By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma City’s environmental group Green Connections, with the support of CommonWealth Urban Farms, will present the second annual Basilmania evening on Friday, August 23. Tickets are $25 and sponsorships are available.
The event will take place in the Conservatory at Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36th Street, in Oklahoma City from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Basilmania, a fun foodie event, will celebrate the coming together of locally-grown and locally-sourced food.
Due to its great success and community support of the inaugural Basilmania event, Green Connections, an Oklahoma charitable organization supporting Earth education, with the support of CommonWealth Urban Farms, a local, environmentally-friendly urban farm focused on education, will host the event for the second year.
“Basilmania is a unique and enjoyable fundraising event where local food supporters can spend a casual evening tasting different basil-themed food and drink created by local chefs, while listening to music and perusing silent auction items donated by the community,” said Jenna Moore, event coordinator and volunteer with Commonwealth Urban Farms. “I loved seeing how it brought people together last year.”
With the purchase of each ticket guests will get one alcoholic drink (or non-alcoholic if preferred) as well as free samples created by the different chefs, as long as they last, along with access to the event in the Will Rogers Conservatory.
“Last year, we had everything from basil infused donuts to savory frittatas,” organizers said
A featured guest of Basilmania again this year will be Mauro Gomez of The Red Cup coffee house on north Classen. Last year, Mauro and his team presented an array of basil infused vegan baked goods including lemon basil cookies and basil cake with blueberry basil compote.
CommonWealth Urban Farms grows and supplies armloads of basil to local restaurant chefs who create new basil-infused dishes for guests to taste.
Last year marked the inaugural Basilmania fundraising event, which was inspired by the abundance of basil grown every fall at CommonWealth Urban Farms.
Pat Hoerth Batchelder, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Veggie Manager for CommonWealth Urban Farms, says the idea for the venture was formed by a small circle of people who began meeting in the fall of 2010. They came up with a common goal of turning vacant lots in northwest Oklahoma City into productive green spaces that would benefit the local community.
Since then, many people have joined in to initiate and develop the urban farm, composting site, and educational programming.
“Our focus is on community abundance: using gardening and the commonality of food as a means of connecting neighbors and enlivening our local community,” Pat said. “We grow vegetables, micro greens and cut flowers for individuals and restaurants in the metro area.
“We also offer workshops and service/learning events on gardening, composting and urban farming,” she added. “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.”
Parking for Basilmania is available off of Grand Boulevard or 36th Street. EMBARK bus routes 010 and 007 have stops with a 10 minute walk to the Conservatory.