Debbie Baker was a career school librarian with a strong sense of curiosity, varied interests and many skills, including weaving. Her first weaving instructor was Lia Woods. Ten years after that first class, the friends were visiting and Lia mentioned a new endeavor, an urban farm in the heart of Oklahoma City, named CommonWealth.
As she did about so many things, Debbie expressed curiosity and interest and Lia asked if Debbie would like to come help. And so Debbie became the first volunteer at CommonWealth—helping out with the brand new CSA/Veggie Club.
That was 2012 and she’s been coming at 8 a.m. Saturdays ever since, to set up the table for CSA members to pick up their vegetables—weighing and dividing up the orders so that each member can take home their weekly produce selections.
“We always had a family garden,” says Debbie. “I worked in it from childhood through college, crawling in the dirt my whole life. I always loved playing in the dirt.”
As familiar a face as anyone at CommonWealth, Debbie greets veggie club members and explains the week’s harvest, assisting them in various ways. She keeps coming to help, she says, because “life is healthier because I do. I love plants. I love the outdoors. I love healthy food. I love the camaraderie with people who love Earth.”
Debbie still tends an herb garden, composts—and she still weaves: scarves, coverlets, bags, shawls, wall hangings…
For those attending Basilmania last week, Debbie and her husband Bruce were the ones pouring the wine for guests, in another generous gift of their time and support. “CommonWealth is an exciting place,” she says. “It’s a way to help people learn how to become responsible guardians of the planet.”
Thank you, Debbie. CommonWealth is what it is because of people like you!—Pat