Page 1








WYLDE CENTER 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 404.371.1920,


HOURS Wylde Center is open Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM Wylde Center garden sites are open daily from sun up to sun down.

MEET THE WYLDE CENTER STAFF pages 7-8 EDUCATION PROGRAM REPORT for the 2014-15 school year pages 11-14

Take time to enjoy the swing at Hawk Hollow.


Dear Members,


We spent 2014 and the first part of 2015 strengthening our education programs. Starting on page 11, you may read about the programming we offer to youth and seniors focusing on science, gardening, nutrition, and health. Our impact numbers grew during the 2014-2015 school year from 15,000 to over 16,000 student interactions. Not only did we host field trips at our sites, but we also worked with many of the same students over the course of the school year building upon each lesson.

MEMBERSHIP ROLL Gifts received Jan. 1 thru Aug. 31, 2015 page 19 GARDENING Gardening with JC - Garlic page 20 Month by Month Gardening Tasks October-December page 21 Top Ten Native Plants pages 22-24

Welcome to the fall issue of the Wylde Center magazine.

Take a class! Wylde Center is now partnering with The Homestead Atlanta to offer classes at our sites. Our members receive discounts on all classes held at a Wylde Center garden. Spread throughout this issue are garden highlights for our four sites. Edgewood Community Learning Garden has beautiful new structures suited for programming. Sugar Creek Garden is focusing on growing herbs for selling to restaurants. Hawk Hollow is now officially zoned as a park. Oakhurst Garden is about to have its rainwater harvesting system and irrigation lines extended.

SPROUT’S CORNER Flower Power page 27

Again, none of this work would be possible without your support. Thank you from all of us here at the Wylde Center. See you in the garden!

page 11

Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director Decatur resident Frank Burdette was presented with the Wylde Center and City of Decatur’s 2015 Sally Wylde Cultivating Life Award at a ceremony held in Decatur’s City Hall earlier this summer. Burdette was honored for his over 10 years of volunteer service in the areas of sustainability and senior housing.


FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter: @wylde_center Instagram: WyldeCenter Facebook: MAGAZINE AND PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Jennifer Booker, Kimberly Coburn, Hussein Dahir, Melanie Heckman, Julie Herron Carson, JC Hines, Jeff Killingsworth, Angel Lara, Isadora Pennington, Gadedj Sy, Stephanie Van Parys (Editor) THE WC’S MEMBER MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. FRONT COVER Pearl Crescent butterfly visiting the Gomphrena in bloom at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. PURCHASE AN AD For advertising rates, please visit our website or call 404.371.1920 for more information. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shelby Buso (Chair), Josh Becker (Vice-Chair), KC Boyce (Treasurer), Jenna Mobley (Secretary), Caroline Branch, Elena Conis, Allison Dixon, Ardath Grills, Rex Hamre, Caroline Herring, Jeremy Jeffers, Beth Krebs, Jessica Neese, Lynn Russell, Mike Sage STAFF Office Manager, Sugar Creek Site Coordinator Neida Arrington Garden Assistant Halley Beagle Development Director Kat Cooper


LEFT TO RIGHT: Lee Ann Harvey (City of Decatur Lifelong Community Coordinator), Frank Burdette (Recipient), Stephanie Van Parys (Wylde Center Executive Director), Lena Stevens (City of Decatur Resource Conservation Coordinator) For more information about the award visit

SITES Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur Sugar Creek, 415 East Lake Drive, Decatur Hawk Hollow, 2304 1st Avenue, Atlanta Edgewood Community Learning Garden, 1503 Hardee Street Northeast, Atlanta

“Frank’s tireless work on behalf of our community exemplifies the Wylde Center’s mission of cultivating environmental stewards,” said Stephanie Van Parys, executive director of the Wylde Center. “Frank understands the value of partnerships and takes the time to nurture new ideas and help grow them to become self-sustaining. He’s made a tremendous difference in our community and is an outstanding example of what can be accomplished with vision and commitment.”

Education Director Allison Ericson Lead Educator Tausha Gibson Greenspace Manager JC Hines Hawk Hollow Site Coordinator Tamara Jones Plant Sale Coordinator Mary Jane Leach Farm to School Manager Nichole Lupo Edgewood Community Learning Garden Site Coordinator and Garden Coach Derek Pinson Sugar Creek Garden Site Coordinator Tylee Sewell Executive Director Stephanie Van Parys COPYRIGHT 2015 WYLDE CENTER INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING REPRINTING OF CONTENT, CONTACT 404.371.1920.


I went to turn the grass once after one Who mowed it in the dew before the sun. The dew was gone that made his blade so keen Before I came to view the levelled scene. I looked for him behind an isle of trees; I listened for his whetstone on the breeze. But he had gone his way, the grass all mown, And I must be, as he had been,--alone, `As all must be,’ I said within my heart, `Whether they work together or apart.’ But as I said it, swift there passed me by On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly, Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight. And once I marked his flight go round and round, As where some flower lay withering on the ground. And then he flew as far as eye could see, And then on tremulous wing came back to me. I thought of questions that have no reply, And would have turned to toss the grass to dry; But he turned first, and led my eye to look At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook, A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared. I left my place to know them by their name, Finding them butterfly weed when I came. The mower in the dew had loved them thus, By leaving them to flourish, not for us, Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him. But from sheer morning gladness at the brim. The butterfly and I had lit upon, Nevertheless, a message from the dawn, Previous Page: Tufts of butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) seed bursting from its pod at Sugar Creek Garden, a Wylde Center greenspace. Sugar Creek Garden was the second Wylde Center greenspace to be established and it was initially supported by the City of Decatur as part of its urban agriculture initiative. Now, Sugar Creek is fully funded by the Wylde Center, and in late 2014 it was decided that the focus would be on production herbs. Herbs will be sold wholesale and distributed to local Atlanta and Decatur restaurants. Sugar Creek is also home to native gardens, a labyrinth, and a community garden. Sugar Creek is located at 415 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA (Behind the Presbyterian Church).

That made me hear the wakening birds around, And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground, And feel a spirit kindred to my own; So that henceforth I worked no more alone; But glad with him, I worked as with his aid, And weary, sought at noon with him the shade; And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach. `Men work together,’ I told him from the heart, `Whether they work together or apart.’


Rachel Letcher and Patrick Garman at the Beer Garden. Photo by Isadora Pennington

BEER GARDEN- A HIT! On June 27, over 350 people gathered at the Oakhurst Garden for the 3rd Annual Beer Garden event. They sampled beer from some of Atlanta’s best breweries and enjoyed a beautiful selection of food from local restaurants and shops and bid on fun items in the silent auction. All proceeds support the Wylde Center’s greenspaces and educational programming. A total of $28,500 was raised.



Beth Mahany CPA, BlueFletch, Decatur CoWorks, Shadow Creek Antiques & Artisans, Stability Engineering



Cassedy Coaching and Consulting, Garrett Daniel Architecture, Oakhurst Electric, Private Bank of Decatur, Radio Roasters, 3rd & Hood Drinking Club


Deb Baumgarten & EJ Sadler, Shelby & Roberto Buso, Pamela Collins, Anna & Hal Davis, Ardath & George Grills, Rick Kern, Susie & Jay Lazega, Kate & Larry Mosley, Carrie Parker, Tabitha & Phillip Wiedower


Cocktails: Paul Calvert, Victory Sandwich Bar, and Paper Plane Appetizers: Pine Street Market and Sapori di Napoli Desserts: Cakes & Ale


Beer: Ale Yeah!, Blue Tarp Brewing, Orpheus, Red Hare, Terrapin, Three Taverns, Twain’s, and Wild Heaven Craft Beers Food: Farm Burger, Calle Latina, Steinbeck’s, and Ted’s Montana Grill; desserts from Revolution Doughnuts and Pop Stars. Live music performed by The Dammages, with special guests The Benders.



TOP ROW: Deb Baumgarten and Jill Morgan enjoying the cover of the auction tent during a short rainfall. Nichole Lupo, Wylde Center’s Farm to School Manager is about to eat some tasty food! SECOND ROW: Pop Stars serves up delicious popsicles. Zinnias are blooming just in time for the event. For the 3rd year, Farm Burger returns with their sizzling grills serving up burgers all evening long. THIRD ROW: Calle Latina serves up their signature street food. A beer and a Revolution Doughnut? Yes, sir! “Ox” the cob house is a great place to hang out during the event. FOURTH ROW: The Dammages rocked the party...AGAIN! (All photos by Isadora Pennington)




Joining the staff in January 2015, Neida Arrington is the office manager and co-site coordinator at Sugar Creek Garden. She also helps manage events including our annual Beer Garden fundraiser. Previously she managed an office for a landscape architect firm but was eager to join a nonprofit. A childhood rearing in Lyons, Georgia, amidst Vidalia sweet onions coupled with an educational background in environmental studies, made the Wylde Center a perfect team for Neida to join. Outside of the office, she appreciates learning more about urban growing and engaging with folks as they come through the Wylde Center! Favorite vegetable to grow: Cucumbers Favorite plant to grow: Marigolds Favorite place to eat: Desi Spice


Halley Beagle grew up in Snellville and earned a degree in art from Piedmont College in 2008. Since then she has primarily worked with children in various camp, classroom, and other education positions. Halley began working as a volunteer and intern at Sugar Creek Garden in 2014 and completed the Georgia Master Gardener classes in April 2015. She became the garden assistant at the Oakhurst Garden in July 2015, and is often accompanied by her furry sidekick Bobbie. She currently lives in Decatur, and enjoys being an active volunteer for the community. Favorite vegetable to grow: Squash Favorite plant to grow: Annual flowers Favorite place to eat: My Dad’s house


Kat Cooper brings an extensive background in fundraising and nonprofit administration to her role as the Wylde Center’s Development Director. A native of Marietta, she majored in political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Prior to coming to the Wylde Center in March 2015, Kat served for two years as the manager of the annual fund for Pace Academy, a K-12 independent school in Atlanta. She spent five years as development coordinator for Camp Twin Lakes, a camp for children with special needs and illnesses. Kat lives in Lake Claire with her husband, two boys and the greatest dog, Sally. Favorite vegetable to grow: Cherry tomato Favorite plant to grow: Thai basil Favorite place to eat: I like to eat other people’s cooking


Allison grew up in Kennesaw and attended Georgia Tech where she majored in biology. Upon graduating she taught high school science for three years. She went to work at the Chattahoochee Nature Center as the education manager. After moving to Connecticut, she worked at a nature center where she was the education manager for 10 years. Allison moved to Decatur two years ago and worked as an environmental educator for a preschool. Joining the Wylde Center staff in August 2015, she is looking forward to working with local community groups and schools. Allison stays busy with her two children and on the weekends leads naturalist guided canoe trips down the Chattahoochee. Favorite vegetable to grow: Tomatoes Favorite plant to grow: Pitcher plant Favorite place to eat: Mexican


Tausha was born and raised in the Bluegrass State in Paducah, Kentucky. She and her mom made weekly visits to the “country” where she and her friends explored nature together and of course worked in the garden. Little did she know that agriculture would become her career interest and she’d go on to graduate from Murray State University with a BS Degree in agriculture science. After moving from Kentucky, she started her work experience in environmental health and went on to work for UGA Cooperative Extension in Rockdale County where she worked as the horticulture program assistant for 10 years. Tausha joined the Wylde Center staff in September 2015 and she hopes to share her excitement for urban gardening and nutrition with local community groups and schools. She also enjoys being a team mom for her two little ball players. Favorite vegetable to grow: Tomatoes Favorite plant to grow: Mophead Hydrangea Favorite place to eat: Asian restaurants


JC grew up in Marietta and has lived and worked all over the world including at a chicken farm in Spain and a ski town in Colorado. While a political science student at the University of Vermont, she discovered a love of farming, managing a three acre organic production farm for the school. After college, her family and southern roots called her home and she came to Atlanta where she joined the Wylde Center team in 2013. Farming, garden development, and education are her passions and she hopes to make a gardener out of everyone, one backyard or schoolyard at a time. Favorite vegetable to grow: Squash Favorite plant to grow: Fothergilla Favorite place to eat: My mom’s house!




Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tamara Jones joined the Wylde Center as the new site coordinator for Hawk Hollow in June 2015. She brings her experience as site manager of the Decatur High School community garden and her work with the DHS culinary arts department. She completed the Dekalb County Master Gardener program in 2010 and has put in many volunteer hours gardening. She is excited to be working at the Wylde Center because she loves working in gardens, especially when it involves working with people of all ages. She is also looking forward to learning about planting Georgia’s native plants at Hawk Hollow. Favorite vegetable to grow: Basil, tomato, okra! Favorite plant to grow: Fig Favorite place to eat: My house using produce from my garden


Mary Jane Leach is thrilled to be back in the Atlanta area after many years growing gardens and local food initiatives in several locales in the Piedmont, including Davidson, NC, where she ran the farmer’s market and developed a food systems curriculum for the local middle school. With a background in nonprofit and business, she has led several local food and sustainability initiatives, most recently as part of Sustainable Jersey in the Princeton area. In her current role, she will plant more than 10,000 seeds in August and September. Since August 2015, she has enjoyed being a part of the Wylde Center’s initiative to grow an amazing variety of food plants for year-round harvest and supplying heirloom varieties alongside tried and true hybrids. Favorite vegetable to grow: Greens in the fall, winter and spring Favorite plant to grow: Zinnias Favorite place to eat: Leon’s, because of the great veggie sides


An educator and musician, Nichole Lupo grew up gardening with her dad in Lexington, South Carolina. She got her first job in a restaurant and her love of good food was born. Searching for a way to combine her love of growing and eating fresh food with her desire to continue teaching children, Nichole began working with metro Atlanta’s Farm to School movement in 2007. She has spent the years since writing and implementing gardenbased whole foods nutrition curricula, leading Farm to School workshops for teachers, instructional coaches and principals, and teaching in classrooms and gardens connecting existing curricula to delicious, garden-fresh food. Nichole has been the farm to school manager at the Wylde Center since November 2012. She enjoys working with her committed colleagues, her talented teachers, and her excited, inquisitive students. Favorite vegetable to grow: Sweet potatoes Favorite plant to grow: Herbs Favorite place to eat: My kitchen table—my husband is a handsome, gifted chef!

DEREK PINSON - EDGEWOOD COMMUNITY LEARNING GARDEN SITE COORDINATOR Derek Pinson oversees the daily maintenance and activities of the Edgewood Community Learning Garden while spending additional time working as garden coach for our partner gardens. Hailing from the little mountain town of Ellijay, Derek has always been an avid gardener and lover of nature, ultimately leading him to obtain both a B.A. in environmental geography and a permaculture design certification. After some time volunteering on farms from Costa Rica to New Zealand, Derek managed a small organic farm in the Appalachian foothills of Jasper. While residing in the barn was an idyllic dream, an urge to experience urban living and the larger community around the good food movement brought Derek to Atlanta. Derek joined the Wylde team in August 2015 and is excited about educating the community about home-scale food production. Favorite vegetable to grow: Kohlrabi Favorite plant to grow: Paw Paw Favorite place to eat: Rise -n- Dine


Tylee Sewell was raised in Brooklyn, New York, with a background in graphic design and art education. She started a teaching garden at her school in Virginia in 2008, but in 2012 Tylee switched careers and graduated with her horticulture science degree and urban ag certificate to pursue a career as an edible landscape designer. She currently splits her time managing a CSA and Greenmarket operation at The Learn-In Farm in Gwinnett and as a Wylde site coordinator for Sugar Creek’s herb garden. She joined the Wylde staff in March 2015. Tylee enjoys the variety of herbs grown, the natural habitat, peaceful atmosphere, friendly staff and working with community partners. Favorite vegetable to grow: Kohlrabi Favorite plant to grow: Hydrangeas Favorite place to eat: Farm Burger



Stephanie Van Parys spent 8 years of her youth living in Germany, where she spent many hours roaming the pastoral landscape and food gardens around her grandfather’s house. When it came time to choose a field of study, the gardening trait that runs throughout her family could not be denied and she studied horticulture at the University of Georgia. Joining the Wylde staff in 2005 as the executive director, Stephanie is just as committed as she was on her first day to creating spaces for the community to discover the wonders of nature and teaching everyone how to grow their own food. Never one to keep her nails dirt free, you will find Stephanie in her own garden each weekend. Favorite vegetable to grow: Eggplant Favorite plant to grow: Pink Coneflower Favorite place to eat: I have to choose?!

Previous Page: The creek at Hawk Hollow, a Wylde Center greenspace. Bring your boots and explore! Hawk Hollow was donated to the Wylde Center in 2012. Over 800 native plants will be added to the site to replace the exotic plants that currently grow there. In addition to the community enjoying the space, Wylde Center uses the garden for field trips and other education programs.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

Hawk Hollow is located at 2304 1st Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30317.

― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories


ABOVE: While the students wait for their turn to plant carrot seeds, they play a game. Through the use of photo cards, students determine which three cards go together to show the growing plants, the mature plants, and the part we eat. Working together as a team, this group of 2nd graders is finalizing each vegetable and its stages.

WYLDE CENTER EDUCATION PROGRAMS GROW IN THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR by Melanie Heckman, Julie Herron Carson, Stephanie Van Parys

“The Wylde Center does important work engaging the community in environmental stewardship and healthy living through strong school programming, class offerings, and advocacy.” --Courtney Hartnett, Wylde Center Member and Oakhurst Elementary Gifted Teacher

Nearly 20 years ago, two Oakhurst neighbors reached out to area school children to introduce them to the natural world and the joys of gardening. The children had been stomping through the homeowner’s garden walking to and from school, and Sally Wylde and Louise Jackson correctly surmised that if the kids were more aware of the plants they were harming, they would be more careful and develop a greater appreciation of gardens. Fast-forward two decades to today and the Wylde Center, which grew from those early encounters with young students, is one of metro Atlanta’s premier environmental organizations with education at the forefront of its mission. While we serve both children and adults, our youth education programs promise to reap future rewards as we develop young environmental stewards. The Wylde Center’s educational impact grew substantially throughout the 2014-2015 school year and extended further across metro Atlanta than ever before. We invite you to read through the following pages as we highlight the services we provided during the last school year through our Farm to School, science, and public education programs. Your support as a member has made these accomplishments possible. Thank you for your continued support!



FARM TO SCHOOL IN DECATUR One of the Wylde Center’s flagship offerings is its award-winning Farm to School program. Working in partnership with City Schools of Decatur (CSD) and the local community, we have increased student access and exposure to fresh local produce, food system awareness, and environmental stewardship. CSD nutrition staff, supported by the Wylde Center, has worked hard to make positive changes to school menus by incorporating more local, fresh produce.

Farm to School - Internships We hosted our fourth annual Decatur Farm to School internship program for three students from Decatur High School. Each student completed a minimum of 60 internship hours at local restaurants, organic farms, and farmers markets to gain a first-hand experience of how food moves from the ground to our plates.

“Whether it’s farming outside all day or working fullspeed in a restaurant, I had an extraordinary experience and a great opportunity I wouldn’t have gained if it weren’t for the Decatur Farm To School Internship Program.” - Isha Yussef LEFT: 2014 Summer Decatur Farm to School interns: Isha Yussef, Declan Tillman, and Zoey Laird

Farm to School - Taste Tests During the 2014-2015 school year, we completed our seventh and eighth system-wide taste tests of student-grown vegetables in the City Schools of Decatur. This year students grew, harvested, and tasted radishes (October 2014) and sugar snap peas (May 2015), the former as part of the nationwide Farm to School month. THE RESULTS Of the over 3,000 students participating in each taste test, 93% tried each vegetable (44% of whom were tasting them for the first time), and a surprising 64% of students who ate the spicy, slightly bitter radishes liked them. In each taste test, over 42% of students who had previously disliked or had not tried the taste test vegetables came to like them. The youngest students from the City Schools of Decatur’s College Heights Early Learning Center had over 99% of students try the sugar snap peas. Of those students, nearly 80% of the pre-K and three year old students thought the sugar snap peas were delicious.

ABOVE: “It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t awesome,” reports a student from Clairemont Elementary! In addition to verbal feedback, we also collect surveys from each student whether they tried the vegetable or not. The results show the percentage of participation.

Farm to School - Instruction in the Classroom and Garden Education hours in the classroom and in the school garden are provided by the Wylde Center Education Department. Lessons are planned one on one with instructional coaches and teachers at each school that correlate with state standards. The educator instructs the children in the classroom and in the garden teaching new concepts as well as reinforcing what the children have already learned. These programs are well received by our school partners and we are invited back each year. Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, 7,700 student interactions in school gardens were recorded. Students grew and tasted over 10 types of vegetables and the Wylde educators supported standarddefined curricula objectives for history, science, math, and language. LEFT: Over the course of several lessons, Farm to School Manager, Nichole Lupo taught Winnona Park students about soil health. Here they are examining the nitrogen fixing root nodules of crimson clover grown as a cover crop.

Farm to School - Statewide Recognition As a result of the partnership with the Wylde Center, the City Schools of Decatur received Georgia’s prestigious Golden Radish Award for its outstanding Farm to School achievements in October 2014. The City Schools of Decatur have received the gold level award again for 2015. Front row, left to right: Erin Murphy (Decatur Farm to School committee), Nichole Lupo (Wylde’s Garden to Classroom Educator), Stephanie Van Parys (Wylde’s Director), Nikki Speake (City Schools of Decatur’s Menu and Wellness Specialist), Allison Goodman (City Schools of Decatur’s Director of School Nutrition), and Dr. Phyllis Edwards (City Schools of Decatur’s Superintendent) accepted the award on behalf of Decatur’s Farm to School program. Back row, left to right: Gary Black (Commissioner, Georgia Department of Agriculture), Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. (Commissioner, Georgia Department of


Public Health), Nancy Rice (Director of School Nutrition, Georgia Department of Education), Chip Bridges (State Program Manager Agricultural Education, Georgia Department of Education), Mandy Mahoney (Chair, Georgia Organics)


FARM TO SCHOOL EXPANDS TO ATLANTA The Wylde Center was excited to expand its Farm to School programming to two schools in the Atlanta Public Schools, Whitefoord Elementary and Benteen Elementary, both in the Jackson Cluster during the 2014-2015 school year.

Benteen Elementary

Whitefoord Elementary

At Benteen Elementary, students studied in their school garden during their Spring Festival and Math Fair in May, working together to plant garden beds, study biodiversity, and practice mathematical operations. Plans are already in place to expand programming at Benteen Elementary to include garden support and workdays, teacher training on how to incorporate Farm to School into daily lessons, and Farm to School lessons with a Wylde Center educator.

For students at Whitefoord Elementary, Wylde’s education staff provided experiential learning opportunities for all of the students both at our newly renovated Edgewood Community Learning Garden (ECLG) and through classroom cooking lessons. Through 62 learning sessions and 1,100 student interactions, Whitefoord’s pre-K-5 students explored ecology, genetics, history and culture, experimental design, botany, chemistry, geometry, and much more. In November 2014, K-5 students visiting the ELCG tried lettuce, radish, and mustard green wraps made using lettuce grown by 4th grade students. All but two of 120 students tried lettuce wraps and over 75% of students liked them.

GARDEN COACH - BUILD A GARDEN TOGETHER The Wylde Center’s Garden Coach program is a perfect complement to our Farm to School programming. We work with partners to make sure they have an outdoor space where students may explore, learn, and have a fun hands-on experience. Garden projects have ranged from building compost bins with students to designing a vegetable garden and training parent volunteers on how to maintain the space year-round. Through our Garden Coach program, the Wylde Center worked with the community during the 2014-2015 school year to install two new gardens at Westchester Elementary in Decatur and at Avondale Elementary in DeKalb County. At Avondale, after an initial garden consult and design, community leaders worked together to install a new garden. Avondale’s kindergarten classes also came together to plant, harvest, and taste spring crops and learn about plants. Our Garden Coach also designed and installed a garden for International Preschools in Atlanta and worked with refugee students to install a compost system at DeKalb County’s Clarkston High School. Seniors at the Decatur Housing Authority also received year-round training from the Garden Coach.

SCIENCE IN THE GARDENS - FIELD TRIPS Since 1997, the Wylde Center has been dedicated to providing outstanding hands-on environmental education experiences for students. Our environmental education field trips bring students to our greenspaces to explore the science of the natural world. Because we oversee four public greenspaces (Oakhurst Garden, Edgewood Community Learning Garden, Hawk Hollow and Sugar Creek Garden) all of which are located in close proximity to area schools, the Wylde Center is uniquely positioned to provide science education at its gardens. Field trips support school curriculum covering ecology, genetics, history and culture, experimental design, botany, chemistry, geometry and much more. Classes are led by highly-trained and enthusiastic environmental educators. As students encounter our gardens, streams, and woodlands, they learn to think critically, creatively, and responsibly about the world around them. During the past school year, over 1,000 students from nearly 20 schools across Atlanta visited one or more of our greenspaces for hands-on, science-based environmental exploration. In addition to lessons on more than 20 different topics, we debuted several new programs, including “Beginner’s Botany”, “Leafing Out”, “Be a Bird”, and “Insect Investigations.” Students from Whitefoord Elementary (Atlanta Public Schools) in the Edgewood community had the opportunity to learn both in-school and at the newly-renovated Edgewood Community Learning Garden.

ABOVE: A student captures insects during the “Insect Investigations” field trip at Hawk Hollow.

Our newest green space, Hawk Hollow in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, hosted its first four field trips for students from area schools including Toomer Elementary, an Atlanta public school. Students explored the natural habitats at Hawk Hollow, getting to know the plant and animal residents of the site’s stream, forest, grasslands, undergrowth, as well as garden folklore.



PARTNER PROGRAMMING - HEALTHY LIVING BY HEALTHY GROWING AT THE DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY Children are not the only beneficiaries of the Wylde Center’s outreach. In January, we received funding to build on our successful two-year-old gardening program at Oliver House, the Decatur Housing Authority’s senior residence. Working with a group of enthusiastic seniors, we are focusing on environmental health, particularly as it relates to healthy soil, plants, and people. Our Garden Coach worked with the seniors in their onsite garden and we partnered with chefs from Les Dames d’Escoffier to offer cooking programs using fresh produce. As a result, more of the residents are enjoying time outside in the community garden and are incorporating more fresh produce from the garden into their diets. Participation in the Oliver House program is at its highest level since the program’s inception in 2013. The participants are already seeing great progress as the garden is more productive, they are spending more time outside, and they are harvesting more from the garden. Avocado Garden Salad** Yields 4 servings Prep Time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 1/2 red onion, diced 3-4 fresh large tomatoes, chopped Kosher salt 2 avocados, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon fresh oregano ¼ cup red wine vinegar ½ cup Georgia olive oil Freshly ground black pepper

TOP AND CENTER LEFT: Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) residents harvest lettuce (top) and herbs (CR) from the onsite garden. CENTER RIGHT: Les Dames’ Green Tables Co-Chair, Jennifer Booker, stands with two DHA residents after a cooking program. BOTTOM LEFT: Fresh beans from the onsite garden.

Instructions: Place tomatoes on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with salt. Arrange the red onions and the chunks of avocado over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley, garlic, and oregano. Drizzle red wine vinegar and olive oil over the platter. Sprinkle with a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for an hour or two before serving. **Chef Jennifer Booker prepared this recipe with the Senior Garden Club at the Decatur Housing Authority. All photos for the DHA article were provided by Jennifer Booker.

PROGRAM RESULTS Overall, the Wylde Center facilitated 16,000 experiential learning interactions during 400 instructional hours this past 2014-2015 school year. In addition, thousands of children and adults participated in our community events including our Earth Day Festival, public lectures, and our annual seed exchange event in January. We also had a presence at numerous Atlanta-area science and wellness fairs for elementary and middle school-age students. None of this would be possible without the dedicated Wylde Center leadership, financial supporters, volunteers, and staff who work tirelessly and passionately to better our community through environmental awareness and education. Not surprisingly, the Wylde Center is respected as a community leader in the area of experiential environmental education and staff members were invited to make presentations at state-wide summits earlier this year about the work we do. And while our geographic reach expands and the number of students served continues to grow, it’s good to remember that these programs came about because two garden-loving neighbors reached out to school children nearly 20 years ago and set us all on the journey to grow greener futures for our students and community.

THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS FOR ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMMING YEAR! 2014-2015 Partner Schools and Organizations 2014-2015 Foundation Partners 4/5 Academy at 5th Avenue - Decatur Avondale Elementary School - DeKalb Benteen Elementary - Atlanta Clairemont Elementary - Decatur Clarkston High School - DeKalb College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center - Decatur Decatur Housing Authority - Decatur Glennwood Elementary - Decatur International Preschools - Atlanta Oakhurst Elementary - Decatur Renfroe Middle School - Decatur School at North Decatur - Decatur Westchester Elementary - Decatur Whitefoord Elementary School - Atlanta Whitefield Academy - Mableton Winnona Park Elementary - Decatur


Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation Aileen Phillips Trust Bright Wings Foundation Decatur BBQ, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival EMSA Fund HERCULES Community Mini-Grant Program John and Mary Franklin Foundation Les Dames D’Escoffier International Atlanta Chapter Mary Brown Fund of Atlanta Patrick Family Foundation The Sara Giles Moore Foundation

The Scott Hudgens Family Foundation The Wilhelmina D. and John H. Harland Charitable Foundation The Zeist Foundation Waterfall Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation



by Gadedj Sy, Hussein Dahir, Angel Lara

“(THE INTERNSHIP) MADE ME REALIZE THAT WITHOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LEARN WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE IN THE WORKFORCE.” My name is Gadedj Sy and I am a sophomore at Decatur High School. Five months ago I didn't believe that I would have been able to see myself working in a garden or at the Decatur Farmers Market. So when some of my friends who did the internship last year recommended it to me, I applied. I was so surprised when I was accepted.

Gadedj Sy Decatur High School Sophomore Intern host sites: Global Growers and Decatur Farmers Market

I started my internship off by working with the Global Growers Network. While working with them at their local gardens, I got the chance to learn to harvest and package foods for markets. But all I could think about every day after work was how exhausted I was. After working at the garden for almost a week, I went to my parents and complained about how tired I was and how I didn’t want to go back. I got a really long lecture from them. At the end of their lecture, I learned that when my family first moved to America, they actually worked in a garden similar to the ones I was working in. It made me realize that without this opportunity, I would not have been able to learn what it is like to be in the workforce. The next part of my internship, and also my favorite part, was working at the Decatur Farmers Market. I was able to meet many new people and try new amazing foods. Going to the market was my favorite because there was always something new to look forward to every time I went. This internship taught me a lot about how important time management is and I recommend it to anyone because in the end, I enjoyed it so much. “I GET TO TRY NEW THINGS THAT I HAVEN’T TRIED BEFORE.” Hello I am Hussein Dahir. When I first got the application from Mr. Corey at the Decatur Housing Authority, I was curious. When I saw Farm Burger was one of the internship locations, I started thinking about some of the perks this internship could have: I get to try new things that I haven’t tried before, I get to gain experience interning, and I have something new to add to my résumé. During the first part of my internship I was at the Oakhurst Garden. When I first started, I didn’t expect to have any fun at all because I am a very lazy person, but even though I got bitten by a lot of mosquitoes, I actually enjoyed my time there.

Hussein Dahir Decatur High School Junior Intern host sites: Farm Burger and Oakhurst Garden

I don’t think the internship helped direct my future, but it did give me experience in the restaurant business and in gardening. I feel like the restaurant experience will be good for my future if I get a job working in a restaurant. What I enjoyed most out of this internship was being at Farm Burger. I enjoyed this because I met so many different people, worked with a lot of people, and ate a lot of good food. It was just lots of fun being there and working with the people there. The thing I enjoyed least about the internship was working in the heat when I was at the Oakhurst Garden. It was very hot and there were lots of mosquitoes there. Back when Decatur Farm to School came to our school (for taste tests), I wouldn’t taste or try the stuff they brought to us, but now I think I will at least give it a try the next time they come to our school. All in all, I really enjoyed this internship and I would totally do it again. “I NOW HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT THIS IS THE CAREER PATH I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE, AND THAT WITH HARD WORK, I CAN DO IT.” When I heard about the Farm to School program, I was very excited. I like cooking and farming, but I had never done either as a job, so I had my reservations. However, I wanted to learn more about both and to have more confidence. I joined the program in hopes that I would learn and experience lots of things at the farm and at the restaurant.

Angel Lara Decatur High School Sophomore Intern host sites: Leon’s Full Service and Love is Love Farm

In 2008, Love Is Love Farm opened. It is run by Joe Reynolds and Judith Winfrey. They believe that young, landless farmers can build a successful farm operation. The farm is five acres of land including hillsides, some forest, and a spring-fed pond. The 1.5-acre growing space is a patchwork of fields dedicated to rotation crops. At the farm, I learned that plants need more than sunlight and water to grow. For instance, winter squash needs to be covered up so that weeds don’t suck up all the water from the ground. I also learned that if you harvest strawberries after a rain storm they become soggy. Most importantly, I now have the confidence that this is the career path I would like to take, and that with hard work, I can do it. At Love is Love Farm, they grow vegetables and fruits for local restaurants located in Decatur. Leon's is one of the restaurants that sponsors the Love is Love Farm. The idea of using local farm produce came to be when the owners of Leon's became friends with some of the local farmers who were having trouble selling their produce. They decided to use the farm’s local produce in the restaurant to help their friends, while at the same time acquiring fresh ingredients for their menu. I was excited to know that I could see some of the vegetables I harvested the week before served at the restaurant’s tables. I've never worked inside a restaurant before, so when I got there I was a bit concerned, but everyone was nice. I learned that the crew gets to taste the new items the chef makes and give their approval. I also learned that there is a type of mold that helps speed up the process for making sausages. The most challenging thing for me was dealing with the heat and the mosquitoes. I would recommend that other interns bring sun screen, bug repellent, and plenty of water. Also, I’m a very shy person, so it was hard for me to interact with the customers. In the end, I made friends with some of them. My experience with the program was something I really enjoyed and will never forget. The new knowledge and skills I gathered will be useful for the rest of my life, so I'm very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this program.



WYLDE CENTER PARTNERS WITH THE HOMESTEAD ATLANTA TO HOST CLASSES WYLDE MEMBERS RECEIVE DISCOUNTS! CHICKENS ARE EASY: CHICKENS 101 Saturday, October 3, 2015 10:00am - 12:00pm Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $20 for Wylde Members $30 for non-members Join The Celtic Gardener, Anne-Marie Anderson, for our popular chicken crash course. This class will cover legislation, coop design, breed selection, care, and feeding. You will also receive a resource list of local chicken groups, vets, chick, and feed sources. BEEKEEPING 102: CARING FOR YOUR HIVE Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:00am - 12:30pm Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $25 for Wylde Members $35 for non-members Now that you’ve decided to keep bees, one of your biggest and most rewarding challenges is to keep your colony healthy and thriving through the winter. In this workshop, you will learn how to assess the health of the hive and its stores. We will learn how to determine if you need to feed the colony and if so, what, how, and how often. You will also learn to check the health of your colony as well as common problems and how to treat for them. Specifically, we will cover the varroa mite life cycle and how to control them effectively. Finally, we’ll touch on how to combine colonies to create a stronger hive. Chances are since starting your hives you probably have lots of questions, and this workshop is the perfect time to ask them. CHICKENS 102: CARING FOR YOUR FLOCK Saturday, November 14, 2015 10:00am - 12:00pm Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $20 for Wylde Members $30 for non-members No longer fluffy chicks, your flock is all grown up and facing a whole new set of challenges. Learn how to ensure their health and wellness for years to come with The Celtic Gardener, AnneMarie Anderson. This helpful workshop will address common issues such as molting, declining egg production, broody hens, and raising chicks. We will also discuss introducing new birds, dealing with pests, injuries and diseases, rooster care or disposal, creative feeding techniques, and more.


INTRO TO NATIVE POLLINATORS Saturday, December 5, 2015 9:00am - 11:00am Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $20 Wylde Members $30 non-members Join Véronique Perrot, beekeeper of the Oakhurst Garden hives, and learn about how pollinators survive and thrive. This class is suited for the curious gardener and people who think they want to become a beekeeper. Combine with Beekeeping Basics and save! BEEKEEPING BASICS Saturday, December 5, 2015 11:00am - 1:00pm Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $30 for Wylde Members $40 for non-members Join Véronique Perrot, beekeeper of the Oakhurst Garden hives, for an introduction to bees and beekeeping. We will cover the workings of a bee colony, the role of honey bees and native bees, and the basics of beekeeping equipment and paraphernalia. If weather allows, we will look inside one of the Garden's hives, so come with light-colored long sleeved shirt and long pants. Handouts will be provided. (Prerequisite: Intro to Bees and Native Pollinators is suggested – combine these workshops and save!) WINTER SOWING SEEDS FOR PERENNIALS & HERBS Saturday, December 12, 2015 10:00am - 12:00pm Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd Decatur, GA, 30030 $25 for Wylde Members $35 for non-members Discover an innovative way to successfully start plants from seed without the expense of an extensive lightstand or even a greenhouse! Using plastic containers and the freeze/thaw cycles of winter, germinate seeds with minimal effort. Find out more by joining Stephanie Van Parys in this fun and educational class. Native and non-native perennial and herb seeds, soil, and supplies are provided. You bring as many clear and opaque recyclable containers as you would like such as milk jugs, soda, water or juice bottles, plastic food tubs with lids, and clear take-out boxes.


Previous Page: Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) growing at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden, a Wylde Center greenspace. Native to Mexcio and Central America, Mexican Sunflower is a beautiful summer annual that grows with little tending in our gardens. Pick a sunny spot where the Tithonia may really stretch its branches. It will grow 5 feet high and 5 feet wide. In the late summer and into fall, its flowers will be visited by many butterflies. The newly renovated Edgewood Community Learning Garden is growing under the Wylde Center’s wings. The space is home to nine chickens, two apiaries, a pollinator garden, rain garden, pond, fruit trees, berry bushes, nine vegetable beds, mushroom logs, and compost bins. Did we mention the treehouse? With a slide and tire swing? Come visit! The Edgewood Community Learning Garden is located at 1503 Hardee St., Atlanta, GA, 30307 and is in partnership with The Zeist Foundation.

“The earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE WYLDE CENTER GIFTS RECEIVED JANUARY 1 - AUGUST 30, 2015 GROWING CIRCLE MEMBERS ($500-$5,000) Anonymous (3) Josh and Sara Becker Matthew and Marilyn Berberich Caroline and Dan Branch Marc and Shelby Brennan Trish and Tim Bricker Rebeccah Brown Rob and Shelby Buso Elena Conis Katherine and Brett Cooper Grady Cousins Allison Dixon Melissa Ely-Moore Nicole Fehrenbach Adele and Pat Gipson Mary Goodwin and Joey Herrera Ardath and George Grills Rex Hamre Caroline Herring and Joe Crespino Jeremy Jeffers Wyn Jones and Lisa Maxwell Lubo Fund Alan and Jane McNabb Jenna Mobley Carmen Mohan Kate and Bob Mone Jessica and Selby Neese Stephen and Joy Provost Nathan and Gena Rawlins Meredith Reynolds Lynn Russell and Donna Inkster Michael and Liz Sage Cara and Mike Schroeder Christopher Sidor and Bobbi Kay Trish Thompson Pandra and Michael Williams Kathryn Young IN MEMORY OF Rosalie Averett by Gregg and Shirley Averett Jenny Davis by Kathleen Davis Harold and Catherine Hutto by Edward Coyle Mechthild Van Parys by Anonymous Ronnie Wray by Leisa and Lyman Wray Sally Wylde by Carol Burgess Sally Wylde by Ellen Redman-Moneypenny IN HONOR OF Sandra Rice by Beth Arnow and Steve Weisbrod Dr. Anthony Gal by the Emory University Pathology Residents FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTIONS Community Center of South Decatur Food Well Alliance Hercules Community Program John & Mary Franklin Foundation The Scott Hudgens Family Foundation UPS Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation The Zeist Foundation BUSINESS CONTRIBUTIONS Benevity Community Impact Fund Brick Store Pub* Cakes & Ale* Decatur Farmers Market* Doggy Dogg ATL* Farmburger, Inc.* Georgia State Charitable Contributions

King of Pops, Inc.* Lawrence’s Café* Leon’s Full Service* Makan Restaurant & Bar* McMaster-Carr Mojo Pizza* Oakhurst Market* Raging Burrito* Sapori di Napoli* Seven Hens* Steinbeck’s* The Iberian Pig* The Imperial* Travelers Foundation Twain’s Brewpub and Billiards* Universal Joint* Wahoo Grill* Wahoo Wine & Provisions* *Spring Decatur Farm to School Dineout Participants CIVIC CONTRIBUTIONS Decatur First Methodist Preschool Georgia Organics Holy Innocents Episcopal School Park Pride Slow Food Atlanta Trinity Anglican Mission MEMBERSHIPS RECEIVED Kris Adams and Roger Hertel Kathleen Allen Kristin and Billy Allin Anonymous (2) Debra Armstrong Robert W. Ashmore Jennifer Aultman and Michelle Abel Maxine Bailey Steven Bales and Andy Bailey Gail Bardis Rebecca Barria Kim Baskerville Collen Beard and Sheila Stevens Beryl Bergquist Ruby Bock and Barry Rhodes Patricia and James Bonner JP and Julie Boulee Bob and Evelyn Brewer Jed Brody Emilie and Charles Bryant John Buckner and Rui Hu Maura Burke Mariana Campili-Warren and Mike Warren Robin Chalmers and Michael Purser Sylvia Chandler Teresa Cheshire William and Gayle Christian Rachel Cochran Simon Coffin and Kira Zender Robert and Holli Cortelyou Johnette and David Crum Elizabeth and Richard Davey Kathleen and Tommy Dean Patricia Del Rey Kevin Delaney and Robin Lee-Delaney Angela Deokar Diane Despard Valerie DeWeerth Grace and Dodd Cook Suzanne Germaneso Dolan Joanna Duke Brian Dulisse and Barbara Mahon Daiga Dunis and Kim Wallen Kristin Ebersold Paula Edwards Mary Elzey Vivian and Kenneth Ernstes Amanda Evans Bill Everitt and Amelia Fusaro Nancy Fernandez

Victor and Amy Fillion Ryan and Sarah Florence Richard and Marishyl Ford Nicole and Brandon Forde Anne and Edgar Fowlkes Nancy Franklin Daniel and Jennifer Frilingos Hester Lee Furey Jan and Howard Gable Ellen Rae Gallow and Jonathan Herman Melissa Garrett Anita and David Germaneso Amy Gilbert J. Doug Glasgow and Yun Jung Lee Hector and Mary Beth Gonzalez Daniel Goodridge Rita and David Gowler Gundolf Graml and Barbara Drescher Phil and Shirley Guy Nancy and John Hamilton Michael Harbin and Rowena Worrall Sara Harmelin Daniel and Jenny Harrison Erin Hecht Tania Herbert and Peter Roberts Alice Hickcox Mary Hilpertshauser Thomas Himes Patrick and Wendy Holmes Lynne Huffer and Tamara Jones Jack and Charlene Hutcheson Daniel Hutton Cameron Ives and David Stockert Randall and Alyssa James Emily Janke Jeanne Johnson Donna Jones Lewis and Tamara Jones Mistie and Riley Jones Paul James Kane and Misha Barnes Susan Keith Michael Keller and Richard Kern Kari Ann Kemnitz Cece Kimble and Stephanie Saunders Stefanie Kingsley Judy Knight Adina Langer and Matthew DeAngelis Mary Jane and John Leach Joshua Lefrancios and Sarah Peterson Emery and Wendy Leonard Amy Lovell and David Smith Lylia Lucio Catherine Lyman and Michael Fox Demarest MacDonald Bill and Emilie Markert Amy Marti John and Melinda McCuan Laura Wilkerson McDonald Shannon McDuffie Peter and Becky McElroy Dana and Mac McKeever Joie McLeod Charles and Christine McNerney Meghan McNulty Bill Mealor Anne and Juergen Meyer Jennifer Miller and Benjamin Findley Walter and Kimiko Miller Maurie Mintz and Markus Porkert Ken Mitzel Connie Monson Lori and Steve Montgomery Deborah Mook and John Painter Erin and Mike Murphy Alice Murray Edward and Cheryl Nahmias Brigitte B. Nahmias Gardner Neely Daniel Newman Kathleen O’Connor Brenda and Mark Oprisch Katina Pappas-DeLuca

Marise Parent and Lou Herzog Kelley Peace Veronique Perrot and Rustom Antia Lawrence and Annika Perry Charlotte Piper Jared Poley and Laura Carruth Leigh Priestley and Ninetta Violante Andrew Reisinger Michael and Nancy Rekhelman Jennifer and Jeremy Rhett Michelle Rice Ann Ritter and Bob Holmes Sterling and Stephanie Roach J. Pargen and Lesley Robertson Ruthann Rodekohr Denolia Roland Darice and Ben Rose Caley Ross Michael and Kimberly Rossi Susan Rossi Andrea Samford Julie Sammons Cindy and Mark Sanders Madelyn Santiago Kerri Shannon and Joseph Younkins Ben Silk Shelby Smith Gail A. Smith Dallas Smith Christa and Tim Sobon Chrissy Spencer Mary Starck Jeff and Cindy Stemple Leigh Anne Strawn Anuj Tewari Carolyn and Leonard Thibadeau Margarette Towner Tracy Trentadue and James Monacell Stephanie Troncalli and Carol Harrison Naomi Tsu Janet Turner Kyla Van Deusen Kathryn Van Heirseele Anna Varela and James Salzer Julia Vastola Bethany Veruloesem Cathy and Steve Vogel Tracy Wachholz Patricia Ward Helen Ward Jessica and David Wasserman Rebecca and Jonathan Watts Hull Robert Weintraub and Lorie Burnett Jennifer Weissman and Stephen Kay Caitlin White Sylvia Williames Stacy Wiiliams Ian and Liz Williams David and Catherine Williams Reid Willingham Suzanne Wilson Ralph Winter and Kenneth Fanning Elise Witt Harley and Theresa Woodgeard John and Katherine Yntema

Watermelon growing at the Oakhurst Garden.




by JC Hines, Greenspace Manager

Like wearing jeans, watching football, and soups cooked all day long on a chilly Sunday afternoon, planting garlic is an annual fall tradition.

up with the soil. If your soil is particularly dry, water the cloves in. Be sure not to overwater as the cloves may rot.

Choosing the right variety There are so many great garlics to choose from. Like many other vegetables, different varieties do better in the South. I always recommend doing a little variety research or ordering from southern based companies like Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. For southern growing, I am fond of the hardneck variety German Extra Hardy and for softneck, Romanian Red (a little on the spicy side). Some garlics, particularly hardneck varieties, need long cold winters so be sure to check before you order.

Giving your bulbs the right conditions Garlic likes to be kept cool and moist. Straw mulch or partially composted leaves are the best solution through the winter. Deseeded hay is the best so that you don’t have hay grass growing, but be sure it hasn’t been sprayed with a chemical inhibitor. Standard Feed and Seed in Decatur has hay mulch. Put a nice thick fluffy layer of hay mulch or leaves over your garlic.

Preparing your soil I’ve had luck with garlic in a variety of soils, but hard packed soils and wet, soggy soils will really hinder the growth of your garlic. I recommend turning your soil with a spade fork and loosening up big chunks. How do I plant garlic? Your seed will likely come in bulb form. Break the bulbs into individual cloves just before planting. I leave the garlic skins on. I pre-make my holes for the cloves. Plant the cloves 1 inch deep, 4-6 inches apart and 12 inches between rows. I put one garlic clove in each hole, with the pointy side UP. Once all my cloves are planted, I cover them back

Break up the bulb before planting.

Plant the pointy side UP! Space 4-6” apart.

Garlic hates weeds! The mulch should help to eliminate some of the weeds, but it’s really important to keep your garlic bed weeded. Garlic does not like to compete for soil nutrients and moisture. Too many weeds can result in small or malformed garlic bulbs. Also, while garlic is in the ground it is soft and roots from weeds can penetrate the garlic making it more susceptible to disease and rot. Wait Patiently Garlic should be planted October through the end of November so it has a chance to get established. Then you wait. Patiently. In late June when the leaves of the garlic turn brown, your garlic will be ready to harvest.

Green stems of the garlic in early spring.

Harvest garlic in late June.





Fall is the best time to rebuild the health of your soil after a long, productive summer. In addition to adding compost, plant cover crops too. Cover crops suppress weeds, protect soil from rain or runoff, improve soil aggregate stability, reduce surface crusting, add active organic matter to soil, break hardpan, fix nitrogen, scavenge soil nitrogen, and suppress soil diseases and pests.

Cover Crop

When to Sow Out


Crimson Clover

Sow seeds directly in the soil in September and October.

Adds nitrogen to the soil, protects the bare soil during the winter, attracts beneficial insects and bees. This cover crop does self sow if allowed to set seed in the late spring. Be sure to mow down the cover crop when it is done blooming.

Sources: High Mowing Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Territorial Seed Company Hairy Vetch

Sow seeds directly in the soil in September and October. Sources: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, High Mowing Seeds

Austrian Winter Peas

Sow seeds directly in the soil in September and October. Sources: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply

Vetch adds nitrogen to the soil, protects the bare soil during the winter, attracts beneficial insects and bees. This cover crop does self sow if allowed to set seed in the late spring. It can become a pesty weed. Be sure to mow down the cover crop when it is done blooming and before the seed pods turn brown. Tips are edible. Harvest the top four inches of the tips and add to salads or lightly saute. Peas add nitrogen to the soil, protect the bare soil during the winter, attract beneficial insects and bees.





• • • •

Plant bulbs such as daffodils Plant garlic, shallots, onions Plant strawberries Dig up your sweet potatoes and cure in a dry place for a week

November • •

Collect leaves and create a leaf composting bin Leave the stalks and old flower heads on foraging bird favorites such as coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and other native seed bearing flowers Plant asparagus crowns

December •

• •

Winter sow perennial flower and herb seeds in plastic milkjugs converted to greenhouses Plant tulips Browse your seed catalogs and start making your lists!

NOVEMBER- BUILD NEW BEDS Fall is the best time to build a new bed in your garden, either for vegetables or for flowers. Instead of breaking your back with a shovel or a tiller, try lasagna gardening. Lasagna gardening is also known as sheet mulching or sheet composting. It is a simple method of layering yard waste and vegetable scraps creating a two foot high bed that ultimately composts down into rich, workable soil. The best part of this method is that it does not require any digging at any stage. There is no need to break up the soil in advance or turn the composted material into the soil. You simply plant into the bed you have created once the materials have composted, usually by the next season.


Advantages of the lasagna garden method includes naturally suppressing weeds, nutrient-rich fertil- Arugula growing in the top layer of a lasagna izer, and loose, crumbly, and fluffy soil perfect for root growth. To take immediate advantage of the garden. new bed, add a layer of finished compost to the top of the bed. Scatter seeds of lettuce, arugula, or your favorite greens across the soil and water well. See the diagram below on how to build your lasagna garden this fall. Seeds: Plant lettuce, kale, collards, or other leafy greens into the top layer. Water well every day until the seeds germinate or use transplants. Top Layer: Add 2-6 inches of compost or manure

Repeat steps 3-6 until your lasagna garden is about 2 feet deep. Layer 6: Your “brown” layer, shredded leaves, hay, shredded newspaper, and other similar material Layer 5: Your “green” layer, peat moss, manure, vegetable scraps, and/or lawn and garden clippings Layer 4: Your “brown” layer, shredded leaves, hay, shredded newspaper, and other similar material Layer 3: Your “green” layer, peat moss, manure, vegetable scraps, and/or lawn and garden clippings Layer 2: Cardboard or several layers of newspaper that have been soaked in water. Don’t use the glossy ad pages. Layer 1: Lawn

• • • •


Scatter poppy seeds across a garden bed, cover with a light sprinkle of soil, and water well. In the early spring, you will see the ice green leaves of the poppy seedlings. Thin the seedlings so that each plant is 6-8 inches apart. This will result in larger plants with more flowers. Once the petals fall off, you will be left with the seed capsule. Allow the capsule to dry and the seeds will fall to the ground. Those same seeds will sprout the next winter. Varieties that do well in our Georgia gardens are Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas), Iceland poppies (P. nudicaule), oriental poppies (P. orientale) and California poppies (Eschscholzia californica).


C c L h s s i D s P D P

D W n P S S


TOP TEN NATIVE PLANTS FOR A DIVERSE AND BEAUTIFUL YARD by Jeff Killingsworth, Beech Hollow Farms Nursery Manager A short list cannot begin to describe the immense diversity and variation in the plant species and communities that evolved in what is now Georgia, USA. This list provides an opportunity for you to think about the plants that are in your yard and garden, where they came from, and what purpose(s) they serve. Landscaping can be beautiful AND provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Top Ten List Criteria

Each featured selection starts with a whole genus of plants, and then narrows to one or two species that are endemic to the Piedmont. There are two reasons for this structure. The numbers for caterpillar species hosted* are expressed by genus and if conditions in your yard will not support my selections, then you can research the other members of the genus. The wide diversity of plants in the Southeast almost guarantees that there are other species in the genus that will find your yard delightful. Mindful selection of native plants for your yard helps to reunite a fragmented landscape into a larger community and gives us all a sense of place in the land that we call home. *All numbers cited for number of caterpillar species hosted come from Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s invaluable research that can be found on his website at

Native to Georgia

Production of fruits/nuts for birds (and humans)

Abundant flowers for pollinators (and humans)

Cover/shelter for birds

Number of caterpillar species hosted

The number of caterpillar species hosted is doubly important as some lucky caterpillars get to grow up to be butterflies and moths that help pollinate flowers. However, the vast majority of them are destined to be eaten by birds and other animals. Baby birds need large amounts of fat and protein to develop their brains and bodies just like baby humans, but unlike humans, birds cannot deliver these nutrients via milk. It takes many caterpillars to raise a healthy bird to maturity.

(NATIVE) Honeysuckle – Lonicera spp.

Blueberry – Vaccinium spp.

The sweet smelling and tasting Honeysuckle with the creamy white flowers that is most often associated with that word is actually highly invasive and originally native to Asia. Lonicera japonica was spread all over the world in the 19th Century and is now on every continent except Antarctica. Please do not propagate this plant, despite the fact that many nurseries continue to sell it.

Blueberries should be very familiar to anyone that has spent even a single summer in Georgia. The Vaccinium genus also contains the species known as: Bilberry, Huckleberry, Cranberry, Whortleberry, and Lignonberry.

Scarlet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is native to this country, and is a treesafe vine that produces clusters of brilliant red tubular flowers in mid-spring. These flowers are an important nectar source for our resident and migratory hummingbirds. The foliage is semi-evergreen, and the plant roots easily at the nodes making it easy to grow and multiply. It can be trained onto a trellis or fence into a very attractive, cascading mass of dark green leaves and bright red blooms. Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava) is another US native that is essentially the same as Scarlet Honeysuckle in all respects except flower color. Its yellow tubular flowers are also attractive to hummingbirds. The native Lonicera plants host 33 species of caterpillars.


Its members host 286 species of caterpillars in addition to producing those delicious berries. The creamy white bell-shaped flowers bloom early in the season providing nectar for bees. They also have their own native specialist pollinator, the Southeastern Blueberry Bee, that utilizes “buzz pollination” to efficiently transfer pollen and increase berry production. The Southern ‘Rabbiteye’ Blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum or V. ashei) has numerous named cultivars selected to produce tasty berries if you can beat the birds. It does better in the Southeastern climate than the Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), which is a more northerly native, and it also has numerous named cultivars. Cultivars are all essentially clones, so make sure to plant at least two different ones for good cross pollination and berry set. If you want a true native try the amusingly named Farkleberry (Vaccinium arborescens) for a large shrub with evergreen leaves and smaller, tart berries that birds will still readily eat.

Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium/Eupatorium spp.* Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) is already a popular garden plant, especially with butterfly enthusiasts. It grows up to ten feet tall in ideal conditions (part shade, moist soils) and produces large rounded clusters of hundreds of tiny pink flowers. Every shape and size of pollinator will be on this plant at the height of its bloom in late summer. Another member of this genus that also attracts numerous and diverse pollinators is Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). It has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans and later by colonists. Boneset is easily recognized by its large, fuzzy perfoliate leaves. The opposite pairs are joined at the bases, and the stem appears to perforate them. Rounded clusters of white to pinkish blooms top the stalks in late summer. Eupatorium hosts 40 species of caterpillars, provides abundant nectar for adult butterflies, and follows through with numerous seeds for songbirds. *Thanks to DNA sequencing all the plants that used to be in the Eupatorium genus are constantly being shuffled around a few genera, so I am treating these two interchangeably.


Sedges – Carex sp

Hawthorn – Crataegus spp.

Asters – Symphyotrichium spp.

Sedges are very similar to grasses and are, in fact, close cousins of the grass family. They tend to be shorter at maturity, have broader leaves, and prefer partly shady moist areas whereas grasses tend to prefer drier, sunnier habitats. Sedges are very well suited for border plantings at the edges of walkways, flower beds, and around the bases of trees. Anywhere that one might consider planting the dreaded invasive Monkeygrass (Liriope spp.) is a spot that would be much better off with a group of sedges.

Hawthorns are large, thicket forming woody shrubs in the Rose family. As with roses, they have beautiful flowers and large thorns. A thorny hedge is a great way to deter a nosy neighbor, and it makes ideal cover for nesting birds.

Asters are one of the largest plant families encompassing over 1600 genera of closely related plants with very similar looking flowers including sunflowers, daisies, coneflower, Black-eyed Susan and many, many more. The members of the Symphyotrichium genus tend to be named “(Person/Place/Adjective) Aster.”

Broadleaf Sedge (Carex platyphylla) has attractive silvery green leaves that form dense clumps 8-10” tall and put up spiky flower heads that develop into seeds for songbirds. Blue Wood Sedge (Carex flaccosperma) has blue-green leaves, is semi-evergreen, and blooms in early spring. Carex hosts 36 caterpillar species in stark contrast to Liriope’s zero.

Hawthorns flower in early spring, which makes them another important nectar and pollen source for native bees. They produce edible fruits and host an impressive 150 different species of caterpillars. Yellow Hawthorn (Crataegus flava) is a drought tolerant small tree/large shrub with clusters of bright white flowers in early Spring, yellow fruits in summer, and beautiful foliage in autumn. Parsley Leaf Hawthorn (Crataegus marshalii) is a multi-stemmed upright shrub with small, deeply incised leaves that resemble parsley leaves. Small white flowers are followed by bright red fruits that persist on the plant to become winter bird forage. It does well in average to dry soils and part shade.

“Mindful selection of native plants for your yard helps to reunite a fragmented landscape into a larger community and gives us all a sense of place in the land that we call home.” Viburnums are very popular with landscapers and developers. Low water needs, tolerant of many soils, attractive glossy foliage, beautiful flowers, autumn colors: They knock it out of the park. Unfortunately, many of the varieties that are in the nursery trade are either from Asia or have been hybridized with Asian species.

Arrowwood – Viburnum spp.

This has made for some very interesting looking cultivars, but there is scant research on whether or not the 97 species of caterpillars that feed on native Viburnum leaves can fully utilize these non-native plants. Best to err on the side of caution on behalf of the caterpillars and plant a native that will produce viable seeds for the birds to spread around. Mapleleaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerfolium) is a great shrub to grow in the filtered shade

Georgia Aster (Symphyotrichium georgianum) should be our state flower. It is a drought tolerant rosette of low-growing leaves for most of the year, but starting in September a 3-4 foot tall branching stalk of blooms emerges. The abundant 2” flowers have deep purple petals with purplish-white centers that often continue to bloom through October into November, making it a great source of late season nectar and pollen. Another late bloomer that is also inconspicuous until it flowers is Calico Aster (Symphyotrichium lateriflorum). Its 2-4 foot tall bloom stalk is covered with hundreds of small white flowers with yellow centers that fade to brown as they age. The blooms continue to emerge through November or until they are killed back by frost. Asters host 112 caterpillar species.

of a large tree. It sprouts multiple 3-5 foot tall stems lined with large opposite pairs of deep green leaves that are easily mistaken for maple leaves. Rounded clusters of small white flowers bloom through the spring and are followed by pea-sized, blue-black fruits that birds will devour just as quickly as blueberries. The leaves put on a spectacular color show in autumn shifting through yellow, orange, red and then purplish hues before they drop for the winter. A larger specimen is Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) which is a thicket forming large shrub/small tree that grows 10-20 feet tall. The young leaves are covered in fine red hairs that give them a “rusty” appearance and they also turn brilliant colors in the fall. It does best in average to dry soils and full sun to part shade.


NATIVE GARDENS Goldenrod – Solidago spp. Goldenrod often gets a bad reputation by association. It blooms the same time as Ragweed, and frequently gets blamed by allergy sufferers as the cause of their congestion. Goldenrods are pollinated by insects, and as such do not release clouds of pollen into the air like Ragweed. The beautiful yellow flowers are a favorite of many pollinators when they bloom in late summer as most other flowers have faded. In addition to beautiful nectar-bearing flowers, goldenrods host 112 species of caterpillars. Showy Goldenrod (Solidago erecta) is a low-growing set of leaves for most of the year until it sprouts a 3-4 foot tall stem in late summer that is covered in hundreds of tiny yellow flowers. The small seeds that follow the blooms are readily consumed by birds. Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) is a slowly spreading, rhizomatous, colony-forming plant that has deep green leaves with toothed margins. The low-growing rosettes of leaves put up stalks lined with small yellow flowers in late summer that are followed by abundant seeds.

Wild Cherry - Prunus spp. Wild Cherry, Chokecherry, Wild Plum, Black Cherry and Laurel Cherry are some of the common names given to the native members of this genus. It also includes the cultivars that give us our plums, cherries, almonds, apricots, and peaches. The native Prunus species host a whopping 429 different species of caterpillars! In addition to the caterpillar smorgasbord, the fruits are also an important food source for birds. Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia) is a small tree (15 to 25 feet at maturity) that has glossy dark green leaves and reddish-brown bark. Clusters of small white flowers bloom in early spring, which provides much needed nectar for emerging native bees. The small ½” reddishorange fruits ripen in the late summer. The fruits are usually a bit tart to our modern tastes, but have a long history as a food source for Native Americans and were later used to make jams, jellies, and wine by colonists. If you have the space Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is a full size tree (up to 100 feet) with the same early blooming white flowers. The fruits are small, but abundant, and also have a long history of use in jams and pies, and as a flavoring in many foods and beverages.

Sunflowers – Helianthus spp. All Sunflowers are native to the North American continent and were one of the first food plants to be domesticated and cultivated by Native Americans more than 2000 years ago. Since then many, many varieties have been bred that produce large edible seeds in all manner of sizes and colors. The annual varieties are fun to grow, and provide plenty of nectar, pollen, and seeds for wildlife. Most of the annuals need full sun, but there are a few perennial species that do better in part shade. Purple Disk Sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens) sprouts multiple 3-5 foot flower stalks from its low-growing crown in late summer. The numerous 3” blooms have the iconic yellow petals and dark centers surrounded by a ring of purplish-red ray flowers. A partly shady area along a fence line or at the edge of a tree canopy is a great spot for this perennial sunflower. Another highly versatile species is the Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus). I have planted it in full sun and fairly deep shade with successful blooms at both sites. The 5-7 foot tall arching stalks need a fair amount of space, but the reward is dozens of 2-3” yellow flowers per stalk in late summer through early fall. The back fence line or a neglected corner of the yard could easily host a shade tolerant sunflower and the 73 species of caterpillars that depend upon them.


CATERPILLARS ARE EATING MY PLANTS…..AND I’M OK WITH THAT. Some insects can be devastating to plants - devouring the foliage, spreading fungal or bacterial diseases, eating the roots, or eating the seed pods before they can develop. Milkweed bugs, leafcutters, grasshoppers, lacewings, and mealybugs all have challenged my patience and devotion to organic practices on more than one occasion. As much as the previous insects fill me with consternation, there is one group of leaf munching insects that I greet with amusement and curiosity... caterpillars. Many caterpillars feed at night and then spend the day hiding in a rolled up leaf, or clinging to a plant’s stem hoping to avoid detection by birds and the numerous other predators that would eat them. Part of the fun of finding them is that they are trying very hard not to be found, so it’s usually a surprise. The other fun part is trying to identify the species and see what sort of butterfly or moth it will become. I’m pretty sure this one is a Clouded Skipper which feeds on various broad leaf grasses. (photo to the right) Jeff Killingsworth is the Nursery Manager at Beech Hollow Farm, a 120-acre native plant farm just outside Lexington, Georgia.


Previous Page: Green frog in the pond at the Oakhurst Garden. Green frogs are native to the eastern coast of the USA and Canada. The males distinctive call sounds like a plucked banjo string. When visiting the Oakhurst Garden, be sure to sit quietly on the rocks next to the pond and see how many frogs you might find. If you are quiet, they may talk to you! The Oakhurst Garden was established in 1997 as the first of the four gardens the Wylde Center now manages. On site, you will find the Wylde Center office, a greenhouse, an ongoing plant sale, chickens, picnic area, a pond, a children’s play area, a stream, and so much more. Oakhurst Garden is located at 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030.

HOPPING FROG, HOP HERE AND BE SEEN by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Hopping frog, hop here and be seen, I’ll not pelt you with stick or stone: Your cap is laced and your coat is green; Plodding toad, plod here and be looked at, You the finger of scorn is crooked at: But though you’re lumpish, you’re harmless too; You won’t hurt me, and I won’t hurt you.



How well do you know the flowers of the Oakhurst Garden?

3. What fruit comes from inside-out flowers?

4. These pretty flowers bloom in the Oakhurst Garden pond.

2. This early-blooming flower tastes so bad, even deer won’t eat it!

1. Who at the Oakhurst Garden is named after a flower?

5. Butterflies visit flowers to sip what liquid? 6. This flower is part of a round, white veggie that might make you cry!

7. This common green veggie is actually made of thousands of little flowers.

Answers: 1. Cardoon the cat 2. Daffodil 3. Figs 4. Water lilies 5. Nectar 6. Onion 7. Broccoli 27


Non-Profit Org US Postage PAID Permit # 328 Decatur, GA

Return Service Requested



Join us for s’mores and storytelling at three of our gardens this fall. All are invited to enjoy these free, family-friendly events. October 17 – 5-7 PM @ Sugar Creek Garden 415 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030 (Behind the Presbyterian Church) October 24 – 5-7 PM @ Oakhurst Garden 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 November 14 – 5-7 PM @ Hawk Hollow 2304 1st Ave, Atlanta, GA 30317 All three S’mores for All dates will feature storytelling by Christy Foelsch from Kids Go Wild LLC. Stories begin at 5:30 PM Visit for more information.


Decatur Farm to School is hosting its Fall Dine Out. Plan to dine (or take out) at your favorite Decatur restaurant and help raise money for a great cause! Decatur Farm to School is a program of the Wylde Center. Visit for more information.


November 8, 4-6 PM Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 We love our members! To celebrate our Wylde Center donors, we host an annual Hot Dog Roast that features a bonfire, delicious treats, kid activities, and a festive atmosphere that fits the autumn season. Come as a current donor, renew your support at the party, or just come to learn more about our programs. New this year! Wylde staff will present the “Volunteer of the Year” award. Visit for more information.

ANNUAL SEED AND SCION EXCHANGE January 23, 10:30 AM -1:30 PM Decatur Library and Decatur Recreation Center

Ira Wallace from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange will be speaking on the topic of Family Heirloom Seeds: Saving Stories, Preserving Biodiversity at our annual free event. The lecture will be followed by a seed and scion exchange at the Decatur Recreation Center. Event is hosted by Slow Food Atlanta, Park Pride, City of Decatur, and the Wylde Center. Visit for more information.

Wylde Center 2015 Fall Magazine  

A quarterly publication produced by the Wylde Center, an Atlanta environmental education organization. The issue includes an overview of th...

Wylde Center 2015 Fall Magazine  

A quarterly publication produced by the Wylde Center, an Atlanta environmental education organization. The issue includes an overview of th...