this crop. In one method, glycophosphate was sprayed two weeks before the planting date. This gave an easier bed in which the vegetable transplant machine could be run. In the other method, a roller crimper was used to knock down the rye and terminate it mechanically. This method eliminated the need for chemical applications. After the cover crop is terminated, vegetables such as arugula, peppers, and tomatoes were planted. No-till farming is not without its challenges. There is still a need for more research and development of nutrient demands of plants grown in this system. But the best laboratory is this kind of field demonstration, where ag students can learn for themselves and see the results of their testing.

If we went to a church where the average age of its members was 58.3 years, we would quickly pray for young people, and be deeply concerned with our church’s wellbeing. If the average age of doctors in America was 58 years, we would be worried about our future of health care and our ability to receive much needed medical attention. Oddly, though, we don’t seem to hear cries for more people to enter farming.  We assume that we will be OK, and that American agriculture will continue to be dominating providing the safest, cheapest, most reliable source of food and fiber in the world.

Unfortunately, America faces a challenge in agriculture. The average age of the American Farmer is 58.3 years of age according to the US Census, and this trend is getting worse every year.

The Carroll County Young Farmers organization hopes to address this challenge by developing young farmers who are hopeful, healthy, and prosperous. We do this by holding educational events for area FFA students, providing educational meetings for young farmer members, giving technical support for area farmers, and providing hands-on, one-on-one support to beginning farmers.

Joel Salatin, farmer and author of “You Can Farm,” states that this has not happened before in a society.

One of the most exciting things that occur in the Carroll County Young Farmers organization is the networking that

Needed: young farmers

28 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

takes place during our activities. It is wonderful to see two beginning farmers meet for the first time at one of our events. First, they will ask where the other lives. Then they will ask each other about the type of operation they have. Finally, they will begin sharing valuable information. This type of networking has also led to networking opportunities outside of the regular business meetings and the development of friendships and support that will probably last a lifetime. Everybody must eat. And farmers provide a sustainable – and diverse – source of food, while also contributing to our local economy. It is in everyone’s interest to encourage more young people to enter agriculture so that we, as Americans, can maintain our self-reliance in one of the most critical areas of our lives. I urge you to assist in your support of agriculture in west Georgia by finding a young person to invest in and encourage them to pursue a future in agriculture. And if you happen to live in Carroll County, stop by and pay the Young Farmers a visit. We meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Carroll County Agricultural Center. WGL


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Cash Cows W

est Georgia was once an agricultural haven for the state, with acres of farmland and a major player in the agricultural economy of Georgia.

“The idea behind the creamery was to make it a family affair,” said Bartlett. “We wanted it to be somewhere customers could bring kids and the entire family to watch the milking and bottling process.”

But throughout the past half century, the western counties of Georgia have continued to urbanize, like much of the state itself. Pasture lands are becoming fewer and farther between as the area’s economic base shifts to manufacturing and retail.

The idea for the creamery began almost a decade ago and had reached fruition by July 2017. It’s a working dairy, to be sure. But

One particularly large 500-acre plot of pasture land near Bowdon is home to the only major dairy and distributor in the area: West Georgia Creamery, LLC.

32 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

The Creamery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for visitors to come and experience life on a dairy. At the creamery, guests can purchase fresh dairy products including whole milk, whole chocolate milk and buttermilk. When they visit, families can grab a fresh bottle of milk from the refrigerated case in the front off, then walk out and see firsthand how the cows on the farm are milked. They can also tour the bottling plant and watch as the milk is bottled and sent out for distribution.

Yet if you take a trip down the roads of Douglas, Carroll and Haralson counties, you can still find acres of rural gems: some woods, some pasture land and some that are both.

The Creamery is a co-owned and operated by Billy Bartlett and his son Billy D. Barlett, along with Arnold, Winfred and Kenneth Murphy. These two families have a combined 60 years’ experience in dairy farming.

West Georgia Creamery also distributes to local grocery stores, convenience stores and truck stops at locations stretching from Buchanan, Georgia to Wedowee, Alabama.

“We don’t remove anything from the milk; we keep it whole, pure milk, like it’s come straight from the cow.” it’s also a destination for school groups and even parents and kids. Besides selling at its Bowdon location,

STORY BY MOLLY STASSFORT PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER

That means that the milk products are nonhomogenized. After the milk is pasteurized, a process that makes it free of organisms, the milk is not further processed to prevent the milk fat from separating. All that means is that before you pour the milk from the container, you must give it a series of good,


West Georgia dairy delivers milk straight from the cow

Brian Davenport milks cows at West Georgia Creamery. July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 33


solid shakes. That’s the way people did it in the old days, before the era of large scale milk production. According to the USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture, Carroll County currently ranks 38th in the state of Georgia for milk from cows by the value of sales, while Douglas and Haralson do not make a rank due to their lack of dairy farms. Bartlett’s Dairy, located near Bowdon, is the only operating dairy in Carroll County, and one of the only in the entire tri-county west Georgia area that distributes its product into the mass market. While there may be other smaller dairy farms in the area, the dairy and West Georgia Creamery are the only local producers working at scale. The dairy farm attached to the creamery is an anomaly at the local level. Bartlett has owned and operated Bartlett’s Dairy since 1994, when he and his son Billy D. Bartlett opened it together on their property. Between the Bartlett’s Dairy land and their area of the creamery, the entire operation sits on about 500 acres of land. With no previous dairy experience, the opening of a dairy farm was a cumbersome endeavor. The dairy milks about 100 cows twice a day to meet production demands. This number fluctuates depending upon the season and how many cows are drying off. The final product is distributed to larger manufacturers, or straight to the creamery. “We send a lot of our product to Eufaula, Alabama; when it’s there it’s bottled either under Borden Dairy or DairyFresh.” Any surplus milk is sent to the local co-op. “We generally don’t send out a ton of overflow product, but we like to contribute when possible,” says Bartlett. Georgia Milk Producers, Inc. lists a total of 193 dairy farms in the state of Georgia, with over 84,000 cows producing 1.83 billion pounds of milk – or 213 million gallons – in 2016. Dairy products currently rank as the eighth highest agricultural commodity in the state; however, much like Bartlett’s Dairy, a majority of that product is shipped across state lines. In 2013, Georgia Milk Producers, 34 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

Billy Barlett.

Kenneth Murphy.


Inc. reported that 55% of raw milk produced in Georgia was exported out of state.

of the area as another reason for the lack of farming.

The organization also indicates that each dairy cow in Georgia has an economic impact of $1,100. For Bartlett’s Dairy, this means about $110,000 in economic impact to Carroll County. The typical dairy farm in Georgia owns about 400 milking cows; with Bartlett’s 100 milking cows, this is lower than the state average.

“In the last decade, there has been major urban growth in west Georgia, which leads to a lack of available farmland in the area; this is one of the reason a lot of the major dairies in the area, like Mayfield, have shut down.”

“There are three main reasons for the lack of dairy farming in the west Georgia area,” said Farrah Newberry, Executive Director for the milk producers. “The main reason is the lack of processing plants in the area. Because there are no large plants like Kroger or Mayfield, farmers are forced to haul their milk to plants in other states or counties, which becomes very expensive; they’re spending all this time making a product then having to spend more of their own money to haul it somewhere else and it become no longer profitable.” The four commercial milk processing plants in Georgia are located in Atlanta, Braselton, Norcross and Lawrenceville – all quite far from Carroll County. Newberry also listed the urban development

The final reason Newberry attributes to reduced farming is the lack of large animal veterinary services in west Georgia. Many cattle farmers serve as their own vet, dosing them as needed. But for some cases, only a veterinarian trained in the needs of livestock will do. According to Newberry, the next closest dairy in comparable production to Bartlett’s is Murphy’s Dairy in Meriwether County. The top dairy counties in Georgia are Macon, Brooks, Burke, Putnam, Morgan and Sumter, all located in middle or south Georgia. She also lists Way Mar Dairy, a small operation also near Bowdon, and the Capra Gia Dairy in Carrollton, which is dedicated to goat milk products. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Georgia – like other Southeastern states - is

“milk-deficient,” meaning it doesn’t produce enough milk to supply its own population, and thus is reliant on supplies shipped from outside the state. Projections through 2020 show a continued decline in milk production. Georgia Milk Producers, disputes this claim. They forecast a possible upturn for Georgia’s dairy industry. Between 2005 and 2016, Georgia increased its milk production by 22%. In 2016, Georgia and Florida alone were responsible for 47% of all milk production in the Southeast, including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and North and South Carolina. While other small, homegrown dairies have come and gone in the area in the last decade, Bartlett’s Dairy has managed to continue thriving and distributing milk to Georgia and Alabama. With the opening of the West Georgia Creamery, the two families are hoping to keep the dairy industry alive in west Georgia. “We’d love to have more people know that they have a local creamery,” says Denise Turner, daughter of Bartlett. “Our community is very lucky to have a dairy available and we need to keep the support behind it.” WGL July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 35


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Old-Time Farm Days PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 37


38 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


Each year, members of the West Georgia Two Cylinder Club sponsor the “Old Time Farm Days Show,” helping to connect young people with the region’s agricultural past. Several events are held, including pedal races, and proceeds raise funds for agricultural based scholarships. The club itself commemorates the several models of two-cylinder John Deere tractors manufactured between 1924 and 1960, but there are often many other models of vintage farm machinery on hand for young people to see and experience.

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 39


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CATCHING

RAYS GEORGIA FARMS AND HOMES ARE TURNING ON TO CLEAN ENERGY

A

nyone who has ever worked on a Georgia farm in the heat of summertime knows there is nothing idyllic about farm life. It’s hot, sweaty work and it often seems that the sun bears down on Georgia more than any other state in the South. Yet those same solar rays that pull crops out of the ground are providing a new crop for some farmers in the state. As the world turns more to sustainable, electrical sources of power, solar is becoming a new way for farmers to produce a different kind of greenery.

supplemental source of farm income. West Georgia is not that kind of place, but the lure of solar power is such that there are opportunities here as well. That’s what a lot of people discovered back in April, when residents of Carroll County turned out for an educational event sponsored by a Decatur company interested in encouraging solar power development. Solarize Carrollton-Carroll is an initiative of Solar CrowdSource, and it describes itself as a purchasing program that helps homeowners, businesses and non-profits use the power of bulk buying to lower the cost of going solar. In April, the group played matchmaker with solar-minded folks from around Carroll County, introducing them to Creative Solar, a construction firm from Kennesaw, who is partnered with their effort.

The farms where this is being done on a large scale are in the southern and eastern parts of the state; places where there is lots of open land – most of which, not coincidentally is played out after decades of planting the same kind of crop. It is in such places as Dougherty STORY BY ERIN MCSWAIN-DAVIS and Burke counties, PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER that solar is taking hold as an alternate or 42 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

During the April 18 launch event,

residents and business owners were invited to sign up for free consultations, and to get answers to such questions how the program and pricing models work, the equipment needed, tax incentives and financing options. “The entire steering committee reviewed the proposals of the list of companies we had to pick from,” said John Hindman, chairman of that committee for Solarize CarrolltonCarroll. “And we were very impressed with the professionalism (of Creative Solar USA,) the details of the pricing, their quality, and the way they plan to work with our customers in the Carrollton-Carroll County area.” Hindman said the company is one of the largest residential solar energy providers in Georgia and South Carolina.


Wendy Crager of Crager Hager Farm, Carroll County.

“We knew they would be the best fit for the community,” he said. Back in January, Solarize Carrollton-Carroll held a townhall meeting to gauge whether there truly would be interest in solar power projects in this area. The answer was a resounding “yes,” as a far larger crowd than had been expected showed up. In fact, the number was so large that some people couldn’t fit in the room. During the meeting, Hannes Gerhardt, director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of West Georgia, said solar makes up 1.2 percent of the energy in Georgia, a small but rising factor. There is a strong appeal for clean, renewable

supplies of energy, especially if those sources can also help homeowners lessen the expense of being plugged into a utility company. Yet solar systems are so expensive only big companies can afford the investment. But Gerhardt suggested that those in Carroll County should unite as a group and create a campaign in which the equipment to go solar could be bought in bulk. The larger the group, he said, the lower price of the system — by as much as 20 percent. Don Moreland, founder of Solar Crowdsource and chairman of Georgia Solar, said that solar panels actually increase the value of homes and that a home with solar panels sells faster on the market.

Hindman said residents and the steering committee established four priorities in choosing a company to provide solar power. “They wanted us to consider system quality because they wanted to know that what they are buying is a good brand or quality,” Hindman said. “Second was pricing. The community said the cost is a concern. They are not looking for the cheapest system, but at the same time they would like us to pay attention to the pricing.” Hindman said the other priorities to consider was whether the company had a proven track record and if it is prepared with a plan to install a lot of systems. Creative Solar, the Kennesaw firm that July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 43


Patrick Dost

attended the April meeting, was selected after the steering committee vetted four other solar construction companies. After being selected, Creative Solar made a presentation before the Carrollton City Council. “This is a great community that we think a lot of people could benefit directly from solar energy,” Russell Seifert, CEO of Creative Solar USA, told the council members. Councilman Rory Wojcik was particularly strong in his support of Solarize CarrolltonCarroll and its efforts to get residents and businesses interested in solar power.

The best part is that you won’t just be contributing clean energy to your house and the grid, but in the long run, you will be saving money. — Hannes Gerhardt, director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of West Georgia.

Leia Hollingsworth

“This is not just an example of a group of people coming together for a good cause, but really this is people coming together to reduce the price of solar within our community to an affordable cost,” said Wojcik. “This will be an investment to individuals, organizations, and businesses.” The University of West Georgia is also committed to partnering with the community to foster a mutual interest in sustainable energy. “The Solarize Carrollton-Carroll initiative allows us to work with local residents, business partners, students, and our faculty and staff, as we build a vision for a more sustainable future,” said Brendan Bowen, UWG Campus Planning and Facilities Associate vice president. Gerhardt said that as director of sustainability at UWG, he has been interested in solar power for a long time. It’s Gerhardt’s conviction that solar needs to be a much larger part of the energy plans in the 21st century to realize the goals of clean energy and energy independence. “The great thing about expanding solar is that households can be a driving force,” he said. “In Germany, most of their significant solar capacity comes from rooftop solar panels. With Solarize Carroll, we are offering residents right here a chance to adopt solar for their homes and businesses.” Gerhardt said that as the price for the solar system installation goes down, more people can participate. In the end, Gerhardt said, Solarize-Carroll offers significant savings for anyone that wants to be a part of the energy solution by going solar.

44 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

“The best part is that you won’t just be contributing clean energy to your house


As oil and gas prices go up, and battery and generation technology improve, solar power is becoming more appealing to many. Such methods of bulkbuying will doubtless stimulate further investment in the technology that can bring it down much further. and the grid, but in the long run, you will be saving money,” he said. “There is no telling where energy prices will go, but with unfinished nuclear power plants and a booming global demand for limited natural gas, it is almost certain prices won’t go down. “If you go solar, it won’t matter; in 15 to 20 years, you’ll still be generating most of your energy right from the roof of your house.” One local farmer in Carroll County, Wendy Crager of Crager Hager Farm, has been using solar panels to power her farm for seven years now, and she is happy to see the effort to bring solar energy to the community.

Crager said her energy bill has been cut in half because of the solar panels on her farm. She is even considering solar panel shingles for her house. “Our mission is to bring more solar energy systems to the Carrollton-Carroll County area,” Hindman said. “By purchasing as a group, homeowners and businesses in this area can save on the cost of solar – the more that participate, the greater the savings.” Hindman said the key component of the program is a free evaluation for home or business to determine whether the property is suitable for solar, with no obligation and no pressure to buy.

As oil and gas prices go up, and battery and generation technology improve, solar power is becoming more appealing to many. Such methods of bulk-buying will doubtless stimulate further investment in the technology that can bring it down much further. It’s unlikely there will ever be large solar farms in west Georgia like those that glisten across the farmlands in the state’s southern counties. But residential rooftops can be prime real estate for smaller operations that save the homeowner some cash. And provide a cleaner, safer source of power for all their neighbors. WGL

CARROLLTON/BREMEN 770.214.2800 VILLA RICA 770.456.3786

Dr. Howard Seeman Dr. Thelma Lucas Dr. John Arledge Dr. Prashanl Sharma Dr. Peter Ojuro Susan Prescott, NP Corie Price, NP

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 45


Haralson County is ...

Wine Country

S

ipping on a glass of wine in the countryside. What sums up summer in the south better?

An afternoon at a vineyard enjoying wine samples is a weekender’s dream. Currently, Georgia has 42 wineries in the state. With local wine and vineyard production growing in popularity, this number will reach 60 soon. Ventures like Trillium Vineyards in Haralson County are a part of this growing sector. Bruce Cross, owner of Trillium Vineyards with his wife Karen, tends to every aspect of wine making on his vineyard, which is located near Bremen. “Because we run a smaller operation, there’s nothing I or Karen don’t tend to. We have great employees who assist, but my wife and 46 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

I pitch in in all capacities to keep production going.” Trillium Vineyards’ has its origin in, of all things, alpacas. Cross and his wife own and breed 25 alpacas on their 15 acres. Even as the alpacas increased, Cross noticed that the animals could not eat enough of the pasture grass to keep it trimmed. “I kept having to mow more and more of the grass, and it became pretty time consuming; Karen and I wanted to find a way to be better stewards of all the land.” The Crosses weighed their options and decided to begin planting a vineyard on

STORY BY MOLLY STASSFORT PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER

their land. In March of 2013, he selected a site on his property, laid out the rows and distances between, then chose which grapes to plant. “Selecting grapes is a long process because you have to decide ‘do I want white or red? Which ones will grow?’ Georgia has diseases that can devastate French grapes and you’ll get no crop. To make the most of our property and climate, we chose a French/American hybrid to plant.” After planting, wire and posts were constructed to train the grape vines to hop onto trellis system. With no crop expected in a first-year planting, Cross moved forward with getting the necessary permits as well as equipment and a labor force. Netting was set up around the vines to keep out any unwanted visits from bird and mammals


Tasting room at Trillium Vineyards.

and the irrigation process began. “One of the biggest concerns in irrigation is only letting the water drip from about knee level; right after it rains, we have to spray the vineyard to prevent any fungal diseases.” Over time, the grapes began to mature; a daily picking and taste testing allowed Cross to decide an accurate picking timeframe. “As grapes mature, they become more sugary; we base our harvests on how much sugar is in a grape. We’ll usually pick about 100 berries throughout the vineyard and put them on a refractometer to measure the sugar count; we’re usually looking for about 20 degrees Brix, which is about 20% sugar in volume. This is sweet enough to make wine.” Once it is decided the grapes are ready to pick, the pickers will place the harvest in a cooler overnight. In the morning, the grapes will move to a press to squeeze juice out;

The vineyard. each press holds one ton of grapes and will produce 150 gallons of juice. Once squeezed, this juice will move to a tank inside the

winery and sit overnight enriched with enzymes. The next morning, the juice is moved to a new tank, where yeast and nutriJuly-August 2018 West Georgia Living 47


The Trillium outdoor patio is a place where wine lovers can sip and talk.

ent is added to begin fermentation. “The fermentation process converts the sugar in the juice to alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat. We want the entire fermentation process to last about seven days; for white wine, we put tank in a cooling jacket to prevent early fermentation from the heat.” Once fermentation is finalized, the wine is moved to a new tank to age; eventually the wine will be bottled, corked and either held in storage for the tasting room, or sold by the bottle to customers. Trillium currently has one tank of white and one tank of rosé wines from last August and Sep-

tember of last year that are ready to be bottled. Each tank holds about 1,100 gallons of wine, which will become about 11,000 bottles. Once this bottling is completed, these variations will join the other options in the tasting room. The tasting room at Trillium Vineyards officially opened its doors to customers in August 2017. As guests enter, they are greeted by the staff and offered a sampling and history of the wines. “We currently offer three white wines from our grapes, a dry, an off-dry and a sweet variation. We’re about to bottle a rosé, which is a blend of four grapes and that is also available in

48 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


Becky Floyd (from left) ,Anglela Mooney, Denial Finger, and Barbara Floyd.

As word about the vineyard and tasting rooms spreads through the area, Cross has instituted events during tasting room hours.

dry, off-dry or sweet. Currently, we do not offer any red wines from our grapes, but we have gone to another farm winery and have a Dolcetto Italian red grape in off dry and dry.” Cross explained the vineyard also acquired a muscadine wine in white, red and peach from another farm winery to supply a larger variation to customers.

Every Thursday is a literal wool gathering event; the vineyard invites local knitters, crocheters and other lovers of sewing arts to mingle and craft in the tasting room while enjoying a glass of the latest pour. Later in the evening, the tasting room transitions into Uncork Your Creativity, a sip and shop event for local artists to invite clientele to shop wares while sampling wines.

With no previous vineyard experience, Bruce and Karen decide to dive headfirst into the world of wine; they became members of the Vineyard & Winery Association of West Georgia, an agricultural education nonprofit that “provides education in viticulture and enology, the promotion of fruit for the production of value added products with wine as the main focus and the improvement and development of sustainable agriculture.” Cross became a board member of the association, then was the organization’s president in 2016 and 2017. This year, he will be an instructor at the organization’s annual symposium, teaching a class on the steps to build their own winery and tasting room.

“I can count on one hand the number of folks who are planting their own vineyard or building their own winery in the west Georgia area; because I’ve done it so recently, I have a lot of insight to give on this topic.”

Fridays and Saturdays, the Crosses invite guests to enjoy the start of their weekend. Food Truck Fridays kick off around 6 p.m. with different trucks coming to sell tasty dinner options. Each Saturday, a band sets up at the tasting room for guests to enjoy live music and relax with glass of choice wine. The future of Trillium Vineyards is based in variety. “Because we just opened, we have as many July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 49


grapes as we can handle; we’re not looking into expansion as far as the amount of production, but rather in the assortment of grapes and products we can offer.” Cross explained his hope to expand his product mix and increase the number of wines Trillium will produce; he also hopes to petition local vineyards to provide grape variation he would be able to sell, including new red wines, a commodity the vineyard does not currently produce. “Our goal and purpose right now is for our customers to come and have a good time with us; today, we just want to take care of the folks coming in to see us.” WGL

The AMP 2018

JULY 12

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JULY 19

JULY 26

SUMMER MOVIE & CONCERT SERIES

Love outdoor concerts and movies? Check out Carrollton Main Street’s Summer Concert and Movie Series at The Amp. All shows are free to the public. This summer, plan to grab your chairs and enjoy a night of outdoor entertainment. It’s sure to be altogether happening!

JUNE 23

JULY 14

AUGUST 18

SEPTEMBER 8

For a f ull listing of events visit carrolltonmainstreet.com 50 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


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A NEW CLUE TO BARBECUE Use sous vide cooking to create a brisket that’s a taste sensation

STORY BY RUSSELL IVES & LEIGH THORNTON PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER


FOOD

This sous vide method will create incredibly juicy ‘cue that’s cooked through and finished with crispy exterior

Sous Vide “Barbecue” Brisket

W

e hope you’re all ready for the heat of another summer in Georgia. But one way to take your mind from a broiling sun is some good food broiling outdoors. There’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned picnic with barbecue. Brisket, mac ‘n’ cheese, and collard greens seems like the perfect trio for a Sunday picnic. But for these recipe offerings we’re going to stray a little from the beaten path. First, the brisket will be done using a technique called sous vide (pronounced sue – veed). Second, the mac ‘n’ cheese will include caramelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Finally, instead of boiling the collards for an hour or more, we’re going to use a quicker and healthier pan-fried method. Some of our readers may already know about sous vide, but for those who don’t, here’s a little background: Sous vide is a relatively new cooking style that incorporates three key components: low temperatures; cooking that separates food from its heating environment; and cooking under full or partial vacuum. “Whoa,” you may say, “This all sounds needlessly complicated!” but sous vide cooking is really something special and worth the trouble. It’s almost impossible to overcook your food, whatever food you’re cooking comes out incredibly juicy, and meat is done to the same level throughout the entire cut. Conventional cooking leaves you with a

54 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

well-done exterior that gets rarer the closer you get to the center. With sous vide you have a consistent doneness throughout the meat while only the outer most layer is well done. I could wax poetic about sous vide cooking for an entire article, but let’s move on to the actual recipes. Now, for this dish you’re going to have to invest in a sous vide machine. They can run from very expensive to relatively inexpensive. The one we used for this dish only cost $100, but whatever model you choose will pay for itself many times over as you use it more and more. And, believe me, you certainly will. You’ll also need a container to submerge the food, but a simple stock pot will work just fine. Whatever you use, make sure it’s large enough to hold plenty of water and the meat.

“Barbecue” Brisket 4-5-pound trimmed brisket ½ cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons kosher salt 3 tablespoons pepper 3 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons onion powder 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder Start by submerging your sous vide machine and setting it to 150°. This temperature is approaching the well-done level, but it’s necessary for this cut of meat and this cooking technique. Combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to create the rub. Depending on the size of the brisket, you may need to cut the meat in half to fit your container. Once you have a size that will fit, rub the brisket thoroughly. Make sure that all sides are covered completely. Place the brisket in the bag you will be cooking with. Ideally, you’ll want to vacuum seal the brisket to get as much air as possible out of the bag. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, simply place the brisket in a resealable bag (gallon Ziploc bags will work just fine) and submerge without letting any water in the bag. Once you’ve forced as much air as you can out of the bag, seal it shut. If you go the vacuum seal route, let the bag


Pan Fried Collard Greens

Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

submerge entirely. If using a Ziploc bag, clip it to the side with a clothes pin or something similar. Make sure to cover the container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent evaporation. Sous vide cooking time can be a little lengthy. For your average steak, you’ll be looking at about an hour. For a cut like brisket, 24 hours is best. Yes, really: 24 hours. The meat will reach the temperature of 150° quickly, but a full day is needed to break down the fat and connective tissue as much as possible. After the full 24 hours have passed, it’s time to finish the meat. Remove it from the bag, pat it dry, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. The final step is raising a crust on the exterior of the meat. The drier the surface, the crispier that crust will be. We finished this dish in the oven, cranking it up to 500° and roasting for about 15-20 minutes. Not to worry; this won’t cook the food any more, but it will crisp the exterior for a more satisfying dining experience. Instead of an oven, you can also finish the brisket on an extremely hot grill, smoking hot cast-iron skillet, or even deep fryer! Remember, whatever method you go with, you will want high heat for a short amount of time.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Sun-Dried Tomatoes 1 pound noodles (we went with small shells) 8 ounces Butterkäse (a semi-soft cheese), shredded 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded 8 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded ½ cup butter ¼ cup flour 4 cups whole milk One teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg One onion sliced thin Salt & pepper to taste 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine 1 cup panko bread crumbs Start by cooking your noodles in salted water. Follow the instructions on the box but make sure to take out the noodles out about a minute or two before the box recommends. Since we’ll be baking the mac ‘n’ cheese afterward, the noodles need a little more body than usual. While those are cooking, start caramelizing onions. Melt ¼ cup of butter over medium low heat in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Other pots work okay, but a Dutch oven is something that can be put right in the oven after prepping the dish.

Once the butter is melted, add your onions and stir constantly. Your pan should not be very hot. You’re not looking to fry or crisp the onions but rather caramelize them, which can take some time. After about 10 minutes of cooking, add about a teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to an hour. You want the onions to stick and brown slightly before you scrape them off the bottom of the pan. After the onions are caramelized and a deep brown color, remove them from the Dutch oven and raise the temperature to medium. Melt the remaining butter in the pan, using the melted butter to scrape up the remaining pieces of onion on the bottom. Add your flour and stir to combine to form a roux. Cook for 3-4 minutes until it has a nutty fragrance and slightly brown color. Slowly whisk in the milk until a thick and creamy sauce forms. This is called a Béchamel sauce and is considered one of the Five Mother Sauces (maybe a topic for another article). Add in shredded cheese, nutmeg, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs over July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 55


top of the noodles. Bake in a 425° oven for 15-20 minutes.

If you want a more traditional style, just cook the greens longer to break them down more.

Pan Fried Collard Greens 2 pound bag triple washed and shredded collard greens Neutral high temperature oil like canola oil 1 large onion Six tomatoes, chopped Garlic salt and pepper to taste Pinch of sugar Hot sauce to taste

There’s a lot to be said for traditional recipes that have been done the same way forever. They bring comfort and take us back to some of our best memories with family and friends.

If you want to be an overachiever, you can definitely pick up collard greens and wash and shred them yourself, but we don’t think that really tastes any better. Start by heating your skillet over medium heat with enough oil to coat the bottom. You want your oil to be shimmering slightly but not smoking. Add your chopped onions and collard greens,

sautéing for about 15 minutes. Add garlic salt, pepper, sugar, hot sauce, and tomatoes. Cook for another five minutes on medium heat. Greens done this way have a little more body to them than those that are boiled, which is something we approve. Because they aren’t cooked as long, they also retain a lot of their nutrients that are otherwise lost by boiling.

guessed.

But life is also about experimenting, trying new things, and learning that you love something new more than you could have

I’ve found that mixing things up in the kitchen is what keeps me coming back. Just like anything else out there, food and cooking techniques are always changing. Why not embrace that? WGL

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GARDEN

What do

County Agents do?

W

hether you’d like to increase your crop yield, grow healthier roses, make your lawn greener, test the quality of your soil or water – or just simply identify a pest or plant – your County Extension Agent is the first person you should call.

For more than a century, Extension agents have worked to enrich American lives through sharing practical, research-based knowledge. In Georgia, the program is part of the University of Georgia, which sends agents to counties who conduct informal educational programs, hands-on

demonstrations, and learning activities.

not have such resources.

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act formally recognized the Cooperative Extension System, made its mission official and tied it to the nation’s land-grant colleges and universities, of which UGA was one. It formalized a cooperative effort between the United States Department of Agriculture and those schools to get the fruits of their research programs into rural area that did

Throughout its long history, the Cooperative Extension Service has introduced methods and techniques that have enhanced agriculture in rural areas, protected the environment, and improved the health and well- being of families. They continue to work with farmers through traditional workshops, along with offering new technologies like online classes, computer programs, and smart phone apps.

STORY BY SUSAN B. GARRETT PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER

While horticulture and gardening remain the foundation of Extension agent July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 57


County agent Paula Burke (center) with (from left) Ian Davis, Michelle Lewis, Susannah Lassetter, Chris Campbell.

expertise, many educational programs now cover diverse issues ranging from small business and personal finance, to health and nutrition. Furthermore, Extension agents help increase public awareness and appreciation of the state’s environmental assets by encouraging public interest in topics like invasive species, pollution prevention, and soil and water conservation. Most counties in Georgia have a combination of agents who specialize in agriculture and natural resources, youth development or family and consumer sciences. More than 58 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

2 million Georgians benefit from the UGA Extension’s educational programs. Millions more rely on publications, educational news articles and public television programming for advice. Each year, a little more than 200,000 young Georgians also participate in 4-H community projects, summer camps, and conferences. In addition, thousands of Master Gardener Extension volunteers, trained in backyard gardening, help educate countless numbers of Georgia citizens.

Although the face of farming has changed in more ways than we could have possibly imagined, county agents continue to play a significant role in the lives of Georgia citizens. Proof of the Extension’s significant impact in Carroll County is displayed in the more than 990 small farms dotting the countryside. Under the leadership of Ag agent, Paula Burke, the county supports more agricultural operations than any county in the state. For many years, Carroll has been recognized


for its strong beef cattle and poultry industry. However, you might be surprised to learn that the county is also recognized for its goat meat production and horse farms. Agent Burke has high hopes that the area’s newest ag venture, wine grape production, will follow suit. Since 2012, Ms. Burke has worked closely with farmers interested in growing wine grapes in the Northwest Georgia area and is currently leading a research project at Trillium Vineyards near Bremen. According to her, the research confirms the area’s soil and climate are perfect for the industry. In addition to her agricultural duties, Burke also organizes the efforts of many Extension volunteers. Just recently, a

banquet was held to honor those who assist the UGA Extension office in their mission of extending unbiased, research-based information to the people of West Georgia. In 2017, 37 leaders volunteered over 1,800 hours attending 4-H camps and trips, and working with the 4-H horse, BB, air rifle, archery and shotgun clubs. Seventy-eight Master Gardeners donated 10,172 hours sharing horticulture information at a value equaling the work of five full time staff. Eighty more volunteers participated in Heritage Days, which taught 4th graders about cultural heritage, and an additional forty people shared about agricultural careers with 350 students at the Ag Career Expo. Along with these volunteers,

Burke is also assisted in her duties by 4-H Agent Chris Campbell, three program assistants - Michelle Lewis (FACS), Anne Anglin (Ag), Susannah Lassetter (4-H) and one fabulous secretary, Ian Davis. Burke is always quick to give credit to her staff and volunteers for the success of the Extension programs in Carroll County. With their help, the office runs smoothly and the initiatives of UGA Extension Carroll County reach far into the community. Get to know your UGA Extension Carroll County staff today. They stand ready to help with time-proven knowledge paired with the latest research advances. For more information, contact the UGA Cooperative Extension office at 900 Newnan Road (770-836-8546) or via email at uge2045@uga.edu. WGL

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July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 59


ARTIST’S CORNER

The

MURAL MAN

F

or most, moving away for college provides four or five years of memories and formative experiences — which are quickly swept into the realm of nostalgia. But for a select few, their college town becomes home forever, as they stick around and put down roots. Alan Kuykendall is one of these. He moved to Carrollton as a West Georgia College student in 1974 and it’s been home ever since.

60 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

“I’ve been in Carrollton almost 44 years,” says Kuykendall. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed interacting with people, with my clients and my customers, the arts center, all the institutions I’ve been part of. Carrollton has been one of the most influential factors in forming who I am as an artist.” Even if you haven’t met Kuykendall, you’ve

STORY BY HAISTEN WILLIS PHOTOS BY JESSICA GALLAGHER

seen his work. His murals are on walls all over west Georgia, including the downtown Adamson Square. Kuykendall is also a longtime teacher with the Carrollton Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department. His 40-plus year career all began with a move to Carrollton in the mid-1970s. Early Experiences Kuykendall lived through a somewhat harsh childhood in what he describes as


Alan Kuykendall got his start decorating storefront windows for Christmas. The rest is history. “Marcella”

a working-class family. Born at Grady Memorial Hospital and spending his earliest years in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, his family moved to the north Georgia mountains before Kuykendall settled into his mother’s Paulding County hometown.

“Brother”

“Mom”

“Illumina sum cogitium”

It wasn’t classical artwork or paintings that lured him to drawing as a kid; it was comic books. Like many children growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Kuykendall idolized the superheroes who provided an escape from life’s day-to-day struggles. He wanted to make comics a career. That dream didn’t materialize exactly, but that’s not to say Kuykendall’s interest ever faded: Today he owns roughly 3,500 comic books. “Those are my daughter’s inheritance,” he jokes. Kuykendall graduated from Paulding County High School in 1974 and came to West Georgia College (now the University of West Georgia), where he began a major in art education. It was a good fit; he soon found that he enjoyed the education side along with the art side. “My mother always said I had the gift of gab,” says Kuykendall. He still makes use of the education portion of his degree by teaching with Carrollton’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 61


Department, a gig he’s held for 26 years. The mural work sprang up more spontaneously. In his college days, Kuykendall became the illustrator at West Georgia’s student newspaper, for which he designed cartoons and advertisements. It earned him the attention of local businesses leaders who read the paper, including the owner of a long-since-shuttered Dairy Queen on Maple Street. Late in the fall semester one year, the DQ owner called up and asked if he could create a Christmas mural inside the store’s windows, something with snowflakes, decorated trees and perhaps a Rudolph or two. One detail particularly caught Kuykendall’s ear: the gig paid $35 (roughly $150 in today’s dollars). He headed over to the restaurant and got to work, loading up the window with Santa Claus, reindeer and other holiday images.

was a part of daily life, but it would not be accurate to say she followed in his footsteps.

A New Generation Kuykendall graduated in 1981, and stayed on campus a few more years pursuing a Master’s Degree in art education that he wasn’t able to complete. Over time, his reputation spread beyond west Georgia, and his murals can now be found across the state. The largest of them spans three stories and is 180 feet long. It was commissioned by a man who owned a ranch near a set of Indian mounds. His career has continued to evolve in recent years. “I’ve begun moving away from being a painter and now have more interest in sculpture,” Kuykendall says.

“Self Portrait”

A few days later, the owner of a pizza restaurant across the street gave Kuykendall a call saying he wanted a Christmas mural on his own storefront. It led to something of a chain reaction.

The windows soon led to graphic work, then paintings, and finally commissions for public and private murals. Like many of his other gigs, Kuykendall’s window dressing business lasted for decades, contributing to his slow conversion from a painter to a muralist, and helping sustain Kuykendall in the local area as he raised his own family. Other gigs include work as a portrait painter, creating sets for local theater productions, commercial design and sculptures, among other things. “I’d always accept a job,” Kuykendall says with a laugh. “I’d say, ‘sure, I can do that,’ trying my hand at things I wasn’t qualified to do. I’m sort of a multi-purpose artist these days.” 62 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

The father-daughter duo does share studio space at his Carrollton home, and they collaborate closely at the Center for the Arts. He says his daughter is smart, and more talented than he is – but mostly he’s proud that she’s developed her own direction in life. “My daughter has found a path, much like I found a path,” he says. “It’s not an ideal or perfect path, but we both have directions we’re going in and a road to walk on.” Now entering the fifth decade of his career, Kuykendall still has a few major goals he hopes to accomplish before retirement. One of the largest is writing an autobiography, which he’s titled “Artist Running Amok.” “I went to Penland School of Arts & Crafts in North Carolina for two weeks to attend classes on bookmaking,” he says. “I went to learn book making and bookbinding, and now I’m working on a personal biography.”

“I’d made $480 by the time I went home for Christmas,” Kuykendall says. He continued painting Christmas windows, plus Halloween and birthday windows and whatever else customers ordered. But he also learned more about the broader art world in college, and about art history, leading him to become more well-rounded by the time graduation rolled around.

“My daughter took her own path,” he says. “She’d gone to Europe twice to study art by the time she entered graduate school. She went to the University of West Georgia, but then pursued a graduate degree at Columbia University.”

He describes the book as a collection of mostly humorous stories about his life.

That interest began several years ago, when he was teaching a lesson on African art. The children in his class created African masks, which piqued his interest, and Kuykendall began playing around with small-scale sculptures of his own using paper and cardboard. The experience later led to fullfledged sculpture. A few years ago, Kuykendall opened a sculptural animal show at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center (now the Center for the Arts), and more recently finished installing a 23-foot-tall stegosaurus replica for this year’s summer art program. Kuykendall’s connection to the Carrollton arts scene runs beyond the work he’s done there. His daughter, Marcella Kuykendall, is now the Center’s visual art coordinator. His daughter grew up in a household where art

But one story isn’t humorous. It details what Kuykendall calls one of the proudest moments of his career. As Kuykendall tells it, a rumpled, obviously working-class man approached him one day in his favorite coffee shop, asking if he could paint a picture of his daughter. The man then pulled out a crumpled, old photo of the girl. Kuykendall asked if he could get an updated photo and was told it was impossible — the girl had died six months earlier. Returning to his studio, Kuykendall did the best he could with the existing photo and gave his work to the man a few weeks later. The man took it back to his work van and showed his wife, and Kuykendall could hear commotion inside. He was sure he’d screwed up the work. But the man returned saying his wife loved


“Sci-Fi Fantasy”

it and that she’d climb out of the vehicle to thank Kuykendall as soon as she stopped crying. He then pulled out his wallet to pay. “I told him he owed me nothing,” Kuykendall says. “He insisted, but I said, ‘I’m not taking your money for this.’” Kuykendall recalls standing in the sunshine after the man drove away, with no cash in his pocket, realizing he’d fulfilled his vision for an artist’s life. “The artist defines himself by how much he’s valuable to society,” Kuykendall says. “At that moment, despite all the bigger clients I’d landed and the things I’d dreamed of, I had everything I ever decided being an artist was about. I had served my destiny in that one small moment.” WGL

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770-832-7076 Gifts • Drive thru Service • Free Delivery

We accept most insurance and Medicaid. Greeting Cards & Gifts | Tervis Tumblers Archipelago Skin Care Products Nora Fleming | Harvest Home Candles July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 63


BOOKS

DEATH ON THE DELTA

EMMETT TILL AND THE QUEST FOR JUSTICE

“The Blood of Emmitt Till” Timothy B. Tyson Simon and Schuster, 2017

I

n 1939, Blues singer Billie Holliday released the powerful and disturbing song “Strange Fruit,” written as a protest against racial violence. The haunting music and the lyrics convey vivid and unflinching images of the lynching of black Americans, as the song title implies. “Strange Fruit” has been called “the beginning of the civil rights movement.” For about 100 years (from the period of the Reconstruction to the 1970s), thousands of African Americans were lynched in this country for perceived offenses against whites. These victims are now memorialized at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, created by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Opened on April 26, the memorial serves as a reminder of this difficult chapter in American history. Timothy B. Tyson’s best-selling book is a historical study of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, written in the context of the larger racial and social issues of this period. As a historian, Tyson has done his homework. In addition to his use of primary documents such as trial transcripts, attorney’s notes, and personal interviews, Tyson also uses many newspaper and magazine reports from the period, as well as book-length studies on race relations in American culture. His extensive end notes and bibliography demonstrate the depth of his knowledge and his concern about getting the details correct. Thus, his book appeals to readers with a more academic interest in the topic.

ROBERT C. COVEL 64 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


But Tyson uses this material in way that will appeal to readers who enjoy a vividly told story. Tyson’s depth of analysis and varied writing styles provide a powerful story of events that served as a flashpoint of the civil rights movement. In fact, the book sometimes reads like a detective story as he tracks down the specific facts of the case and retraces Till’s actions and those of his killers. Using trial transcripts, police reports, and witness interviews, Tyson searches for the truth about the death of Till and the attempted coverup of the crime. Many of the explicit details included in the book challenge the sensibilities of the reader, especially the gruesome description of the condition of the body as it is retrieved from the river. As Tyson explains, those specific facts are important, as Till’s mother insisted that her son’s body be displayed in an open casket so the world could face the atrocity of the murder of her son and the mutilation of his body. The story of Emmitt Till – and his murder for the “crime” of disrespecting a white woman – is well known. Less known, however, are the specific events leading up to the crime, which Tyson shows are difficult to establish with a degree of certainty. The trial transcript offers two versions of those events, one from the prosecutors and one from the lawyers for the two men accused of the murder. The star witness was supposed to be Carolyn Bryant, the young woman whose interactions with Till led to his death. But though she did testify in court “for the sake of the record,” the jury did not actually hear her testimony.

At trial, she told of the young man’s alleged insults and physical assault in the store in which she was working. But when Tyson spoke with her after the fact (and 50 years after the incident) she contradicted much of what she said then – and the details she did recall were hazy and incomplete. Despite Tyson’s attempts to provide accuracy for the reader, the interview does not provide answers.

Racial issues and the fight for civil rights escalated after that historic ruling.

Tyson uses animated, vivid details to bring the trial to life. He describes the courtroom and sets the stage like a writer of a novel or a movie script, using newspaper reports and other contemporary sources. Reporters noted that the judge “permitted smoking in the courtroom and made a gesture toward comfort by suggesting that the men remove their jackets in the sweltering heat.” The judge also allowed people in the courtroom to drink cold Coca-Cola and even beer during the proceedings.

In 1619, the first ship carrying slaves from Africa arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, beginning the long and difficult racial conflicts in what would become the United States. The history of racial relations has complicated our history, leading to a Civil War and the social upheavals since that war ended in 1865.

His details and use of language recall the courtroom scenes in the film “To Kill a Mockingbird,” based on Harper Lee’s novel of a similar case of racial injustice. Tyson’s style reflects a fusion of the historian’s search for concrete detail with the novelist’s flair for dramatizing those facts into a fascinating and informative narrative. Tyson’s analysis goes beyond the specific facts of the Till’s murder to a larger context of the civil rights movement. As Tyson explains, Till’s death resulted, in part, from the reactions to the Supreme Court’s decisions in the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954, the year before Till was lynched.

Tammie Pero-Lyle (770) 832-0911 102 Trojan Drive, Suite A Carrollton tammiepero@allstate.com tperolyle@allstate.com

According to Tyson, Rosa Parks had read an account of Till’s murder and four days later she refused to relinquish her seat at the back of a public bus. Thus, the book makes specific connections between two events that helped to ignite the civil rights movement.

Although 63 years have passed since the murder of Emmitt Till, there are many issues between black and white Americans yet to be resolved. Tyson’s book of this crime is sometimes difficult to read, yet offers hope that society will someday overcome and transcend its intolerant past, and that seeds of change will yet blossom into universal and equal justice in America. WGL

Author Bio Timothy B. Tyson teaches in American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “Blood Done Sign My Name,” and “Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power.” “The Blood of Emmett Till” is a New York Times bestseller and was named to the Longlist for the National Book Award.

1004 Bankhead Hwy Suite 19B Carrollton, Georgia (770) 834-0035 LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED! Need to rent a bouncy house, a popcorn or a cotton candy machine?

© 2011 Allstate Insurance Company

Carrollton’s all new PARTY SUPPLY STORE??? What’s your theme? We rent Mickey, Minnie & Elsa costumes! July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 65


  





West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions

Lyme Disease Carroll County Animal Hospital

.......... 67

Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring Tanner Health System

......................68

66 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

Technology and Science at NG Turf NG Turf ..................... 69 A Funeral isn’t just a day in one life, but a lifetime in one day Scott & Ellen Wynn McBrayer/Jones Wynn Funeral Home

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$6. XLI (;(57

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Jason Harden, D.V.M

Carroll County Animal Hospital

Qualifications: Dr. Jason Harden is a native of Carrollton, GA. He graduated from Oak Mountain Academy and continued on to the University of Georgia where he received his degree in Biology and his doctorate in veterinary medicine. His interests in veterinary medicine include surgery, exotic medicine, and ophthalmology. Dr. Harden is married to Chloe Harden, and they have 2 children, Maggie and Reese. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is the chairman of the Oak Mountain Academy school board, a member of the Carrollton Lions Club, and on the board of directors of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

What every West Georgian should know about Lyme disease

Q

I have found a number of ticks on my dog do I need to worry about Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick diseases in my pets like in humans?

A

The simple answer is Yes.        Lyme disease is a tick born disease named for Lyme, Ct. where in the 1970s a number of people developed the disease.  Lyme disease is a disease that affects pets and humans alike. However, this disease is neither spread from animal to humans, nor from animal to animal.  Instead, it is spread from the deer tick, which is the carrier of the disease. Once the tick bites your dog, it normally takes 2-4 days for the tick to inject the bacteria to be injected into your dog.  The tricky part about Lyme disease is that after infection your dog may or may not become sick.  A good number of dogs that are infected never show symptoms. Signs that your dog might be infected would include fever, lameness, or loss of appetite.  In more severe infections, Lyme disease can affect the kidneys and develop into a life threatening issue. When the signs or symptoms are picked up early, Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics.  There is also a vaccine to prevent the disease in those most at risk.      Another tick borne disease we encounter in pets is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Just like Lyme disease, this is a disease that affects humans

and animals alike and is spread by ticks. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is more commonly encountered in the southeast than is Lyme disease.  It is caused by a bacteria called R. rickettsii, and is carried by the American dog tick. After the animal is bitten by an infected tick it can take up to 2 weeks to show symptoms. The early symptoms of infection are fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, pain in the eyes, and lameness.  Later in the disease neurologic signs can develop, but once these symptoms develop the prognosis for survival worsens.  However, when treatment is started early in the disease process, the prognosis is good and in some cases response to treatment will occur almost immediately.  Unlike Lyme disease, there is not a vaccine available to prevent RMSF.          During the spring and summer months it is important to have your pet on a good flea and tick control to prevent these disease from affecting your pets. To find out which preventative is best for your pets, please feel free to make an appointment with one of our veterinarians at either of our locations. 

For more information, call 770-832-2475 or 770-834-1000 or visit www.carrollcountyah.com

Carroll County

Animal Hospital Sometimes your pet’s health care can’t be scheduled Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - Midnight Regular Office Hours: Mon. - Sun. 8am - 6pm

NOW SERVING YOU FROM TWO LOCATIONS

(770) 832-2475

635 Columbia Dr. 1155 Stripling Chapel Rd. Carrollton, Ga. 30117 Carrollton, Ga. 30116 #OLUMBIA$Rs#ARROLLTON 'A (770) 832-2475 Music834-1000 Across from Sony(770) July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 67


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What every West Georgian should know about Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring Q. Why is it valuable to know your calcium score?

attack. Th is can also occur elsewhere in the body, limiting the flow of

blood to the arms or legs (a condition called peripheral artery disease,

A. Knowing your risk for cardiovascular disease is instrumental in or PAD) or even the brain, increasing the risk of stroke. Along with

helping you and your physician devise a plan that can reduce your narrowing arteries, plaque can also calcify over time — becoming odds of experiencing a life-threatening heart attack.

Q. What is a CT scan?

hard and brittle — and leading to a disease called atherosclerosis, or coronary artery disease (CAD).

A. A computed tomography (CT) scan — sometimes called a Q. How effective is a cardiac CT for calcium “CAT” scan — uses X-rays and a powerful computer to generate scoring?

Timothy Albert, MD

Tanner Heart & Vascular Specialists

Qualifications:

clear images of bones, internal organs, soft tissue and blood A. The results of the test are called a “calcium score.” Cardiac

vessels. Because of the CT machine’s ability to quickly capture CT for calcium scoring has been found effective in diagnosing images from multiple angles, the computer is able to generate atherosclerosis in more than 93 percent of at-risk patients. cross-sectional images and even three-dimensional images,

enabling medical providers to clearly see the anatomical structures Q. How can you schedule a low-cost cardiac CT inside the body.

for calcium scoring at Tanner?

Dr. Albert is board-certified in cardiology. He earned his medical degree from CT imaging is popular because of the variety of uses it affords A. Call Tanner Central Scheduling at 770.812.9721 to schedule

the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, and completed medical providers, helping physicians make more accurate your appointment. The screenings are offered at Tanner Medical his internship and residency at the University of Washington Department of diagnoses and better plan their patients’ course of treatment. Medicine in Seattle. He then completed a fellowship in cardiology at Duke

University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. were he pursued additional training Q. How can a CT scan determine heart health?

Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, so you may choose the facility that’s most convenient for you.

in advanced cardiovascular imaging. Dr. Albert has published widely in the field A. Cardiac calcium scoring is a popular use of CT technology, The cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring is not covered by Medicare, of cardiac imaging and frequently speaks nationally and internationally on these allowing a medical provider to diagnose the presence and extent of Medicaid or many private insurance providers. However, Tanner

topics. At Tanner, Dr. Albert is further enhancing the region’s advanced imaging calcified plaque inside the coronary arteries that supply the heart believes in the screening as a valuable tool to detect coronary artery capabilities.

with oxygen-rich blood.

disease early, so the health system offers the scan at a reduced rate of $99. That includes the cost of the scan and the radiologist’s

Plaque is the fatty substance that can collect along artery walls, interpretation fees to read and report on the scan. causing them to narrow and inhibiting their ability to carry blood. Over time, the narrowed arteries can become blocked, preventing

oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart and causing a heart

Learn more: tanner-heartcare.org/calciumtest

Know Your Score, Know Your Risk Visit www.tanner-heartcare.org/calciumtest to determine if a $99 calcium scoring scan from Tanner is right for you, or call 678.509.6378 and schedule your screening today! 68 West Georgia Living July-August 2018

MEDICINE BEYOND MEASURESM


  



NG TURF: PREMIUM SOD FROM THE “CUTTING EDGE� OF TURFGRASS RESEARCH

NG Turf ’s multiple farms throughout the state are much more than green fields of premium zoysia, bermuda, and fescue grasses. Take a closer look, and you’ll see a living, breathing laboratory for cutting edge turfgrass research.

“There is always exciting research happening in the turfgrass industry,� explains Mark McWhorter, production manager at NG Turf. “Our goal is to grow the healthiest, most consistent-looking sod available on the market today. Employing the latest research and techniques helps us do that every day.�

Nicky Stacey Scheduling Manager & Marketing Qualifications Joined the NG Turf team in 2011. While

being the Senior Sales Representative she is also the Scheduling Manager and oversees

marketing for NG Turf. She became a Certified Turfgrass Professional in 2012.

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NG TURF BRINGS YOU THE BEST OF THE BEST OF TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE

Partnerships with Research Institutions NG Turf has close ties with the UGA turfgrass research team, the Texas A&M turfgrass breeding program, and scientists at Bladerunner Farms. UGA turf scientists (creators of TifGrand, TifSport, and TifTuf bermudagrasses) use land on one of the NG Turf farms to conduct trials related to pathology and disease management, entomology and pest control, and to run evaluation programs for new varieties. McWhorter adds, “We are also working closely with researchers from Texas A&M who are field testing a new variety of Texas bluegrass – a new variety that will remain green all year in Georgia and has better disease tolerance and summer hardiness than the green-allyear fescue varieties currently on the market.�

Bladerunner Farms, the creator of Zeon Zoysia, has thousands of varieties of zoysia in their breeding and testing programs. Several varieties have been selected for field testing in Georgia using land on each of NG Turf ’s farms. Who knows‌ the next world-famous

zoysia variety may be growing on an NG Turf farm right now!

Investing in “Smart� Equipment This time of year, you look out across a field on one of NG Turf ’s farms and you see a lovely, consistent green. And that level of consistency takes a great deal of work and planning. Just one field can have close to a dozen different soil types and moisture profiles – each requiring a different set of nutrient amendments and different amounts of water to create the consistent sod we love. How do they do it? It starts with GPS assisted soil mapping to calibrate the fertilization requirements. The fields are also equipped with soil moisture sensors that communicate wirelessly with a “smart� irrigation rig that provides exactly the right amount of water to each part of the field. “Not only does this technology make our job easier and our grass healthier,� explains McWhorter, “It also helps us be more environmentally responsible.�

When it’s harvest time, their Firefly Proslab automated harvester is GPS guided to cut laser straight rows of perfectly trimmed sod slabs. “Not only is it the fastest slab harvester on the market,� McWhorter adds, “it also leaves zero waste in the field. We get a better harvest yield and our customers get the freshest sod possible.�

Whether you need one single pallet of sod for your project – or a whole truckload – NG Turf will deliver premium, farm-fresh sod right to your door. Call them today for a custom quote at (770) 431-1348 or visit them online at ngturf.com.

GROWN LOCALLY BY

July-August 2018 West Georgia Living 69


  

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West Georgia businesses answer consumer questions

Scott McBrayer Ellen Wynn McBrayer Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory and Meadowbrook Memory Gardens As always, we remain “A Family Serving FamiliesŽ....Since 1950�

Qualifications Scott & Ellen McBrayer are both licensed funeral directors and embalmers. Jones-Wynn Funeral Homes & Crematory has served our community since 1950. We keep our funeral home & crematory synonymous with its name & reputation of serving & caring for families. We are three generations carrying on one tradition. We offer Peace of Mind with the highest quality of service and affordable options. Our funeral home family is always available to help you clarify or answer questions you might need help with.

A Funeral isn’t a day in one life, but a lifetime in one day. So many of the funerals we have attended have followed the same order of style or traditional structure. You could also call them “cookie cutter� services. However, you might not realize how many types of services are possible and often desired. We almost think there is some rule that says a funeral must be done in a certain way. A funeral should fit the person and the family. A funeral can be simple, and more importantly there are no boundaries or limits to making a service as personal and details as you desire. There is no way to say too much about the person whom we have gathered to remember and honor. We would like to encourage others to have the confidence in making a choice and having a voice to talk about something people are often fearful to talk about. We would like to encourage you to think of this in a slightly different way. Have the talk of a lifetime with your loved ones and remember to make a memory and loving journal about your loved ones to keep with your family tree. The traditional ceremony can be a healing experience, and many families will find this is what will fit them best. If the loved one appreciated the rituals and ceremonies of a particular faith, then certainly the funeral should reflect that. Contemporary ceremonies are a growing trend toward more personalization, featuring, music that is meaningful, unique, personal, or a favorite of the deceased. Some families

also choose to make the service message so unique that they allow family members, close friends to speak, and sometimes only have a minister to pray, or not even have a minister at all during the service. We would like to also express that grief is a very emotional and difficulty journey. The different options, details, and decisions are difficult on any day and almost impossible during an unexpected death of a loved one. A funeral should be unique to the person being honored, and that can be accomplished in many different ways without the family having to burden themselves with time-consuming thinking or activity when they are already overwhelmed. Please reach out to your trusted funeral director so that you can continue to gain more understanding about options available. Please check our facebook page for dates and times and attend one of our free “lunch (or dinner) and learns�. We provide these free meals and offer you a moment to ask the questions you may have in a comfortable setting to help increase more awareness to the very many options. We also have a similar event upcoming this summer with a local ice cream catering the event for us. Scott & Ellen Wynn McBrayer Jones-Wynn Funeral Homes & Crematory and Meadowbrook Memory Gardens 770-459-3694 or 770-942-2311 https://www.facebook.com/Jones.Wynn. Funeral.Home/

Your Trustworthy Local Family

70 West Georgia Living July-August 2018


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PHYSICIAN MEET AND GREET EDUCATION SESSIONS Taegen McIntyre Parents — Chante and Quintavius McIntyre

SATURDAY

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25

2018

9 a.m. to noon Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton 705 Dixie Street

Expecting? Thinking about starting — or growing — your family? See what west Georgia and east Alabama have to offer at Tanner’s Hey, Baby! Mom and Baby Fair. Meet local obstetrics, neonatal and pediatrics specialists, collect giveaways and baby-approved door prizes from local merchants, tour the Maternity Center — featuring a new NICU opening this fall — and participate in physician-led educational sessions to help you learn more about what our region has to offer our moms-to-be.

Bring your partner or grab a friend. Free parking available in the Dixie Street Parking Deck adjacent to the hospital.

To learn more or to register, visit tanner.org/heybaby or call 770.214.CARE (2273).

WGL July-August 2018  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine

WGL July-August 2018  

West Georgia's most popular living and lifestyle magazine