Garden School this Saturday

Soil Testing & Growing Nutrient-Dense Food
Saturday, May 20
11 am to noon
$5 payable on-site
CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie, OKC
Instructor: Jordan Davis
When it comes to growing food, soil is everything. Well, almost everything—sunlight and water are pretty important, too. And weather. And timing. But soil quality is HUGE! Get it right with the soil and everything else gets a lot easier.I’ve recently been learning about the concept of remineralizing our soil, and how important that is for growing vibrantly healthy food. So I’m delighted to offer this workshop to other gardeners and farmers who want to improve their soil ecology, have fewer disease and insect problems, and grow foods with high levels of vitality and nutrition.It’s not just about having enough minerals in the soil; even more critical is bringing it all into balance. Admittedly, this can get a wee bit complicated! Jordan will focus on the practical side of how to take proper soil samples and send them off for analysis, and what to do with those results. He’ll walk us through the basic interaction of elements in the soil, and how to apply these principles to your own garden or farm.—LiaJordan has a degree in Plant and Soil Sciences from OSU, and recently returned from an internship in Missouri that focused on soil health and remineralizing soils.

Check out upcoming Garden Schools on our website.

Flowers & Butterflies & Bees, oh my!

Last Saturday in Garden School, flower guru Edith Siemens taught what to plant in a garden to draw butterflies, bees, and other pollinators—and gave a tour of her splendid garden!

Snapdragons, canterbury bells, larkspur, poppy pods and many other flowers graced our first Slow Flowers “flower buffet” table. Saturday guests enjoyed making DIY bouquets for Mother’s Day. Lia’s Slow Flowers Mother’s Day bouquets (with handmade Vietnamese mugs from Pambe Ghana) sold out!



Meet our Apprentices: Morgan Vogel

Morgan Vogel will finish her high school studies a year from now. Home-schooled, she has been learning this spring as an apprentice at CommonWealth Urban Farms. “I was nervous to start with, worried I’d mess up. I’m excited I’ve learned the names of plants I didn’t know—especially weeds. Now we’re driving down the highway and I can identify the plants.”

Plants are becoming a passion. Morgan loves checking out botanical books. Her grandfather, a missionary in Africa where he taught gardening, always had a huge garden and bookshelves full of seed packets and books about plants. “He got me interested,” she says.

Her family lives in a rural area near Guthrie and Morgan has grown plants in containers, but until her experience at CommonWealth, she says, “I didn’t realize what goes into soil before planting. And I didn’t know about soil testing.”

The youngest of this, the first class of interns, Morgan is often the one pushing the hand tiller. “I like the work,” she says. “Being sore in the morning feels like I did something.”

Besides loving nature and being outside, Morgan has a hankering for the nomadic life. Her dream is to have a tiny house on wheels, with a rooftop garden. “If you move, you can have your garden with you!”

Following her apprenticeship, Morgan plans to continue to volunteer at CommonWealth. “The urban farm is a wonderful idea. It builds community together.”
— Pat

Want to be a CommonWealth Apprentice?

Interested in learning about gardening? Apply to be a CommonWealth Apprentice! Our second apprenticeship season will run from June 2nd to August 30th. Deadline for application is May 27th, 2017. For more information, or to apply, visit our website here.



Comments from the first class of CommonWealth apprentices:

I don’t have a green thumb. Lia asked me to plant radishes and I had a hard time sleeping that night. I thought when I stepped in there everything was going to die. But the radishes grew!”—Blaze McKenzie, CommonWealth apprentice
So many people are involved; it’s really special. It’s important to have skills to feed our selves with high quality vegetables, sustainably grown.”—Ann Malherbe
“I had never even weeded before. I’m learning a lot more than I’d imagined I’d ever know about gardening…I have a wall of house plants that I’ve kept alive for four months. I sent friends photos!”—Laal Shams