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

FALL HIGHLIGHTS Cakes & Ale Dinner, Hot Dog! Membership Open House page 4 COMMUNITY EVENTS First Graders Remember Sally Wylde page 5 Chicken Symposium and Coop Tour pages 6 and 7 FARM TO SCHOOL Sweet Potato Taste Test pages 8 and 9 CLASS SCHEDULE Animals, Gardening, and Children Programs pages 10-15 PULL-OUT MAP BY BANG TRAN pages 16 and 17 KID’S PAGE Who hibernates? page 18 VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT Sharon Gilbert page 19 MEMBERSHIP ROLL Gifts received Oct. 1 thru Dec. 31, 2013 pages 20 and 21 POETRY What kind of seed am I? page 22 IN SEASON Baked Sweet Potato Sticks page 23 GARDENING Q&A with JC page 23 Sheet Mulching pages 24 and 25 Growing Potatoes page 26 Closing the Loop with Chickens pages 27 to 29 Growing Natives: an Interview with Leah Pine page 30 A BLAST FROM THE PAST page 31

HOURS Wylde Center is open Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM. Garden sites are open daily from sun up to sun down. Executive Director, Stephanie Van Parys, poses with Oakhurst Elementary students.

Happy New Year, Wylde Members, As we look forward to our 2014 goals, I would like to share a few of our 2013 highlights: • Over 1,000 school children came to the Oakhurst Garden for field trips; • Over 6,000 visitors came to the Wylde Center’s four garden sites for education programs, events, volunteer opportunities, plant sale; • Our education department reached over 4,000 students in the City Schools of Decatur through its Farm to School program; • Our three site managers maintained areas for wildlife by providing a clean and safe habitat at our four gardens; • Hosted two sold-out fundraisers and several events open and free to the public. Thank you for being a part of this success. Why am I holding an umbrella in the photo above? I was invited to speak to 125 first graders at Oakhurst Elementary about the life of Sally Wylde. The students were exploring What Can One Little Person Do? Inspired by the life of Sally and her contribution to our community, they each created a brochure. One is listed below, and also on page 5. The students in the photo above are holding a puppet created by Sally for an Earth Day parade. And the umbrella? It symbolizes how the Wylde Center shelters all of its programs under its Wylde name: Farm to School, Garden to Classroom, our four gardens, science programming, field trips, plant sale, and so much more. A big thank you to Marcia Fowler and the team of Oakhurst Elementary teachers for honoring Sally Wylde’s contribution this way. Here’s to 2014 and what we will accomplish together! Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director

MAGAZINE AND PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Anne-Marie Anderson, Atlanta Magazine, David Callihan, Paul Cox, Roger Easley Imagery, Melanie Heckman, JC Hines, Reagan Koski, Nichole Lupo, Véronique Perrot (Editor), Leah Pine, Monica Ponce, Lynn Simpson, Dara Suchke, Bang Tran, Stephanie Van Parys (Editor), and Andrea Zoppo THE WC’S MEMBER MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. FRONT COVER AND PAGE 3 Maple tree drilled by sapsuckers at the Oakhurst Garden; hen from Véronique Perrot’s flock in Lake Claire. PURCHASE AN AD For advertising rates, please visit our website or call 404.371.1920 for more information. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Joy Provost (Chair), Rex Hamre (Vice-Chair), KC Boyce (Treasurer), Jennifer Weissman (Secretary), Josh Becker, Meg Boswell, Caroline Branch, Shelby Buso, Brent Holt, Jeremy Jeffers, Lylia Lucio, Lynn Russell, Mike Sage, Kathryn Young URBAN GARDEN EDUCATOR Sumayya Allen GREENSPACE MANAGER AND OAKHURST GARDEN SITE COORDINATOR JC Hines EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGER Melanie Heckman EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Reagan Horack Koski GARDEN TO CLASSROOM EDUCATOR Nichole Lupo EDGEWOOD COMMUNITY LEARNING GARDEN SITE COORDINATOR, HAWK HOLLOW GARDEN SITE COORDINATOR Monica Ponce SUGAR CREEK GARDEN SITE COORDINATOR Dara Suchke ASSISTANT EDUCATOR Leslie Tunmore EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Stephanie Van Parys SPECIAL EVENT COORDINATOR Sarah Werkheiser PUBLIC PROGRAMS MANAGER AND VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR Andrea Zoppo INTERNS Nina Brooks, Véronique Perrot, Olivia Stockert, Bang Tran, Leslie Tunmore, and Tim Watts COPYRIGHT 2014 WYLDE CENTER INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING REPRINTING OF CONTENT, CONTACT 404.371.1920.


THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM YOUR CHICKENS Humans can be trained to bring food. Shiny is good. Edible is better. Almost everything is edible. If it isn’t edible, you can play with it.





n October 6, Kristin and Billy Allin, of the nationally reknowned Cakes & Ale restaurant, hosted their 3rd annual fundraising dinner for the Wylde Center. A sold out event, 75 people sat down to eat a meal using locally sourced ingredients. A big thank you to Kristin and Billy Allin for their generosity. Check out their restaurant at

CAKES & ALE PHOTOS TOP ROW: The menu for the Cakes & Ale dinner on October 6. Tables are set and ready for the arriving guests. Chef Billy Allin and his Sous Chef Bryan Soffenlen grill the evening’s meal. SECOND ROW: Cakes & Ale guests are served delicious appetizers. MEMBERSHIP OPEN HOUSE PHOTOS THIRD ROW: Sweets for the Hot Dog! Fall Membership Open House event. Andrea Zoppo, Wylde’s Public Programs Manager paints many faces during the event. Fire pits are open for roasting marshmallows. FOURTH ROW: Melanie Heckman, Wylde’s Education Program Manager prepared many fun children activities including a scavenger hunt and sweet potato stamps. Wylde’s Board member, Walt McMann roasts over 300 hot dogs for the hungry attendees. A nice turnout on a balmy November afternoon.



n November 3, over 200 people attended the Wylde Center’s Hot Dog! Fall Membership Open House. The event is an opportunity for guests to learn about the programs of the Wylde Center and to either renew their support or donate for the first time. New this year, children activities were prepared by Wylde’s education department. Over $5,000 was raised this evening from memberships.






ast September, Marcia Fowler, instructional coach for Oakhurst Elementary in the City Schools of Decatur, contacted the Wylde Center. As part of their fall expedition studying historical figures, they wanted to study the life of Sally Wylde and her contribution to the community through her work with the Oakhurst Garden. Fowler invited Wylde Center’s Executive Director, Stephanie Van Parys, to speak to the first graders, sharing information about Sally’s life and how the Wylde Center fits in the community. 125 students created a Sally Wylde brochure (top and bottom right) exploring facts about Sally Wyl-

de, her contribution, and their connection to her work. The students also worked with art teacher, Amy Evans, to create puppets (bottom left) from recycled materials, similar to the puppets Sally Wylde created for the 2007 Decatur Earth Day parade. The children paraded their puppets at the morning assembly in front of all the students, faculty, and parents. Their work was displayed at the November school showcase where parents were able to view and read about what one person can do. Thank you, Oakhurst Elementary, for your tribute to Sally Wylde and showcasing her contribution to our community.


LEFT: In November, Georgia Organics’ Farm to School program was honored by being named a “Groundbreaker” by Atlanta Magazine. This honor was shared with the Wylde Center’s Decatur Farm to School program, one of the most comprehensive programs in the state. RIGHT: Congratulations to our two Decatur Hometown Heroes: Kristin Allin for her work on the Wylde Center Board and community support; Lucia Pawloski for her leadership with Decatur Farm to School, a Wylde Center program.

Representatives from the Wylde Center, City School of Decatur, Georgia Organics, and Farm to School funders pose at the Groundbreaker event.

Kristin Allin (left) and Lucia Pawloski (right) pose with their new Hometown Hero medals after the ceremony. Photo by Roger Easley Imagery.



SAVE THE DATE FOR 2014 CHICKEN EVENTS CHICKS IN THE CITY SYMPOSIUM, MARCH 1, 9-3 PM Anne-Marie Anderson, URBAN COOP TOUR, MARCH 28-30, NOON-5 PM Wylde Center chicken By instructor and Chair, 2014 Urban Coop Tour


luck, cluck” is an increasingly common greeting across the metro area, as events like the annual ‘Chicks in the City’ symposium and the Atlanta Urban Coop Tour blast away myths about backyard poultry. No, they don’t smell. No, they don’t make a lot of noise (unless you have a rooster, and they aren’t allowed in many areas anyway). No, they don’t need a lot of care; in fact, just minutes a day. And no, they won’t lower the tone of the neighborhood or cause property values to plummet (really?!). Yes, your feathered friends do recognize and love you (you bring food!). They process kitchen leftovers into tasty fresh eggs, and their manure is black gold that will help your vegetables grow. In their leisure time (chickens have lots of leisure time, and no qualms about enjoying it to the full), the ladies will patrol endlessly for bugs and the first green hint of a weed, and process those into eggs too. There are plenty of questions about owning backyard chickens, and a wealth of experienced small-scale poultry owners who’ve considered all the options, overcome the odd problem, and now can’t remember what all the fuss was about. Uniformly, they comment that whatever their original expectations, the best thing about owning chickens is that they are so much fun to be around! Imagine a pet that never tries to make you feel guilty for going on vacation without them, is delighted when you show up with some moldy bread, and doesn’t need baths. Oh, and provides eggs, too. March 1st’s Chicks in the City symposium offers a complete day of classes, speakers and chickens, designed to launch you confidently into the world of backyard poultry ownership. Topics include coop

design, chicken breeds, health and wellness, and other resources for both the neophyte and more experienced chicken owner. Local gardening celebrity Walter Reeves will explain why you don’t need a rooster to produce eggs, and delight the crowd with newly hatched bundles of fun. Step two of your chicken crash course is provided by the Urban Coop Tour, March 28-30, when twelve backyard poultry owners will open their yards to tour-goers, introduce their chickens and answer questions about lessons learned, favorite breeds and how they got started. Coops vary from tiny jewel boxes decorated with stained glass and curtains to larger, more utilitarian set-ups based on small-scale urban farming. Kids’ activities are available to keep younger members of the family occupied in the unlikely event that the thrill of meeting feathery friends begins to pall. The tour kicks off with a launch party and silent auction fundraiser at Grant Park’s trendy Garden*Hood nursery on Friday March 28. Attendees will enjoy locally sourced refreshments under the stars while browsing chicken-related auction items including food, home décor and other goodies. Attendance is free with purchase of Urban Coop Tour ticket. Tickets for both Chicks in the City and the Urban Coop Tour are available at Symposium price $60 ($50 for Wylde Center members), Urban Coop Tour (including launch party) tickets $20 in advance, $25 on Tour weekend. COMBO DEAL! Join us for the BOTH the Symposium and the Atlanta Urban Coop Tour and save: $75 combo ticket ($65 Wylde Center members). More information at

Learn to Rule the Roost at Chicks in the City Saturday, March 1, 9-3 PM Decatur Recreation Center 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA 30030 The Sixth Annual Chicks in the City is a daylong symposium on how to begin and care for your own flock of happy healthy backyard chickens. The rapid growth of urban farming and the desire for healthy eating led the Wylde Center to offer this full plate of classes that engage and inspire both the curious and committed audience. $50 for Wylde Center Member, $60 for Non-Member/ General Public COMBO DEAL! Join us for the BOTH the Symposium and the Atlanta Urban Coop Tour and save. $75, $65 Wylde Center Member.

Complimentary coffee and treats provided by Revolution Donuts! More info at 6


FALL URBAN COOP TOUR IS A SUCCESS October 5 and 6, 2013, the Wylde Center hosted its 6th annual Urban Coop Tour, featuring 12 coops across Decatur and Atlanta. New this year was the Launch Party open to all ticket holders. Hosted by Garden*Hood, the sparkling evening featured a silent auction, refreshments, and chicken related stories from Walter Reeves, The Georgia Gardener.

1. The October 4 Tour Launch Party included a silent auction and refreshments. Here, coop owners browse and bid (!) on the chicken related items donated by local and national businesses.

Over the course of the weekend, 300 folks of all ages toured the coops, petted the chickens and enjoyed trading stories and questions with Atlanta’s poultry cognoscenti. The chickens themselves, edible landscaping, turkeys, bees and rainwater harvesting systems offered inspiration for more sustainable city living.

3. Kristen Hampton shows children on the tour how her coop’s nesting box works.

As usual, the event caused quite a stir, with stories appearing in everything from neighborhood newsletters to HGTV and Thank you to Paul Cox from for covering the Tour and providing our featured photos. See more images from the Wylde Center’s 2013 Urban Coop Tour at and

5. Bonnie Smith and Jennifer Campbell plant wheat grass in a red wagon to provide a delicious source of greens for their chickens. (Image courtesy of

2. Walter Reeves, the Georgia Gardener, entertains the Launch Party attendees with chicken stories from his youth.

4. Bees? Véronique Perrot and Scott Thompson intergrate bee hives into the chicken yard. Chickens eat insects that may otherwise threaten bees. (Image courtesy of

6. Bridget Wynn and Matthew Hicks use string over their coop to prevent hawks from swooping down and making a snack of their chickens. (Image courtesy of






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Surveys filled out by students.

Sweet potatoes fresh from the kitchen.

“I hate sweet potatoes, but this one was AWESOME!”

“Yummy, can I swallow it?” “I’ll have his!”

“I could eat a million of these!” “I love it! I absolutely love it!”

SWEET POTATOES ARE A SUCCESS by Melanie Heckman Education Program Manager


n May 2013, students planted sweet potato slips at six of the City Schools of Decatur (CSD). While school was out, these hardy plants flourished during the abnormally cool and wet summer months. After 90 days in the ground, the sweet potatoes were ready to harvest in September. With spading forks, shovels, eager hands, and elbow grease, students dug in to find the sweet potatoes hiding and thriving underground. Each school harvested an incredible amount of potatoes, with College Heights Early Learning Center leading the pack as they harvested 114 pounds!

positively to the sweet potatoes, with 88% of students trying them and 183 students trying them for the first time! Seventy-one percent of students liked the sweet potato sticks and would eat them again. Even better, of the 800 students who had either never tried or didn’t like sweet potatoes before, nearly 43% were fans of the sweet potato sticks and became sweet potato converts! One self-proclaimed picky eater who usually doesn’t like any foods even declared that he liked the sweet potatoes. As another student put it, “I don’t usually like these, but I wanted to see if my taste had changed, and it did!”

As the 306 pounds of potatoes from CSD school gardens cured and sweetened in the Wylde Center’s basement during October, students got excited and got the word out about these delicious roots. Ellen Carpenter’s pre-K class won the “Sweet Potatoes in the Spotlight” contest for best sweet potato advertisement (check it out on the Decatur Farm to School Facebook page!). Schools received copies of Ampy Bloom’s The Little Sweet Potato and Sweet Potato Pie by Kathleen Lindsey so students could continue learning about sweet potatoes in the classroom. Many first grade classes had direct tie-ins to sweet potatoes as their expeditions focused on George Washington Carver and his advocacy for crop rotation using these beneficial tubers to help the soil regain nutrients.


By the end of October, the sweet potatoes were cured and sweet and ready to serve. Krysta Johnson’s culinary classes at Renfroe Middle School employed their newly developed knife skills to take the lead on peeling and cutting the potatoes for three schools. Local caterer and bistro Sawicki’s also leant a huge helping hand with preparing the sweet potatoes for three additional schools. After a quick trip through the ovens in the school cafeterias, the sweet potato sticks were on their way to the students. In three short days, nearly 2,800 students participated in our taste tests! Check out our “Sweet Potato Stats” to see some of the amazing results by the numbers. Overall, students responded very


Students participating: 2,781 Students who tried sweet potatoes: 2,422 (88%) Students who liked sweet potatoes: 1,523 (70% of those trying) Students who hadn’t tried or didn’t like sweet potatoes before, but liked these: 350 (43% of those who hadn’t tried or liked before)















1. Volunteer Karen Riggs serves students at the 4/5 Academy. 2. Winnona Park Elementary student 3. College Heights preschooler receives a sticker for trying her sweet potato. 4. Oakhurst Elementary 1st grader 5. Volunteer Michael Van Parys hands out samples to Renfroe Middle School students. 6. Clairemont Elementary student 7. Wylde Center’s JC Hines, helps students with their surveys at Oakhurst Elementary. 8. Glennwood Elementary students 9. College Heights preschooler votes. 10. Volunteer Devonne Krueger hands out samples at Oakhurst Elementary. 11. Clairemont Elementary 3rd grader 12. Oakhurst Elementary 1st graders 13. Students at College Heights receive a fun sticker when they participate in the taste test.



2nd Annual Seed and Scion Swap

Saturday, January 25, 10:30am-1:30pm Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA

This event is free and open to all gardeners. Join us on National Seed Swap Day to share your seeds, your knowledge, and your enthusiasm for different plant varieties with other gardeners and farmers. Connect with folks who might be your neighbors, or who might be from anywhere in our bioregion. We’ll be swapping all types of seeds, including heirloom seeds, seeds you save from your own plants, and extra seeds you may have purchased. Revolution Donuts is vending coffee and treats for the 1st hour of the event. Speaker Grant Olson , from Seed Savers Exchange, will present on Planning Your Garden for Seed Saving Visit for details, instructions and to RSVP! Brought to you by the Wylde Center, Park Pride, Slow Food Atlanta, and City of Decatur

For more info visit or contact


CLASSES FOR ADULTS AND YOUTH What is Growings On? Growings On is the name of our class series that focuses on sustainable life skills such as animal husbandry, gardening, cooking, and art. Brought to you by a talented group of teachers, you will have a great time adding new skills to your life.

As a Wylde Center member, do I receive discounts on classes? Yes, you do! As a thank you for supporting the Wylde Center, formerly the Oakhurst Community Garden Project, we hope you will take advantage of the discounts we offer on classes, event rentals, and birthday parties.

How do I register? a. Register online at and click on classes b. You may mail check a week or more in advance to 435 Oakview Rd. Decatur, GA 30030 Attention Andrea Zoppo with name of classes, email and phone number. Make your check out to Wylde Center.

Who can take classes? Everyone! We offer classes for ages 2 up to 102!



Quails are Easy! Intro to Keeping Quail 5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Saturday, September 15, 10-11:30pm $15 members, $20 non members class. Beekeeping 101


Saturday, March 29, 10:30am – 12:30pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 Non Member Do you want to start keeping bees, or are you simply curious about how honey gets made? 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.

CHICKS IN THE CITY MARCH 1 Intro to having a Little Animal Farm in a Big City! Family Friendly Educational Tour Sunday, April 6, 2-4pm $25 Wylde Center Family Members, $30 Non Member Families Location: Social Goat Bed and Breakfast, 548 Robinson Avenue Atlanta, Georgia 30315 Join Kristy at the Social Goat Bed and Breakfast and learn the how her and her husband care for their urban funky pets! See the coop, interact with the animals, check out the mini barn and be inspired by their “little farm in a big city”. Kristy has Nigerian dwarf goats, cats, turkeys, chickens, bees, and fish! They also have an olive grove! The last 30 min of the class is q/a. The Inn is available to stay at and you may just fall in love with this urban treasure. Families welcome. This is an educational class. If you have young children, be sure 2 adults are present. Their website is 5 families max.

Chickens are Easy! Intro to Keeping Chickens Saturday, May 3, 10am-12pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 non member Join The Celtic Gardener, Anne-Marie Anderson, for our popular chicken crash course. This class will cover the basics of coop design, relevant ordinances, breed selection, care and feeding and outside resources. Anne-Marie is a local keeper of an “urban flock," Chair of the October 5 & 6 Urban Coop Tour, and enjoys spreading the word about sustainable gardening and urban farming. The last 30 min of the class is Q&A. Reserve your spot today!

Fruit Trees, Orchards, and Edible Landscaping Sunday, January, 19, 2-4pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 non-members Join Robby Astrove at the Oakhurst Garden & learn the basics on starting or expanding your orchard & perennial food forest. Class will cover appropriate fruits & berries for our region, design considerations, & how to keep them healthy & abundant. Hands on planting demo on site. BEST time to learn and get started timed just before the Wylde Center and Atlanta Local Food Initiative edible plant sales!

GARDENING NATURE & URBAN FARMING Soils and Fertility 101: Soil Fundamentals Saturday, February 1, 9:30am-12:30pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 Non Member Dig deeply into the soils of the Georgia Piedmont with Wylde Center Instructors Véronique Perrot and Michael McLane as they examine its composition and the factors that influence it. Understanding and assessing soils is a key skill for a gardener, and it is vital for an urban farmer. This in-depth course is open to the general public and is required by the Wylde Center Certification Program. It is encouraged to follow up with Soils and Fertility 102 - Fertility.

Soils and Fertility 102: Building and Maintaining Fertility Saturday, February 8, 10:30am-12:30pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non Member Building soil fertility is a critical skill for gardeners and urban farmers. Growing plants, and both natural and human actions remove nutrients. Wylde Center Instructors Véronique Perrot and Michael McLane address the questions of “How do I feed the soil?”, “How do I organically return nutrients and life to the soil so they will be available to the next crop?” This in-depth course is open to the general public and required by the Wylde Center Certification Program.

Edible Garden Design: Learn from the Pros Saturday, February 15, 2-5pm $25 Wylde Center Member, $30 Non Members Join Daniel Ballard of edibleyardandgarden. com & learn basic principles of integrating edibles into landscapes. Class covers zones for edible annuals, edible perennials, & shrubs/trees and how to identify the right plants for the right place in a landscape. Daniel, over twelve years of landscaping, gardening, and educational experience, He is an accredited organic land care professional


5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Perennial Care and Pruning Sunday March 2, 2-4pm $15 Wylde Center Members, $20 Non Members Join Daniel Ballard of edibleyardandgarden. com & learn the principles of fostering healthy happy trees & shrubs. Learn the proper tools, techniques and styles to approach perennial care. Daniel, with over twelve years of landscaping, gardening, and educational experience, is an accredited organic land care professional with a focus in environmental horticulture. Handouts provided

Garden Bed Building Saturday, March 8, 10-1pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 Non Member In this hands-on course, Dara of the Wylde Center and Manager of Sugar Creek Garden will cover the basics of bed building. It covers double digging and preparing a brand new bed for annual vegetables, as well as amending vegetable beds that have already been established. During this course, students will also discuss and observe how annual bed preparation differs from perennial bed preparation. This in-depth course is open to the general public and required by the Wylde Center Certification Program. Rain Date -March 9, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Drop-in Plant Medicine Making Workshop at Sugar Creek Garden Sunday, March 9, 4 - 5:30 pm Suggested Donation of $5 Wylde Center Members, $10 Non Members Location: Sugar Creek Garden at the back of the Oakhurst Presbyterian Church Parking Lot, near the intersection between E. Lake Drive and 2nd Ave. GPS Address: 415 E. Lake Dr., Decatur, GA 30030. Join Dara in this interactive workshop as we observe and learn about the healing power of plants. We will focus on a specific plant or group of plants that may be sustainably harvested at Sugar Creek Garden. More nfo online

How Not to Water your Garden Saturday, March 22, 1-3pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non Member Did you know that most people over-water their gardens? Join Wylde Center Instructor Véronique Perrot and learn about techniques to reduce the need to water your garden, ranging from soil preparation to mulches and garden design. We will discuss the pros and cons of various ways to water when necessary. Rainwater collection will be emphasized. This is an in-depth class and it is a part of the Wylde Center Certification program. Limited spaces open to the general public.

Create Stunning Garden Containers from Hypertufa Sunday March 23, 2-4 pm $50 Wylde Center Members, $55 Non Members Join local artisan and succulent specialist Kurt Straudt of and learn about how to make stunning garden containers from the stone-like material with the funny name-HYPERTUFA! Bring leaves for impressions, colorful stones and small objects to add extra decoration. We also ask that you bring containers to be used as molds. You will take home 2-3 projects: bowl, dish, small trough, small statuette or something uniquely your own. More info online.

Who grows there? Plant ID for gardeners Saturday, April 5, 10-12pm $15 Wylde Center Members, $20 Non Members Want to know what plants are calling your garden home? Join Wylde Center Instructor Véronique Perrot to learn to recognize major plant families and to ID common garden plants. Students will learn to use leaf, flower and root to recognize common weeds. They will also learn to spot possible problem plants. Bring mystery plants to ID. Handouts provided.

Seasonal Vegetable Planting and Maintenance Saturday, April 26, 10:30-12:30pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non Member Join Wylde Center Instructor Anne-Marie Anderson, the Celtic Gardener, for a comprehensive look at growing edibles. This essential class will cover planting techniques and varieties for common annual and perennial vegetable groups, edible flowers and easy fruits. Pruning, supports, succession planting and mulches will also be discussed. This short yet in-depth class is specific to Atlanta’s climate zone, conditions and soils, and is a part of the Wylde Center Certification program. Limited spaces open to the general public.

Create Your Own Vertical Garden! Sunday, April 27, 2-4pm $50 Wylde Center Members, $55 Non Members From Martha Stewart to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, everybody is making Vertical Gardens and now you can too! Join Kurt Straudt of and see how a simple frame is transformed into a beautiful vertical living garden that is a joy to view and share. You will decorate your own 12'' X 12'' wooden frame and fill it with colorful succulents for a one-ofkind piece of living art that will grow and change for years to come. A variety of succulents will be provided. This is a material intensive class AND you must register 1 week in advance so we can get frames built.

Wild and Woolly Oasis: Food Gardening as an Ecological Experiment Saturday, May 3, 2-4pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 non member Location: Off Site (location will be emailed to you 2 days before) Join Véronique Perrot in her Lake Claire garden to learn about integrating chickens, bees, water catchment, composting and more to produce abundant food while re-cycling nutrients and reducing work. We will cover various elements of a garden as an ecological system, look at their interactions, and see how these elements play out in Véronique's garden. We will specially look at the Black Soldier Fly and her larvae, and how this indigenous insect can be put to work in the garden. Handouts will be provided.

Basics of Seed Sowing Saturday, March 15, 9:30am - 12:30pm $25 Wylde Center Member, $30 Non Member Join Wylde Center’s Executive Director Stephanie Van Parys and learn to take advantage of more variety when you start your own vegetables from seed. This class is for both those who have never started their vegetables from seed as well as those who have experienced challenges. In addition, Stephanie will show you how to turn “garbage” into mini greenhouses! A wide and fun variety of seeds will be on hand for you to sow into your new “greenhouse” as well as tips on how to keep them all alive. Please bring three clear or opaque plastic containers. Limited space available to the public.


5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Pest and Disease Management Saturday, May 17, 10:30-12pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non Member Join JC Hines, Wylde Center Urban Greenspace Manager, and learn how to identify common home garden pest and disease with a focus on vegetables, and traditional and nontraditional ways to treat them. In this essential class, JC will cover how to design an at home pest and disease management plan as well as in the field identification in our very own minifarm. This is a short yet in-depth class and it is a part of the Wylde Center Certification program. Limited spaces open to the general public.

The Magic of Mushrooms Sunday, May 18, 2-4pm $20 Wylde Center Member, $25 Non Member Join Duane Marcus, of the Funny Farm, at the Oakhurst Garden and we will explore the many ways in which fungi enrich our lives. Fungi provide us with food, fiber and medicine. They assist us in growing our own food, fiber, craft materials and medicines. They are nature's internet allowing plants to communicate and nurture one another.

Create a Living Wreath with Succulents Sunday May 25, 2-4 pm $50 Wylde Center Members, $55 Non Members Join one of our favorite teachers, Kurt Straudt, of Southeast Succulents, for a fun hour and a half of creating a living wreath to put on display at your house. Each person will leave with a simple, yet elegant creation that can last for years!! All materials provided. You must register several days in advance for us to order supplies

Creating an Abundant Garden Paradise with an In-depth Tour of an English Garden Saturday, May 31, 10:30am -12:30pm $20 Wylde Center Members, $25 Non Members Location: 215 Clarion Ave Decatur, GA 30030 Learn to make use every inch of your yard for beauty, food and relaxation during a personal tour of the abundant garden of AnneMarie Anderson, The Celtic Gardener. Graze on food plants while exploring how to make nature your partner and ally: using materials generated on site, incorporating chickens for waste disposal and compost, and bees for pollination and honey. More details about this class are online.

Beginner's Natural Soap Making Class from Scratch: Vegan Cold Process Sunday, January 26 , 2-4pm $40 Garden Members, $45 Non Members Join Quinnie Demetria Cook and learn how to make soap from scratch using natural ingredients. Save your skin as well as your money and have fun doing it! In this hands-on demonstration class students learn the basics of how to make traditional vegan/vegetarian Cold Process Soap by using a blend of oils, butters and lye. Students will leave with a small batch of soap plus handouts and information so that they can go home and make their own soap from scratch. More info online


Simply Delicious : Green Smoothies to Start the New Year Tuesday, January 7 , 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. The New Year is a perfect time to learn the art of making green smoothies. We’ll try a few recipes that will surprise you with their list of ingredients and delicious taste. Join the Wylde Center chef team in a beautiful kitchen

Simply Delicious: Making Your Own Lotions, Salves and Oils Tuesday, January 21, 7-9pm $35 Wylde Center Members, $40 Non Members Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Create your own creams and salves, lip balms and washes for your body. Use natural healthy herbs and food to help maintain moisture and heal your skin and your body. This class is in time for Valentine’s Day and is great for gift making. We’ll include some love inducing oils with which to “flavor” your medicine. This class is taught by Charli Vogt, RN, MN, MPH. Her participatory hands on classes are always fun. You will go away with knowledge to do this on your own at home. More info online.

Simply Delicious : Sassy Citrus Explosion Tuesday, February 4, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Citrus fruits are abundant and at their best in the winter months. Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild and we’ll sample the various citrus fruits available, and we’ll make a variety of dishes featuring these fruits including salads, salad dressings, and preserved lemons. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.

Earth Poetry with Stephen Wing Sunday, February 23, 2-4pm $5 suggested donation For centuries, poets have celebrated the Earth, its seasons, its creatures, its beauty and its bounty. Poets have also grieved the destruction of nature and the growing spiritual separation between human beings and our home planet. Poet Stephen Wing will introduce some of the voices of this poetic tradition and offer a chance to write a poem of your own amid the inspirations of Oakhurst's own Eden. Participants will share and write/share their inspirations from the garden and season. More info online



Simply Delicious Series at the Decatur Recreation Center


n August of 2013 the Wylde Center, in partnership with the Decatur Recreation Center, began a new series of cooking classes called Simply Delicious! Focusing on seasonal produce and pallets, local chefs guide participants through easy scrumptious recipes in a beautiful newly renovated kitchen in downtown Decatur. The Wylde Center chefs Jennifer Weissman, Jerilynn Bedingfield, and Charli Vogt are passionate about health and flavor. Their backgrounds are based in this love and the belief that food is not just a necessity but can bring people together in celebration of the season and the body. Weissman is a health educator, a school food advocate, and a baker while Bedingfield, avid gardener, loves cooking what she grows as well as being an herbal enthusiast. Vogt is a registered nurse, health coach, long time Wylde Center teacher and believes that food can be a key healing force. All of our Simply Delicious classes have received wonderful reviews.

Simply Delicious: Baking Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free. Tuesday, February 25, 7-9pm $35 Wylde Center Member, $40 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Lean to modify your recipes from regular to gluten free, dairy, free and egg free. Learn to substitute and when to just pick a new recipe. You will go home with recipes, & with tastings of various ways to make the same recipe. Bring favorite recipes and we’ll see if we can figure out how to modify them in the class. More info online

Simply Delicious : Eggstraordinary Eggs Tuesday, March 4, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Eggs are packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high quality protein, unsaturated fat and antioxidants. Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild as we move into spring and celebrate a new season, we will cook up some sweet and savory egg dishes. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.

Simply Delicious: Fermentation: Making Sauerkraut (German), Kim Chi (Korean), Chutney (Indian/English) Tuesday, March 25, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. In this hands-on participatory class learn the art of fermenting your food. Fermented food helps your digestion and keeps everything moving in the right direction. Every culture has foods that are fermented or “pickled”. Come prepared to cut up your own cabbage to make sauerkraut & Kim Chi (a kind of spicy sauerkraut). Bring 3 quart or pint jars in which to take your ferments home. More info online.

Simply Delicious: Spring Greens and Wild Things Tuesday, April 1, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Enjoy the spring explosion of lettuce, and eat your weeds too! Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild and we’ll make dishes featuring peas, dandelion, arugula, asparagus, wild violet, and other greens sprouting up in our gardens. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.

Drop in Free Chakra Toning in the Garden Saturday, April 5, 8:30am-9:30am Free for all Join Sarah Werkheiser at the Oakhurst Garden for a Chakra Toning Meditation. Together we will pull our intentions and voices together to balance our chakras while being surrounded and embraced by the balance of mother nature. You may pre-register of just show up!

Simply Delicious: Foraging and Medicine Making Tuesday, April 29, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Weeds are weeds only in the eye of the beholder. Learn how to find weeds (herbs) that are good medicine and process some into medicine. Know what to pick, where to pick, what part to pick, and when to pick. We will make a tea, tincture, powder, and perhaps some oils. The medicines we make depends on what we find in our foraging. More info online.

Simply Delicious : Late Spring Harvest – Asian Style Tuesday, May 6, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Spring greens take on new flavors as we make lettuce wraps, raw spring rolls, and tasty dipping sauces. Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild as we get deliciously creative with our local spring bounty. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast


5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Simply Delicious : Know Your Herbs and Spices Tuesday, June 3, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Cooking with herbs and spices will liven up your recipes and decrease your reliance on salt. Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild and we’ll sample a variety of herbs and spices, then we’ll make recipes like pesto and za’atar which can be staples in your everyday cooking. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.

Simply Delicious: Summer Harvest Salads Tuesday, July 1, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Summer salads are the best! Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild and we’ll use the summer harvest of fruits and vegetables to create spectacular summer salads. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.

Simply Delicious : All about Tomatoes Tuesday, August 5, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Member, $35 Non Member Location: Decatur Recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Better Boy, Brandywine, Black Cherry, Green Zebra, Speckled Roman, Wapsipinicon Peach, Sungold, Moskovich, and Cherokee Purple. Curious? Sliced and diced, sauces and salsas. Join Jennifer Weissman and Jerilynn Bedingfeild and we’ll taste, cook and experience all things tomato. Jennifer is a health educator, school food advocate, home cook and baker. Jerilynn is a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast.


DROP IN FAMILY & CHILDREN CLASSES March of the Lady Bug Stones Thursday, March 6, 4:30-5:30pm $10 Wylde Center Member, $15 Non Member It’s time to decorate the garden with ladybug guardians with our very own Miss Lady Bug! We will paint large river stones to stay at the garden. Each child will have the option to paint 1 smaller stone to take home. Parents may drop off kids ages 6+. Younger children need supervision. We will serve organic apples with Oakhurst Garden honey for snack. . You may preregister of just show up!! Limited space available so signing up is a good idea. Faerie House Playtime Thursday, May 1, 4:30-5:30pm $7 Wylde Center Members, $12 Non Member Families It’s time to decorate and rebuild the faerie homes of the garden with Miss Lady Bug! We will weave vines, collect sticks, and construct spaces for the little ones to dance. Each child will have the option to decorate a fae stone with glitter to take home. Parents may drop off kids ages 6+. Younger children need supervision. We will serve organic apples with Oakhurst Garden honey for snack. . You may preregister of just show up!! Limited space available so signing up is a good idea.

After School Fireside Sing A Long and Snack Thursday, February 6, 4:30-5:15pm Free Wylde Center Members, $10 Non Member Families Let’s gather round the fire for a sing a long with several local musicians! We will start promptly at 4:30pm. Parents may drop off kids ages 6+. Younger children need supervision. Each child will get up to 2 marshmallows and organic apples for snack. You may pre-register of just show up!! If weather is below 35 degrees or raining we may reschedule. Tune it to our website day of to stay informed.

Spring Gardening with Miss Lady Bug Thursday, April 3, 4:30-5:15pm $7 Wylde Center Members, $12 Non Member Families Lettuce plan and plant our garden beds together! As a team, we will pick out veggies from our plant sale and put them in the ground. Each child will have the option to decorate a pot and take home a veggie plant as well. Parents may drop off kids ages 6+. Younger children need supervision. We will serve organic apples with Oakhurst Garden honey for snack. You may pre-register of just show up!! Limited space available so signing up is a good idea.

Summer Gardening with Miss Lady Bug Thursday, June 5, 4:30-5:15pm $10 Wylde Center Members, $15 Non Members Families We will harvest spring goodies to take home and as a team, we will pick out summer veggies from our plant sale and put them in the ground. Each child will have the option to decorate a pot and take home a plant as well. Parents may drop off kids ages 6+. Younger children need supervision. We will serve organic apples with Oakhurst Garden honey for snack. You may pre-register of just show up!! Limited space available so signing up is a good idea. 15

Map by Bang Tran, 1/2014




by Melanie Heckman Education Program Manager

uring the winter, animals don’t have as much food to eat (and they don’t have mittens to wear!). To make it through the cold winter, many animals hibernate, or sleep all winter long. Want to know who hibernates at the Oakhurst Garden? Follow the numbers to draw lines from dot-to-dot for each of the five animals below. When you are done, color them in for a fun picture of winter hibernators!




haron Gilbert quickly jumped at the chance to serve as the Wylde Center’s representative and liaison for the 2013 Annual Decatur Candlelight Tour of Homes. As a Wylde Center member for over a year now, Sharon has been waiting for the perfect Wylde Center volunteer opportunity to peak her interest. Having been on the tour before and loving Christmas decorations, Sharon jumped feet first into this leadership position, committing to the sponsorship sub-committee as well as House Captain. Each year the tour allows a few Decatur non-profits to serve on the committee in exchange for a share of the proceeds. We are fortunate to be one of the three non-profits to benefit from the tour for our third year in a row. With it comes a large time commitment that is volunteer driven. We couldn’t participate in this city-wide fundraiser without the help of volunteers like Sharon in addition to the numerous members who also volunteer by working a shift as a docent at the Wylde Center staffed home on the tour. Sharon has been attending the monthly meetings held at Decatur’s City Hall since April, as well as procuring sponsors to help make the tour possible. She’s responsible for bringing two new sponsors to this year’s tour: Georgia Piedmont Tech College at the $2,000 Presenting Sponsor level and DeKalb Medical at the $1,000 Gold Sponsor level. Along with the time commitment of attending meetings and procuring high level sponsors, she also served as the house captain the night of the tour! Not only does Sharon volunteer at the Wylde Center, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Renaissance Project in

by Reagan Koski, Executive Assistant

DeKalb County. The Renaissance Project is a non-profit theatre company that Sharon has been involved with for eight years now, and serving on their board for the last five years. Sharon is self-employed at MedSource Recruiters and also home schools her son whoi is a senior in high school. Time is valuable. Time can also be invaluable, especially for nonprofits who depend on volunteers. The Wylde Center thrives because of volunteers like Sharon Gilbert who give us some of their time. Sharon Gilbert: One of our newest members, a self-employed, homeschool teacher, and active community member—she has a lot going on, and she still has time to volunteer for the Wylde Center. She is a valued and trusted volunteer and we thank you for your time, Sharon!

design • installation • maintenance 404.373.0023 19



GIFTS RECEIVED OCTOBER 1 - DECEMBER 31, 2013 GROWING CIRCLE MEMBERS ($500-$5,000) Allison Adams Anonymous Deborah Baumgarten Kate Binzen and Peter Lindsay KC Boyce and Michelle Frost David Cofrin and Christine Tryba Cofrin Duane Dunlap and Frances Somerville Melissa and Bruce Ely-Moore Nicole Fehrenbach and Leif Terry Chris Fichtel and Liam Simmons Kim Finnegan Hal and Lisa Foster Tayiba Garcia Patti and Gary Garrett Cameron Ives and David Stockert Shannon and Clay Johnson Karen Kun and Haskell Beckham Lubo Fund Walt and Ally McMann Brenton and Dolly Meese Robin Miller and Marty Samuels Kate and Bob Mone Lisa and Bob Persons Linda Pogue and George Andl Stephanie Ramsey Gena and Nathan Rawlins Meredith Reynolds Sandy and Louis Rice Cara and Mike Schroeder Barbara and Brian Sherman Rita Sislen Rusty Smith II and Jennifer Treter Denise Stokes Jim and Anne Topple Jill Wasserman and Stephen Devereaux Kyle Williams and Lawrence Kosten IN MEMORY OF Liz Chandler, by Sylvia Chandler Jake and Kathe Swint, by Dr. Diana Lynn Farmer Sally Wylde, by Woody and Carol Bartlett IN HONOR OF My mom, Vinka Berg, by Rick Berg Joy Provost, by Kore and Brendan Breault The Solomon Family, by Edith Heter Stephanie Van Parys, by Robert and Barbara Cleveland Z Cooks Personal Chef and Catering Service, by Suzanne Hill BUSINESS MEMBERSHIPS AND CONTRIBUTIONS Cakes & Ale Kids Go Wild Lotus of Life The Marks Law Group, LLC Time Warner Matching Grants Program FALL DECATUR FARM TO SCHOOL DONORS Brick Store Pub Cakes & Ale Farmburger, Inc. The Iberian Pig Leon’s Full Service Oakhurst Market Raging Burrito Sapori Di Napoli Steinbecks Universal Joint Bar Wahoo Grill FOUNDATIONS Anonymous Mary Brown Fund of Atlanta EMSA Fund ICU Fund


The Imlay Foundation Abraham J & Phyllis Katz Foundation Richard C. Munroe Foundation The Zeist Foundation

Pat Gipson Sudesh and Melissa Girdhari David Gittelman and Thomas Murphy J. Doug Glasgow and Yun Jung Lee Annie Godfrey and Jack Kittle MEMBERSHIPS RECEIVED Gundolf Graml and Barbara Drescher Emily Abernathy Anne-Marie Happe Betsy Abrams Michael Harbin and Rowena Worrall Joseph Aczel and Debra Luber John Harvey and Jessica Cook Kris Adams and Roger Hertel Lee Ann Harvey Stacey Alston Linda Hilsenrad and Jonathan Pierce Lynda and John Anderson Bob Hudgens and Susan Edgett Tracey Anderson and William Blackwood Donna Inkster and Lynn Russell Cathie Andress Tracy and Jonathan Iwaskow Linda Bell Lewis and Tamara Jones Judith Berger Donna Jones Beryl and Kristin Bergquist Shannon Jones Bob and Lyn Bernstein Jerelyn Jordan James and Patricia Bonner Cheryl and Panos Kanes Laura G Bordeaux Gus Kaufman, Ph.D. Connie Bradley Mary Alice Kemp Kore and Brendan Breault David Kipp Bob and Evelyn Brewer Matthew and Katrina Kramer Jan Brown and Kathy Hardwick Drs. Victor A. and Dewey Weiss Kramer Amy and Wes Bryant Virginia Krawiec Mark Burnette Ana and Klaudio Kucelin Elizabeth Butler-Witter and Bret Witter Janine Kupersmith The Cahill-Kalaidjian Family Michael and Jennifer Leavey Betsy and Bill Callaghan Lew Lefton and Enid Steinbart Tony Carollo Greg Levine Ed and Jane Carriere Damon Lockwood Laura Carruth and Jared Poley Cathy Lyman Sandra Castle Demarest MacDonald Matt and Arlene Cauthorn Jackie Macomber Bill and Lilabet Choate Angie Maddox Richard Cohen and Rev. Marti Keller Tim and Kathy Marker Coleen Conway Bill and Emilie Markert David and Suzy Crenshaw Tony and Sharan Martin Delmer Dagrella Anitha Mathew Gwen Davies and John Wuichet Miriam Mathura Duran Dodson and John Ellis John and Melinda McCuan Holly Doe Lockey A. McDonald Jane and James Donofrio Michael McLane Myriam Dormer Cara McMurry Genia and Kip Duchon Brigitte Mebius Melissa Dunn Sandra and Simon Miller Nita Epting Jennifer Miller and Benjamin Findley Anne Farrell and Tim O’Keefe Kenneth Moberg and Karolina Graber Marti Fessenden and Suzanne Schultz Steve and Marty Monroe Amy and Victor Fillion Karen Morris Keith and Sumarie Forrester FFM_HLM 11:55 AMJohn Page 1 and Mullins Paula Gaber BW Ad_JeffHAnnB_Layout 1 1/17/12Cathy Lance and Mary Netland Denis Gainty Tom Painter and Carla Roncoli Barbara Gifford and Jean Wright

in partnership with

The direct lender you know The Financial Center YOU TRUST. Accounting • Tax • Mortgage • Financial Two Decatur Town Center 125 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 150, Decatur, GA 30030

Jeff Hancock, Senior Loan Officer Direct (404) 371-4500 Fax (800) 503-9829

Ann Berg, Business Development Officer Direct (678) 686-5544 Fax (800) 524-7310

Subject to change without notification. Information provided should not be considered as a commitment to lend. Offer subject to property and credit approval. Program and other restrictions may apply. Please contact your Loan Consultant for further details. ©2012 Fairfield Mortgage

MEMBERSHIP Ann Ritter and Bob Holmes Sharon Sonenblum Celeste Tibbets Tracy Trentadue and James Monacell Teresa Tucker Judy and Roy Turner John and Margaret Tuttle Kyla Van Deusen Ralph and Marifel Verlohr Lucia Vidable Jennifer Walcott and Jamie Sayers Adam and Emily Webb Nedra Whitehead and John Bolton Pam Wuichet Susan Zaro Barbara Zoppo


THE WYLDE CENTER’S FIRST-EVER BRICK DEDICATION PROJECT Now Underway in Edgewood Through March 31, 2014

For more information about any of these opportunities to support the Wylde Center, contact Stephanie Van Parys,, (404) 371-1920

ECLG’s Site Manager, Monica Ponce holds a future dedication brick.

You are invited to honor a friend (or two), a family member, or a community leader by purchasing a brick that will be included in the new pathway at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. The dedication brick pathway will begin at the entrance arbor and continue towards the pergola. After the renovation, the ECLG will be a new space for the community that emphasizes edible gardening, nutrition education, and environmental education. The ECLG development includes gathering spaces, a tree house, butterfly garden, vegetable garden beds, and a teaching pergola.

To purchase a brick, please visit



WHAT KIND OF SEED AM I? EARTH POETRY FROM THE GARDEN 2013, Wind Eagle Press 24-page chapbook; $5.00

“Nature is not a place to visit; it is home.” —Gary Snyder Earth Poetry uses the gifts and tools of the poet to explore and celebrate our relationship as humans with the natural world. Since the spring of 2012, a motley group of Earth Poets has been meeting quarterly at the Wylde Center to learn, share, and draw inspiration from the Oakhurst Garden. This anthology of their work gives concrete evidence of the wide variety of forms, styles, and approaches Mother Nature can inspire in an open imagination. Sweet Tea The smell of wild mints in the summer on my hands on my mind never needed much to make a sweet tea sweet for me sweet for thee? Piano keys lightly playing from the window above crushed leaves a crushed heart white sheets on the line flowing swaying carelessly fanning the scent of wild mints in the summer

London Pride In spring 1946 a climbing vine emerged from the rubble near St. Paul’s Cathedral, a plant not seen before by anyone living: fierce blooms—brighter than deepest pink, almost red, just a hint of royal purple. No one knew if bombs unearthed long-buried seeds or if their chemicals altered molecules of some other plant. Startled survivors, still blinking in the calm light and true quiet outside of shelters, squinted at the flowers, hoisted shovels, began to rebuild.

Angela A‘nji Sarumi

Dog Writes Poetry, Too Dog is real cool listens to birds, chickens, laughter of children splashes in creek chasing tadpoles then lays down low on the shady side of grass—nose twitching, feet wet.

Ann Ritter

Debra Hiers

SFFAD has discovered an Amazing New Community on Lake Hartwell With Mountain,

Lake, and Golf Course Views, a Community Garden and Plenty of Activities for the Whole Family to Enjoy!

Please Come See our Very First Show Home Opening Spring 2014! Visit for more property information





ry the recipe used for the City Schools of Decatur’s fall taste test!

Ingredients 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled Olive oil Kosher salt Directions 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. 2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half crosswise if they are very long. 3. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each piece into wedges or sticks that are the size of your finger. 4. Toss sweet potato sticks with olive oil until lightly coated. 5. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. 6. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Flip the sweet potatoes, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until well browned. 7. Enjoy! Recipe submitted by Nichole Lupo, Wylde Center’s Garden to Classroom Educator


17th Annual Conference and Expo


Saving the Planet One Bite at a Time

Feb. 21-22, 2014 Jekyll Island



I have recently moved to the neighborhood and I notice the Oakhurst Garden of the Wylde Center has a drop off for compost. As someone who has moved from a community where street side composting is readily available, I am excited to see this offered. Can you tell me about it? Do I have to be a member? Are there any rules and regulations? How do you take care of the compost that people leave on the curb? Is there a way for me to come and learn about your compost operation? Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Sincerely, Composting Cathy Dear Composting Cathy, Thanks for your inquiry about our compost system and welcome to the neighborhood! I get a lot of questions about our compost, so it’s great to sit down and take some time to answer them. Q. Can you tell me about it? A. The Oakhurst Garden has two small grey bins underneath the pergola that are marked “Compost Only.” They are there for anyone in the community to drop off their compost. There is a trash can located behind the bins for baggies that people haul their food scraps in. The grey bins are then rolled down to our 3-bin composting systems. Q. Do I have to be a member? A. While you don’t have to be a member, we encourage you to become one because it supports programs like our roadside composting. It also gives you access to great classes and events that happen throughout the year at the Wylde Center. Q. Are there any rules and regulations? A. This is a great question. There is a list posted at the drop-off site as a reminder, but here are a couple of thing we ask you do to help us be “kind to the compost,” as well as some explanations to help understand why. 1. No meat or dairy. 2. Please remove all waste from baggies, and throw baggies in the trash can (plastic doesn’t break down) 3. No compostable bags, utensils, plates or to-go containers (those don’t break down in our composting system) 4. No tough skins or pits (skin of avocados, oranges, pineapples take too long to break down; pits like peaches and avocados stay forever!) 5. No wine corks (they don’t break down either) 6. When the bins are full, please don’t leave compost on the ground. Q. How do you take care of the compost that people leave on the curb? A. As often as possible, I, along with an intern, will take the food waste from the curb and incorporate it into the compost. Depending on the amount of useable compost and the amount of trash we have to sort out of the bins it can take up to two hours! Q. Is there a way for me to come and learn about your compost operation? A. Yes! You could always become a volunteer to specifically help us to take care of the compost, or you can sign up for one of our many composting classes on our website, Cathy, thank you so much for asking such great questions. The curb side compost is very important to us to provide to the community. With help from community members to follow the guidelines and be active participants we hope to provide it for years to come.




by Monica Ponce Edgewood Community Learning Garden Coordinator


heet mulching is an effective, inexpensive and easy way to suppress weeds and build soil around your garden, strategically layering organic material to either “compost in place” or eliminate weeds in walkways or on veggie beds. Benefits are numerous, including killing pesky weeds, building soil and soil structure, holding water and nutrients, encouraging microbial activity—and there is no tilling or digging involved! When is a good time to sheet mulch? Now! Starting in fall and winter will allow plenty of time for the mulch to break down by the time you are ready for spring plantings. In addition, materials are bountiful this time of year, even encouraging you to clean out your garage or shed. You’ll need newspaper (without the glossy pages, regular color newsprint is fine), cardboard (remove staples or tape), or brown paper bags for your smothering layer. If your goal is to simply suppress weeds, then all you’ll need in addition is straw or wood chips. Tree services are busy this time of year and most are willing to deliver, but be careful what you wish for! A truck load of wood chips is a lot of wood chips! Trust me though, you can always find a good use for them. If your goal is to build soil for future plantings, then you’ll also need soil amendments, compost, wood chips, straw, leaves, coffee grounds, and any other yard waste. Remember, we’re basically composting where we need the compost, and we don’t want to spend any extra work turning materials over. If you can’t get your hands on all the materials listed, don’t worry. Everything will still breakdown as long as you have plenty of organic material, some water, love, and a smidge of patience. Sheet mulching plant-free areas If your goal is to combat weeds in spaces where you’re not planting anything right now, such as a common area or a walking path, then just grab some cardboard and plenty of wood chips. A layer (or two) of cardboard is crucial to slow down the regrowth of weeds. For big spaces, I like to check out the bicycle shops and hardware stores to see if they have some big boxes up for grabs. Otherwise I just go around the neighborhood on recycling day and pick up all those boxes.

The main ingredients in sheet mulching (from bottom to top, and left to right): cardboard, wood chips, straw, bagged leaves, and compost.

When you’ve selected your space: • Cut down any tall weeds or grass (don’t worry about removing them; leave them there, and they’ll decompose and add nutrients to your soil). • Place a layer of cardboard, making sure to overlap the edges (you don’t want any sunlight to reach the soil you are covering). • Fill up a wheelbarrow with the wood chips and wheel it to your cardboard, dumping and spreading them over the cardboard. • Continue this process, spreading wood chips until your desired space is completely covered. I recommend layers between 3-6 inches, making it less likely weeds or grass will grow back. And there you have it! You’ll have a nice carpet of mulch for your path or work area. Don’t worry about weedwhacking this spot anytime soon. Sheet mulching planted areas For sheet mulching around existing plantings in your vegetable or perennial beds, collect brown paper bags or newspaper, and weed free mulch material. In the fall, I like to collect the leaves my neighbors have bagged up in the large brown paper bags and neatly lined up on the side of the


Sheet mulching plant-free areas in progress: the cardborad is laid down, and wood chips are spread with a dirt rake. Don’t be stingy with either layers: make sure there are no gaps between the pieces of cardboard, and spread a generous 3 to 6 inches of wood chips on top.

GARDEN Sheet mulching around existing plants: Yard waste paper bags are laid between plants while leaving a gap at the base of the plants (left). The bags are then thoroughly watered and weed-free mulch is spread on top. On the picture at right, old straw was used; bagged leaves and pine straw also work well.

bed without having to dig it up. In preparation for your new bed, I suggest that you take a soil test. These are inexpensive and your local county extension office can answer any questions you may have. The goal here is not only to prevent the regrowth of the existing vegetation, but also to encourage earth worms and other soil critters to improve the soil quality. To this end, It is useful to include a layer of nitrogen-rich material to encourage their growth. Once you have decided on the location of your new garden bed: road for me to pick up. These bags work great as cover, and they are already filled with mulch! Leaves decompose fast and are great for building soil. One risk though, is that with the first gust of wind they are gone. Leaves that have gone through the mower are less likely to blow away. So any kind of weed-free straw material works great, as well. Pine straw makes a good weed-free mulch, and you can collect it for free in the woods. Pine straw does take a long time to break down and can make your soil a bit more acidic, so keep that in mind (especially for some of your more acid loving plants like strawberries). Old bales of wheat straw also work well. Be careful using a new bale because they can be full of seed. I do not recommend using wood chips on your annual vegetable beds because they are slower to break down and can tie up nitrogen that will otherwise be available to your plants. After weeding your garden bed: • Tear paper bags to size and lay them flat around your plants (be sure to leave some space around the base of the plant, as pushing the paper against the stem of the plant will cause some rotting and can prevent water from reaching the soil). • Saturate the paper with water to hold it down. • Add a layer of organic material, covering the paper bags. Voila! Now you have a solid layer of organic mulch to protect your plants and soil. Plus, if you want, you can turn this layer into your soil next season. Sheet mulching to create new beds Layering organic materials is also a great way to build a new garden

Sheet mulching to open a new growing area: Cardboard has been laid down and watered, and compost is being spread.

A layer of oak leaves has been spread, and is being covered by manure.

• Start by cutting back any tall plant material. • Aerate the soil with a three-pronged aerator or a garden fork if it is compacted (this will give some extra space for roots to grow down deep). • Spread any soil amendments (such as lime or sulphur) that are recommended from your soil test. • Put down a layer of cardboard, newspaper, or brown paper bags over the desired area (remember not to leave any gaps and to remove any tape from the boxes). • Water the cardboard to get a good start on keeping your bed moist. • Start with a layer of good compost or some nitrogen-rich material such as blood meal or manure to attract worms and microbes. • Add layers of just about any organic material you have available such as compost, straw, leaves, shredded paper, grass clippings, manure, wood chips, etc., keeping the materials slower to break down at or near the top, until you have 8-10 inches of materials. • Water the materials well every couple of layers, to make sure the whole pile is wet throughout. The end result is a pile of material 8-10 inches thick that will decompose over the winter. This no-till bed will be ready to plant in March or April. As you can see, sheet mulching has many benefits and isn’t nearly as complicated as you would think. Gather materials around your yard and neighborhood—­especially things that might’ve ended up in a landfill—and start planning your next mulching project today!

The previous layers have been watered, and another layer of oak leaves is added.

The pile is finished with a layer of spent grain from a mushroom farmer that happened to be on hand.




by Dara Suchke Sugar Creek Garden Coordinator


otatoes are a rewarding crop to grow, and are suited for all types of gardening setups. As one of the most widely cultivated crops around the world, potatoes are easy to grow and maintain, and make you feel like you’ve uncovered a buried treasure when it’s time to dig them up. Potato growing 101: defining seed potatoes The first word you encounter when you read about planting potatoes is “seed potato.” While most plants you grow in your garden grow from seeds produced from a flower, potatoes grow vegetatively, which means that they grow out of another potato; the potato that you plant in the ground is actually the “seed” for the potatoes that will grow out of it. You probably have witnessed the beginning stages of this reproduction cycle if you neglected some potatoes in your kitchen cabinet, only to discover them in their sprouting stage, with little growths protruding out of each of the potato’s eyes. Acquiring your seed potatoes That neglected potato in your kitchen is certainly a seed potato, and many home growers get their seed potatoes from the organic potato selection at their local grocery store or farmers market. However, store-bought potatoes may be harboring a disease that will infect your crop and your soil. To ensure that your potato is disease-free, purchase certified disease-free seed potatoes from a reliable source such as Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgeport, Maine (their seeds are “doubly certified” and they supply more certified seed potatoes throughout the U.S. than anyone else). Southern Exposure Seed Exchange sources their potatoes from this farm, and will ship them to you in March. Then you just have to choose your favorite variety: Will it be “Cranberry Red,” “Rose Finn Apple Fingerling,” or “King Harry”? Preparing the potato bed (or bag, or tower, or... tire?) Potatoes need little other than fertile, loose garden soil with a generous helping of compost and organic mulch to grow happily. If you are growing the potatoes in the ground or in a raised bed, preparing the soil with a winter cover crop of peas, vetch, or clover to turn under in early March will be the perfect primer and simple fertilizer for your spring potatoes. Potatoes also love compost (I have found many growing voluntarily in mine!), so giving them a nice thick (2-3”) layer of compost will get them off to a strong start. Ensuring that your soil is loose is the final step, and you want to make sure that the soil you’re planting in is loosened 8-12” deep; soil that’s compacted will inhibit your potatoes’ growth. Potatoes will readily grow in a variety of large containers or pots—just make sure they have enough holes on the bottom for good drainage. Creative potato-growing structures abound, and an internet search of “unique ways to grow potatoes” will inspire you to consider everything from repurposing tires to building towers for your potatoes. If you are growing your potatoes in an above-ground structure, use a quality blend of soil and compost to fill the first 10-12” of the container; you will plant the seed potatoes about 4” deep.

Certified Seed Potatoes will ensure that the potatoes you plant are disease free.

Preparing and sowing your seed potatoes Wait until nighttime temperatures are above freezing before planting your seed potatoes in the ground; while potatoes do best in cool weather, they are prone to rot in freezing temperatures. There are two options for planting seed potatoes: Plant them whole, or cut them into smaller pieces. Planting it whole is a good option for working with small seed potatoes, and it’s easy for the first-time potato grower. You may choose to cut larger seed potatoes to expand the area they cover; each cut piece should contain 1-2 eyes. One general observation is that seed potatoes with multiple eyes produce more potatoes, but they are smaller in size, and seed potatoes with 1-2 eyes produce fewer, but larger-sized potatoes. To plant your seed potatoes, dig a trench that’s 4-6” deep running the length you have prepared for the potato planting. Place each seed potato (cut or uncut) in the ground with the eyes facing upward. Leave 10-12” between each seed potato; this spacing also applies to container-grown potatoes. Cover the trench with the garden soil and add a layer of leaf or wheat straw mulch over the top of the soil to keep it protected from the elements and sun. Potato growing 102: “Hilling Up” Now that your potatoes are in the ground, keep them moist with water. Spring rains may take care of this for you, but if you notice that your soil is drying up, give your potato bed a slow, deep watering; be careful not to overwater. After your plants get going, “hilling up” your potatoes is your final job. To “hill up,” mound up soil around the potato plant as it grows to ensure that the tubers underground remain in the dark; if potatoes are exposed to the sun, they will turn green & toxic. When the plants blossom (and they produce beautiful little flowers, by the way!), you can stop hilling up and instead mulch deeply with leaves or straw to conserve moisture and maintain underground darkness. Excavating your buried treasure of tubers The potato flowers and plant itself will show signs of dying back in late June/early July. This is your indication that the potatoes are ready to be harvested! A spade fork is helpful for uncovering the crop; be very gentle as it’s easy to stab a potato, but if you start several inches away from the plant and gently pry the fork upwards, you should see the potatoes brimming up to the surface. You may also use your hands to dig into the soil and harvest your bounty.

TOP LEFT: Potatoes sprouting. RIGHT: Sprouted potatoes planted in soil enriched with compost. BOTTOM LEFT: Hilling around the potato plants.


Congratulations! Wipe off your potatoes with a dry cloth; for longterm storage, keep them in a cool, dark place where they will not be exposed to sunlight.



n our home, we use chickens to create a cycle of food, food waste, and food again. In this article, I want to show you how you can intergrate some or all of these ideas in your own household. Why this is important Most of the food we eat is produced far away, and comes to us by way of the grocery store. This is made possible by large scale industrial food production, coupled with efficient transport and distribution. Once we have eaten, most of the food waste we generate is picked up at the curbside. This made possible by efficient trash collection and disposal in landfills. There are a few good things about this picture. One is that food is abundant and cheap, and the produce section of large supermarkets is incredibly diverse. I can’t think of anything good about landfills, but at least big cities are reasonably free of trash. On the other hand, there are plenty of bad things about our current food and waste disposal system. Books have been written on the matter, so I will refrain from listing all the issues I can think of, save for one: there is a profound disconnect between the resources contained in organic waste on one side, and food production on the other. In the case of cities, it is particularly striking, and a relatively new issue. In centuries past, western cities recycled much of their organic waste into food produced within the city or at the outskirts. For example, the famous market gardens that ringed Paris in the late 19th century were powered by the large quantity of manure produced by all the horses kept in the city for transportation. Produce was grown very close to where it was needed, and mountains of manure were taken out of the city and plowed back into the soil. We can only hope that structural changes will take place so that our cities stop wasting their organic waste. In the mean time, as gardeners we can set up our own food and waste disposal system so that once organic materials enter our household, they don’t leave again but are transformed into food, thus closing the loop. Setting up your own system: links are key The vignettes at right show the beginning stages of an integrated food and waste system. The obvious first step in closing the loop is to start producing food (Levels 2 and 3). Notice that this doesn’t necessarily mean that food waste is managed any differently than in Level 1. The elements of a closed loop system are in place in Level 3, but organic waste still leaves the household. Turn the page for a diagram of a food and waste system with more connections between its elements. Closed loop system: highlights Powered by chickens. Chickens eat many things we don’t (table scraps, weeds, grass, bugs, etc.) and transform them into eggs and meat; they make compost out of most organic materials and dig up your garden; and they provide free entertainment (known in our house as Chicken TV). I use two rules when running my household: keep as much organic material as possible within the household; and outsource as much of the work as possible to chickens, worms and plants, children being an unreliable source of labor. Take advantage of free raw materials. Another name for free stuff is someone else’s waste. The more waste you use (yours and someone else’s) to power your food system, the more stuff gets reused locally instead of going into the great unknown of the landfill or municipal composting facility. The more stuff you produce yourself for your family, your chickens or your garden, the less stuff you need to buy and import from the great unknown. A word of caution. Bags of grass clippings and leaves, the main constituent of yard waste, are a fantastic resource waiting for you on the sidewalk. When collecting grass clippings, check out the lawn they come from, and stay away from clippings from lawns devoid of any broadleaf plants (clover, dandelion, plantain, etc.), as they are likely treated with persistent broadleaf herbicides that can take years to degrade, even in a compost pile.

by Véronique Perrot Wylde Center Intern

Level 1: In and Out Food is bought from outside, and food waste goes to the curb as waste. For many apartment dwellers, a garden may be a dream, and window boxes the only way to grow food. There are ways of composting without a garden, such as bringing food scraps to a composting facility such as the one the Wylde Center runs at the Oakhurst Garden (see JC’s Q&A in this issue). Level 2: Add a kitchen garden If space allows, one can add a kitchen garden to the household, and some food is then produced locally. To continue producing, the garden needs to be replenished with nutrients brought in from outside. In addition, food waste and garden waste still leave the system. A compost box to handle vegetable and garden waste would come in handy, reducing the waste leaving the system. Level 3: Add chickens One can then add chickens to the household, and even more food is produced locally. There is one more input, as the chickens have to be fed with commercial feed. If internal connections are not established within the system, food waste, garden waste and chicken waste still leave the system.

Diagrams key

Purple circle = the household. Arrows = flows of organic materials between the three major players in the household: the humans who live there, the chickens, and the kitchen garden. • Green arrows = food for human consumption. • Orange arrows = materials used by chickens • Brown arrows = materials needed in the garden. • Straight arrows = materials purchased for the household • Curvy arrows = materials moving between elements of the system • Gray arrows = organic waste leaving the household.

Start small, grow big! Any waste product that goes towards chickens and garden rather than the trash can is an improvement over Level 3. For example, you may not have chickens but a neighbor does; you could trade your food waste for some chicken manure for your compost bin. Or you have chickens, and you switch from using straw to the bagged leaves you raked from your lawn for bedding their coop. Make do with what is around during the year. For example, the black soldier fly bin churns out top notch chicken feed in the summer, but production declines once the first cold snap kills the adult female flies. Early spring weeds are abundant in my garden and popular with the chickens; greens can be sparse if the summer is dry. What’s mIssing in this picture. There is a major source of organic matter and nutrients not considered here: feces and urine produced by humans and pets in the household. This fascinating issue is beyond the scope of this article; consult The Humanure Handbook, by J. Jenkins, for an excellent treatment of the topic. There are many ways to grow food and recycle organic waste. This diagram points out connections you may not have made between food production and food waste disposal, and ideas you may not have thought about. Anything that you grow doesn’t have to be trucked in; every scrap of food and bag of leaves that stay in your yard doesn’t have to be trucked out.




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Chickens are the epitome of omnivory, and are thus able to make use of a resource abundantly produced in a city: food scraps. Chickens will happily eat any human food, including dairy (old milk, moldy cheese, etc.) and meat (leftover burger, lunch meats, boiled carcasses from making stock, etc.), and many of the scraps left from preparing food (apple cores, wilted lettuce leaves, etc.). Whatever they don’t eat (citrus peels, onion skins, avocado pits, etc.) will contribute to the compost they are making in their run. Like us humans, chickens do better with a diverse diet: the more different food sources, the less the chance to lack, or to eat too much of, a nutrient. In particular, chickens are more sensitive to salt than we are, so don’t give them excessive amounts of salty stuff like stale chips and moldy cheese. Chickens love greens, and they will peck at anything green within their reach. It is the carotene in the leaves that gives pastured egg yolks their lovely deep yellow color. Chickens will process much of the garden’s unwanted output, such as unseeded weeds (chickweed, henbit, crabgrass, etc.), vegetables in excess or past their prime (bolted lettuce, cracked tomatoes, monster zucchini, etc.) and grass clippings. You can also grow some forage for your birds, like duckweed in buckets of water, or grains from a rye cover crop. Chickens may eat weed seeds, but they will probably miss some. If you have particularly aggressive re-seeding weeds, don’t count on your chickens to eat those seeds. Best to pull weeds long before their seeds are ripe. Chickens will also not help you control plant pathogens. Their composting technique doesn’t involve heating up the pile, so keep diseased plants out of the chicken run. Keep commercial chicken feed available to your birds, and they will eat what they need to complete their daily ration.


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You may notice that in this diagram, food scraps go to the chickens rather than the compost heap. Some food scraps can of course be composted, but feeding them to chickens returns them faster to the table as eggs. In addition, given an outdoor run, your chickens will make compost for you. Provide them with plenty of organic material in addition to food scraps (bagged leaves, grass clippings, weeds, etc.), and they will scratch at it with delight. No turning required; you only need to dig it up when needed. Make sure you can easily access the run with a wheelbarrow to collect the finished product. Concentrated chicken manure from the coop has to be composted before being used in the garden. When collected from the coop, it is too strong to use directly on plants (unless you want to burn them). The manure has to be mixed with brown materials (eg, leaves), watered well, and left to compost for a few months, turning the pile once in a while. It is ready to use once it smells sweet and earthworms have invaded the pile.


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by Stephanie Van Parys Executive Director

eah Pine, a native of Atlanta, grew up exploring 8 acres of woods near Briarcliff and Lavista Road where she foraged as a child for wild fruit—blackberries, wild plums, muscadines, apples. This love of nature and appreciation of native plants led her to the University of Georgia where in 1991 she earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture, studying under the direction of then Dean Darrel Morrison. She is a registered landscape architect and also registered and a certified as an arborist. Leah now has her own landscape architect business. Concerned with the loss of habitat for wildlife, Leah shares what homeowners can do to restore foraging areas in their own gardens. SVP: What attracted you to gardening with native plants? LP: Gardening with native plants speaks to my heart. As a child I spent a lot of time playing outside in the woods. I have always noticed native plants, thinking someone must have planted them. How could something so beautiful just happen? It was Darrel Morrison at the University of Georgia who made my passion for native plants come together. After hearing his first lecture, I knew that I wanted to work with native plants. SVP: Why is it important to include native plants? LP: Now that we have removed so much natural habitat, it is our responsibility to plant natives that feed wildlife. Non-natives are just not doing the job. Recently, I read an article describing the deaths of dozens of Cedar Waxwings after eating non-native Nandina berries (see resources). The native berries that they would ordinarily eat are gone, as are the landscapes that even offer berries. There is also the benefit of creating natural areas and the positive ways humans respond to them. Natural areas feed the human soul. I also recently about the plight of the butterflies. In a November 2013 New York Times article (see resources) an article ran about the year the monarch didn’t appear. Including natives in your landscape restores habitat for beloved wildlife. SVP: What can our readers do to offer local food for wildlife? LP: They can work to replace conventional landscapes with native plant communities. A native plant community is a group of native plants growing together in a particular area. A native plant is a plant that was growing in our area before the arrival of European settlers. When creating native plant communities, I focus on plants that are native to the Georgia Piedmont where I and most of my clients live. SVP: Any tips on how to get started? LP: First, determine what kind of sun and water your garden receives. The amount of sunlight and water will guide your native plant choices. Read about natives focusing on those native to your area. Go on plant rescues with the Georgia Native Plant Society to dig up rescue plants, but also learn about what really grows in our area. To make an impact, plant in drifts which is several of the same plant. You also will have to physically remove non-natives (e.g., Nandina), Iawn (e.g., Bermuda grass), invasive plants (e.g., English ivy) and replace with native plants. I would love to see everyone replace at least 2/3’s of their conventional landscape with native plants, but even 1/3 will have a huge impact. Imagine if everyone did that! We would create a virtual native plant highway for insects, birds, and other animals.

Pink Muhly Grass, “Shenandoah” Switchgrass, and aster seedheads create a beautiful late-fall showpiece in the garden. Seeds are foraged by small mammals and birds. Photo by Leah Pine.

(Echinacea purpurea) really pop when growing with grasses. Liatris sp.’s purple flower spikes look amazing mixed in with grasses. Other flowers to consider include Coreopsis, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Baptisia, Amsonia, and milkweeds (Asclepias sp.) like Butterflyweed. When you mix flowers with grasses, your landscape comes alive with bees, butterflies, and birds. SVP: What about the perception that native gardens look messy? LP: A native garden can be tidy and look good. Your native garden needs to look intentional. The real problem of a messy garden is often a result of poor design. A good design will fit natives into a more formal landscape. Define the edges with a mow line or hardscape such as a patio, path or stone wall. Also, you should maintain your plants. For example, grasses and perennials can be cut back in February to allow for new growth to come through in the spring. SVP: What new project are you working on in your garden? LP: I am creating a hedgerow using several species including Viburnums, crabapple, plum, and elderberry. I am also incorporating native perennials and grasses. I finally have all of the invasive plants such as privet, bamboo, mulberry, and kudzu cleared out of my back yard. When I lived in England, I saw people laying down new hedgerow to restore habitat for birds and insects. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to ramp up the biodiversity in my yard, to create a place where wildlife will forage for food. LEAH PINE’S SUGGESTED RESOURCES Online Articles Cedar Waxwings and Nandina berries: The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear Graphic showing how grasses and natives sequester carbon dioxide: Books The Truth About Organic Gardening, by Jeff Gillman

SVP: Let’s focus on a full sun yard. What plants should our readers include?

The Natural Communities of Georgia, by Leslie Edwards, Jonathan Ambrose, and L. Katherine Kirkman

LP: Let’s talk about grasses first. Native grasses are incredible because they not only provide habitat for insects, birds, mammals, they also sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide (good for the earth) because their roots grow deep. Grasses I like to include in my more formal landscapes are Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), “Shenandoah” Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’), or Little Bluestem cultivars (Schizachyrium scoparium).

Websites not only does Professor Doug Tallamy’s website give you lists of plants, it also shows you how many moth and butterfly species are supported by each plant.

I like to work with flowers that complement the grasses. Asters bloom in the fall and are supported by the grasses. Pink coneflowers


Native Ferns, Moss, and Grasses: From Emerald Carpet to Amber Wave, Serene and Sensuous Plants for the Garden, by William Cullina

Local Resources Leah Pine, Landscape Architect, Georgia Native Plant Society,



Remembering Sally’s Puppets

The puppets made by Oakhurst Elementary 1st graders this past fall (page 5) reminded us of the hundreds of puppets Sally Wylde helped us make in 2007 and 2008. Engaging the expertise from the Center for Puppetry Arts, Sally Wylde helped people of all ages turn cardboard into works of art the spring of 2007 and 2008. At the 2007 and 2008 Decatur Earth Day Festival parade, participants proudly marched from Harmony Park to the Oakhurst Garden led by the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable Band.

We have a few photos of the lead lady herself. Bottom middle photo, Sally holds a fabulous bird puppet that she created with Ruth Schowalter and another artist (name unknown). In the bottom right photo, Sally is walking in the inaugural parade among a large crowd, wearing a red cat hat and clapping her hands. What a super legacy and tradition created here in Decatur!



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


Return Service Requested

Back page photo courtesy of David Callihan





March 1, 9 AM-3 PM This is a daylong symposium on how to begin and care for your own flock of happy, healthy backyard chickens. March 1- April 15: Spring herb, vegetable, and flower transplants April 1- June 15: Summer herb, vegetable, and flower transplants Hours: sunup to sundown. Plant sale is located at 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030, and is self-service.


March 28, 6-7:30 PM: Launch party and silent auction March 29 and March 30, Noon-5 PM Tour coops in Decatur and Atlanta. Family-friendly event. Ticket includes all three days.


March 29, 4-6 PM Exclusive Wylde Center Growing Circle Member* event. Enjoy an evening at Sugar Creek, one of the four gardens managed by the Wylde Center. Event includes snacks, delicous drinks, children activities, tours, and an update on Sugar Creek.


April 10, 6-8 PM Have first pick at the great selection of herbs, natives, vegetable transplants, flowers, and fruit trees while enjoying light refreshments. Open to all current Wylde Center members.

April 11, 12, 13, 9 AM-4 PM each day Open to the public, the plant sale offers a huge selection of herbs, natives, vegetable transplants, flowers, and fruit trees. April 19, Noon - 4 PM A Decatur tradition, the Wylde Center hosts the Earth Day festival at its Oakhurst Garden site. Children crafts, live music, parade, cake contest, and so much more!


April 26, 10 AM to 5 PM and April 27, Noon-5 PM Tour gardens both in and outside of Decatur. New this year, Beech Hollow Nursery will be selling their native plants at our Hawk Hollow garden site. Check for more info.


May 15, 4-5:30 PM Growing Circle members*, community partners, and funders are invited to learn about program and garden updates as well as plans for the future.


June 28, 5:30-8:30 PM Purchase your ticket today for this great beer and foodie event. Last year it sold out! 21+ event. Includes a VIP hour.

* Growing Circle events exlusive for current donors at the $500+ level. Further information for all of these events may be found at

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Wylde Center January 2014 Magazine  

A quarterly program and gardening magazine from the Wylde Center. Read for the most current listing of classes as well as program updates s...

Wylde Center January 2014 Magazine  

A quarterly program and gardening magazine from the Wylde Center. Read for the most current listing of classes as well as program updates s...