SPRING 2016 A MAGAZINE FOR WYLDE CENTER MEMBERS VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1
GA R DE N CLU BS AT T HE DH A
LOV E YOU R SOIL SU MME R GA R DE N I NG
U PCOMI NG
E V E N TS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WYLDE CENTER 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 404.371.1920, wyldecenter.org
WINTER EVENT HIGHLIGHTS pages 5-6
HOURS Wylde Center is open Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM Wylde Center garden sites are open daily from sun up to sun down.
MEET THE NEW WYLDE CENTER STAFF page 6 DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY GARDEN CLUBS pages 9-11 MEMBERSHIP ROLL Gifts received September 1, 2015 thru February 29, 2016 pages 12,15 GARDENING Gardening with JC - Love your soil page 16 Plant Sale Varieties page 17 Summer Growing at Edgewood pages 18-19 Month by Month Gardening Tasks March-May page 20 RECIPE Tomato Zucchini Casserole page 19 SPROUT’S CORNER Write your garden story! page 23
Lending a hand at the potting bench.
A message from Wylde Center’s Executive Director, Stephanie Van Parys Welcome to the spring issue of the Wylde Center magazine. Over the past year, Wylde Center staff and board members have been working with Sandstone Consulting, supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, to create our strategic plan that will guide our work for the next three years. I am happy to report that the work is finished and the Wylde Center is now focused on continuing our education programs both on-site and at schools; providing gardens that interact with the community, programs that enrich a sustainable lifestyle, and developing communication tools that effectively relay the impact we are having. We are all excited about what we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish through the Wylde Center and our work here. I also wanted to take a moment to welcome our new board members: Shelby Brennan, James Cobb, Todd Foreman, and Gena Rawlins as well as our new staff members (page 6). The earth is busy waking up from the winter and that makes us all want to go outside! Be sure to spend some time during this glorious season at one of our gardens. We have a great list of upcoming events (see back page) and hope that you will join us for the plant sale, earth day, Edgewood spring festival, garden tour, picnic at Hawk Hollow, and/or Beer Garden!
Members, none of this work would be possible without you. Thank you from all of us here at the Wylde Center for your support.
NEW ADDITIONS AT THE OAKHURST GARDEN
WYLDE CENTER GARDENS Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur Sugar Creek, 415 East Lake Drive, Decatur Hawk Hollow, 2304 1st Avenue, Atlanta Edgewood Community Learning Garden, 1503 Hardee Street Northeast, Atlanta FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter: @wylde_center Instagram: WyldeCenter Facebook: facebook.com/WyldeCenter MAGAZINE AND PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Dawn Audano, Aubree Marble Clark, Sarah Dasher, Allison Ericson, JC Hines, Mary Jane Leach, Jenna Mobley, Derek Pinson, Stephanie Van Parys (Editor). Poets: Colleen Bunting, Joyce Kilmer, Chungmi Kim, Michaele Oleson THE WC’S MEMBER MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY. FRONT COVER Edgeworthia in bloom at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shelby Buso (Chair), Josh Becker (Vice-Chair), KC Boyce (Treasurer), Jenna Mobley (Secretary), Caroline Branch, Shelby Brennan, James Cobb, Elena Conis, Allison Dixon, Todd Foreman, Ardath Grills, Rex Hamre, Caroline Herring, Beth Krebs, Gena Rawlins, Lynn Russell, Mike Sage STAFF Office Manager Neida Arrington Oakhurst Garden Site Coordinator Halley Beagle Lead Educator Sarah Dasher Education Director Allison Ericson Greenspace Director JC Hines Hawk Hollow Site Coordinator Tamara Jones Development Director Blair Keenan Plant Sale Coordinator Mary Jane Leach Farm to School Manager Nichole Lupo Edgewood Community Learning Garden Site Coordinator and Garden Coach Derek Pinson Educator Lauren Reef Public Programs Coordinator Clint Thornton
NEW PLANT SALE STANDS! Jude Holmes, a member of Boy Scout Troop 551 completed his Eagle Scout project by building five beautiful new plant sale stands. Now we have more room to display our plants. The plants are happy and we are happy. Thank you, Jude!
NEW COMPOST BINS! Last fall our compost bins were crushed by a fallen tree and the community drop-off station was temporarily closed. No longer! Thanks to Neil Struby of Struby Construction, new compost bins have been built and we are composting again. Thank you, Neil!
Executive Director Stephanie Van Parys Sugar Creek Garden Site Coordinator Jen Wassum COPYRIGHT 2016 WYLDE CENTER INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING REPRINTING OF CONTENT, CONTACT 404.371.1920.
Previous Page: Collard greens growing in a community plot at Sugar Creek Garden and Herb Farm. Collards are a traditional southern green in the Brassica family that may be grown in the fall and spring. Sown directly from seed or planted from transplants, plant your collards in September and again in March. Collards planted in September will over winter providing a dependable and important source of nutrients. Sugar Creek Garden was the second Wylde Center greenspace to be established and it was initially supported by the City of Decatur as part of its urban agriculture initiative. Now, Sugar Creek is fully funded by the Wylde Center, and in late 2014 it was decided that the focus would be on the production of herbs. Herbs are sold wholesale and distributed to local Atlanta and Decatur restaurants. Sugar Creek is also home to native gardens, a labyrinth, and a community garden. Sugar Creek is located at 415 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA (Behind the Oakhurst Presbyterian Church).
Collards, collards, collards, Boiling in the pot, With backbone, ham or fat back, And pepper red and hot. Of all the vegetables, leafy and green, Collards are definitely the queen. Some say collards don’t smell so nice, But eat them once, and you’ll eat them twice. The collard is a beautiful thing, It’s nutritious for the human being. Some worms like collards, and that is true, When they nibble my collards, I get blue. The worms that raid my collard patch Are destroyed before I cook my batch. Collards taste fine with cornbread and sweet taters, That combination will satisfy the best of debaters. Raising, cooking and eating collards is fun. Excuse me now! The collards are done. Colleen Bunting Scotland Neck, North Carolina, In Leaves of Green: The Collard Poems, 1985. Reprinted by permission of Ayden (NC) Collard Festival.
On January 24, 2016, over 100 people gathered at the Decatur Library and the Decatur Recreation Center for the annual Seed and Scion Exchange co-hosted by the Wylde Center and Park Pride. We were so pleased to host Ira Wallace, our keynote speaker from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, an heirloom seed company based in Virginia. Refreshments were generously donated by Revolution Doughnuts.
TOP ROW: Participants were encouraged to bring their extra seeds as well as package their saved seeds in smaller envelopes. Seeds were then sorted by season or type of seed. Tomatoes had their very own table! Ira Wallace set up a table to distribute seeds she brought from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Her varieties were very popular! SECOND ROW: The Saving Appalachian Gardens and Stories program at University of North Georgia brought their seed dispenser that they use to give away seeds. Folks enjoyed pulling the release and watching their seed pack slip out. THIRD ROW: Attendees traveled from near and far and left with big smiles on their faces. In addition to seeds being saved, attendees also exchanged fruit tree scions. Representatives from the Atlanta Fruits group shared scions and also shared info with those new to the concept. FOURTH ROW: Roseann Kent with the Saving Appalachian Gardens and Stories program at University of North Georgia and Ira Wallace with the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange have an opportunity to meet each other and talk heirlooms. We are already planning for next year! The Seed and Scion Exchange will take place Sunday, January 22, 2017, from 1-4 p.m. at the Decatur Library and Decatur Recreation Center.
EVENTS/WYLDE CENTER STAFF
INAUGURAL WREATHMAKING FESTIVAL WAS A BEAUTIFUL SUCCESS For one week, the Wylde Center office was completely taken over by evergreen wreaths and decorative flowers, berries, and dried citrus. It smelled so good! Every evening, a group of participants arrived to create beautiful wreaths to hang at their home. We are looking forward to repeating the fun again this year. Go ahead and save a date for an evening between November 29-December 6 and let your friends know to do so as well!
WYLDE CENTER ADDS NEW STAFF SARAH DASHER - LEAD EDUCATOR
Sarah develops curriculum for and leads gardening and nutrition programs with the Wylde Center’s public school partners and other organizations. Before joining the Wylde Center’s staff, Sarah worked with the Captain Planet Foundation while serving in the first team of FoodCorps service members in Georgia teaching in school learning gardens around Atlanta. She also works with the Georgia Farmers Market Association, which supports strong local food economies across Georgia. She loves being outside, playing in the dirt, making food, and working with kids. Favorite vegetable to grow: Black cherry tomatoes Favorite plant to grow: My jade plant and all its jade babies Favorite place to eat: Taqueria del Sol
BLAIR KEENAN - DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Prior to joining the Wylde Center staff, Blair worked with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where she spent 8 years directing and developing national fundraising campaigns. A Georgia native, Blair has lived in Los Angeles and Seattle and is thrilled to call Decatur home and and to join the Wylde Center, an organization that speaks to her interests in urban greenspaces, gardening, conservation, and the local movement. She enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two children in their backyard garden, hiking around in north Georgia, or just exploring the neighborhood. Favorite vegetable to grow: Sugar snap peas Favorite plant to grow: Sunflowers - really big ones! Favorite place to eat: Anywhere with a nice deck or patio
LAUREN REEF - EDUCATOR
Lauren assists with developing curriculum and leading dynamic hands-on programming for schools in the City of Decatur and Atlanta Public Schools. Before coming to Wylde Center, she worked with Wholesome Wave Georgia on increasing healthy food access for low-income Atlantans. Her previous teaching experience includes nutrition and cooking classes with the Peace Corps in Paraguay. Lauren is currently working towards a graduate degree at Emory in the Masters of Development Practice program. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, cooking, and hiking. Favorite vegetable to grow: Carrots! I never get tired of the look on kids’ faces when they pull them out of the ground! Favorite plant to grow: Cilantro Favorite Place to Eat: Mojo Pizza in Oakhurst
CLINT THORNTON - PUBLIC PROGRAMS COORDINATOR
Clint is an award-winning freelance theatrical artist, performer, and writer. He’s also an event specialist, currently serving as the Event Coordinator for Hodgepodge Coffee House and Gallery in East Atlanta in addition to his role as Public Programs Coordinator for the Wylde Center. He is the author of one published novel, with plans for more. Formerly a co-owner of Dream Window Ponds, a water-feature company, Clint is very excited to be working closely with Wylde’s beautiful green spaces as well as the Decatur and Atlanta communities. Favorite vegetable to grow: sugar snap peas Favorite plant to grow: Moss Favorite place to eat: South City Kitchen
JENNIFER WASSUM - SUGAR CREEK SITE COORDINATOR
Jen is excited about her role where she will oversee the growth and sale of a variety of herbs. Jen relocated to Atlanta with her husband and two cats after living and farming in Charleston, SC for five years. While there, Jen apprenticed on several small sustainable farms, eventually progressing to managing a small farm focused on selling vegetables, herbs, and microgreens to local restaurants. Hailing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Jen enjoys time on the water. She and her husband can be found checking out local restaurants and breweries, cooking, and working on their Grant Park home. Favorite vegetable to grow: French breakfast radishes Favorite plant to grow: Hydrangeas Favorite place to eat: Miller Union & Little’s Food Store
A GIRL ON THE SWING She sees the mountain upside down. With her long hair sweeping the fallen leaves she swings like a pendulum. From the lagoon at sunset a hundred sparrows fly away.
Previous Page: The swing on a rainy day at Hawk Hollow. Hawk Hollow was donated to the Wylde Center in 2012. We have big plans for improving the site in 2016. A tree house will be added and 800 native plants will be planted. In addition to the community enjoying the space, Wylde Center uses the garden for field trips and other educational programs. Hawk Hollow is located at 2304 1st Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30317. Next event at Hawk Hollow: Come celebrate summer at Hawk Hollow on June 4 from 5-8 p.m. when we host our first family-friendly Picnic in the Park event.
Wishing them back she whistles softly. And downward she falls into the sky. Chungmi Kim, “A Girl on the Swing” from Glacier Lily. Copyright © 2004 by Chungmi Kim. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY
ABOVE: Planted in the fall, the produce is now ready to harvest from the Oliver House garden. Sara, an Oliver House resident is holding Cosmic Purple and Tonda di Parigi carrots. Residents work in their garden with the Wylde Center’s Garden Coach. Those who are able to work in the garden harvest the produce and share the vegetables equally among the Garden Club members, including the members who are no longer able to work outside.
GARDEN CLUBS FOR SENIORS AND YOUTH AT THE DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY The Wylde Center has been working with the Decatur Housing Authority for five years providing garden and nutrition education on a regular basis. It started first with our educator working with the youth and using a garden plot at the Decatur High School’s community garden to illustrate eating with the seasons and nutrition. As the popularity of the program grew so did the Decatur Housing Authority’s committment to having places to grow on site. Three years ago, when the Oliver House (a senior housing facility) was built, a courtyard garden was also added. The Wylde Center was asked to start a garden club with the residents. Last year, a garden for the children was built with help from the Wylde Center. Both gardens are important components of the weekly programming we provide for seniors, youth, and starting this spring, for families.
Thank you to the following for their support of our program at the Decatur Housing Authority.
“My grandson asked me what I like best about living at the Oliver House and I said my Garden Club.” --Sara, Oliver House resident
DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY
Decatur Housing Authority Senior Garden Club
Creative time! In addition to cooking, gardening, and nutrition lessons, the garden members also enjoy being creative. On a cold, wet day the members focused on methods of botanical illustration. They were hesitant at first declaring that they could not draw! The educator brought a variety of natural items for them to choose from - feathers, acorns, okra, seed tufts. In the end, they were very proud of their results and complimented each other on their finished drawings.
The Wylde Center partners with the Community Farmers Market to teach cooking and nutrition classes with the residents. In this class, the seniors are tasting raw and sauteed spinach and kale. Here is what the seniors thought of the taste test: 60% tried raw spinach before,100% liked it and would try again. 20% tried raw kale before, 70% liked it and would try again.
50% tried cooked spinach, 100% liked it and would try again. 70% tried cooked kale, 100% liked it and would try again.
“I’ve never had raw kale before! Tastes great with this dressing.” Growing vegetables that the club members are not familiar with creates an opportunity to try new recipes. During the growing season Derek Pinson, the Wylde Center’s Garden Coach, works with the seniors in the garden in some capacity almost every week. Those able to go outside will harvest and distribute the produce to those not able to help. In this photo, the Garden Club members are standing by a bed of lettuce, mixed greens, and blooming Calendula. The lettuce in this photo was used to make several salads and the collards were prepared using classic southern recipes.
Senior Garden Club: By the numbers from September to December 2015
14 total hours spent in the garden 16 seniors participated in the program 22 classes hosted by Wylde Center staff between September and December 55% of the seniors surveyed reported eating fresh fruits and vegetables 4-6 times a week. 55% of the seniors doubled their garden knowledge, with average scores on a “Garden Knowledge Test,” rising from 4.1 to 11.8 by the end of the program. This assessment covered the basic concepts of organic gardening including soil, composting, and seasonality of vegetables.
100% of seniors surveyed reported to be “very happy” with the state of their garden. 10
DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY
Decatur Housing Authority Afterschool Garden Club Photo credit for all youth program photos: Jenna Mobley
The Garden Club meets each week. Students from the Decatur Housing Authority gather each Friday with Wylde Center educators, Sarah Dasher and Lauren Reef for eight week sessions. The students spend time in the garden each week where they are introduced to gardening, preparing the produce, and making the connection to healthier food choices for them and their families. They have sampled kale, carrots, radishes, and lettuce all grown in their garden. Healthy ways to prepare these vegetables are demonstrated and recipes are sent home so they may be replicated. The children are able to harvest additional vegetables and take them home. Reflection journals are an important part of the program. Journals are a fun way to help the students focus on what is happening in their garden while honing their observation skills. Later in the classroom, they reflect on what they saw and learned through prose and illustration. The journals are filled out each week helping them to reflect on how the garden grew over time. Once the 8-week session is complete, the students take the journals home. Students visit the garden for the first time touching and tasting the salad greens, arugula, turnips, beets, carrots, and radishes.
The students have their own learning garden which is planted seasonally with vegetables.
Lauren Reef (teaching above) reports that â€œOn our first day of our second group for the DHA Afterschool Garden Club, kids got to explore the garden and then came back to record their observations in their garden journals. For many of them it was their first time seeing food growing and they were very excited!
"I love tasting the food that we cook after school!"
Youth Garden Club: By the numbers from September to December 2015 9 total hours spent in the garden 17 students sampled 3 different types of apples. 78% of the students liked the apples. 44 students participated in the program from September to December. 63% increase in nutrition knowledge has been demonstrated by youth participants. 90% of the students were able to correctly match four out of the five food groups after learning about the food groups. 53% were able to match the food groups.
270 minutes of additional physical activity performed with games
Before the lesson, only
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE WYLDE CENTER GIFTS RECEIVED SEPT. 1, 2015 - FEB. 29, 2016
GROWING CIRCLE MEMBERS ($500-$5,000) Allison Adams Geoge Andl and Linda Pogue Anonymous (5) Bobbie Wrenn Banks and David Root John Barbee Deborah Baumgarten and EJ Sadler Josh and Sara Becker Christopher Bivins and Jennifer DuBose Meg and John Boswell KC Boyce and Michelle Frost Elizabeth Boyd Yolanda Chu Martha J. Clinkscales & S. Elizabeth Fairleigh Fund James and Gretchen Cobb Grady Cousins Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor and William Taylor Robert Dean Pamela and Chad Dittmer Duane Dunlap and Frances Somerville Nicole Fehrenbach and Leif Terry Karla and Kim Finnegan Todd Foreman Anthony Gal Tayiba Garcia Gary and Patti Garrett Pat Gibson Pat and Adele Gipson Annie Godfrey and Jack Kittle Mary Goodwin and Joey Herrera Ardath and George Grills Karen Kun and Haskell Beckham Peter Lindsay and Kate Binzen Walt and Ally McMann Brenton and Dolly Meese Joy and Stephen Provost Stephanie Ramsey Meredith Reynolds Michael and Elizabeth Sage Robin Miller and Marty Samuels Barbara and Brian Sherman William Simmons Rita Sislen Rusty Smith II and Jennifer Treter Jim and Susan Spratt Stephanie Thomas Heather and Joseph Tell Beth Thompson Anne and Jim Topple Etosha and Alfonzo Thurman Chip and Kim Wallace Jill Wasserman and Stephen Devereaux Kathryn Young IN MEMORY OF Bushes, Patches, Baby Belle by Judith Grubbs Zara Hawthorne by Tania and Rick Julian Nelle C. Howard by Lucia and Tom Sizemore
Paddy O’Reilly by Ciara Sugerman Ruth Papin by Stephen and Linda Dorage Sharon Radford by James Radford Jean-Guy Smith by Denyse Levesque and Yolanda Smith H. Stanley Stokes by Denise Stokes Sally Wylde by • Martha J. Clinkscales and S. Elizabeth Fairleigh Fund • Marti Fessenden and Suzanne Schultz • Rachel Henning and Gerry Cook • Nancy and Allen Manley • Carlotta Morris • Graham and Anne Walker • Karl Williams
IN HONOR OF Sara Grace Barbee-de Wolff by John Barbee Vinka Berg by Rick Berg Barbara Brim by Nancy Brim and Peter Carnell Britt Dean by Myfamwy Hopkin Kiran Kaur Meese by Brenton and Dolly Meese Meeting Expectations Marketing & Creative Services: Jim Grove, Dimitri Papadimitriou, Sarah Pinkowski, Jason Rogers, Jay Sawyer, Michelle Syen & Anita Vichareof by Allison Germaneso Dixon Frances Moriarty by Duran Dodson and John Ellis Joy Provost by Eileen Murphy and Michael Gray Frances Reeves by Walter Reeves Lynn Russell by Mary McCall Cash and Stephen Cash Stephanie Van Parys by Susan Zaro Vietnam Veterans by Steve and Darla Barrett FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTIONS AEC Trust Aileen Phillips Trust Bright Wings Foundation The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta EMSA Fund The Imlay Foundation Kaiser Permanente The Mary Brown Fund of Atlanta Patrick Family Foundation Seeds of Change Zeist Foundation BUSINESS CONTRIBUTIONS AmazonSmile Foundation Arepa Mia* The Bowden Spratt Law Firm, P.C. Brick Store Pub* Cakes & Ale* Calle Latina* Farm Burger*
The Iberian Pig* The Imperial* Kids Go Wild Kimball House* Lawrence’s Café* Leon’s Full Service* Lotus of Life Chiropractic Makan Restaurant & Bar* McMaster-Carr Mojo Pizza* Oakhurst Market* Raging Burrito* Sapori Di Napoli* Seven Hens* Souper Jenny Steinbeck’s Ale House* Universal Joint* Wahoo Grill* *Fall Decatur Farm to School Dineout Participants
MEMBERSHIPS RECEIVED Emily Abernathy Charles and Marian Adair William and Cynthia Aldridge Stacey Marie Alston Lynda and John Anderson Tracey Anderson and William Blackwood Anonymous (2) Cheryl Bagby Jennifer Ballentine and Scott Kelsey Carol and Woody Bartlett Miche Baskett and Jonathon Harris Jesse and Dick Bathrick Joseph and Elizabeth Beard Jerilynn Bedingfield Linda Bell Kristin A. Birkness Megan Black Steven Blackburn Heidi Blanck Bill and Haqiqa Bolling James and Patricia Bonner Cynthia Borden-Mercer Oded and Marcia Borowski Kore and Brendan Breault Greg Brough and Rebekah Hudgins Susan and Christopher Brown Kyo and Dave Brown Amy and Wes Bryant Rianne Buis and Fritz Taylor Stephanie Bush Elizabeth Butler-Witter and Bret Witter Greg and Annie Caiola Bill Callaghan and Betsy Eppes Gail Carr Jane Carriere Lucia and James Case Sandra Castle Matt and Arlene Cauthorn Brian and Genia Cayce Robin Chalmers and Michael Purser Thomas Chapel Bill and Lilabet Choate Julie and Pierre Coiron Gail Cole Ken Conover and Lynda Anderson
Jessica Cook and John Harvey Susan Coole Debi Copeland David and Suzy Crenshaw Cathleen Rae Croft Emily Cumbie-Drake Paul and Deborah Cushing Gwen Davies and John Wuichet Hal and Anna Davis Michelle Davis-Watts Nickolas DeLuca Chris De Wolff Thomas Delton Kadie Devitt Susan Doyle and David Goo Mary Elizabeth Egnor and Matthew Hogben Helena Ekpfadt Nita and Rick Epting Leslie Erickson Anne Farrell and Tim O’Keefe Amy and Victor Fillion Alisa Finkle Kim Foland and Jon Quattlebaum Patrick and Angela Foster Kyle Frantz and Jeffrey Meisner Lily Friedlander Paula Gaber and James Kindt Mary Garrett and the Rucks Family Ann and Claude Gauthier Jerry Gentry and Tina Pippin Mike and Sarah Gibson Susie Girardeau David Gittelman and Thomas Murphy Chip Grabow and Nancy Cost Glenda Graddy Jennifer Granoff Andrew and Cindy Guenthner Craig and Jessica Hadley Kristen Hampton Katie and Skipper Hartley Courtney Hartnett Lee Ann Harvey Peter Helfrich Mrs. Nathan V. Hendricks III Ellen Herbert Julie Herron Carson Karen and Scott Hill Heidi Hill Linda Hilsenrad and Jonathan Pierce Scot and Debbie Hollonbeck Don and Becky Hooten Pam Hughes Bessie Jay and Daniel Stewart Jeremy Jeffers Shannon and Clay Johnson Lewis and Tamara Jones Shane and Kristin Jones Panos and Cheryl Kanes Gus Kaufman, Ph.D. Blair Keenan William and Michelle Kelly Mary Alice Kemp Carolyn Kennedy Christina Berry Knox Bob and Judy Koski Virginia Krawiec Elizabeth Kugler Alison Kyle (Member roll continued on page 15)
All I Need To Know In Life I Learned From My Chickens
The renovated Edgewood Community Learning Garden is growing under the Wylde Center’s wings. The space is home to nine chickens, two apiaries, a pollinator garden, rain garden, pond, fruit trees, berry bushes, nine vegetable beds, mushroom logs, and compost bins. Come visit!
Wake up early, stay busy, rest when you need to, but always stay alert. Visit your favorite places each day. Scratch out a living. Routine is good. Plump is good. Don’t ponder your purpose in life - your brain is too small. Accept the pecking order and know your enemies. Weed your garden. Protect your children fiercely - sit on them if you need to. Take them for walks, Show them little things and talk constantly. Make a nice nest. Share it with friends. Brag on your accomplishments. Don’t count your chicks before they hatch. Protect your nest egg. Test your wings once in a while. Squawk when necessary. As you age, demand respect. Leave a little something for those who care about you. Chase butterflies.
The Edgewood Community Learning Garden is located at 1503 Hardee St., Atlanta, GA, 30307 and is in partnership with The Zeist Foundation.
by Michaele Oleson from Sprout ‘n’ Wings Farm
Nine chickens reside at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. The children in the afterschool garden club have named most of the resident chickens: Cassandra, Apple Jack, Lola, Daisy, Ginger Snap, Princess. What happens with the eggs? They are taken home by neighbors who help care for the flock, by the site manager, and by the children who participate in the garden club program.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE WYLDE CENTER MEMBERSHIPS RECEIVED Cris and Don Lake Adina Langer and Matthew DeAngelis Michael and Jennifer Leavey Mike Lee and Teri Hammond Lew Lefton and Enid Steinbart Emery and Wendy Leonard Gregory Levine Damon Lockwood Garry Long Tamara V. Lucas Nancy Burns Luckey Page and Jeff Luther Richard and Angie Maddox Rich and Beth Mahaffey Beth Mahany Steve and Judy Marks Allen and Dana Mast Anitha Mathew Jacquelyn McClain Ashley and Amy McClure Lockey McDonald Shannon McDuffie Laura McKee Brigitte Mebius Doug and Lyn Menne Peggy Merriss Sara and Peter Michelson Sandra and Simon Miller Kenneth Moberg and Karolina Graber Steve and Marty Monroe Elizabeth Moore Mary and Charlie Moran
Thomas Mullen John and Cathy Mullins George and Janice Munsterman Linda Nalley Lance and Mary Netland Wande Okunoren-Meadows Megan and Darin Olson Linda Pace Tom Painter and Carla Roncoli Judy Parady Shelley Parnes Joe and Bobbi Patterson Emma Patton Alex Pearson Christopher and Kathryn Pearson Lisa and Bob Persons Ted Pettus and Amy Stout Charlotte Piper Scott Pohl Celia Price Jennifer Ragland Meredith Rainnie Sandra and Louis Rice Amy Robinson Martha Rogers and Jan Moore Jane and Doug Root Amy Rowland Hugh Saxon and Judy Schwarz Anthony and Shannon Scalese Brooke and Chris Schembri Deneta and Brian Sells Gloria Seymour Julie Shaffer Sundi and Jay Shelton Sherry Siclair
Carolyn and John Silk Kenna Simmons Chris and Carol Smith Cynthia Smith and Frank Reiss Ben and Lee Sobel Annie Sommerville-Hall and Ray Hall Sharon Sonenblum Dwight and Kerri Specht Meredith and Neil Struby Caroline Stubbs Melanie Taylor Helen and Daryl Thompson Celeste Tibbets Linda Travers Teresa Tucker Judy and Roy Turner John and Mary Margaret Tuttle Tanya Tveit and Michael Condon Roy and Maureen Vandiver Anna Varela and James Salzer Vera Vogt Linda Walcott Sherry Wallace Ann Walter and Derek Economy Cynthia Warner Harriet and Michael Wasserman Margaret Waterbury Cynthia and Bill Webb Emily and Adam Webb Alison Weissinger Suzanne Welander Nedra Whitehead and John Bolton Gabriel Ramirez and Lisa Whittle Susan and Arjan Wietsma
Georgee and David Wiley Laura Willard Susan and Loren Williams Amy and Jay Wilson Robert and Lynda Wilson Pam Wuichet Caitlin Wylde Yanna Yannakakis Nicole Yates Derek and Jennifer Yeager
A student uses a magnifying glass to see the detail of a chicken feather during a field trip to the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. (photo by Jenna Mobley)
GARDENING WITH JC: LOVE YOUR SOIL
by JC Hines, Greenspace Director
Spring in Georgia can come on a Tuesday and be gone on Thursday. Spring planting is a change of season passage that we, the growers, anticipate with each daffodil that pops out of the ground. However, our soil needs a break to rebuild. First things, first. When was your last soil test? Has it been a while? Soil in raised and in-ground beds leach nutrients after each season. This means that over time, due to factors like weather, erosion, and multiple plantings, important nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), boron (B), potassium (K) and other trace elements leave the soil. A soil test will help you determine what your soil may be lacking. Your local UGA Extension office has kits available for $15. You simply mail the soil sample to them and they will provide you with results and suggestions to amend your soil. Now that you’ve received your test results, it’s time to get to work! Aeration Nation If you are like me, you can not wait another second to get your plants in the ground. Not aerating your soil is a common mistake that gardeners make. This past year in particular, we had a lot of rain and your soil likely became compacted. Compaction can occur with too much rain, over tillage, foot traffic, and lack of crop rotation. Using a spade fork (photo) or a shovel, dig down 4-6 inches and turn soil over and break up any large chunks. No need to overwork it, just enough so your transplants and seeds are happy. Get Your Nutrients Now that we’ve got the soil test and the hard work out of the way, it’s time to amend. A general rule of thumb is that spring crops tend not to be heavy feeders (except the Brassicas - broccoli, cabbage)
and summer crops are. Heavy feeders are plants that require a lot of nutrients to grow and drain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the soil, plants such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes. There are many ways to build up nutrients. I use fertilizers as little as possible, but I find they do serve a purpose on the occasions when I am having poor performance from my crops. Blood meal is a good quick source of nitrogen for your plants. For my vegetarian/vegan friends you may use cottonseed meal. If you are lacking in phosphorus you can add bone meal or bat guano (bat poop!). Always be sure to follow package directions and recommendations from your soil test. Too much or too little can negatively affect your crops. Compost, Compost, Compost By now, if you have been gardening for more that 5 minutes, you are aware of the glory of compost. This is my prefered method of soil building. Usually in the aeration stage of my summer prep, I throw a couple of buckets of compost on my beds. A good rule is one 5 gallon bucket per 5’ x 10’ bed. I incorporate the compost into the soil. I also top dress with compost. Top dressing is adding a layer of compost to the top of your prepared soil, about ¼-½ of an inch thick. Your plants will appreciate the slow uptake of nutrients as they grow. Mulching for Moisture (and weed control) You’ve done all the hard work needed to make your plants happy come summer time. But all that hard work will be for naught if you are out enjoying spring festivals and the weeds take over! Consider adding a nice layer of deseeded organic hay mulch. A nice thick layer will help your soil from drying out and also help to keep the weeds down. When it’s time to plant, you can move the mulch to the side and make holes for your transplants. The deseeded hay will continue to act as a mulch through the season.
by Mary Jane Leach and Stephanie Van Parys
PLANT SALE VARIETIES WE THINK YOU WILL LOVE Mary Jane Leach (MJ), Plant Sale Coordinator and Stephanie Van Parys (SVP), Executive Director sat down recently to talk about their favorite vegetable varieties and new varieties that are being offered this year through the Wylde Center’s plant sale. MJ: Before we get started sharing our favorite varieties, why don’t you share a bit of history about the sale. SVP: Glad too! It all started 11 years ago when Sally Wylde had the idea to grow seedlings in partnership with Daniel Parsons at Gaia Gardens. We had already been doing a plant sale for a number of years, but it consisted of donated plants: perennials dug up from gardens and extra seedlings. By growing our seedlings, we were able to expand the offerings available to the public. We grew seedlings in the greenhouse at Gaia Gardens for three years before building our own greenhouse on site at the Oakhurst Garden in 2009. SVP: What has been surprising to you and fascinating about your experience with the plant sale? MJ: I was very surprised to learn that just about everything we sell we start from seed here on site. I have been fascinated to learn where all of our seeds come from. I expected one source, but we order from many small businesses that are filling a niche including seed saving and organic practices. I like it too that we source plants from local companies that are owned by individuals who have been in business for a very long time. SVP: Anything else? MJ: I’m just getting started! I like that we use rain water from our cisterns to water the plant sale. I like that we source organic seeds whenever possible and include a large selection of heirloom varieties. I like that the varieties we sell are tried and true based on staff experience as well as feedback from our customers. And finally, our plant sale is the most accessible place to buy plants. You can stop by anytime! The honor system is so cool. I like how it builds community. MJ: Which came first, the Plant Sale Festival or the (almost) year round plant sale? SVP: The plant sale festival definitely came first. It used to be part of our Earth Day event. We had an area set up that was the size of a large picnic blanket! Once we started our own plants from seed, we had a lot of leftovers from the Earth Day sale. We decided to keep selling from the front yard of the office. It has really worked out well. SVP: What is the first vegetable that comes to mind that you think everyone should grow? MJ: Komatsuna Green Boy! It is very versatile, grows like spinach, but has a tender, larger leaf than spinach. I use it for stir fry, but it is also great raw with a nice crunchy Komatsuna stem. Plant it in March so that you can get the most of its growing season and again in September. I space the plants 6-8 inches apart.
MJ: I think folks should try peanuts. This year we are selling Tennessee Red peanuts from transplants. I can’t wait to try them myself. SVP: I’ve grown peanuts for years and I agree, they are worth growing! Peanuts are so easy. You plant them, water them, and harvest just before the first frost. They are incredibly drought tolerant. SVP: I know you have a bean that you are pretty excited about. MJ: Sure! Dragon Tongue bush bean is one of my favorites. The bean pods are so beautiful. On top of that, the beans are easy to grow, super prolific, and even if you forget to pick them, the large pods are still good to eat. I like them roasted and steamed (my kids do too!). If you want to save seed from this heirloom, allow several pods to dry out and save those seeds to plant next year. SVP: Tomatoes. Any varieties that you think are a must? MJ: I like to grow a mix of tomatoes which always includes Sungolds. This year I am going to try Japanese Black Trifele because I like dark tomatoes. They are beautiful. I also love Berkeley Tie-Dye which is a huge, no cracking variety with a very original shape! SVP: I can’t resist. I have to add my favorite tomatoes as well. Black Cherry yum! I tried Dester last year and was very impressed. Thai Pink is a very prolific and tasty cherry tomato. Dester Tomato Photo source: blog.seedsavers.org/
MJ: We are growing a number of dwarf tomatoes. Will you share more about the varieties we are growing? SVP: Last year Craig LeHoullier came to speak at our seed exchange event and spoke about his involvement in developing open-pollinated dwarf tomato varieties that produce great tasting, large tomatoes but are easily grown in containers. Check out craiglehoullier.com/dwarftomato-breeding-project/ for more information. A few that we are selling this year are Bundaberg Rumball (medium chocolate colored) and Blazing Beauty (medium, orange).
Blistered Shishito Peppers Photo source: thejlhlife.com
SVP: What about peppers? MJ: I am really excited about adding Shishito peppers to the plant sale this year. You harvest the little green peppers and skillet roast them, popping them into your mouth when they are heated. I like that they aren’t very spicy.
SVP: Any other vegetables? MJ: Clemson Spineless and Red Burgundy okra. I never liked okra until last summer when I learned how to cook it and I am an Atlanta native! I use a dry skillet to pan fry them with a little oil. I cut them in half, like a hot dog bun and pan fry cut side down. They turn bright green and then I add salt.
Toy Choi and Black Summer Pac Choi are also varieties that I love, especially because of their crunchy stems. Both varieties are quick to grow and they look great in the garden. Added bonus: kids love them!
SVP: I LOVE eggplant (actually more than tomotoes, but shh, don’t tell anyone!) Barbarella, Rosita, Casper, and Hansel are delicious and super productive.
MJ: What other varieties do you think folks should try? SVP: Hearts get set on summer squash and then once the squash vine borer arrives, hearts get broken when the plant wilts and dies. However, there is hope! You can try Derek’s method (see page 18) and you can plant varieties that withstand the dreaded squash vine borer. I plant Sunburst (F1), a pattypan summer squash that tastes just like yellow crookneck squash. It withstands the borer damage and often with monthly fish emulsion fertilizing, will grow until frost. Another fun squash to try is Trombacino (Cucurbita moschata), an Italian summer squash that may be eaten at any size, but is more tender when small. We sell both of these varieties in our plant sale.
SVP: What flowers will be in the sale? MJ: We are adding more annual flowers including five types of Zinnia, butterfly loving Tithonia ‘Torch’, a purple flowered and fragrant Nicotiana, Gomphrena, and Cosmos. We like everyone to include flowers in their garden to attract pollinators. And because its pretty! ******** Plant Sale is now open. Stop by for beautiful transplants for your spring and summer garden. SAVE THE DATE! Plant Sale Festival is April 15-17, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Members, you get first pick of the plants on Thursday, April 14 from 6-8 p.m. wyldecenter.org/plant-sale/
SUMMER VEGETABLES AT EDGEWOOD
SUMMER GROWING AT THE EDGEWOOD COMMUNITY LEARNING GARDEN Derek Pinson (Edgewood’s Site Manager) performs squash surgery, discusses tips for a healthy garden, what he is excited about growing, and why it’s important to choose fun varieties.
Photo credit: Jenna Mobley
Derek Pinson works with a group of neighborhood students in the Edgewood Community Learning Garden. When asked why he chose horticulture as his career, Derek responds that he “has always been a gardener even before I got into it as a career. It is in my blood. Multiple generations back are gardeners including my mom who is a horticulturist. I have always had a connection to plants.” Five years ago, he left his position as a pharmacy assistant and volunteered on organic farms for a year traveling to Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Hawaii. For a year and a half, he worked at Wolfscratch Farms in north Georgia. He says, “vegetable gardening combines my passion for plants with a certain pragmatism. It is useful for everyday life when you are growing your own food.”
Let’s start with what you are growing this summer. I’ll be growing an array of all the summer classics with a focus on unique tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Folks are always looking for new tomato varieties to try. What tomato do you recommend? Last year I grew Pink Bumblebee tomato and loved it. It is a grape tomato that is really pretty with orange stripes and it was very prolific! Amazingly, it replaced Sungold as my favorite tomato! That’s amazing! It replaced Sungold? Yes, but I still love Sungold as well. The kids like the colors of the Bumblebee, but they think Sungolds are sweeter. For a slicer, I grow Cherokee Purple and also Pineapple, which has really nice flavor and is yellow. I enjoy yellow tomatoes for their lower acid content. Another one I am growing because it is so interesting (and delicious) is Reisetomate. It is a German variety that was created for the traveler wanting to snack on bits of tomato at a time. What other vegetable varieties are you trying this year? I’ve got Violet Sparkle peppers lined up that I think the kids will really enjoy. Also Tennessee dancing gourds, two inch gourds that can be used as toys that spin like tops. I am going to use these gourds in my afterschool garden program. I sourced both varieties from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. What are you growing for the first time that you’ve never grown before? Peanuts! I chose peanuts because the kids will be familiar with it since it is a southern, cultural staple. The way it grows is fascinating! Not only am I interested in seeing how peanuts grow, but I think it will be interesting for the kids as well. Each week we will check on the peanuts to see how they are progressing.
What would you never go without growing in your summer garden? Winter squash! I love it. They store so well. You can enjoy the summer abundance throughout the winter. They make great decorations until you eat them. Ones that I particularly like to grow are Jarrahdale pumpkin, butternut squash and North Georgia Candy Roaster. Jarrahdale is named after a town in Australia. The North Georgia Candy Roaster is a long, orange squash with blue tips that makes really good pie pumpkins. It is also a very important north Georgia heirloom that was cherished by the Cherokee tribes for its long storage life. I have to ask since you are growing squash. How do you get around the squash vine borer? Constant monitoring. As soon as I see the first sign of damage, I do surgery and remove the grub. You have to catch the grubs early in the process. Look for sawdust-like frass (or insect poop) on the stems, take a sharp knife and cut gently along the stem, pull it gently apart, extract the grubs, and cover up the wound with the soil. You have limited space at Edgewood to grow vegetables? What is a major deciding factor when choosing varieties? It is important to me that the varieties I grow are of interest to the kids. I like to find vegetables that they are familiar with, but with a twist... be it the name, or the color of the vegetable, or the use. For example, we will be growing Glass Gem corn, a multicolored corn that looks like glass beads; lavender Frog Egg eggplants, a miniature eggplant that is purple; and Luffa gourds that we will dry into sponges. How does the Edgewood Garden reach out to the community? I host a weekly garden hour for kids in the neighborhood. We feed the chickens as well as name the chickens! We do crafts and little experiments. During the growing season we plant, weed, harvest, and eat
SUMMER VEGETABLES AT EDGEWOOD (CONT.) the vegetables. I attend neighborhood meetings to make sure there is a strong connection to the garden. And twice a year we host a festival that is free and open to the public. I hope all of y’all will come! Why is it important to you that you are planting a garden that attracts the neighborhood children? That is why the Edgewood Garden is here. We are here to teach the kids about gardening, engage them, and get them excited. Twists on familiar vegetables can draw them in and open their minds to new flavors. If they see a variety that is beautiful, colorful or unusually shaped, they may be more willing to try it even if they had refused a more familiar example only moments before. Sungold is a good example. Kids say I don't like tomatoes, but they try a Sungold and love them. And they are going to love the look and the name of Frog Egg eggplant! What happens with all the food you grow? The food is harvested by the children participating in my afterschool garden program. Some it we use on-site to eat and the rest is sent home with the kids. The food is also harvested for our community farm stand as well as donated to Food More Atlanta. What kind of feedback are you getting about the produce that goes home with the kids? I have a good sense that the food going home with the kids is being used. For example, one child went home with kale. A week later I asked him what he did with the kale. He cooked it with his mom because he is tyring to eat better and lose weight.
Derek serves food featuring fresh produce from the Edgewood Garden to participants at its Fall Roots Festival.
Which garden tips do you give the most often? The main thing I say is to plant tomatoes deeply. This means when planting, pinch off lower leaves and bury all but perhaps the top 6-10 inches of the plant (depending on its size). You can also plant them on their sides if the plant is particularly tall and spindly. It helps them
establish a deeper root system which provides a stronger foundation and increases the ability to absorb nutrients and water. I also give advice for melons encouraging folks not to overwater your melons! They do not like wet feet. The drier their growing enviroment, the more intense their flavor. Anything else? Pollination is particularly important in the summer. Anything you can do to attract pollinators is very important, from growing plants that feed pollinators to creating habitat. For example, I am working with the neighborhood children to make mason bee hives. What do you plant to attract pollinators? I like to grow sunflowers, Tithonia, and St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort flowers most of the summer and is completely covered in bees all day long. I also let some of my basil go to flower because they too are a favorite for bees. What do you do to improve your soil? Always cover crop. If you have a gap between spring and summer crops or summer and fall crops, sow buckwheat. It grows fast, creates a lot of bio mass, and the pollinators love the flowers. I also add compost at the beginning of the season. Add an inch across the top of an established bed and work into the top 6-8 inches of soil. When transplanting seedlings, I dip the root balls in a microbial inoculant called Rootzone. Before planting legumes like peas, soybeans, and green beans, I dust the seeds with a rhizobial inoculant that helps the plants fix nitrogen (then I work the plants into the soil when they’re spent). Legumes can double as soil-enriching cover crops. During the growing season, I fertilize every 2-3 weeks with fish/seaweed emulsion giving each plant approximately a quart depending on the need. I’m always sure to drench foliage during this process, too, as most crops benefit from foliar feeding. Legumes such as beans and soybeans do not need additional fertilizer. How about mulching? I am a huge proponent of mulching veggie beds, especially in the summer... weed control, moisture retention, and soil building all in one. Adding mulch 4-6” deep is best. I really like using wheat straw, but dried leaves also work great. And finally, we (the staff) all enjoy your cooking! Which dish should we look forward to you bringing in this summer? Let’s see! Perhaps fried okra or caprese salad with the Pink Bumblebee tomatoes with basil from the garden with cheese. Roasted summer squash with a little bit of oil and salt is also delicious. However, a dish I tried last summer that is really good, is a tomato zucchini casserole.
INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE VAN PARYS
TOMATO ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE Prep 20 min Cook 55 min Recipe is from allrecipes.com
Photo credit: Aubree Marble Clark
DIRECTIONS INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups goat chevre 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced 1/4 cup butter 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9x9-inch pan. 2. In a large bowl, combine chevre, Parmesan, oregano, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. 3. Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese and herb mixture on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. 4. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in breadcrumbs; cook until they have absorbed the butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole. 5. Cover loosely with foil, and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
MONTH BY MONTH GARDENING TASKS USE MILK JUGS TO START YOUR SEEDLINGS Take advantage of the sun and warmth of spring days to start your seeds in a mini-greenhouse made out of a re-purposed milk jug. 1. Cut two dime size holes in the bottom of the milk jug. 2. Cut two triangles in each shoulder of the milk jug, about 2.5 inches tall and 1.5 inches wide. 3. Cut the milk jug in half horizontally leaving the piece under the handle in tact to create a hinge. Keep the cap. 4. Fill the bottom portion of the jug with 4-5 inches of potting soil, tamp down and water. 5. Now it is time to sow your seeds of choice. • Spring vegetables/flowers: sow seeds February 1 • Summer vegetables/flowers/herbs: sow seeds March 15 • Fall vegetables/flowers/herbs: sow seeds August 1 • Perennial flowers and herbs: sow seeds late December 6. Secure the top half of the jug to the bottom half using a strip of duct tape along the seam. 7. Place the jug in a sunny, protected spot outdoors. Photo source: thehomesteadsurvival.com 8. Be sure to peek inside the triangles on the shoulders to watch for germination. If the soil gets dry, place the jug in a dish of water to allow it to soak up water through the bottom holes. Resources: 9. One week before transplanting, remove the tape and allow the Facebook: Winter Sowers YouTube: search for Winter Sowing seedlings to continue growing with the top part open. 10. Carefully remove seedlings one by one from the jug and plant Website: wintersown.org directly into your garden. getbusygardening.com
SOW FLOWER SEEDS FOR OUR GARDEN FRIENDS
Make plans to include summer annual flowers in your garden. Not only do they add colorful beauty, they also are an important food source for our beneficial friends (pollinators, predators, parasites). Here are a few of our favorites. Cosmos (C. sulphureus and C. bipinnatus) adore a sunfilled garden and deal well with dry conditions. These annuals will bloom all summer long feeding a host of beneficial insects including butterflies and bees. Allow the plants to go to seed and they will self sow for as many years as you want them. (photo source: sustainablebungay.com) Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) is an end of summer stunner. Allow room for this 5’ tall and 5’ wide orange flowering annual that attracts over 20 types of butterflies including swarms of Monarchs. The plant is drought hardy, needs full sun, is not bothered by damaging insects, and will drop seeds that germinate the next summer. (photo source: www.joyfulbutterfly.com) Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is a favorite for hummingbirds and also hummingbird moths (left)! They like the tubular flowers that come in red, lavender, and white. Flowering tobacco is especially drought tolerant, enjoys full sun, and is not bothered by damaging insects. Flowering tobacco is also incredibly fragrant, especially at night. (photo source: allthingsplants.com) Basil (Ocimum) is familiar to us as a culinary herb where we are encouraged to remove the flower stems. Let a few of your basil plants bloom and watch the beneficial insects come to feed. Bees, hover flies, and butterflies are just a few of the many insects that will feed from the flowers. Basil is drought hardy and needs full sun. (photo source: gettyimages.com) March • Direct seed mustard, lettuce, spinach, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, chard, mâche, mesclun, and Asian vegetables in your garden beds. • Add compost to your beds • Plant potatoes
April • Remove all spent blooms from bulbs, but leave the foliage in place. • After the last anticipated frost, start planting your summer vegetable garden • Plant summer annual flower favorites (see above!)
May • Plant your corn, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and peppers, and soybeans. They appreciate warm soil! • Stay on top of the summer weeds pulling when small.
by Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director
BUCKWHEAT: RECHARGE YOUR SUMMER GARDEN
Buckwheat blooming in rows alongside broccoli. Photo credit: fromscratchclub.com
If you have a bare spot in your summer garden where either you have not yet planted an item, the vegetable has died, or you have a pause between your summer and fall vegetable planting, consider growing buckwheat to fill in the gap. Buckwheat Benefits When thickly sown, the mass of buckwheat plants suppress other weeds. It’s pretty white flowers attract beneficial insects such as bees and ladybugs. When the flowers are spent, cut the plants down and allow them to decompose in place. The decomposing plants add organic matter in addition to calcuim and phosphorous back to the soil. Growing Buckwheat Sow the seeds across the bare soil allowing the seeds to fall about an inch apart. Using a rake, lightly incorporate the seeds into the top layer of the soil and water well. The plants will start flowering 4-6 weeks from germination. Be sure to sow buckwheat in any bare patch in your vegetable garden no matter how large or small. Buckwheat is a summer cover crop and will die with the first hard frost. Sources You can find buckwheat seed (used for sprouting) at health food stores. johnnyseeds.com, rareseeds.com
Previous Page: Witch Hazel (Hamamelis sp.) blooming at the Oakhurst Garden in February. Witch Hazel is an understory tree that grows well in the southeast. Itâ€™s close relative Hamamelis virginiana blooms in the fall. The uses for Witch Hazel are many. It is from this plant that the astringent witch hazel is extracted and used for medicinal purposes. Native Americans used this plant to treat swellings, inflammations, and tumors and they passed on the tradition to the early settlers. Witch Hazel is the preferred wood to be used for divining rods. The Oakhurst Garden was established in 1997 as the first of the four gardens the Wylde Center now manages. On site, you will find the Wylde Center office, a greenhouse, an ongoing plant sale, chickens, picnic area, a pond, flowering gardens, a childrenâ€™s play area, a stream, and so much more. Oakhurst Garden is located at 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030.
by Joyce Kilmer The air is like a butterfly With frail blue wings. The happy earth looks at the sky And sings.
by Sarah Dasher, Lead Educator First, choose a word for each part of speech below. Then, fill in the story with the words you chose and read out loud to a friend! 1. Your favorite animal:
It was early in the morning, so early the sun was just peeking between the trees, and Mr. ______________ was 1
very hungry. Luckily, it was finally springtime, and the garden he lived near had lots of tasty food growing in it. He
2. Past tense verb:
decided that the garden would be a perfect place to find his
3. Past tense verb: 4. Plural fruit or vegetable:
breakfast. He _______________ to the edge of the woods. 2
He looked left; he looked right. No humans were there, so
he hopped into the garden. First, he _________________
in the garden bed where _______________ were growing.
They looked like they tasted ________________! He took a
10. Number greater than 1:
_______________ bite of one, then another bite, then ate
the whole thing! But he was still hungry.
13. Your best friend’s name: 14. Your best friend’s name:
Then he saw a _________________ plant that he had
15. Past tense verb:
never seen before! It had _____________________, 8
______________ leaves, and ______ stems that had _________________, ________________ fruit 10
Curious and still hungry, he took a tiny bite of the fruit. It was delicious! He began to eat, and eat, and eat. He ate so much that his belly ached, so he curled up in the garden bed to sleep off his breakfast. When he awoke, he looked up to see ______________________ standing over him, who did not look very pleased that he had eaten all of the fruit!
“Shoo!” said ______________________, so he hopped up and ______________________back into the woods.
435 OAKVIEW ROAD DECATUR, GA 30030 404.371.1920 WYLDECENTER.ORG
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INTO THE WYLDE: A TOUR OF GARDENS AND GREENSPACES May 14, 10 AM-5 PM @participating area gardens
Open to the public: April 15-17, 9 AM - 5 PM each day Wylde Member Preview and Mixer: April 14, 6-8 PM Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur 30030
Cummin Landscape Supply
PLANT SALE FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY -->
The sale will feature vegetable transplants grown onsite including over 50 varieties of tomatoes, 25 varieties of peppers, and more than 10 varieties of eggplant, as well as okra, beans, soybeans, cucumbers, squash, herbs and flowering annuals. Beech Hollow will supply native trees, shrubs, and perennials. Southeast Succulents will offer hardy and tropical succulents, hypertufa pots and dish gardens. Hall’s Garden Center will provide flowering annuals for purchase. Visit wyldecenter.org/plant-sale/ for more information.
DECATUR FARM TO SCHOOL DINE OUT
April 20, 5-9 PM @participating Decatur restaurants Decatur Farm to School is hosting its spring Dine Out. Plan to dine (or take out) at your favorite Decatur restaurant and help raise money for a great cause! Decatur Farm to School is a program of the Wylde Center. Visit wyldecenter.org/decatur-farm-to-school for more information.
EARTH DAY: BEE WYLDE
Start at the Wylde Center’s Oakhurst Garden to see the flowers and grab your map, then head out on a lovely tour of some of the area’s most beautiful private gardens and yards. Public spaces such as Woodlands Garden will also be participating. Tickets for Wylde members are $15 (Early bird) and $20 (at the door). Tickets for non-members are $20 (early bird) and $25 at the door. Visit wyldecenter.org/into-the-wylde-a-tour-ofgardens-and-greenspaces/ for more information.
EDGEWOOD SPRING SPROUT FESTIVAL
May 15, 1-4 PM Edgewood Community Learning Garden, 1503 Hardee St., Atlanta 30307 Spring is a beautiful time of year to play at the Edgewood Garden. Event will feature children’s activities, face painting, fresh food samples made from the vegetables grown on site, and music. Visit wyldecenter.org/ edgewood-spring-sprout-festival/ for more information. No fee to attend.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
June 4, 5-8 PM Hawk Hollow, 2304 1st Avenue, Atlanta 30317 You are invited to bring your picnic and blanket, we’ll bring the beer. Participants may look forward to marshmallow roasting, live music, and lawn games such as corn hole, ladder ball, and bocce ball. Visit wyldecenter.org/picnic-in-the-park/ for more information. No fee to attend.
BEER GARDEN PRESENTED BY -->
April 24, 1-4 PM (Parade starts at 12:30 PM) Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur 30030
June 25, 5:30-8:30 PM VIP HOUR 4:30-5:30 PM Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road, Decatur 30030
The Wylde Center and the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association will be holding its annual Earth Day Festival at both Harmony Park and the Oakhurst Garden. This bee-themed celebration will feature live music, a parade, children’s activities, a vendor area, and so much more! Visit wyldecenter.org/decatur-earth-day-festival/ for more information. No fee to attend.
The Wylde Center’s Beer Garden event features some of the Atlanta area’s best breweries such as Orpheus Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., Three Taverns, and Wild Heaven. Farm Burger will be joining us again as well as other restaurants. Bring your bidding skills for the extensive silent auction. Visit wyldecenter.org/beer-garden/ for more information. VIP and main event tickets available.