SUMMER 2013 An update for Wylde Center Members
CL A S SE S FAVOR I T E
FA L L
V EGETA BL E S
fiel d trips cover
crop s beer Gar de n
table of contents
wylde center 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 404.371.1920, wyldecenter.org
event report Beer Garden - sold out! page 4
Hours Wylde Center is open Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm. Garden sites are open daily from sun up to sun down.
by the numbers Fun facts from the spring page 5 community partners Planting blueberries at Sugar Creek page 6
Magazine and Photo Contributors Anne-Marie Anderson, Melanie Heckman, Robert Lupo, Véronique Perrot, Dara Suchke, Bang Tran, Stephanie Van Parys, Glynis Ward, Andrea Zoppo
Program Outreach Field trips are a hit! page 7
The WC’s member magazine is published quarterly.
class Schedule Animals, Gardening, Children Programs pages 8-13 Membership Roll Gifts received April 1 thru June 30, 2013 page 14 In season Robert Lupo’s pan-roasted chanterelles page 15 upcoming events Urban Coop Tour, Cakes & Ale Dinner page 16 kid’s page Going on a bug hunt page 17 Gardening Cover crops pages 18-19 Winter into spring greens page 20 Milk Jugs = Greenhouses page 21 Digging deeper with fall vegetables page 22 A blast from the past Every garden needs a sign page 23
Front Cover Hydrangeas blooming at the Oakhurst Garden.
Dear Members, Whew, what a busy spring we had here at the Wylde Center! Check out the fun numbers we pulled together highlighting our impact in the community on page 5. I hope you were able to make it to the Beer Garden event. What a way to kick off the summer season. A big thank you to Wylde Center Board Members Jessica Reece and Kristin Allin and staff member Reagan Koski for organizing the event. We appreciate the generosity of our sponsors, food and beer vendors, and auction donors for helping us make this a sold out event! Half the fun of putting together this publication every three months is creating the garden articles. We love that we can both highlight our programs as well as (hopefully) inspire you to try something new in your garden. Turning milk jugs into greenhouses certainly changed my life. And don’t get me started on how I prefer a bed of tame lettuce to a bed of wild, overgrown tomatoes. Read more about fall gardening starting on page 18. I hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we enjoy putting it together. Happy Reading! Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director BELOW: The Grits at the Beer Garden event.
Purchase an ad For advertising rates, please visit our website wyldecenter.org or call 678.642.4977 for more information. Board of Directors Joy Provost, Chair Patrick Foster, Past Chair Jennifer Weissman, Vice-Chair Meg Boswell, Treasurer Kristin Allin, Secretary Caroline Branch, Eryn Emerich, Brent Holt, Judy Knight, Lylia Lucio, Aaron Marks, Walt McMann, Jessica Reece, Sandy Rice, Kathryn Young Garden Coach/Hawk Hollow Garden Site Coordinator Amy Foster 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 Monica Ponce Sugar Creek Garden Site Coordinator Dara Suchke Executive Director Stephanie Van Parys Public Programs Manager and Volunteer Coordinator Andrea Zoppo Interns Véronique Perrot and Sarah Queen Copyright 2013 Wylde Center Inc. All rights reserved. For information concerning reprinting of content, contact 404.371.1920.
Quote of the day “I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for a fabulous field trip. It was by far one of the best field trips we have been to. Both my girls had a blast, and learned so much (which is always a bonus). We will definitely be planning some other activities at your garden in the future. I am hopeful you will get a few cards from some of our kids. Thank you for making this experience a great one!” -Bonnie Menoni, parent and organizer for the DASCH (Dunwoody Area Support for Christian Homeschoolers) field trip about bees.
Beer Garden - sold out!
On June 22, the Wylde Center hosted its inaugural Beer Garden fundraiser to kick-off summer in the garden. More than 350 guests spent the summer evening enjoying cold brews from Ale Yeah!, Blue Tarp Brewing, Red Brick Brewing, Red Hare Brewing Company, Terrapin, Twain’s, and Wild Heaven Craft Beers in a commemorative pint glass. Guests also enjoyed sliders by Farm Burger featuring local veggie sides from Riverview Farms, and sides from Farm 255, Twain’s, Oakhurst Market, and Harbor Bar & Fish House. VIP guests were treated to cocktails by Paul Calvert of Paper Plane, and enjoyed appetizers by Cakes & Ale and Pine Street Market. Desserts for all guests included mini-donuts by Revolution Donuts, mini-cupcakes from Sugar Moon Bakery, and dessert bars by Cakes & Ale Bakery. Music was provided by local band The Grits. The event was co-chaired by Jessica Lee Reece of HHCM Family Law, Kristin Allin of Cakes & Ale, and Reagan Koski of the Wylde Center. In addition to in-kind sponsors, the event received financial sponsorships from Beth Mahany, Russell and Herrera, LLC, and In Bloom, Inc.
TOP ROW: Friends enjoying the balmy evening. JC Hines, Wylde Center’s Greenspace Manager, promoting the raffle. Cheers! Every guest leaves with a commemorative pint glass. SECOND ROW: Fresh salads provided by Twain’s. Staff put together a Wish Tree. THIRD ROW: Hamburgers grilled to perfection by Farm Burger. Guests enjoying the party. FOURTH ROW: Greg Coleson, Brendan Breault, and Randy Lane. Wild Heaven Craft Beers are among seven vendors serving beer to the guests. Sugar Moon Bakery and Revolution Donuts serve dessert.
fun facts about the Wylde Center
The first half of the year at the Wylde Center has been busy! The numbers below will give you an idea of the breadth and impact of the programs the Wylde Center provides on a daily basis.
sites donate compostable material to the bins at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden.
• 4 • 5
is the number of gardens the Wylde Center now manages.
school and organization gardens were supported by the Wylde Center’s Garden Coach.
logs were inoculated at the Edgewood Community Garden Project with five different types of mushrooms.
Students learn about bees during a field trip to the Oakhurst Garden.
volunteers make a huge impact. In April 30, volunteers from Wells Fargo worked at the Hawk Hollow Garden. The 30 volunteers contributed 90 hours of labor, cleared 180 sq. ft. of invasive species, dug a 100 foot long dry creek bed, and hauled off 368 sq. ft. of chopped wood and branches. This would have taken our staff members more than six weeks, but with the volunteers it only took one day.
blueberry bushes planted at Sugar Creek Garden this spring with the help of Girl Scout Troop #28430 and international students from Georgia State University.
volunteers have assisted the site coordinator at the Edgewood Community Learning Garden since January.
metro-Atlanta residents have taken a Growings On class at the Wylde Center, a program that offers sustainable life skills classes such as Chickens 101, starting a vegetable garden, and cooking with what you grow.
Wylde Center educators working with biology students at Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta.
sweet potato plants were planted in school gardens across the City of Decatur for the system-wide taste test this coming September.
students came to the Oakhurst Garden during the spring of 2013, effectively selling out our available slots.
is the number of eggs the chickens at the Oakhurst Garden and the Edgewood Community Learning Garden have laid during the first five months of the year!
students are currently being served by the Wylde Center’s Farm to School program.
plants were sold from March 1 to June 15 via the plant sale fundraiser, many of which were grown on site with the help of many, many volunteers.
In April the Wylde Center Garden Coach works with Clairemont Elementary in Decatur to install new garden beds.
A Fruitful Collaboration at Sugar Creek Garden
by Dara Suchke, Sugar Creek Garden Site Coordinator
“My favorite parts of this project were working with my friends, getting dirty while I had fun, and learning more about gardening!” -- Leila Nadjariun “I liked doing the outdoors work in the garden, planting and mulching, and generally getting our hands dirty. It was terrific!” -- Olivia McFarland “I think my favorite part was building the structure of how the orchard was gonna look” --Theresa Glasgow
ugar Creek Garden (SCG) is a Wylde Center greenspace dedicated to the production of sustainably-produced food that is readily available to the community. Because fruiting trees and bushes provide food that lasts for generations, as the site coordinator, one of my goals for 2013 was to plant more fruit bushes at SCG. SCG has many tall trees already established onsite, so the bushes would create an edible understory in the garden. At the start of 2013, Girl Scout Troop #28430 contacted the Wylde Center about donating a small orchard to one of the Wylde Center greenspaces. As site coordinator at Sugar Creek Garden, this collaboration excited me because it would enable us to not only expand the amount of food we are able to offer to the community, but it would be an educational and community building opportunity for the girls as well. “Our troop decided that we wanted to plant an orchard to earn our Bronze Award and help the community,” explains Girl Scout Leila Nadjarium. Theresa Glasgow adds, “I thought it would be a good way to help the environment and we would be helping a local garden which is always a good thing!” In early January, the girl scouts visited the garden to get a sense of the site’s layout and to offer inspiration for their design. Olivia McFarland remembers, “We thought a lot about where to plant the bushes and how to lay them out. It took a long time, but it was worth it when we got to go outside and work with the dirt and plants.” The troop decided to purchase Rabbiteye blueberry bushes, which are native to Georgia, mixing up the varieties of Brightwell, Powderblue, Climax, and Alpha. “You have to have at least two varieties of plants so they can cross pollinate,” Girl Scout Teddy Oprisch remembers learning.
After deciding to donate 32 blueberry bushes, the girls then worked together to imagine a design for the orchard that would also fit with the space available at Sugar Creek Garden. “While we were planning the layout of the orchard we thought about how people would access the berry plants, how far apart they needed to be, and how many plants there were going to be. When we were planting the berry bushes we learned that there needs to be a bit of acidity for the bushes to survive and that we needed to pinch off the flower buds so the plants could focus on rooting instead of just blooming,” recalls Leila Nadjariun. In early March, the troop came out to the garden to mark where each plant would be placed. “I enjoyed marking out the design at the garden,” says Teddy Oprisch. “We used a very long hose that was marked off at 5 foot increments, then we powdered flour along the hose line to get the shape in place, and then we used flags to mark the placement of the plants.” The rainy weather in March and April made it challenging to schedule a day for the troop to plant the bushes, but with a few extra hands from Sugar Creek Garden’s regular volunteers, we got the bushes in the ground by the end of April. When the sun came back out in May, so did the Girl Scouts, and they helped with adding pine straw and wood chip mulch around the base of each blueberry bush. As Teddy Oprisch learned during the afternoon of mulching, “you should create a donut shape of mulch around the base of the plant to keep the weeds down and to provide insulation. The pine needles provide acid for the soil.” Thank you, Girl Scout Troop #28430 for donating this blueberry orchard to Sugar Creek Garden. We will enjoy the fruits of your generosity, design, labor, and maintenance for many years to come!
ABOVE: Students learn about the lifecycle of the tomato on a recent field trip to the Oakhurst Garden.
Hands-on and Close-up:
field trips are a hit B
uilding on over a decade of environmental education for schools, 2013 has brought marked growth and success for the Wylde Center’s field trip programming. Environmental education field trips at the Wylde Center give students the opportunity to observe and engage in the natural world first hand, leading them to understand and take responsibility for the health of the environment and themselves.
most popular classes this spring was “Down to Earth”, in which students dug into compost, soil, and worms. Many groups enjoyed “What’s the Buzz?”, learning what it’s like to be both a bee and a beekeeper.
During the first half of 2013, the Wylde Center hosted thirty-nine field trips for nearly 600 pre-K to middle school students. Students from home school groups, after school groups, public schools, and private schools came to learn in the Oakhurst Garden. The addition of two education staff and three greenspaces this year facilitated program expansion by enabling staff to host multiple programs at the same time. For example, students visited the Oakhurst Garden for field trips while, a few miles away, children were getting their hands in the dirt at the center’s Urban Farm Camp at Edgewood. This addition of summer field trips gives students the unique and often-missed opportunity to experience the garden at its height of summer productivity.
The Wylde Center staff is particularly excited for the future of the field trip program, as they continue to create high-caliber, hands-on, and engaging curriculum for pre-K to high school students. New classes are constantly being added to give students first-hand greenspace exploration, while the experience and training of the center’s educators allow them to align these classes with the highest educational standards. The addition of the Hawk Hollow site on 1st Avenue in Decatur adds a whole new range of wild experiences for students. Starting this fall, students visiting Hawk Hollow can explore flowing streams, nesting birds, buzzing insects, grassy fields, wild thickets, towering trees, invasive plants, and urban ecology in the middle of the city. With financial contributions from donors and grant organizations, the Wylde Center hopes to bring these environmental education experiences to students at local Atlanta Public Schools (APS) who otherwise could not access such a hands-on field trip.
Among this spring’s frequently chosen field trips, the ever-popular “Intro to the Garden” introduced dozens of students to the world of gardens, chickens, and compost. One of the
As the Wylde Center brings students to its gardens and greenspaces, they are sparking a new generation of students who are not only critical thinkers with a better knowledge
by Melanie Heckman, Education Program Manager of science, but who are keenly interested in taking responsibility for the environment and community around them. As they look to the future, the Wylde Center is thrilled to reach ever more students and bring them face to face with the exciting and intriguing natural world. Here is what participants had to say about their field trip experience. My kids love it here – they don’t want to leave! -- Parent of twins who came to the DASCH field trip Thank you for the worms! – Sanderes, student at Decatur First Methodist Preschool and Kindergarten Thank you for teaching me more about plants. – Svara, student at Decatur First Methodist Preschool and Kindergarten Thank you very much for the lesson and tour of the garden. We (the teachers), the students and parents enjoyed our time a great deal. We appreciate your warm spirit and your creative teaching. --Pam Upchurch, Friends School of Atlanta “Thank you so much for teaching us about bees. It was fun and I learned a lot.” -- Melody Armour, DASCH (homeschool group)
CLASSES . WORkShOpS
COMMunITy LEARnInG SERIES FOR AduLTS, yOuTh AND ChILdREn 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. 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 wyldecenter.org and click on classes b. Email Andrea@wyldecenter.org for assistance or questions about classes. c. 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!
2013 LIVInG ThE GREEn LIFE The Wylde Center, Dekalb County Public Library System, and the City of Decatur have teamed up for another year to offer Free classes on a variety of sustainable topics. NO REGISTRATION IS REQuIRED FOR CLASSES ExCEPT THE COMPOST WKSHP AT THE OAKHuRST GARDEN. unless otherwise noted, events take place at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore Street Decatur, Georgia 30030 For more information about this series visit our website wyldecenter.org
Snapshot Plant your First Fall Vegetable Garden Monday, august 19, 10-11:30 For first time gardeners ,or those transitioning over to organic methods of vegetable gardening. Join Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director of the Oakhurst Community Garden Project, and learn about fall vegetables and herbs you can enjoy all season. Included are tips for success! How to Water Your Garden When the Well is Dry Saturday, September 7, 10-11am Join Paul Morgan of the rainharvestcompany.com and weâ€™ll learn how the expanding fresh water shortage in North Georgia is going to impact you, your community and your garden. As Prices for municipal water continue to rise, we need be prepared for stricter regulations on using potable water for outdoor uses like irrigation and gardening! Paul will cover the basics of alternative methods to save water and money.
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.
GROWInGS On COMMUNITY L EARNING SERIES FOR A DULTS, YOUTH & CHILDREN
chickens are easy! intro to keeping chickens Saturday, August 10, 10-12pm $15 members, $20 non members 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 â€œurban 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
chickens are easy! intro to keeping chickens Saturday, October 19, 10:30-12:30pm $15 members, $20 non members 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 â€œurban 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! 5 person minimum and advanced registration required.
Urban Micro Farming an Atlanta Treasure: The Four Mile Farmlet at the Lake Claire Land trust Saturday, July 13, 10:30-12:30pm $15 for Wylde Center Members, $20 Non Members Location: 280 Arizona Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30307. Parking available at Clifton Sanctuary 369 Connecticut Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30307 Join Breman James, Farmlet Manager, at the Lake Claire Community Land Trust for an indepth guided tour of the growing edible gardens of this truly tucked away Atlanta treasure. For over 25 years, the land trust has inspired generations to share the joy of communal green space. This class will give you an inside look into the various features like ponds, animal habitats for ducks and emu, and spaces to produce food. Bring a lunch, picnic together, and taste some of the fresh organic veggies growing in this inspiring urban oasis.
BEEkEEpInG & AnIMAL huSBAndRy How to keep your Hive balanced: Essentials for Hot weather beekeeping Saturday, August 17, 10:30- 12pm $15 members, $20 non members When it is hot the pests may try to conquer your hive. Join Cassandra Lawson, our Bee Team Leader, in this important class on how to keep a healthy balanced ecosystem within the hive. The most effective control against hive beetles is maintaining colony strength. Learn the tips, tricks, and methods of keeping a strong hive from an experienced and successful bee keeper.
intro to beekeeping Saturday, September 28, 10-12pm $25 Garden member, $30 non-members Join our Bee Team Leader, Cassandra Lawson, and she will share her knowledge on bee-ing a beekeeper. Learn the basics: Best location to set up a hive, when to order bees and from whom, where do you find your materials. Talk about must have tools. This class is suited for beginner beekeepers and curious bee lovers. Cassandra will share wisdom to save you money, keep happy productive bees, and stay safe.
GARdEnInG nATuRE & uRBAn FARMInG Build a Rain Barrel and Save on Your Water Bill Wednesday, July 17, 7-8pm $35 Wylde Center member, $40 non-members Join the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) and learn how to make your own rain barrel in this hands-on workshop. Collecting rain water in rain barrels for use during dry months is an excellent way to conserve water and reduce your water bill. During the workshop, you will be instructed on rain barrel set-up and maintenance, water conservation landscaping, and learn about why rain harvesting is especially important. All supplies included! This type of rain barrel may normally cost over $100. Thanks to CRK and friends, we can offer this class at cost. If you have one- bring a drill and eye protection. This is a material intensive class. Please register by July 15, as we must have a minimum of 12 community members registered to hold the class. All participants will receive a one-year membership to CRK.
Make Your Own Succulent Dish Garden Sunday, July 28 2-3:30pm $30 Wylde Center Members, $35 Non Members Join Kurt Straudt of southeastsucculents.com and learn how to make beautiful succulents arrangements! Save money and be able to make special gifts for friends and family. The cost of this class includes everything (soil, plants, decorative stones or moss) except the container. Reuse an old dish garden container or some great yard-sale find! Just about anything will do, however succulents are easier to care in containers that have a drain hole (a lot easier to not over-water).
5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Edible Gardening Featuring the Oakhurst garden Tuesday, July 30, 7-9pm $10 Wylde Center Member, $15 Non Member Join Head Gardener JC Hines and get an inside look at our urban mini-farm at the Oakhurst Garden. Topics will include preparing a bed for late summer and fall crops, cover crops, installing transplants, harvesting, some pest control, and watering techniques. Please be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and gloves.
Fall Gardening Is the Easiest! Grow an Abundant Fall Garden Wednesday, August 14, 7 – 9 p.m. $15 Garden member, $20 non-members Fall is cooler and wetter than the summer and veggies love it! If you are new to gardening or new to fall gardening in GA this is the class for you. Don’t end the joy of gardening with the first frost of fall. Get the most out of our long growing season. Join our Director Stephanie Van Parys and she will share with you the basics of starting this fall or transitioning your summer garden to a bountiful late fall and winter vegetable garden! This class will discuss tips for successful overwintering of vegetables. Make Your Own Succulent Dish garden Wednesday August 28, 7-8:30pm $30 Wylde Center Members, \$35 Non Members join kurt straudt of southeastsucculents.com and learn how to make beautiful succulents arrangements! Save money and be able to make special gifts for friends and family. The cost of this class includes everything (soil, plants, decorative stones or moss) except the container. Reuse an old dish garden container or some great yard-sale find! Just about anything will do, however succulents are easier to care in containers that have a drain hole (a lot easier to not over-water).
Intro to Wild Foods and Medicines: a Sunset Id walk at the Oakhurst Garden Tuesday, September 10, 6:15-7:30pm $10 Wylde Center Members, $15 Non members Join Wye Marley, a local amateur herbalist, for a fun and informative walk through our garden gem, the Oakhurst Garden. Participants will learn how to identify and harvest common plants for their nutrition and healing properties. Wye Marley has been studying botany and DIY herbal medicine for over four years. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Sciences in Herbal Medicine at Goddard College. She leads a variety of foraging classes around Atlanta. "Let thy kitchen be thy apothecary; and, let foods be your medicine."- Hippocratus. 4 person minimum and advance registrations required. Rain date is October 8.
Slow Food Atlanta and the Wylde center presents Save Your Seeds and Share! Saturday, August 3, 10-12pm Join us for a free event in the garden and let’s share tomatoes, celebrates their flavors, stories, and learn how to save seeds! We will gather at the Oakhurst Garden at 10am. Complimentary coffee will be provided by local coffee shop Kavarna, so bring your mugs! At 10:30am the presentations and seed saving demos will commence. After we learn from our experts, we will taste and share our summer fruits. For more info visit Wyldecenter.org or contact andrea@ wyldecenter.org.
Create A Living Wreath with Succulents Sunday August 11, 2:00pm-3:30pm $50 Wylde Center Members, $55 for nonmembers 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.
Living Green Class- Snapshot Plant your First Fall Vegetable Garden Monday, August 19, 10-11:30am Free Location: Decatur Library 215 Sycamore street decatur, georgia 30030 Join Stephanie Van Parys, Executive Director of the Wylde Center, and learn about fall vegetables and herbs that you can enjoy throughout the fall season. Learn tips for success and abundance for first time gardeners, or those transitioning over to organic methods of vegetable gardening.
Sow Seeds for your Fall Garden Wednesday, August 21, 7 – 9 p.m. $20 Garden member, $25 non-members Get the most out of our long growing season with fall gardening. Join our Director Stephanie Van Parys and she will show you how to start from the ground up. This class will teach you how to prep your soil, sow your seeds, and give you tips on how to keep those little sprouts happy. Please bring any containers in which you would like to sow seeds: recyclables such as milk or juice jugs or boxes, margarine or yogurt tubs, 4 or 5" nursery containers or cell packs and a box to tote your containers home.
Bare Facts: Garden Cover Crops Wednesday, September 4, 7 - 8:30pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non-Member Cover crops are the best way to improve the health of your soil! Join the gardening duo Stephanie Van Parys and Rob Cleveland to discover how you can improve your garden soil between plantings - year round. Cover crops can recycle and add nutrients to your soil, suppress weeds, improve water retention and attract beneficial insects. No matter what size your garden is, you can use this fantastic organic technique to enrich and protect your garden soil. Students will leave this class with the knowledge required to start using cover crops in their own gardens and a sample of seeds to get started.
Living Green Class - How to Water Your Garden When the Well is Dry Saturday, September 7, 10-11am Free Location: Decatur Library 215 Sycamore street decatur, georgia 30030 Join Paul Morgan of the rainharvestcompany. com and we'll learn how the expanding fresh water shortage in North Georgia is going to impact you, your community and your garden. As Prices for municipal water continue to rise, we need be prepared for stricter regulations on using potable water for outdoor uses like irrigation and gardening! Paul will cover the basics of alternative methods to save water and money. Build a Rain Barrel and Save on Your Water Bill Wednesday, September 11, 7-8pm $35 Wylde Center member, $40 non-members Join the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) and learn how to make your own rain barrel in this hands-on workshop at the Oakhurst Garden. Collecting rain water in rain barrels for use during dry months is an excellent way to conserve water and reduce your water bill. During the workshop, you will be instructed on rain barrel set-up and maintenance, water conservation landscaping, and learn about why rain harvesting is especially important. All supplies included! This type of rain barrel could cost over $100. Thanks to CRK and friends, we can offer this class at cost. If you havebring a drill and eye protection. Please register by September 9. All participants will receive a one-year membership to CRK.
5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Not a Pest -Soldier Flies are Best: The Champions of Compost Saturday, September 14, 10-12pm $15 Wylde Center Member, $20 Non Member Get an inside look at the awesome power of the Black Soldier Fly and its larvae. Join VĂŠronique Perrot, evolutionary biologist and long-time Atlanta gardener, to get acquainted with this natural resident of our backyards. Learn to harness the power of the Black Soldier Fly to transform kitchen waste into high quality chicken feed and excellent compost in a few weeks. This class is of special interest for chicken keepers looking to reduce their feed bills, and backyard composters trying to understand what happens to their compost pile during the course of the year.
Mission Impossible Gardening: Grow Everywhere! Saturday, September 14, 1-3pm $15 Garden Members, $20 Non Members Join Mary Hines to learn about choosing plants and ground covers for the most inhospitable environments: bogs, deep shade, hard-packed dry clay, slopes, and high-traffic areas. Stop complaining that "nothing will grow there!" Learn how to take a difficult spot and turn it into a unique garden area by choosing the right plant for the job.
Create Stunning Garden Containers from Hypertufa Wednesday, September 18 , 7-9pm $30 Wylde Center Members, $35 Non Members Join local artisan and succulent specialist Kurt Straudt of southeastsucculents.com and learn about how to make stunning garden containers from the stone-like material with the funny nameHYPERTuFA! 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. This class will equip you to take your garden to the next level with these unique artful containers. These beautiful pots make great gifts as well!
Worm Power: Intro to Vermiculture AND Build/take home a Worm Bin! Saturday, September 21, 10:30 - 12:30pm $30 Garden Member, $35 Non-Member Join Michael McLane and learn the power of using earthworms to grow stronger seedlings, enrich your garden soils, houseplants and ornamentals. Class participants will learn an easy, low maintenance way to significantly reduce kitchen waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and create a fantastic soil amendment. Students will build their own "condo-style" worm bin and leave with the knowledge and tools to get started vermicomposting !
Planting a Fall Garden Sunday, September 22, 2-4pm $15 Garden members, $20 non-members You have read some books, maybe attended a few classes, but may not feel comfortable with the actual process of putting plants and seeds in the ground. Lyn and Bob Bernstein are ready to guide you as you sow seeds for peas, spinach, lettuce, beets, carrots as well as plant broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and other transplants into the ground. The planting will follow the smart space method developed by Mel Bartholomew in his book All New Square Foot Gardening.
Soil Prep, Seed Starting and Garden Planning for an Abundant Fall Harvest Tuesday, September 24 , 6:30-8:30 $20 Wylde Center Members, $25 Non members Join our urban Green Space Manager JC at our garden jewel, the Oakhurst Garden, for a hands on class about getting your garden ready for our next season. Fall can be the easiest season for gardening if you have the info and the plan. Participants will get the real dirt on healthy soil, great seeds for a happy fall plants, and where to place them with our changing light in consideration. We will start seeds in our green house ,with all materials included , to take home the beginning of a yummy fall garden.
creating an abundant garden Paradise with an In-depth Tour of an English Garden Saturday, September 28, 1-3pm $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 Anne-Marie 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. The tour will include advice on making the most of steep slopes, full sun, full shade and removing invasive species. DeKalb county master gardener and certified beekeeper Anne-Marie's gardens were featured on the 2013 Decatur Garden Tour. She speaks regularly to local groups about edibles, natives, Southern heirloom plants, chickens and beekeeping Make Delicious Dairy-Free Butter, Cream and Milk! Saturday, July 20, 10:30am-12:30am $25 Wylde Center Members, $30 Non Members Join Nnenne Onyioha-Clayton, Holistic Nutritionist & Wellness Educator, and learn to create sumptuous vegan butter, cream and milk in different sweet and savory flavors. Participants will cover how to make basic vegan butter, vegan sour cream and nut milk. Nnenne also explains exactly why reducing your dairy intake is a smart health move. You will never miss butter or the sideeffects of dairy again!
FOOd hEALTh & WELLnESS
Solar Hot Water Basics Saturday, August 10, 10-12pm $10 Wylde Center Member, $15 Non Member Join Les Dell as he shares with you the basics of Solar hot water. Les is a NABCEP certified solar thermal installer and owner of Metro Solar Inc. Metro Solar is a complete solar sales and installation company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Their goal is to help customers save money and reduce their dependence on utilities. Solar hot water is one of the most efficient and cost effective forms of renewable energy.
5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG
Simply Delicious Series at the Decatur Recreation Center This August the Wylde Center, in partnership with the Decatur Recreation Center, begins 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. Simply Delicious Canning Class Thursday, August 22, 7-9pm $35 Wylde Member, $40 for non-members location: decatur recreation Center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, ga.
Simply Delicious Late Summer Harvest – Italian Style Tuesday, September 3, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Member, $35 for non-members location: decatur recreation center - 231 sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Summer gardens provide the staples of many Italian meals including tomatoes, zucchini, basil and more. We’ll use the summer harvest to prepare an Italian feast featuring bruschetta, pesto, and fresh tomato sauce. Join the Wylde Center chef team in a beautiful kitchen.
Simply Delicious : Fall Harvest Soups Tuesday, October 1, 7-9pm $30 Wylde Member, $35 for non-members location: decatur recreation center 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. We will use a medley of autumn fruits and vegetables to make a delicious soup for the cooler days of fall. We will also cover the basics of making both a vegetable stock and a meat stock. Join the Wylde Center chef team in a beautiful kitchen.
Simply Delicious : Canning & Freezing your Fruit and Vegetables Tuesday, October 15, 7-9pm $35 for Garden members, $40 for non-members location: decatur recreation center - 231 sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Canning and freezing are great ways to preserve the food you grow or purchase from your local farmer. Remove the mystery and fear out of preserving your food using the boiling water bath & pressure cooking methods of canning. Join the Wylde Center chef Charli Vogt in a beautiful kitchen. Class is hands on, so bring your apron and your knives. Learn about the equipment you need, the process, and cautions to make it totally safe. We will also talk about freezing food and how to do that safely.
Join the Wylde Center chef team in a beautiful kitchen.
Free Cooking Demo & Tastings: Simply Delicious Open House Tuesday, August 20, 7-9pm location: decatur recreation center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA Welcome to the renovated kitchen at rec center. Join the Wylde Center team behind the new cooking series called Simply Delicious. They will share some seasonal recipes and tastings featuring local foods. Simply Delicious: Let's Make Fermented Foods (Sauerkraut, chutney, kefir, kim chi) Tuesday, September 17, 7-9pm $30 for Garden members, $35 for non-members location: decatur recreation center - 231 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA. Every culture has foods that are fermented or "pickled". Learn the process. Fermented food helps your body stay healthy and assists in digesting other food. Join the Wylde Center chef Charli Vogt in a beautiful kitchen. Come prepared to cut up your own cabbage to make sauerkraut in this hands on participatory class. Bring your own quart jars in which to take your ferments home. Candle Making From Beeswax Saturday, October 26, 1-2:30pm $25 Garden Member, $30 Non Member Join Cassandra Lawson, our Bee Team Leader, and make your own beeswax candle by pouring into molds. Learn the proper temperatures, wick size, and tips to make your candles perfect. Beeswax produced negative ions that are said to clean the air and when burned beeswax candles leave no residue. Each participants leave with their own beeswax candle they poured. This is an adult class. Find Cassandra’s Bees on Face Book.
5 PERSON MINIMUM AND ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED AT WYLDECENTER.ORG Wylde Center Urban Farm Camp at Edgewood Community learning garden from 9-2:30pm beginning on July 15 $200 Wylde Center Members, $220 Non Members Location: ECLG is located at 1503 Hardee Street, Atlanta, GA 30307 This year's summer camp will provide an intensive and creative learning experience centered on urban agriculture. Ages 5-11 are welcome and session sizes are capped at 15 to ensure all children receive maximum interaction during activities that range from planting seeds and harvesting vegetables, to creating art and garden ornaments. Special activities will include learning about the secret life of bees and chickens for the younger kids and opportunity to make fresh cheese from local milk and candles from bee's wax for older children. Local Master Gardener's, Chefs, and urban agricultural experts will teach children a variety of topics to include gardening basics, cooking with vegetables, and environmental awareness. Advance registration is required 1 week before each session is begins.
FAMILy & ChILdREn CLASSES
Circle of life! Children Gardening Series from soil to harvest 10:30-12pm Every other Saturday September 21-November 16 & 23 (6 sessions) $75 for Garden members, $90 for non-members Discover the wonders of watching plants grow, bloom, and produce food! Join our very own Garden Educator Amy Foster every other Saturday for an ongoing gardening adventure that will show your child the patience and joy of planting and harvesting. Participants will cultivate a part of the Oakhurst Garden and discover the resources it takes to be a gardener. From compost to worms, seeds to veggies, your child will join us in the gardening circle of life. Fresh apples provided as snack. Drop off class perfect for ages 4-8. Parents may stay for the first class. Registration ends September 17. You may try out the 1st class for just $15 (non member rate). Take the whole series and your child will bring home the harvest! Contact Andrea@wyldcenter.org in advance for questions
A look back at some of our classes
Kids gardening classes Make dog treats
Succulent wreath making
Rain barrel workshops
Medicine making classes
thank you for supporting the Wylde Center
Gifts Received April 1-june 30,2013 Growing Circle Members ($500-$5,000) Dan and Caroline Branch Patrick and Angela Foster Jennifer Weissman and Stephen Kay in memory of Bob dean Nelda and Frank Cairns Tommy and Kathleen L. Dean in memory of Sally Wylde Tommy and Kathleen L. Dean Marti Fessenden and Suzanne Schultz Sara Fountain Adam and Julia Levy Ann Sencer Graham and Anne Walker Caitlin Wylde in memory of Linda Hardy by Clare and Jay Schexnyder Mechthild Van Parys by Anonymous in honor of Lindsay and Steven’s New Home by Shirley and Gregg Averett Duran Dodson by Ruby Bock and Barry Rhodes Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool by Laura LeDuc Alison and David Kyle by Dr. Paul Barney Civic and Business Memberships/Contributions Brick Store Pub Cakes & Ale Farm Burger Heifer International Kids Go Wild, LLC Leon’s Full Service Sapori di Napoli Time Warner Matching Grants Program Travelers Insurance Universal Joint United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta The Yogurt Tap FoundationS May P. & Francis L. Abreu Charitable Trust Decatur Rotary Club Dragon Con/ACE Fund Southeast Environmental Education Alliance Zeist Foundation Memberships Received Anonymous Beth Ackerman Marian and Charles Adair Joy Pope-Alandete and Miguel Alandete Brad and Nicole Alexander Gwen Andrews Alan and Margaret Ashe Lynnette Astwood Sharon Barrington and Lee Beasley Miche Baskett and Jonathon Harris Deborah Baumgarten Arlene Bayus Linda and Ronnie Benson Elizabeth Boyd Amy and James Bryant Latissia Caldwell Amy and Jason Cattanach Katharine Chestnut and Benjamin Klang Bill and Gayle Christian Lisa Ciancio and Chris Gagnon Robert Climko and Martha Hand Rachel Cochran Cathleen Rae Croft David and Johnette Crum Dr. Patricia Del Rey Mary Irene Dickerson Cathy and John Downey Kristin Ebersold Will Edmond
Linda Pace Bonnie Edwads Robin Palenske Sarah Ens Judy Parady and Tom Meyer Kenneth and Vivian Ernstes Alex Pearson Greg Farley and Marcia Lampe Emily Poe Lori Federico Lisa Provost and Jeremiah Drueke Nancy Fernandez Alice Reeves Frances Finegan Michelle Rice Julie Fishman Stacey R. Rodriguez Kim Foland Darice Rose Nancy Franklin Caley Ross Kyle Frantz Susan Rossi Amelia Fusaro and Bill Everitt Stephanie Saunders and Cece Kimble Jan and Howard Gable Eric Schneider Stavros Garoufalidis Scott Thompson Patricia Gilsdorf Jenifer Shahda Linford Grant Gail Smith Allison Grier Bonnie Smith Brenda Griffith Christopher and Carol Smith Phil and Shirley Guy Brittany Kaye St Clair Brent Hall Andy Stapinski Leonie Hardy Jason Steidel Mrs. Nathan Vanmeter Hendricks III Dara Suchke Alice Hickcox Susan Jennings Haynes Mary H. Hines Kate and Eric Swett Frederick Donaldson and Suzahn Huffman-Donaldson Heather and Joseph Tell Carole Holcomb Teresa Tingle-Heppner Debbie and Scot Hollonbeck Evelyn Tuck Walter Hopkins Vanessa Vadim Donna and Doug Horack Ralitsa Vassileva Catherine Ivy Linda Walcott Randall and Alyssa James Clair Wallace Jeanne and Rick Johnson Melanie Williams Sharon Johnson Ansley Yeomans and Angela Riccetti Bradley and Leslie Joiner John and Katherine Yntema Brigitte and J. Price Jones Marissa Yurko Nancy Kaye Hill Kari Ann Kemnitz Katharine Givens Kime Reagan and Geoff Koski Wendy and Emery Leonard Andrea Lewis Catherine Lyman John and Monika Majors Lindsey Mann Allen and Dana Mast Sonya McEvoy Dana and Mac McKeever Cynthia Borden-Mercer Peggy Merriss Deborah Mook and John Painter Carol Napier FFM_HLM BW Ad_JeffHAnnB_Layout 1 1/17/12 11:55 AM Page 1 Gardner Neely Brenda and Mark Oprisch The Owen Family
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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
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in season Pan-roasted chanterelles and white corn with thyme and brown butter 2 cups fresh white corn cut off the cob 4 cups fresh chanterelle mushrooms, washed and cut down to bite-size pieces if necessary 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 Tbsp diced shallots 1/4 cup dry white wine 1 Tbsp Canola oil kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper Heat large saute pan on high and add oil to shimmering. Add mushrooms, do not turn down heat and do not move for 1-2 minutes allowing them to sear. Saute the mushrooms until they are fully cooked, or 3-4 more minutes Add 1 tbsp. of butter to pan and allow to brown but not blacken; add corn and saute for 1 minute.
Add shallots and thyme and saute for 1 minute; add wine and reduce until almost dry. Turn off the heat, then add remaining butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves four as a side. Recipe by Robert Lupo, sous chef of Leon’s Full Service and chef of the West Sherrywood Supper Club.
design • installation • maintenance 404.373.0023 firstname.lastname@example.org www.inbloomlandscaping.com 15
Like a garden tour, but with chickens! Urban Coop Tour Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, noon-5pm
f you’ve ever wondered about joining the parade of Atlanta backyard poultry owners, this year’s Urban Coop Tour is a great place to start.
So many decisions! What kind of coop? What breed of chicken? Will your neighbors object? What about roosters…dogs…children? The annual Tour features a variety of chickens and owners across intown Atlanta, each with their own particular setup based on space, aesthetics, cost or inclination. Bijoux jewel-box coops with curtains and fairy lights provoke cries of delight, while a permaculture-based farmlet might be what rocks your world. Both of these, and everything in between, appear on the self-guided Tour, stretching from Decatur to the Old Fourth Ward, with stops in Lake Claire, Virginia Highland and other funky intown neighborhoods. Some coops have stood the test of time, while others built just this year feature younger chicks and the latest in poultry innovation. Owners and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about chicken care, coop design and the ladies themselves. This year’s Tour will also feature inspiring foodscapes, folk art, community coops and even turkeys. While the aim of the Tour is to promote urban poultry ownership as an element of sustainable living, a visit to these Atlanta poultry paradises quickly demonstrates that backyard flocks are just plain fun. Proceeds benefit the Wylde Center’s educational programs, including the regular “Chickens are Easy” class where many of our coop owners learned the basics.
For more information about this year’s Urban Coop Tour, visit urbancooptour.com or our Facebook page at facebook.com/ urbancooptour.
A feast for the garden Cakes & Ale fundraising dinner Sunday, October 6, 5-8 pm
akes & Ale will serve a seated dinner, complete with a cocktail hour, and their favorite wine pairings at the Oakhurst Garden.
The price for the dinner is $75 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails followed by a four course dinner with wine and live music. New this year - Purchase 8 tickets at one time and we will make sure you have a table reserved under your name. That way you and 7 of your friends and family will have a guaranteed place to sit and enjoy your meal together. Oakhurst Garden, a garden project of the Wylde Center, is located at 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030. The event will take place rain or shine. Rain location is the Cakes & Ale restaurant, located at 155 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030. Event is for attendees 21 and older. All proceeds benefit the Wylde Center, which teaches environmental stewardship and cultivates community greenspaces. Tickets are now available online at http://cakesandaleatoakhurstgarden.bpt.me/
GOING ON A BUG HUNT! Want to find insects in your own backyard? Here are some tips to help you explore! Look under rocks and logs
Find a magnifying glass to see them up close
Grab a butterfly net and head out to some tall grass
BUILD YOUR OWN INSECT MASK: Do you want to look like all of the cool insects you saw while you were out exploring? Just cut out this tie-on mask and color away! Also, don’t forget to cut out the shaded eyes so that you can see clearly on your next big adventure!
Shake a tree limb or bush over a bed sheet
Investigate near streams and ponds
Poke holes in the lid of a jar and use it to keep insects you catch
Don’t forget to Bee creative!
Grow plants to feed the soil cover crops Basics in time for fall
by Véronique Perrot
eed the soil to feed your crops” is one of organic gardening’s mantras. Oddly enough, one way to feed the soil is to grow plants in it! The idea is to grow plants with the explicit goal of producing organic matter and returning it to the soil. In its most straight forward form, you sow a thick stand of easy-going plants (e.g., buckwheat and black-eyed peas in summer), and mow it to the ground before it sets seed. You plant your crop in the stubble of the cover crop. This simple practice accomplishes many things: Replenishes organic matter deep in the soil: plant roots produce organic matter where it is most needed: in the soil itself; Shelters the soil surface: the soil surface is protected from direct sun and the impact of heavy rain by the plants’ leaves, when the plants are growing and after they are mowed; Collects soil nutrients: the plants’ roots capture nutrients that would otherwise be leached into the soil by water; nitrogen from the air is fixed by the cover crops in the legume family (clovers, black-eyed peas, vetch, etc.); Attracts pollinators: cover crop flowers provide forage for pollinators and other beneficial insects if they are allowed to bloom.
How do I plant a cover crop? Prepare the bed: First, pull the weeds from the bed you want to plant in cover crop, especially perennial weeds (bermuda grass, baby trees, etc.). Then rake the bed to loosen the soil surface. If this is a new bed that is still mostly red clay, you may want to disturb the soil surface with a garden spade and break the biggest clods. Broadcast the seeds: Take a handful of your cover crop seeds and scatter them across the bed; repeat until you have about 2-5 seeds per square inch over the entire bed. You want a thick stand that will cover the ground quickly and occupy the bed before weed seeds have time to germinate. If you are planting a mixture of cover crops, you may want to sow each separately to achieve an even mix of plants on the bed. Rake and water: Rake the bed again to ensure contact between the seeds and the soil. If the weather forecast is dry for the next few days or the ground is very dry to start with, water the bed well with a light spray to speed the germination along.
What crops should I plant? Generally speaking, anything that germinates easily, grows fast, produces a lot of green material, fixes nitrogen from the air, or grows deep roots is a good candidate for a cover crop. Since few plants, if any, fit all these criteria, a combination of plants is sowed out in the same bed. Mixtures are always a good idea: you increase the diversity in your garden, and you hedge your bets. In addition, planting time determines what will do well at a particular time of year. Here we describe two examples in some detail; see the box opposite for more options. You will notice that many of these cover crops may also be grown as food crops (all the grains, black-eyed peas, daikon radishes, mustard, etc.). The main difference is the fate of the crop: food crops you harvest, cover crops you leave in place. Example 1: September 1 thru mid-October, plant buckwheat and crimson clover This is what you could plant once you clear out your squash bed or your tomato bed toward the end of summer. This cover crop will stay in place until next spring. Buckwheat will germinate first and grow until it is killed by frost, leaving a deposit of organic matter and nitrogen in the soil. By that time, the crimson clover will have germinated and be well established under the shelter of the buckwheat. The clover will grow all winter, blooming in the spring.
ABOVE: Buckwheat in full bloom attracts many beneficial insects to the garden.
Example 2: Mid-April through May, plant buckwheat and blackeyed peas In late spring, once you have harvested the last lettuce and garlic, plant a cover crop to rejuvenate the bed over the summer. Sow a thick stand of buckwheat and black-eyed peas to prepare your bed for planting fall crops. The buckwheat and black-eyed peas will be busy replenishing nitrogen back into your soil.
How long will the cover crop be on my bed, and what do I do with my cover crop when I am ready to plant my bed? In practice, the best time to cut down a cover crop is when you need the bed to plant your crop! It is nice if buckwheat can be at least six weeks in the ground (it then has time to grow to a good size and bloom), or if about half of the plants of a legume cover crop are in bloom before you mow it (most nitrogen added to the soil). Even if you cut down your cover crops earlier or later than these optimal times, you still get much of the benefit of a cover crop. When you are ready to plant your food crop, you mow or cut down the cover crop, leaving the roots in the ground and laying the plants on the ground. You then plant your food plants one by one by freeing enough space among the stubble to set in a vegetable start.
Why not let the soil “rest”? Will I not deplete the soil of nutrients by growing a cover crop? The short answer is no. The long answer is that though the cover crop is pulling nutrients from the soil to grow, once mown and left to
Garden decompose on the surface of the bed, it leaves behind more than it uses. In addition, the decomposing matter also serves as an instant mulch for the bed.
Why use a cover crop instead of mulching? When you mulch a bed, you need to collect large amounts of organic material, haul it to your garden, and then spread it on your beds. With a cover crop, the stuff is produced exactly where you need it; you only have to sow seeds. Mulching is much better than leaving bare soil; planting a cover crop takes it a step further by suppressing weeds, breaking up the soil with its roots, adding nitrogen back to the soil and creating forage for pollinators and other beneficial insects.
What’s the big deal about bare ground? In the garden, bare ground is a bad idea. In summer, the heat of the sun bakes the surface of the soil and sends all the soil’s life in the depth for cooler temperatures and some moisture. When it rains, the impact of raindrops forms a crust on the surface, and the runoff water carries away some of the soil. Lastly, “nature abhors a vacuum”, which in the garden means that something that you may not want will grow on bare ground. When you grow a cover crop, the soil is alive, protected, and improving.
Taking it a step further: perennial cover crops and mulch plants Cover crops don’t have to be annuals. In some situations, you want a permanent ground cover, such as white clover growing under fruit trees. White clover is a low-growing perennial that keeps the soil covered, fixes nitrogen, and provides forage for pollinators. If you are lucky enough to have a big, sunny yard, you could plant a mixture of alflafa, red clover and perennial ryegrass in the garden which attracts beneficial insects to your yard. Some perenials can also provide a steady supply of mulch. They can be planted at strategic places in the garden: near fruit bushes, trees and vines, at the end of garden beds, or near the compost pile. The plants listed below grow deep taproots that penetrate the soil and are able to access nutrients not available to most annuals.
The best annual cover crop plants Here are a few options with their optimal sowing time given in brackets. Feel free to mix a few plants with similar sowing times and include at least one legume (pea). * Austrian winter pea: a variety of English pea sown as a cover crop in fall; the young shoots are edible; usually sown with a grain like rye. (September-October) * Black-eyed pea, cowpea and other Southern peas: annual heatloving legumes that thrive in our summer weather. (May-July) * Buckwheat: annual that germinates easily even in hot weather, thus useful to shelter the germination of heat-sensitive crops; white blossoms borne a few weeks after sowing attract insects; killed by frost. (April-October) * Crimson clover: annual best sown in late summer and early fall with buckwheat; provides ground cover during fall, winter and spring; fixes nitrogen from the air; crimson blooms borne in spring provide forage for bees. (August-October) * Daikon radish: radish variety that produces long tapered roots that penetrate deeply in the soil and break up compacted areas; sow less densely than other cover crops to allow room for each radish plant to grow big; heavy above ground growth. (MarchApril, August-October) * Hairy vetch: cool weather nitrogen-fixing annual legume; grows vigorously in spring; purple flowers are visited by bees; often grown to prepare a bed for tomatoes. (August-October) * Mustards: deep rooted cool weather annual; yellow blossoms in spring are good pollinator forage. (March-April, August-October) * Rye: annual grain that grows vigorously as a winter cover crop; extensive root system adds organic matter into the soil; especially good in combination with hairy vetch; will grow through winter into early spring. (August-November)
Comfrey, a perennial relative of borage and forget-me-not, grows lustily in spring and summer. It doesn’t mind being chopped down again and again. Its magnesium and potassium-rich leaves and fleshy stems decompose readily when laid on the ground as mulch or added to the compost pile. Comfrey flowers are very popular with bumblebees. Sorrel is another perennial with lush growth; it is also a good pot herb (sorrel soup). It is a perennial relative of buckwheat and dock. Its abundant spring growth makes a good mulch rich in phosphorus. Cover crops are a way to improve your garden’s soil with little effort: nature does most of the work. Cover crops are one more tool in your arsenal to establish a lush, vibrant garden. Use them widely! ABOVE: Hairy vetch is a nitrogen-fixing vining legume that produces purple flowers in the spring. The flowers are a favorite with bees.
Where to find cover crop seed Many of these seeds are easy to find, as they are also commonly planted as food crops. You can find seeds for these at gardening supply stores (mustard, Southern peas); you’ll need to buy many seed packets unless the surface you want to cover crop is small. You may buy larger quantities of some cover crops as sprouting seeds (buckwheat, radish) in health food stores (Sevananda, Rainbow Grocery).
ABOVE: Comfrey plants serve as great soil conditioners. Their roots grow deep into the soil breaking up the clay. The leaves, when cut and laid on the ground as mulch leave deposits of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that other plants love.
Farmer D Organics in Atlanta is your best bet locally for hairy vetch and crimson clover. You may order all the seeds mentioned here (and many others) online from many seed companies such as Peaceful Valley Supply, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Territorial Seed Company and Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
Wonderful Little fall and Spring Greens for containers and gardens alike! by Glynis Ward
Claytonia, Miners Lettuce (Montia perfoliata)
Mache, Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta)
Mizuna (Brassica juncea)
Many Southern gardeners know that fall and spring are full of beautiful vegetable bounty. We grow collards, kales, lettuces and a wide variety of greens with such ease. However, there are so many more lovely little unusual greens for cool and even cold times that grow easily here in both gardens and containers. Small plants packed with nutrition – and beauty!
Claytonia, Miners Lettuce (Montia perfoliata) It might be considered a weed in the Western US, but Claytonia makes a fine, cool weather food crop for the East. Scrambling along the soil or tumbling from a container, with its succulent leaves and wiry stems Claytonia is filled vitamin C and tastes a bit like spinach. We prefer to mix it with edible weeds and traditional salad greens. It tolerates mild frosts, but not intense heat, so start Claytonia no earlier than the middle of September and protect from hard frosts by covering it. Johnny’s Selected Seeds carries Claytonia seed.
stir-fries – adding a spicy mustard bite. Known as a “cut and come again” vegetable, one sowing of Mizuna lasts from fall the late winter as long as it is protected from the heaviest of frosts. Kitazawa Seed Company sells Mizuna.
Some of these little greens are considered weeds in their native climes, but here they are easy to grow at any time of weather from freezing to about 75 degrees. Just provide for germination needs and then set outside once sprouted! An easy method to sprout their seed quickly is to sprinkle seeds on damp soil in large (at least 10” pots) full of organic potting soil. Cover very lightly with soil, press on surface and water deeply. Now place a board over the pot surface, elevated about 3-4” over the surface by wedging something like a small rock between the two. The board should be on an angle, with the lowest end facing West. Keep the pot and board watered well, until germination and then remove the board. This method will assist in creating cool, damp, shady conditions needed for these small seeds to germinate. If the weather is close to or below freezing, simply make a “quicky” greenhouse during germination and for small seedlings by covering the pot and board with a clear or light colored bag, or by poking a stick in the middle of the pot and setting the bag on top. Remove when temperatures fall back to about 34 degees.
Mache, Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta) The little rosettes of nutty tasting are lovely when grown in a clump either alone or with other greens and are very frost tolerant. High in folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, mache is a great partner to greens such as chard or spinach that are high in oxalic acids, think about adding it to smoothies or in your next salad. I find it takes some time to germinate, so plant by September 15th. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sells the broad leaf variety that is very frost tolerant. Mizuna (Brassica juncea) Mizuna is one of the very best cool weather greens offering longevity in the garden and fiber, beta carotene, foliate, calcium and iron for the diet. When young, it is sweet and tender, perfect for raw greens. It can be eaten as salad, on sandwiches, swirled into a hot cup of miso soup…and when mature, Mizuna is perfect for
Land Cress (Barbarea verna) and Salad Cress (Lepidium sativum) Container cultivation is perfect for the spicey little cresses that pack so much flavor into such small, succulent little leaves. They are the perfect alternative to watercress and the making of zippy pestos as they are ready for cutting, just as ripe tree nuts fall in Atlanta or are wonderful additions to sandwiches made from those frost saved green tomatoes (laying in newspaper, waiting to ripen in your guest room). One serving of cress has three times as much vitamin C as an orange, twice as much much vitamin A as a serving of broccoli and all sorts of anti-oxidants. Wild Garden Seed sells seed for a variety of cresses. Resouces: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, rareseeds.com Johnny’s Selected Seeds, johnnyseeds.com Kitazawa Seed Company. kitazawaseed.com Wild Garden Seed, wildgardenseed.com Glynis Ward is also known as the East Atlanta Flower Lady. She can be seen riding her vintage Schwinn bike to homes of garden design clients around East Atlanta, and to Holy Comforter where she gardens with her friends for food and faith.
Milk Jugs = Greenhouses Harness the power of the sun while upcycling a piece of plastic. This method called Winter Sowing is an easy way to grow your seedlings without the need for an indoor light stand. Sow your seeds into milkjugs for fall transplants starting August 1. This method may also be used to grow your perennial herbs and flowers, spring and summer transplants. For more information, visit wintersown.org or forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/wtrsow/.
Text by Stephanie Van Parys Photos by Bang Tran
You will need a clear container such as a milk jug, scissors, fresh potting soil, a pencil, a sharp knife, duct tape, seeds, and a label.
Use your knife to puncture two drain holes, one on each side. Use your scissors to cut two dime sized holes.
Using your knife, puncture the jug on the shoulders, one on each side. Cut out two triangles into the shoulders of the jug. The triangles act as vents allowing for air to move around inside of the jug.
Your milk jug should look like this when you are done cutting out the shoulders.
Now it is time to cut into and around the middle of the milk jug. Avoid cutting below the milk jug handle. That way you are leaving a hinge to open and close the two halves.
Your milk jug should look like this when you are done cutting out the drainage holes, shoulders, and around the middle.
Before sowing out your seeds, be sure to write on a label the type of vegetable, the variety, and the date. For example: Lettuce, Jericho, 8.15.2013.
Fill the the container with damp potting soil 1/2 to 3/4 the way up the side. Lightly push it down to flatten the surface, but also push out any air pockets. Next Steps: Place the jug in a full sun spot. Check regularly for dryness. To water, place the jug in a pan of water and allow it to absorb water from the two drain holes. Peek regulary in the vent holes to see if your seedlings are growing. Transplanting the seedlings is easy. Wait until the plants are growing their first set of true leaves before moving them to a pot or directly into the garden.
Now it is time for you to sow out your seeds. Evenly distribute the seeds across the soil, leaving an inch between the seeds.
Before watering, very lightly cover the seeds with soil. Water the seeds and soil with a gentle spray.
Use duct tape to seal the sides of the milk jug. This prevents excess moisture from getting into the jug.
Remove the duct tape and gently scoop the seedlings out using a knife or spoon making sure the roots are still connected to the leaves.
Digging Deeper with Mary H. Hines: Fall VegetAble Gardening by Stephanie Van Parys
Mary H. Hines has been growing vegetables since she was a child. Her father loved fresh herbs and vegetables and she always had a patch in her back yard. She says, “Fall vegetable gardening is something I’ve always done. Why stop? I’d go all year round if I could.” Knowing that Mary has an extensive vegetable garden and beautiful yard at her home in Decatur, Stephanie Van Parys asked Mary the whys, whats, and hows on growing a fall vegetable garden. We also get a bonus: Mary is a 2009 DeKalb Master Gardener program graduate and a Wylde Center teacher. SVP: Let’s start with the most basic question. Why do you grow vegetables during the fall? MHH: The fall is my absolute favorite time of year to garden. During the summer, I garden first thing in the morning. During the fall, I look forward to coming home from work, pouring a glass of wine and working in my garden while the chickens scratch the ground around me. It is an ideal time of year to work in the garden when the evening temperatures are cooler. And also because I love greens! SVP: How big is your main vegetable gardening area? MHH: In my main vegetable garden that I built two years ago, I have 12 raised beds – four 4’x6’ and eight 4’x4’ beds. I also have a berry patch in this area. I have two other areas in my yard where I also grow a few vegetables, but the majority are grown in my raised beds. SVP: A big question I often get is how do you transition the summer garden to the fall garden without missing the window of opportunity? MHH: It all depends. For example, this year the rain is really affecting my squash. It is just not doing well. I will probably tear it out and replace it with some short summer crops that will produce well before the first frost – string beans, okra or cucumbers. I have the luxury of having so many beds so I can let my summer vegetables grow until they get killed by frost or decline from other causes. However, if you are working with 1-3 raised beds, you have to make the decision of what stays and what goes. If a vegetable is declining in fruit production, tear it out and save that spot for a fall vegetable. SVP: With such intense growing, how do you keep your soil ready for the next crop? MHH: I do a few things. I practice crop rotation. I follow heavy feeders such as tomatoes with a legume, like beans that fix their own nitrogen. Or I follow legumes with heavy feeders – string beans followed by broccoli. I keep track of what has been planted where, on charts that I keep in the house. SVP: What about adding amendments? MHH: I do that too and have a few steps that I follow: 1. I check the soil level of my bed. I like to leave a 1” lip between the soil and the rim of the raised bed. 2. I add soil and compost to restore soil levels. Now that my compost pile is producing a lot of finished product, I use this more now to restore soil levels than purchasing soil. In the past, I purchased soil and compost from Farmer D Organics. 3. Next I figure out what I want to plant in the bed which determines which organic fertilizers I am going to add. For example, if I am growing broccoli, I add a bone meal mix that promotes big healthy plants.
ABOVE: Mary H. Hines and chickens in her vegetable garden.
SVP: Sounds like you do a lot of research. What resources do you use? MHH: My main resource for growing vegetables is my Master Gardener Handbook. But I also consult the main UGA CAES publications site and search the database; that page can be found here: http://www. caes.uga.edu/publications/. UGA has publications on crop rotation, fertilization rates, vegetable gardening and harvesting, mulching, companion plants, and pests and pesticides. Another valuable resource are the books written by Walter Reeves. Mostly I stick to guides specific to Georgia since vegetable growing here has different requirements than vegetables growing in California or Maine. SVP: What else do you do to prepare your soil for the next season of vegetables? MHH: I also use cover crops on my fallow beds to restore fertility. Peace Valley Supply sells great mixes including a chicken foraging mix. My chickens love eating cover crops and the plants make their eggs super rich in omega-3’s. SVP: During our conversation you mentioned that you are harvesting beets right now. It’s July! How can that be? MHH: I practice succession planting. Meaning, instead of planting the entire seed pack at one go, I space my plantings out over several weeks. My first round of beets were direct sown into the garden on March 1. I did a second sowing of seeds in late June. My third round will be mid-September. This is so I constantly have a supply of beets. I did the same thing with tomatoes this year. I seeded indoors my first round of tomato seedlings in late January. They went into the ground on April 15. I have been eating tomatoes off of those plants for three weeks now. My second sowing inside of tomatoes happened in late February. Those plants went into the ground in May and they will start producing when the other tomato plants slow down.
Garden SVP: What is your hands down, absolute favorite vegetable to grow in the fall? MHH: Kale! It is versatile, grows fast, very easy to grow, delicious raw and cooked, and stores well. My chickens love it. When they eat kale, their yolks are bright orange. It is impossible to kill! I grow it in containers and in the ground. I had one plant that I planted in a container next to my back door last year. I picked off that plant from October through May. SVP: What is your favorite variety of kale? MHH: Blue Curled Scotch kale from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I also think Red Russian kale is wonderful. SVP: How about some fall vegetables that you have not had luck with? MHH: Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. I just think our soil is not conducive to growing these plants well. The weather may also play a role. SVP: What fall vegetable have you grown that turned out to be a wonderful surprise in how it turned out? MHH: Broccoli. The plants produced beautiful perfect flavorful heads. I also ate the leaves! I don’t start broccoli from seed at my house, but rather I buy starts from the Wylde Center’s plant sale. SVP: All this talk of broccoli and kale growing in your garden during the fall makes me think of cabbage loopers. Do you have a problem with them eating your greens? MHH: No. SVP: No?! What is your secret? MHH: I spray every two weeks or after a heavy rain from the start of the season with neem oil. I also do two Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)/neem sprays in the fall and two in the spring. It is OK to mix Bt and neem in the same solution as long as you use it immediately. I think the Bt is probably the most effective agent against loop-
ers. The only insect I’ve had to hand pick this year has been squash beetles, and their numbers have been low. This is an organic preventative measure. I also plant my borders with plants that attract beneficial insects. Mints are great for doing that. My chickens also help me keep the insects in check. SVP: Chickens in the garden? Don’t they make a mess? MHH: My beds are raised, so that helps in keeping them out. I also use chicken wire that is 2 feet high. I unroll the roll wrapping it around the edges of my beds. This prevents the chickens from hopping into my beds. It’s not very pretty, but it is effective. When I don’t need the wire anymore, I roll it up and store it. Be sure to protect the greens, chickens love greens! SVP: Let’s get back to vegetables. I remember you raving about a lettuce mix that just wouldn’t stop – what is the name of that mix? MHH: Rocky Top Lettuce Mix from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I sowed it out in the fall and harvested my final plants at the beginning of summer. I sowed it out rather thick. As I harvested, I thinned plants to eat and left the remaining ones to grow larger since they had more room to grow. By the end, I had 10 large heads of lettuce to eat. SVP: When do you start planting your fall garden? MHH: Before putting in my fall garden, I do one more sowing of fast turn-around summer vegetables such as snap beans, cucumbers, and okra by mid-August. I also plant Irish potatoes by mid-August for a late fall harvest. In September, I plant my fall garden: Brassica family such as broccoli and kale, lettuce, braising mixes, garlic, and radishes. SVP: Do you use seeds or transplants? MHH: Both. When sowing out greens and lettuce, I direct sow seeds into the garden. For vegetables that take longer like broccoli or onions, I use transplants that others have grown. SVP: Anything else you want to add about gardening in the fall? MHH: Love it the best!
blast from the pasT You know that sign that hangs over the main entrance? In 1998, Sally Wylde asked Marshall Davis to create and hang a new sign to indicate the location of the Oakhurst Community Garden Project. Marshall cut, painted, and attached the sign to the new entry arbor. Marshall is a long time resident of the Oakhurst neighborhood in Decatur and remembers when the garden space was used to grow basil. The previous owner grew bunches of basil and sold it to local restaurants. Marshall also built the glass front display box just inside the arbor and teamed up with Randy Lane to build the wheelchair accessible beds. Stop by the Oakhurst Garden to see the orignial sign, the display box and accessible beds still being used today. 1998 - Marshall Davis and his beloved white Chevy attaching the new sign to the entry arbor. Check out how small the evergreens are!
Do you have a Blast from the Wylde Center Past that you would like included in the next magazine? Contact Stephanie@wyldecenter.org to submit your idea.
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September 1-October 15: Over 50 fall vegetable varieties available –lettuce, Asian greens, arugula, kale, swiss chard, and more! Plant Sale is located in the front yard of the Wylde Center office at the Oakhurst Garden location. 435 Oakview Road, Decatur, GA 30030 The plant sale acts on an honor system. All plants are labeled and priced including sales tax. Open during daylight hours, choose what you would like to purchase, and pay by dropping exact cash or a check made out to the Wylde Center in the
Slow Food Atlanta and the Wylde Center presents Save Your Seeds and Share! Saturday, August 3, 10-12pm Join us for a free event in the garden and let’s share tomatoes, celebrate their flavors, stories, and learn how to save seeds! We will gather at the Oakhurst Garden at 10am. Complimentary coffee will be provided by local coffee shop Kavarna, so bring your mugs! At 10:30am the presentations and seed saving demos will commence. After we learn from our experts, we will taste and share our summer fruits. Free Seed Saving Presentation at the Oakhurst Garden Saturday, August 3, 10:30-11:30am Véronique Perrot, Wylde Center Intern, Evolutionary Biologist and longtime Atlanta gardener will give a quick overview on the seed saving theory: hybrids, open population varieties, pure strains, etc. After the presentation, Frank Holzman, organic horticulturalist at Tierrasonrisagarden.com, will give live demonstrations on how to save seeds from a variety of summer veggies.
For more information and to RSVP visit Wyldecenter.org or contact email@example.com.
Gifts in the Garden A Family-Friendly Celebration of Alternative Gifts for a Sustainable World
Special Event for Heifer International Supporters, Wylde Center Members & their family & friends
August 24, 2013
11:00 am—2:00 pm Wylde Center
Event is Free * Petting Zoo * Heifer Animal Booths & Games Educational Activities * Local Food & Live Music
Summer issue features four great gardening articles in preparation for the fall season. Finding Chanterelle mushrooms? We have a delicious...
Published on Jul 13, 2013
Summer issue features four great gardening articles in preparation for the fall season. Finding Chanterelle mushrooms? We have a delicious...