In January 2016, Kyle Singler of the Thunder generously donated $10,000 to CommonWealth Urban Farms to build a hoop house which would allow us to extend our growing season. Throughout the fall of 2016, volunteers gathered on multiple build days to help build the structure and in October our friends, neighbors, and supporters gathered for our HoopaPalooza celebration of the new addition to CommonWealth Urban Farms.
We were surprised and delighted by hoop house production through our first winter and spring, and have been so excited to see what we could yield this summer. Then, on Wednesday, May 24, a series of unfortunate events led to the doors of the hoop house being closed for an hour or two, resulting in the loss of the bulk of our summer crops - cucumber, edamame, lima beans, and tomatoes. Much of our budget for this year was based on the high yields that are attainable from a hoop house environment. In the space of an hour or two, we lost 2-3 months of that income.
CommonWealth was created in with a focus on community abundance: using gardening and the commonality of food as a means of connecting neighbors and enlivening our local community. We are passionate about building a sustainable society, and believe that local food is a key part of what makes a community healthy and resilient. We've been growing food since 2012 and have been thankful to be listed in FoodTank's Good Food Guide along with other amazing Oklahoma City based initiatives.
As we've expanded in the past year, CommonWealth has had plans to expand our staff by hiring a part-time Assistant Farm Manager to help maintain all the new growth and take some of the burden off Elia Woods, our co-founder and Farm Manager. With this recent loss, we no longer have the ability to hire that person - who we very much need now to help us with replantings! So, we are looking to our friends and supporters to help us recover from the loss and better equip us to build a sustainable life for our farm and farmers.
We are grateful to our volunteers, supporters, and Oklahoma City community. We thank you in advance for your help!
To learn more about us, please visit www.commonwealthurbanfarms.com
- Jeff McKenzie
- Jeff McKenzie
- The Learning Tree
Organizer and beneficiary
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