Jody Lesch, Garden School Coordinator & Resident “Bug Lady”, instructs a Pollinator Workshop

Information

Pricing
$10 per workshop, $15 per couple/pair, unless otherwise noted. Or volunteer on a Saturday morning, and get in free! 

Patreon
You can sign up to be a CommonWealth patron at the level of $10 and up and receive discounted Garden School admission. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/commonwealthurbanfarms

2019 Schedule

Classes are from 11 am to noon at CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie, OKC

March 2: For Beginners Only!

Have you always wanted to plant a garden, but felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start? We’re here to help! We’ll walk through the steps of choosing where to locate your garden, how to set up a container garden with Smart Pots, and what to plant first. This workshop coincides with the launch of CommonWealth’s free Beginning Gardener Video Series, designed to support new gardeners from day one through the entire growing season. Here’s to a successful first garden!

 

We’ll have Smart Pots available for sale, as well as potting soil, seeds specially chosen for beginners, and coupons for our seedlings (available for pick up in April.)

Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

March 16: Low Tunnels for Season Extension

It’s astonishing how well vegetables will grow when protected from wind and cold by low tunnels made from hoops and row cover. We use this simple method at our farm to protect greens and root crops through the winter, to start vegetables earlier in the spring, and to keep them going later in the fall. Elia will demonstrate how to use hoop benders to turn lengths of EMT pipe (galvanized electrical conduit) into 3’ wide or 6’ wide hoops that will last for decades. This is a great opportunity to bend hoops for your own garden. You can bring your own EMT pipe, readily available at hardware stores in 10’ lengths; we recommend ½” diameter. We’ll also have pipe available for sale that you can bend on-site.

Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

March 23: For Beginners Only!

Due to inclement weather, we are offering this class a second time!

Have you always wanted to plant a garden, but felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start? We’re here to help! We’ll walk through the steps of choosing where to locate your garden, how to set up a container garden with Smart Pots, and what to plant first. This workshop coincides with the launch of CommonWealth’s free Beginning Gardener Video Series, designed to support new gardeners from day one through the entire growing season. Here’s to a successful first garden!

We’ll have Smart Pots available for sale, as well as potting soil, seeds specially chosen for beginners, and coupons for our seedlings (available for pick up in April.)

Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

 

April 13: Plant a Pollinator Garden – RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 20

We’ll tour CommonWealth’s own pollinator garden while Jody Lesch, our resident “Bug Lady”, introduces participants to the native plants providing food and habitat for the bees, beetles and butterflies that pollinate and beautify our world. We’ll provide seeds, soil, containers and coaching for each person to start some seedlings of their own to take and plant at home.

Pollinator plants will also be available for sale.

Instructor: Jody Lesch, Garden School coordinator and resident “Bug Lady”

April 27: Plant a Bouquet Garden

Fill your home with flowers all summer long! Learn about the easiest flowers to grow in central OKC, from old friends like zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds and snapdragons to lesser-known beauties such as Asiatic lilies, lisianthus and ammi. We’ll show you how to plan and prepare your garden bed, and discuss seeds vs. transplants, annuals vs. perennials, and the benefits of trellising and succession planting. Participants are invited to start some flower seedlings of their own with seeds and supplies provided by CommonWealth.

Flower seedlings will also be available for sale.

Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

May 4: Food Forest

CommonWealth’s food forest is now two years old. A permaculture food forest is a low maintenance, sustainable and productive garden of trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables, based on the natural systems found in forests. Paul guided us through the initial process of planning and planting our food forest in 2017. In this workshop, Paul will review the principles of forest gardening, and lead us in another round of planting to extend our perennial food production.

Instructor: Paul Mays, permaculturist for SixTwelve community center.

May 25: Growing and Using Your Sensory Herb Garden

Come learn how to plant, use, and preserve those little leaves you’re so curious about – HERBS! Whether fresh, dried, or infused, using herbs is a great way to season your favorite foods in a healthy, wholesome way! If you’re looking to spice up your garden and kitchen with basil, chives, rosemary, mint and more, during this class we will explain the best ways to grow and plant herbs and provide sample recipes and demos to help you find creative ways to integrate them into a healthy diet.    

Herb seedlings will also be available for sale.

Instructors: Bethany Williams, OU nutrition student and CommonWealth volunteer
Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

June 1: Old Tools for a New World – Using Scythes, Sickles & Broadforks

Allen bought his first scythe & broadfork 20 years ago, and has a deep love and respect for these tools. He’ll explain the difference between European and American scythes, when to use a scythe and when to use a sickle, and why these old-world tools are relevant to our modern age. Although broadforks are of recent invention, they join the club as beautiful, quiet alternatives to loud rototillers and string trimmers. Allen will demonstrate how to use these tools gracefully and safely, and then participants can try out each one themselve

Instructor: Allen Parleir, coordinator of Closer To Earth and co-founder of CommonWealth

 

June 22: Sustainable Solutions to Pests & Diseases in the Garden

A sustainable garden is a healthy garden! Healthy plants have natural defenses against pests & diseases. Kat will discuss how gardeners can respond to specific issues with pests or diseases in a way that safeguards or even promotes the vitality of garden ecosystems — making them more self supporting and sustainable over time. Careful observation combined with beneficial insects, barriers or repellents, biological pesticides, and soaps or oils, can allow us to enjoy a bountiful harvest and ever-increasing health and diversity in our gardens.

Instructor: Kat Goodwin Gant is the director of the OKC Harvest program at OKC Beautiful, which supports school gardens around Oklahoma City. She has 19 years of experience in sustainable gardening and farming and enjoys teaching folks of all ages to grow food in their own backyards.

July 13: Herbal Balms

Note: fee for this workshop is $15

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.

July 27: Composting

Do you want to learn how to make that beautiful, rich, black substance we call “gardener’s gold”? David and Allen have been building compost piles, as well as composting with worms, for many years, and have a profound appreciation for rot! David will show participants the composting operation at CommonWealth, and the elements that make it a success. Allen will discuss the difference between a worm bed and a compost pile, and demonstrate how to build one successfully.

Instructors: David Braden, compost master and co-founder of CommonWealth.
Allen Parleir, coordinator of Closer To Earth and co-founder of CommonWealth.

August 3: Cooking for the Earth- Simple and Sublime

How we cook impacts our health—and the health of the planet! How’s that, you ask? Join us as we learn about our food system and then how to cook so that all on Earth are healthy. It’s a hands-on celebration of simple cooking and sublime eating from the abundance of Earth. Option: Bring a homegrown veggie or fruit (homegrown by you, a neighbor, a farmer at the farmer’s market…) We’ll see what’s growing on the farm and create something together!!

Instructor: Pat Hoerth, CSA/Veggie Club manager

 

August 24: Pollinator Babies

Fewer than 10% of monarch eggs and larvae will survive to become adult butterflies, largely due to predation of the larvae. Raising them in an indoor habitat boosts survival to rates well over 90%. Last year alone, instructor Stephanie Jordan rescued and raised more than 100 monarchs as well as several other butterfly species she found in the gardens of the Commonwealth community. In this class, come learn where and how to look for eggs and larvae and how to support them as they go through their amazing transformation.

Instructor: Steph Jordan, Beekeeper and Farm Manager of Organic Gardens

 

 


September 7: Plant a Fall Salad Garden

Lettuce & carrots & kale, oh my! Fall is a wonderful time to garden in Oklahoma. Vegetables and gardeners alike love the cooler weather, and we (usually!) get rain. Knowing what and when to plant is critical to success. We’ll focus on greens and roots that grow well at this time of year in Oklahoma and will provide you with delicious salads all through the fall.

Fall vegetable seedlings will be available for sale.

Instructor: Elia Woods, co-founder and farm manager of CommonWealth

September 21: Backyard Hens

Come meet some local hens and learn the basics about these fun and rewarding pets.  We will discuss how to buy chickens and how to care for them properly, including food, housing, and protection from predators.

Instructors: Sara Braden, co-founder of CommonWealth Urban Farms, & several visiting hens.

 

 

October 5 or 12

TBD

October 19: Harvest Potluck

Free! Noon to 2 pm

Celebrate a year of growing food together! Bring a potluck dish to share, and join us for good food and good company. Also featuring farm tours, fun & games, and homegrown music by local musicians.

 

 

November 16: Dried Flower Wreaths

10 am to noon

Note: this is a 2 hour class, fee is $15

Back by popular demand! Learn to create beautiful wreaths from dried flowers and greens. Edith has an uncommon talent for combining dried flowers and foliage with visually intricate and elegant results. Plus, they smell great! Using plants grown at CommonWealth, Edith will walk participants through the steps of making a wreath of their own to enjoy for months to come.  

Instructor: Edith Siemens is a retired horticulturist who has turned her yard into a wonderland for butterflies, other pollinators, and the people who love them.

Additional wreath materials available for $10 per wreath.

November 30: The Great Pumpkin Smash

This family-friendly event is free, from 9 am to noon

What to do with all those pumpkins, once Thanksgiving is over and cold weather sets in? Bring them and the kids to CommonWealth, where we’ll make a big compost pile and everybody can toss and smash pumpkins to their hearts delight. Messy fun for the whole family! You can bring your leftover hay bales, too, and we’ll add them to the mix.

Email info@commonwealthurbanfarms.com for more information.