Archive for May, 2012

Minutes for 14 May 2012 (7:00 pm at Settlement)

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

SWQV Garden Minutes, 5/14/2012
Submitted: Pamela Barnett

Suggested that we should have paper copies of agenda at each meeting.

Discussion of by-law changes will be postponed till the next meeting when more members of executive committee are present.

We approved April’s meeting minutes.

Sustainability Fair: Sponsored by QVNA on June 2nd at Weccacoe Playground. Any attendee at fair will be offered opportunity to tour our garden at 2pm. We will have volunteers already set up for several stations, including bees, honey house, city harvest and composting.

House tour on May 19th. We will open our gates from noon to 4pm. We have two volunteers, and need two more.

Fundraising. Two initiatives. 1) Kristy Littman will write an activities grant. Will support activities, but not monies toward maintenance or other bills. 2) Form a 50/50 raffle for clean-ups, barbecue event and some meetings. Who is organizing this?

Maintenance committee report will go to next month.

BBQ. The committee in place. Cindy, Elizabeth, Shannon and Greg. No chair. September 15th tentative date. Need a volunteer or two to coordinate the signing up and workload for the event. Oversee activities including ticket taking, serving, clean up. . . Contact Cindy or Elizabeth.

Gentle reminders:

•Recyclables in bin, not trash.
•Children need to be supervised in garden.

Committee reports:

City Harvest: Working to get Riverview garden started. 228.5 pounds donated. (vs. 184 last year). Of course we’ve had four extra weeks of spring weather. Please put the pink flags near harvestable produce. They will harvest heavily.

Water: in 2010 we used 54,204 gallons of water, for a total of $ 1,218. That is = to about $18 a plot. When we filled up system this year we used 240 cu ft. (1 cubic foot of water = 7.48051 gal) or 1795.3224 gal. Usage from April 2 to May 2 was 1430 Cubic feet of water = 10,696.54 gal. That’s about $1,700 for the year. “Keep it in mind.“ Conserve as best you can.

Bees: Anyone in the garden who has a bee allergy, please contact Barbara Seipel who will share procedures. We do not keep an epi- pen in shed because of temperature control. We also hope to avoid misuse. The expectation is that gardeners with such a severe allergy will be responsible for selves. Bring own epi pen to the garden if you have this vulnerability.
A note: the reports that eating local honey can help with allergies based on one study done with small sample 30 years ago. A more recent study finds it helps with a very particular kind of birch honey. In short, research is inconclusive but you might test by eating honey and watching your own symptoms.

Pest Control:

• Suggestion of a buddy system, agreeing to keep an eye on each others plots for bugs, and even giving permission to remove a leaf or pull a plant out if something is a real problem. We can’t go into each others” plots without permission, but a buddy system could help us deal with infestations and act quickly.
• If you have a particular issue, contact Karyl who will try to problem solve about particular bugs or plants. Row captain will also be responsible for notifying members about bug issues.
• Some discussion of cut worms. Solution: surround a seedling with cardboard tubing fr/ TP or paper towels.

Flower committee:

• All members willing to serve as “gurus” about anything flower related.
• Fundraising idea: Sell some of our iris bulbs at next barbecue for 50 cents to $ 1. The lavender is a cultivar from 1594, and being sold for $11 in catalogues.
• Clean up tasks: Need to deadhead irises and prune the roses. Tip: Cut to the place that has 5 leaves. That can give it energy to bloom.
• Bindweed is an issue in the garden.
• Flower committee has used almost no water so far for the flower gardens.

Libbyfest: Wednesday, June 20th, summer solstice. Rain date: a week later, June 27th. Potluck with members.

Compost: There is a delay of about one month. Things didn’t go as planned over the winter.

Bees: Doing great. In middle of a strong nectar flow because of mild winter. But along with this goes swarming. Hive is crowded. The swarmers will leave the hive. It can be intimidatingly loud, but they are full of honey, heavy and sleepy and won’t hurt you. They will go a short distance and stay until a new home scouted. They have chosen large trees, gazebo in the past. If you see a swarm, watch it, then call Caroline or Don. They’ll try to capture it and create another hive.

Holly bushes will serve as a 6 foot hedge in front of the bee hives, creating a tall barrier for the bees to fly over. Also a good source of berries for birds.

Native and drought resistant plants: Check out resource about this in the shed.

• Balance was $1,920.32 in April. We collected $110 in dues and came up with $2,030 before expenses.
• April expenses totaled $599. This included PA dept of state and registration $70; Irrigation system service $180; Peco for Feb and March $48; Bees $300.
• May working balance: 1,431.29 working balance. There is a grant balance of $2500. That grant is for activities.

Other announcements:
Washington Square gig: looking for someone to tend their flower gardens this season. There will be salary for this. Talk to Barbara McKenzie.

Phillies night for Queen Village: This will be on Thursday, July 24th. Tickets on sale Wed, May 16th at New Wave. Come watch the game, get discounted drinks, buy your tickets.

Clean up at 9am this Saturday, May 19th. Put any tasks on list in the shed.

Inspection: Need volunteers. Report will go from row captains to gardeners.

Agenda for 14 May 2012 (7 pm in the Garden)

Monday, May 7th, 2012

1. Introduction (John — 1 min)

2. Approval of Minutes of April Meeting (John — 1 min)

3. Vice President’s Report (John – 5 min)

a. Sustainability Fair

b. QV House Tours

c. Fundraising

i. Activities Grant Application

ii. 50-50’s at events & cleanups

d. Maintenance Committee – planning activity

e. BBQ Committee to be led by Elizabeth & Shanna

f. Gentle Reminders:

i. Please put all re-cycliables in the recycling bin, not in the trash

ii. Please remember that children must be supervised at all times while in the garden

4. Committee & Misc. Reports:

a. City Harvest (Ed – 3 min)

b. Flower Committee (Linda – 3 min)

c. Water Usage Tracking Report (Thom – 3 min)

d. Bee Sting Allergies (Barbara S – 5 min)

e. Report on Bug Control (Karyl – 3 min)

5. Treasurer’s Report (Deirdre — 5 mins)

6. Discussion of By-Laws changes regarding dues (Deirdre – 30 min) and vote (see attached proposed changes to by-laws)

7. Paper copies of contact list & garden map will be available at the meeting & left-overs will be put in the shed

Next meeting: June 11, 7:00 pm in the Garden

Minutes for 9 April 2012 (7:00 pm in the Garden)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

1. Intro – Cyndi

2. Approval of Minutes

3. Treasurer’s Report – Dierdre – The opening balance was $6,6–.94. Expenses include: electric bill ($??), bees ($150), bird seed ($55) and keys ($21). The current balance, including dues paid through April 8, is $6,400. Of the $6,400, $2,000 is allocated to the “Rainy Day Fund”, and $2,500 is grant money which is allocated strictly for educational programing. (*Note: the grant money requires the Garden have a budget.) In 2010, the Garden spent approximately $2,000 on “other” items, such as plants, mulch, etc.

4. Introduction of Row Captains- John V. reviewed the row captain’s (“RC”) duties and introduced the RCs as follows:

Row 1: Irene S.
Row 2, Ed M.
Row 3, Lisa Z.
Row 4, Pam B.
Row 5, Don S.
Row 6, Kathy D.
Row 7, Leslie B.

The Committee Chairs were introduced as follows:

Construction: Thom; Flower: Linda W; Orchard: John K; Compost Toilet: Anne H; Compost: Grand & Karyl; and City Harvest: Ed M & Janice C.
**The Fundraising Committee and Children’s Garden Committee are still in need of Committee Chairs.

5. President’s Report – Cyndi made the following announcements and reminders:
A) Cyndi reminded everyone to lock the gates when arriving and leaving, lock the shed and remember to close the door of the compost toilet so the cats don’t get trapped inside.
B) Water Barrels- check your barrel and if it is leaning on the waterstem, empty the barrel and reposition it so it’s level.
C) Mulch Chips – They are coming. Tom asked everyone to be careful when spreading chips not to obscure the green water system access points in the pathway.
D) QVNA House Tours – This event is on May 19th from noon to 4pm. If the Garden wants to participate, we need several volunteers. Several members volunteered.
E) Activities Grant – The grant is for $2,500 and must be used to provide workshops and/or other educational purposes. It is time to apply for this grant for 2012. Cyndi asked for a volunteer to write the grant.
F) April clean-up – John V. will lead the clean-up and it will start at 10 am.
G) There is a task list for clean-ups posted in the shed. Please add suggestions for clean-up tasks.
H) Libby Fest – Linda W would like to make this even an annual tradition and a potluck.

6. Committee Reports

A) Flower Committee – Linda reported that the FC will meet soon to discuss responsibilities. She wants to use corn gluten meal along the pathways to inhibit weeds.

B) Bees – Carolyn reported that the honey house is now a certified by the PA Dept of Ag as a extraction facility. This means our honey can be sold wholesale (for example at Essene, farmer’s markets or Java Co.). The bees are in the midst of a nectar flow and are very healthy.

C) Community Service Committee – John reported that this committee is in its infancy and anyone interested should contact John or Barbara M. The purpose will be to volunteer to assist when school groups visit the Garden by offering tours etc.

D) City Harvest – Ed reported that to date 136.75 lbs of produce have been donated to Riverview in 2012. This season, pink flags will be used to designate donations. Plants are available after the meeting for gardeners to plant in their plots for CH. CH meets at 9am on Mondays to harvest for the week. If you‘d like to select the produce you’d like to donate, please leave it in the gazebo Sunday evening.

E) Finance & Dues – Cyndi reported that the Dues Committee (“DC”) drafted suggested bylaws changes which were presented to and discussed with the Garden Council. Revisions will be made based on that discussion and the proposed changes will be present to the membership at the May meeting.

Deirdre reported that dues are not covering basic costs (“BC”). BC have been defined as water, mosquito dunks and screens and electricity. BC for 2012 are projected to be $2,750. The biggest issue is the increasing water bill. Based on past bills the DC projects an expense of $1,500 for 2012. The dues collected for 2012 are $840 which is less than the anticipated water expense. The DC recommends increasing dues to cover BC.

A moratorium on all spending has been imposed. This means the Garden will not reimburse purchases of birdseed, mulch, plants or other items until we get a handle on spending. Fundraising and grants can be sought to cover other spending needs. (**Note – there is presently no fundraising chair). Also, capital projects are done for now.

The budget should be centered around the “bucket” plan/concept. The buckets are: beautification, maintenance, community service, fundraising, administration. The committee’s nest within the buckets. The committees then decide what they want to spend money on and what fundraising must be done to cover the expenses.

In order for dues to cover the BC one way to divide the BC equally amongst each of the 61 dues paying plots. This would result in a per plot cost of $45. This is just one way to calculate dues allocation and is not necessarily the DC proposal.

Deirdre reminded everyone that each year the Garden has spent between $1,500 and $2,500 to cover other costs that make the garden function such as mulch, birdseed, etc. It was suggested that the costs of mulch be included in BC. This would increase the due per plot to roughly $52 based on an even split of the BC between all dues paying plots.

It was noted that the Garden may be able to challenge the City charging water at all. Also cheaper mulch options should be investigated. Concerns were expressed about affordability for members who may not be able to pay the increased dues. Cyndi assured all current members that those current members who can not afford the dues, will be taken care of.

F) Fundraising Committee – John reported that 3 members signed up for the committee but none can serve as chairperson. We need more volunteers to join the committee and we need a chairperson. The purpose is not to be tasked with the fundraising, but to foster ideas and keep the process moving forward. Past successful efforts included the plant sale, flea market , BBQ and grants. Members can just work on a specific project if they want .

G) Water – The Garden Council discussed water conservation suggestions and listened to a presentation by Thom, Anne H and Anne S, and Suzanne S. The highlights of that presentation are that we have a general environmental and social responsibility to reduce our water consumption and the financial incentive is an added incentive. The committee offered 3 suggestions:

(1) soaker hoses are only to be used by the appropriate committees. If not in use by a committee (i.e. Flower Committee) they are shut off. The orchard is the only exception.
(2) Don’t fill select barrels. Let the weekly watering folks fill all the barrels each day. Anne S. is in charge of making sure that watering duties are handled smoothly and consistently this year so please contact her with concerns. Her phone number is posted in the shed.
(3) Begin a recurring educational series. Possibly at monthly clean-ups or meetings. More info to come.

FInally, the weekly watering schedule is on the website and will be posted in the shed as well. It’s important to mulch the plots (using salt hay, licorice root or your other mulch of preference to help the soil retain moisture).

Weekly watering responsibilities include: filling the barrels each day, picking up trash along the fence on on the sidewalk, and putting out the trash and recycling on Thursday evenings after 7pm.