Hey CommonWealth: How Does Your Garden Grow?

So glad you asked! Because the gardens—the whole farm—is gorgeous these days.
We’ve replanted all the vegetables that died in the Hoop House meltdown, and they have been growing steadily. In the photo, you can see the edamame and lima beans up front, and the rows of young cucumber plants on the back right.
To our amazement, most of the tomato plants did not completely die. After the meltdown, the plants looked like fried spinach, but with a heavy pruning, they sent out new suckers that are now reaching toward the ceiling. That we should all be so indomitable!

South of the hoop house, another four rows of tomatoes are coming along nicely. And at the big farm, tomatoes are prolific. (We picked six perfect ripe ones off one plant Saturday morning and there are twice that many green ones.)


There is a good variety of vegetables on the farm, including eggplant, peppers, yard long beans, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, basil, beets, purslane, arugula and mustard greens. Potatoes have been harvested and a cover crop of cow peas planted to add nitrogen to the soil. With the amazing rain, little seedlings are already poking their heads up through that rich CommonWealth compost.

The new flower lot that faces 32nd street is bordered now on the front with a beautiful stone wall, thanks to David Braden’s stonemasonry skills. Lia, Edith and apprentices have planted the entire lot now and rows and rows of flowers are abloom, with more to show soon.

 What a happy place it is these days! Thanks to the team of helpers who continue to dedicate many hours to CommonWealth!



Garden School: Composting

Composting & Vermicomposting
Saturday, July 8
11 am to noon

CommonWealth Urban Farms,
3310 N. Olie, OKC

$5, payable on site
Allen Parleir has been building compost piles, as well as composting with worms, for many years, and has a profound appreciation for rot! Participants will get an inside look into CommonWealth’s compost and worm bins, and learn the do’s and don’ts of building compost piles and worm bins to make that beautiful, rich, black substance we call “gardener’s gold.”
Instructor: Allen Parleir, co-founder of CommonWealth Urban Farms.


Thanks for your generosity!
And Welcome Farmer Christopher!

When Christopher Jennings started as an apprentice late last winter, he was terrified of harvesting spinach. Well, maybe not terrified, but intimidated. A neophyte gardener, he wasn’t sure how to go about cutting those tender leaves. Today, he is CommonWealth’s assistant farm manager! (That’s him in the hat.)
With great enthusiasm, we welcome Christopher to his new work, seeing that the vegetable farm is planned, planted, picked, preserved and doing all that entails on a daily basis. Working under Lia’s tutelage, he’s come a long way from those first daunting days last winter in the hoop house!AND A BIG THANKS TO ALL who have donated to the CommonWealth Recovery Fund following that fateful day when the hoop house heated to 160 degrees and the lush plants inside died. The loss of income from those crops—and the dire need for help in replanting—required the community’s help. And you all have given generously.

With the tomatoes giving it their all, we didn’t have to start over again with them, so we’ll harvest hoop house tomatoes sooner this summer than we expected. We’ve lowered our fundraising goal to account for that. We also received a tremendous donation of $1000 from the OKC Urban Ag Coalition in support of our efforts. Thank you, UAC!
We have reached $3270 of the $3900 goal, with only $630 to go. Those funds have allowed us to hire Christopher as farm manager. And that has been a wonderful turn-of-events. With only a stone’s throw from our goal now, we sure appreciate any help you can give. The GoFundMe site is here.
Big thanks to all of you! It’s been an eye-opener to find out just how many people are out there rooting for us. We bow to the kindness and encouragement that each of you has sent our way.—The CommonWealth Team

Meet our Community Partners:
The Plant Shoppe

 The Plant Shoppe is one of our newer flower customers. We love delivering our Slow Flowers to their shop each week and seeing how Jen Semmler (Founder, Designer and Boss Lady) puts together beautiful Grab ‘n’ Go bouquets for their customers. 
After spending time in California, Jen fell in love with cactus and succulents and decided to open the Plant Shoppe almost four years ago. Although they started out sharing a smaller space with other businesses, the Plant Shoppe has grown into a larger space that now includes Okay Yeah Co. Currently, they provide a variety of indoor plants, succulents, and air plants along with offering fresh floral options in their shop ThursdaySaturday. They also provide custom orders and deliveries for weddings and events. With a passion for supporting local, Jen is excited to provide an intentional product, locally grown in the heart of Oklahoma City.
Go check out the Plant Shoppe on Film Row, ThursdaySaturday to pick up a beautiful bouquet for any occasion!—JoBeth