| Garden School |
Herbs: Identification & Healing Properties
Saturday, June 30
11 am to noon
3310 N. Olie
Reconnecting to Earth Medicine
In this session we will enter into the world of herbal healing by using all of our senses to identify different medicinal plants on an herb walk.
We will explore the basic healing properties of herbs that surround us; such as, yarrow, sage, rosemary, calendula, thyme, plantain, nettle, and dandelion.
This is an introductory course for anyone who is curious about re-connecting to the plants that surround us and learning about how they can teach us, guide us, and accompany us through our own healing journeys.
Instructor: Stephanie Holiman has recently returned to Oklahoma after living in Chile for twenty years, where she directed the organic gardening center Huerto Hada Verde.
$10 per class; $15 per couple/pair; free to volunteers. See full schedule and season rates HERE.
Coming Up Next:
Small Wonders – Microgreens & Shoots
Saturday, July 14
11 am to noon
Want to grow highly nutritious, tasty greens in a tiny space? Then microgreens are for you. Lia will demonstrate how to plant and grow pea shoots, plus kale, radish, dill and basil microgreens, and teach us how to avoid common problems. Each participant will have a chance to plant a mini tray of microgreens to take home.
Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth
| Flower Spotlight: |
Tips for Best Vase Life—Part II
In our last newsletter, we covered some basic practices that will extend the vase life of your flowers; keeping your tools and vases very clean, harvesting first thing in the morning, and changing the water in your vase every couple days (or at least making sure it stays full!)
You can also use flower food to keep those blooms looking good longer. In addition to commercially available flower food, there are lots of recipes for homemade flower food. But beware, many of them do not hold up under scrutiny! Floral food is made up of 3 components; sugar (to feed your flowers), an acidifier (lower pH means flower stems take up water more quickly), and a biocide (to kill bacteria.)
Also, keep your flowers away from ethylene. This gas is produced by ripening fruit as well as by the combustion of gasoline or propane. Some flowers are more sensitive than others, but even low levels of ethylene can shorten the life of certain cut flowers.
If you don’t have time or space to grow your own flowers, check out our Flower Coupons or memberships.
By buying a membership or coupon, you get a hefty discount off our regular price for bouquets, not to mention a season’s worth of color and beauty!—Lia
| Apprentice Spotlight: Nick Aguilera |
As a student in city and regional planning, Nick Aguilera learned that urban farms make a neighborhood more healthy—remediating the soil and landscape, as well as building community. But in all his education, at University of Oklahoma and graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, he says “I never got my hands dirty.”
So, before heading off to Spain for a Fulbright Scholarship in city planning and teaching come September, he applied to be an apprentice at CommonWealth Urban Farm this summer! Already, in the first two weeks of the program, his hands have dug up potatoes, planted sweet potatoes. He’s been introduced to composting, food forests; learned about nitrogen-fixing plants as well as which tools to use and the layout of CommonWealth Urban Farm.
Already, he says, “I’ve learned how special this place is. I like how this community is taking care of the Earth. It’s inspiring to begin to learn how this could be done in other places. I’d like to take this ethic and this example and see it applied elsewhere.”
It’s equally inspiring for the CW staff and volunteers to imagine Nick out in the larger world following his dream: “I’d like to see cities doing a larger and better job of taking care of the Earth, with gardens, green spaces, urban sustainability: addressing energy dependency, mitigating climate change, reducing reliance on automobiles, rehabilitating the landscape, offering healthy recreational opportunities for people. Instead of being stuck in an office, I already know I want to be in places like CommonWealth, doing grass roots work.”—Pat
| Of a Certain Nature…The Sounds of CommonWealth |
Friends drop by the CommonWealth Urban Farm community off and on for a few moments of quiet and to breath in nature. Volunteers tell us how lovely it is to enjoy nature as they work on the farm. They tell us we should celebrate the beauty of this place. And so, we are!
When I first set foot on 32nd Street, some eight years ago on my first visit, there was something about the air that made me immediately feel right at home. I was living about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City, out on the prairie, where there are plenty of plants, though of another kind (think miles and miles of prairie grass!) I think what I noticed as I stepped from my car, parked in front of Allen’s bamboo forest, was clean air—thanks to that bamboo, and all the other plant life on the block.
So there’s that. And then the other Saturday morning, as I walked up the street to the farm to get ready for the CSA pickups, I couldn’t help noticing the cacophony of sound: The cathedral bells on the quarter-hour, a Cardinal singing “Rightcheer, Rightcheer, Rightcheer,” all those sweet sparrows chattering away, some unidentified birds making calls back and forth—“Wheat, Wheat, Wheat, Wheat”—the coo of the Ring-Necked Doves and my personal favorite, Mockingbird, singing everyone’s song!
Already, come evening, the crickets and cicadeas and perhaps little frogs have started their summer serenade, especially well-timed because the Grackles seem to have flown elsewhere to raise their nightly ruckus.
I listen well to the 32nd Street Symphony, grateful for all the plant life—habitat for city birds!—Pat