Garden School: Soil Health

Saturday, October 5
11 a.m. to noon
1016 NW 32nd Street
 (in front of the hoop house.)
$10 per person, $15 for couples/pairs.
Free to volunteers. Pay upon arrival.

Soil Health
Plants make nutrients using sunlight energy to feed themselves and microbes in the ground, and in turn create a food web that provides nutrients for the plant. Nurture the soil, and you will nurture your plants!
Instructor: Kent Davis, Student of SoilFoodWebCheck out the entire 2019 Garden School schedule here.
And consider this: You can sign up to be a CommonWealth patron at the level of $10 monthly and up and receive discounted Garden School admission. Learn more here:

It’s Almost Harvest Potluck Time!

This is one of our favorite events of the year: the harvest celebration at CommonWealth. Friends and supporters gather on the farm to share delicious hand-grown, handmade food at a potluck with handmade music, conversation, tours of the farm and the now-traditional nature scavenger hunt. RIGHT?

It’s like a very gentle homecoming with friends and famiy to an endearing old home place. Please join us, from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday October 19 at the hoop house lot, on 32nd Street between Western and Olie.

Fall in the Garden

As the summer crops wrap up their glorious harvest, the garden gives way to the greens and roots which will fill our harvest buckets from now through the winter and on into spring.
Summer is the tall-garden season, when plants use the endless supplies of sun and heat to grow with abandon; tomatoes fill and overflow the top of their cages, cucumbers cover their trellises, yard long beans (pictured at right) climb their arched panels, and okra reaches six feet tall and keeps on growing.
And now comes the short-garden season; low-growing lettuce and spinach and arugula, next to radishes and carrots and baby turnips that hug the ground. Thanh has been pulling out our summer crops as they start to decline, then prepping each bed with our beautiful worm compost, and laying tiny seeds in row upon row.
In that dark underground, the quiet magic begins to happen; little roots and shoots emerge from dormancy, reaching upwards toward light, and now the familiar patchwork of light green, dark green, reddish green, silver green is beginning to stretch across the farm again.
If you’re wishing that you’d gotten some fall veggies planted, it’s not too late! Radishes, arugula and mustard greens are all fast-growing crops that you can plant now and harvest before winter sets in. Kale, spinach, carrots, green onions and turnips are winter-hardy vegetables that will hold their own thru the cold temps if you give them some protection, such as hoops and row covers or a cold frame. Even a small patch can be immensely satisfying; toss a few seeds in a pot now, and you’ll be enjoying a freshly picked salad or some crunchy radishes before you know it!—Lia

Fall Seedling Sale!

This Saturday, October 5th, from 9 am to noon
1016 NW 32, OKC
Available: arugula, kale, Chinese cabbage, mustards and spicy greens, dill, cilantro,  thyme, lavender, sage, lemongrass & mints.
Also: bee balm (monarda fistulosa), salvias, blanket flower (gaillardia), columbine, artemisia, Black Eyed Susan (rudbeckia) & catmint.
Flower gardeners: ornamental kale & stock seedlings available now!
Pricing: $2 for 2” pots, $3 for 3” pots. Some larger sizes are also available.

Fall Cover Crop Seed Available Now! 

October is the perfect time to plant cover crops to improve the health of your soil. Choose a small packet for $2 (covers 100 sq. ft.) or large for $5 (covers 500 sq. ft.)
Our mixes include winter rye, Austrian winter peas, and crimson clover, as well as daikon radish & mustard (opt.) Cover crops are a simple, inexpensive and highly effective way to improve the quality of your soil.

We also have our wonderful worm compost for sale, $11 for a gallon sized bag.

Photo and Poetry Exhibit to Feature The Beauty of the CommonWealth Neighborhood!

Two friends and supporters of CommonWealth Urban Farms have collaborated on a project with CommonWealth at its center. With her distinctive eye and skill at creating beautiful photographs, Jane Wheeler spent much of the last many months creating images in the neighborhood. Then lyrical poet Jane Taylor reflected on Jane’s photos and wrote a short poem for each. They then collaborated further on the presentation of their works and created a wonderful exhibit, which will be shown at Full Circle Books, Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. Both Janes will be in attendance, speaking about their work, collaboration and for poetry readings. Come and enjoy this fresh and compelling artists’ view of an endearing place.

Meet our Team: Migo

Where were you born, grow up?

I was born in a house on 31st street. I had a wound on my eye and when I wandered over to 32nd street this nice man doctored my eye and so I hung around. At first, I hid at night in the chicken lot but eventually, when that nice man opened the chicken lot to let the hens out one morning, I came out too. 
Turns out this is an amazing neighborhood where people don’t use pesticides or D-Con, so it’s safe to eat the bugs and mice, which is a big deal when you’re a cat. Also, there’s always someone around to pet me, or move me out of the road when I forget how cars work. So, I invited myself to stay.

What do you do at CW?
I’m semi-retired now, but I still do some oversight, going with Allen on his rounds, greeting guests who come on farm tours.

Why do you like it here? Why is CW important to you?
Well, like I was saying, the people are really nice, it’s really a community, and that’s hard to find. There’s free chicken for cats on Mondays and Saturdays. It’s really peaceful too, there are rows of herbs that I can stretch out under and meditate. Lia planted a row of catnip at the front of one of the front yard gardens. There’s lots of other cats to talk to and people make sure you have somewhere warm to go in the winter. It’s kind of heaven for a cat.

What have you learned about farming? Composting?
I’ve learned how beautiful a farm could be. So many different plants and smells. And because there is a variety of plants, you don’t just find the same old bugs to chase. Cats also need a variety of textures to nap on. With the kind of farming they do here, they like to keep the soil covered, so I have my choice of straw, or wood chips, or seedlings I can choose from at naptime. What I have learned about composting, is that on compost days, there are lots of extra hands to pet me. I really like that.
Translation from cat tongue by Stephanie Jordan, Allen Parlier and Lia Woods

Of a Certain Nature

Friends and neighbors drop by the CommonWealth Urban Farm community off and on for a few moments of quiet and to breathe 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 and wonder of this place.  And so, we are!

This is the season for spotting Orb Weavers in the garden. This particular weaver had stretched a web among the zinnias in one of our pollinator gardens. It had captured a bug in the web earlier and wrapped it in anticipation of its next meal. Turns out it was for breakfast last Wednesday, and we happened to be standing there, camera in hand, when it dashed down for the bug and carried it back up the web for a quiet breakfast.

Orb Weaver in pollinator garden has breakfast.