Thursday, May 5, 2011

Closer to Earth Visits Guilford Gardens

Kam of Guilford Gardens educating CTE youth in sustainable farming practices
      In April of this spring Closer to Earth youth took a farm tour of Guilford Gardens, a 3 acre urban farm located in Oklahoma City. Kamala Gamble started farming at her home in Oklahoma City almost ten years ago. Guilford Gardens is comprised of field vegetable production, two hoop houses and one green house. Closer to Earth youth learned of many sustainable farming practices and about growing in hoop houses to extend the growing season.

      Chef Barb of Kam’s Kookery held a healthy cooking demo for us, showing us how to prepare a fresh salad, with home made dressing, and yummy cooked greens! Thank you Guilford Gardens and Kam's Kookery for inviting us to come and learn from your work!  To learn more about Kam's Kookery and Guilford Gardens visit
Kam explaining the benefits of growing food in a hoop house

Chef Barb teaching us how to prepare greens from our garden!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Big Event Spring 2011

This past weekend's Big Event Work day was a huge success! Thanks to the hard work and generosity of UCO and OCU students and youth groups from across Oklahoma, we accomplished a lot of work at our urban farm and at Central Park Community Garden.

At central park students helped remove Bermuda grass, edge and prepare garden beds for planting
 The big projects at our farm site were setting raised beds in our field and building compost bins for our large scale compost initiative.

We were greatly impressed with all of the volunteers enthusiasm and tireless energy. Thank you all so much for spending a day with us and come back soon!
(photos from volunteers at Central Park coming soon!)

UCO Students moving wood chips for the compost area
 UCO students measured and staked out raised beds and then did the hard work of digging them! 

Students from Marlow organized our compost area
Students from Marlow use cardboard and wood chips to help suppress weeds in our paths
The Marlow Crew

Thanks again to all our volunteers and to UCO and OCU for organizing the BIG Event!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Join Us this Saturday!

Come join CTE this Saturday March 5th as we host students volunteering from UCO and OCU's 'BIG Event'!

We will be working at both of our sites:

Central Park Community Gardens located at NE 31st and Shartel 
Community Youth Outreach Urban Farm a few block east of NE 50th and Kelly
UCO Big Event hours 9am-12pm
OCU Big Event hours 3pm to 5pm

Both sites will be hosting both groups at both times so please join us at either location at either time! 

At Central Park we will be preparing garden beds for spring planting, edging vegetable beds with recycled material, harvesting worm castings, working to in the Shartel medians to prepare to install a rock boulder sign and removing Bermuda grass.  

At CYO Urban Farm we will be preparing our plot of land into raised beds, building compost bins from recycled pallets, planting onions, harvesting worm castings, starting seedling trays and making walking trails with wood chips.

This is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty, come see our work sites, get to know our youth and learn some new gardening techniques. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions or need directions e-mail

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Greenhouse Operation

After incurring severe damaged in the hailstorm last spring our green house was in great need of a new cover (or glaze). On Dec 11th Closer to Earth’s youth and volunteers successfully recovered our greenhouse. We postponed recovering the greenhouse several times, waiting for a wind free day. Our wind free day never came exactly…so we had to just go for it. We were amazed to get it covered in the semi windy conditions that Saturday. It took a lot of pulling, and stretching, and standing on plastic, and more pulling, but we did it. Our greenhouse is covered in a double layer of polyvinyl plastic that can be inflated with a small fan to create a insulating layer. We don’t heat our greenhouse but with the protection of our cover we can grow lush lettuce, and other greens all winter long. In freezing weather we give our greens a bit more protection by covering them in a thin garden fabric.

We are proud to announce that Forward Foods on 50th & Western is selling our lettuce, arugula and sweet potatoes. Forward Foods is incredibly supportive of Closer to Earth’s work and we look forward to supplying them with lots on fresh produce in seasons to come. Prohibition Room off 23rd and Classen is also using some of our greens and sweet potatoes in their dishes. We are so grateful to have the support of our local business and community. Be sure to stop in Forward Foods and Prohibition room and ask for our produce!