Dewy Pear Blossom Petal

 Pear Tree Offers Up

Couples—Cardinals and Ring-Necked Dove ccuples—
sang from her empty branches all winter. When
Mockingbird showed up three weeks ago,
the tunes changed. And in two warm days,
green nodules exploded in white blossoms.
Birds have given the tree to the bees,

I draw close in the morning
first thing to a cup of white petals
and gasp when silently
sun lights a cluster of perfect dew droplets.

The neighbors will be so happy
if there are pears this year.

—Pat Hoerth Batchelder
It’s Spring! Come Meet Your Farmer

It’s warm and beautiful as we welcome spring and the delicious promises of a new growing season—the perfect time to come meet your farmer—well, farmers!

Our team will be on hand to greet you Saturday, April 6 beginning at 9 a.m., when farm tours will commence. You’ll get to visit our exciting new compost-heated greenhouse and gaze upon the vast expanse of tender baby plants that have been hatched there!

We’ll have lots of tomato, pepper & eggplant seedlings for sale, as well as some cut flower & pollinator plant seedlings. (More flower & pollinator transplants will be available later in April.) Plus you can purchase gallon bags of our worm compost – the same compost we use on the farm to grow abundant and healthy vegetables!

Join us for our Spring Open House at the farm, 3310 N. Olie.

Garden School: Plant a Pollinator Garden

April 13
11 a.m. to noon
3310 N. Olie

We’ll tour CommonWealth’s own pollinator garden and Jody Lesch, our resident “Bug Lady,” will introduce 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”

$10 per person; $15 per couple/pair. Volunteers, free.

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

Meet our Volunteers: Angela Renee Chase

The first five years of her life (and summers after that,) Angela Renee Chase spent alongside her grandparents in Durant gardening vegetables, growing flowers, harvesting fruit, and fishing. It’s no wonder she can easily identify plants—“Show me a tomato plant and I can identify it by its smell.”

Both grandmothers and her parents were also cooks. Angela’s been cooking all her life—and enjoying eating.

However, growing and cooking food wasn’t her first thought for a career. Though she started growing things on her own in 2005 (an habanero pepper plant in a pot,) she worked as an architectural drafter for six years until the economy fell apart in 2008. She went to work at The Earth, a health food store and restaurant in Norman. When someone donated plants, Angela took some home and began growing food in her backyard. She also began composting, as staff was doing at The Earth. “I had some failures, but I had successes,” she says. “I wanted to eat healthy food and I wondered if I could do the whole process.”

Turns out, she can and does. She gardens at home, volunteers at CommonWealth (she lived next to the farm for awhile, and still lives in the community) and is a chef, and a pastry chef who has worked at several Oklahoma City restaurants and Urban Agrarian. Angela is working toward fulfilling a dream: a project in the neighborhood that will add further dimensions to the local food system centered around the urban farm—“correlating, solidifying ethics and accountability of food. I’d like to establish something of a work space that operates the way The Earth operates.”

Currently volunteering at CommonWealth, she says her time on the farm is a matter of “touching base. It’s relating to literal happiness. I support the ethical intention here. There is a profound understanding of the importance of what’s being done here; there is an uncompromising set of values; there is a chance to show people: this is how it’s done. I want to help push that model, and push the envelope.”

Besides volunteering her time on the farm, Angela is supporting the work of CommonWealth by sharing her space this coming season at the Paseo Farmer’s Market, which will be open Saturday mornings, beginning April 27. Her “mini-market” there will offer her wonderful homemade pastries, along with CommonWealth’s produce and starter plants.

We are grateful to get to work alongside Angela!—Pat

Thank you Macklanburg Foundation!

Last summer a family with out-of-state members in town came for a tour of CommonWealth. We learned during our time together that day that they are a family deeply committed to lifeways that support the planet.

To our surprise and delight, a few months later we received a generous donation from the Pauline Dwyer Macklanburg and Robert A. Macklanburg, Jr. Foundation! It couldn’t have been more timely, or more appreciated.

This week, the Macklanburgs visited again. We got to show them the new compost-heated, strawbale-walled greenhouse!

That’s Eleanor, Denise and Anna with Lia and the tender seedlings.

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: planting arugula and radishes. Check our Facebook page to view the latest video, or our youtube channel to see them all.
Episode #3: Planting arugula and radishes

Of a Certain Nature: Sightings and Sounds at CommonWealth

Friends 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!






Blossoms everywhere, sweetness in the air, bees in all the blossoms!
Life is unstoppable.
If you happen by these spring days, stop and savor.