by Judy Funderburk
AutumnFest at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden was a huge success thanks to all the Master Gardener support. Over 150 friends and neighbors showed up to enjoy the day — purchasing plants, tasting a great variety of herbal treats and teas, tasting, smelling and gathering samples of culinary, fragrant or medicinal herbs to take home. Taking a mini-workshop to learn more about Monarch Watch!, Good Dirt!, or Eight Great Natives!, making a sachet with colorful cloth and fragrant dried herbs and/or having Andrea Kaplovitz paint a flower or bug on your face allowed many participants to bring pieces of AutumnFest home.
The truly magical moment was a totally unplanned surprise. A crowd of folks were listening to Naturalist/Entomologist Cathy Stragar’s Monarch Watch! presentation when Silvia Boada noticed that one of the crysalises (brought by Maraea Harris) was opening. What a joy to actually watch a Monarch emerge from that tiny crysalis, rest, fill its wings, and begin to fly. When the Monarch had gained wing strength, Cathy released it. There was a sense of awe at having been a witness to all of this and then see this beautiful butterfly continue to fly overhead for the rest of the afternoon.
Fifteen Girl Scouts and their leaders joined the festivities near the end of the day. They were engaged in experiential learning in the Culinary, Fragrance, and Medicinal Gardens and are looking forward to sharing best practices in the Garden with them in October and again in the spring. They are working toward earning their Gardening Badge, and hopefully their experiences at Glencarlyn will pique their interest in becoming a Master Gardener sometime in the future!
Special thanks to Judy Funderburk and Paul Nuhn for another successful AutumnFest!