Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

     — Mary Oliver

Garden School: Herbal Balms

Saturday, July 13
11 a.m. to noon
3310 N. Olie

$10 per person, $15 for couples/pairs.
Free to volunteers. Pay upon arrival.

There is an additional $5 per person material fee for this workshop.

Yatar will demonstrate how he makes his herbal beeswax healing balms, as well as the bamboo containers that he creates to hold his balms. Yatar combines herbs from his garden, beeswax from his hives, olive oil and essential oils to formulate balms with specific beneficial qualities. Cost of workshop includes one of Yatar’s bamboo containers, ready for filling with a custom balm of your choice.

Yatar will have additional balms & bamboo containers available for sale after class.

Instructor: Yatar Layah, gardener and founder of It’s the Balm.

Check 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

Photo Essay: Our Second Annual Flower Farm Open House

We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier evening, or a lovelier time with flowers and friends — old and new! — at our flower open house. The flower farm team harvest and prepared buckets and buckets and buckets of colorful flowers. The Lizzies alone would make your heart skip a beat!

Thanks to volunteers who helped set up, brought treats and assisted guests with their flower choices. And way to go flower farm team! You grow astonishingly beautiful flowers‚ right here in the heart of OKC!

 Flower Coupons/Gift Cards

You don’t have to wait until next spring for the Third Annual Flower Farm Open House to take home beautiful flowers from CommonWealth. We have coupons if you want to keep the bouquets coming for your own enjoyment and gift cards for giving bouquets to the flower lovers in your life. We offer a flower subscription at two levels: 10 bouquets for $100 or 4 bouquets for $40.

All bouquet coupons or gift cards can be redeemed anytime through October. Bouquets can be reserved by the coupon or gift card holder by emailing Upon purchase of the flower subscription, we’ll arrange to mail the card to you or arrange for you to pick it up at our farm.

Place your flower subscription order on our website.

Meet our Team: Becky Schaller

As a youngster, Becky Schaller and one of her brothers each had a flower bed in their family’s backyard, with Petunias in the front of the bed, Marigolds in the middle and Morning Glories trailing in the back. Their mom also had a garden, and a compost pile.

So a bit of gardening was in her family history. It wasn’t until many years later, when her parents moved into memory care and hospice and Becky came to Oklahoma City to help care for them, that she really began learning about soil — by working in the urban farm her sister Lia and her brother-in-law Allen had co-founded.

“I wanted to help Allen’s Closer to Earth composting project,” says Becky. “I helped on Saturdays and became a regular volunteer. I like learning about composting, I like the people and the inherent good they do. I enjoy the harvesting of the compost and learning about that.”

Becky worked with a friend to set up a composting bin at her church here in Oklahoma City. It helped raise consciousness of members there, who eventually, after moving to another location, worked with Fertile Ground. Members bring their kitchen scraps to church and drop them in a bin; Fertile Ground picks them up each week and composts them.

Before her move to Oklahoma in 2015, Becky worked in Mennonite Voluntary Service in the library and doing maintenance in Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and, prior to that, for the Center for Community Justice. She lived in the Mennonite Voluntary Service community in Elkhart. She is now retired from being a teacher’s aide and bus monitor here in Oklahoma City. Presently, she volunteers at Nappy Roots Books where she helped bring a beginning gardening class to children there.

Becky is taking a class on writing and writing a children’s book on the 1958 sit-ins in Oklahoma City. And, she’s back to backyard gardening: Her sister Lia gave her a tree circle as a gift. Surrounding a persimmon tree, growing there in a 10-foot circle are herbs, annuals, pollinator perennials and vegetables.

Becky, who volunteers faithfully in the composting operation at CommonWealth, understands deeply the value of healthy soil. And so, in her own backyard, she’s working on creating healthy soil there for her next backyard growing space, a pollinator garden.

What to Plant this Week? Check out our Beginning Gardener Video Series

How to Grow a Vegetable Garden Even Though You’ve Never Planted a Seed in Your Life

We designed this video series to help beginners have a successful, productive garden. In small bites each week, we cover how to get started, where to find the stuff you need, what to plant and when to plant it, what to do when you spot a bug, how to water, how to harvest, and what to do with those yummy vegetables you’ve never eaten before.
This week: Something a little different — Harvesting & Eating! Check our Facebook pageto view the latest video, or our YouTube channel to see them all.
Beginning Gardener Series #17
Harvesting & Eating!