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Education Garden
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The Education Garden at Piedmont Park
Have you seen our garden?  The north end of the Meadow is home to a thriving organic garden that Piedmont Park Conservancy uses as an educational tool.  The garden demonstrates how the food we eat grows and what the plants that produce it look like.  Originally developed for our EnviroVentures Summer camp, the garden has grown over the years both in size and variety.

Kids and the Eco Playhouse

The garden is visited by more than 800 children each year, and is used to teach a variety of topics surrounding natural and organic gardening methods. We demonstrate how to utilize and cultivate beneficial microorganisms through composting, cover crops and good soil maintenance. We also a focus on how to use seeds and transplants to create a garden and how to identify plants and herbs. In 2012, the Education Garden at Piedmont Park launched partner programs and activities for school field trips, youth clubs and the general public.

Organic Gardening
When we grow food to eat, we get out what we put in. Here in the Education Garden we only use organic methods to grow our plants. We grow our garden without applying unnatural chemicals and pesticides. This approach to gardening is nothing new, in fact it’s the way our ancestors farmed for thousands of years. Our plants get nutrients from healthy soil & those nutrients are in the food we grow. Organic gardening is also gentle on the earth. This garden can grow and thrive without harming people, animals or other plants.

Campers visit the Education Garden in Piedmont Park.

The plants we grow here in the Education Garden are all plants that grow and thrive here in Atlanta. You can use our garden as a guide to grow edible plants at your home, school or even patio.


Garden Programs

Compost

Composting
Composting is a vital part of gardening.  There are many methods used to compost. Here in the Education Garden we use Hot Composting and Vermicomposting to recycle nutrients. All methods of compost have these needs in common:
•  Microorganisms
•  Organic Material (garden & kitchen waste)
•  Air
•  Moisture
•  Heat
Why Compost?
•  Recycle nutrients from plants
•  Improves soil structure
•  Keeps organic waste out of landfills
•  Reduces water pollution
•  Adds beneficial organisms to soil
•  Eliminates need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides

The composting program really took off in 2011.  We have been able to collect food scraps from restaurants. Coffee grounds from our offices, as well as leaves and garden waste from around the Park are also being used to make COMPOST!

Hot Compost
Our series of pallet bins are home to our Hot Composting Program. Hot Compost isn’t a pile that just sits still, it’s an active process. These piles actually get HOT. We build piles using organic materials including kitchen and garden waste and turn them. The process of hot composting takes about four months to complete. At the end of the process you have high quality soil to spread over your garden, and have transformed waste materials into valuable fertilizer.

If you want to compost at your home there are many opportunities to learn how to make your own black gold. We hold classes on vermiculture and hot composting here at the Park.



Vermiculture
Have you thanked a worm today?  Hard working worms are the stars or our Vermiculture  station.  Vermicompost is a type of composting that utilizes worms. We use red wigglers (Eisenia fetida)they are the best composters for breaking down decomposing plant and food waste.  This type of compost is faster than traditional methods due to the hard work of the worms alongside insects, soil microorganisms and fungus. Vermicast also know as worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product.  Nutrient rich Vermicast is a great organic fertilizer that makes our plants happy. Vermiculture has been a major focus for our children’s gardening program. Our campers and students build worm bins, feed the worms, harvest castings and spread the compost in the garden.


Piedmont Park Learning Garden Pollinator Project
The Learning Garden opens its doors to new birds, butterflies and bees – with the help of goats – this October 10, 11, and 12.

Goats will clear a path for birds, butterflies and bees in the Learning Garden.

How do goats help the birds and bees? Come to the Learning Garden to find out this October 10, 11, and 12th.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is graciously being assisted by the Ansley Park Garden Club, Fulton Master Gardeners, and a heard of goats, to create a Water-Wise, Pollinator garden at the Learning Garden. This October goats will clear out a rich, overgrown woodland at the back of the Learning Garden. This will open up a lovely area with water and rocks that we’ll fill with bee, butterfly and bird friendly plants.

Complete with walking paths and signs, you’ll learn about the plants used to create a beautiful water-wise, pollinator garden. Come to the garden and watch the goats clear the overgrown plants in October, plant trees and shrubs in the winter, and fill the garden with beautiful perennials in the spring. Look for classes to be offered starting next summer.

Learn about the value to the environment, how to have a spectacular garden that conserves water AND helps the birds and insects that pollinate our fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Ansley Garden Garden Club logo UGA Extension Fulton County Master Gardeners logo
Piedmont Park Conservancy logo



Sunshine Power
The whole Education Garden uses sunlight. Plants of all types and sizes need the sun energy to make food and grow. We also use sun energy to power our Eco Playhouse. The solar panel over this building captures energy to light the structure. Let the sun shine.
(Solar Panel installed by GreenStar Solar)



Rain Water
When the rain pours down and waters our garden, the plants get the moisture they need to grow. But when the rain falls, we also catch a little extra for later. The barrels collect water from the EcoPlayhouse roof and we reserve it for drier weather. We can then water our garden with rainwater, keeping the garden sustainable.


We LOVE Recycling
We recycle and reuse materials in our garden to keep as much as we can out of landfills.  Our organic materials are recycled for their nutrients through composting, but it doesn’t stop there. We also use some of our hardware in new and different ways. Our garden fence is 100% recycled. Our compost bins are made of commercial shipping palettes and our rain barrels are made from drums that used to store food. Think about how you use things before you toss them. By being creative, old things are new again!

For more information on the Education Garden, please email Louise Harris at llharris@piedmontpark.org or call 404.875.7275 x326.



 
 
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Piedmont Park Conservancy
P.O. Box 7795
Atlanta, GA 30357-0795
404.875.7275 (PARK)
404.875.0530 fax
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