Archive for April, 2013

Garden Council Meeting Minutes: 16 April 2013

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Attending: Cyndi Line, Barbara McKenzie, Anne Seidman, Irene Scarborough Ed Mitinger, Pamela Barnett, Carolyn Scott, Linda Witt, Gwyn MacDonald, Thom Hardenbergh and John Ventre

Meeting was held to mostly allow for discussion of proposed By Law changes to be presented to the garden body at the next general meeting and put to a vote if a quorum is present.

Results of agreed changes to By Laws are presented at the end of these minutes for review. Note: In Word® these changes are presented using track-changes).

Also discussed were the following:
• Council requested that Anne Harvey draft up a use and clean-up process for the compost toilet that may be placed on the website.
• Linda Witt requested Libby Fest be held once again as part of the “Mid-Summer Night Dream”. I was agreed to. Linda has agreed to lead efforts for it’s organization.
• First garden inspection will be held on May 15th at 6pm. John Ventre will request volunteers from the council as the day approaches.
• John will also send out requests for person to lead clean-ups starting with the June 15th clean-up and several more through the end of the season.
• A letter from Eileen Gallagher, of PHA, was read by Cyndi Line to the group. It pertained to some topics for the garden.
o Asking for a Bee contact. Carolyn’s and Don’s names were given.
o A Mural arts and storm water project that has interest in coordinating an event for awareness on 18 May. Anne Seidman volunteered to represent the garden and contact Eileen for further details and start an exchange. It was agreed by all that there was not much time before the date and the garden’s involvement would need to be carefully considered.
That is it. Thanks for coming.

I. Membership:
A. Each plot must have at least one Voting Member, who:
A. Plots may be gardened by singular or shared gardeners. All gardeners must sign the bylaws and must have their names listed on the plot. Plots may have up to two keys. At least one gardener in each plot must be identified as the “key contact” for all garden matters.
[There was a note made during the meeting that in the section where residence requirement is stated, that section should be modified to state both gardeners should reside in QV.]
B. Each plot
1. has one vote on any matter coming before the membership for a vote;
The voting member must be identified upon sign in at a meeting; and

2. Each plot must attend a minimum of 5 meetings and 5 cleanups (or equivalent). Credit is earned at cleanup or meetings per plot not per gardener in attendance.
3. Each plot must register for and perform two weeks of watering duty, with at least one week during “hot”

4. Each plot must join and actively participate in a Committee, and

5. Each plot must renew membership annually by a May 1st deadline..
B. Each plot may have one assisting gardener. If the assisting gardener wishes to be a Voting Member, he or she must fulfill all the obligations of a Voting Member.

C. Eligibility for Membership
1. First priority will be given to Queen Village Residents: Delaware River to 6th Street; south side Lombard St. to the north side Washington Avenue.
2. The Garden Chair(s) maintain the waiting list of applicants for membership. Order on the waiting list is determined first by residency and then by date of application.
3. Applicants are accepted according to plot availability. Current gardeners have first preference to apply for a vacant plot. No household may have more than one plot. The Garden Chair(s) will maintain the plot list of assigned plots. Only the Garden Chair(s), after consultation with the Officers, may assign or transfer plots, and should do so based on the expected commitment of the applicants to the goals of the community garden and ability to meet ongoing membership requirements.
D. Membership Requirements

1. In addition to the requirements described above, each gardener (in single and in shared plots) is required to:
a. sign the SWQVCG By-laws
b. if required, sign the Neighborhood Gardening Association (NGA) Agreement,
e. meet the Garden Criteria and General Rules described below.

E. Plot Secession
Shared plots that have one of the members leave may remain with the second gardener with approval of the council. Remaining gardener should notify the council of their wishes as soon as possible.
E. Membership Fees
1. The purpose of membership fees is to pay for the total annual “basic” costs which include, but are not limited to, water and electric bills, irrigation system operation and maintenance, trash bags and mosquito control.
2. Each plot is responsible for paying membership fees for the plot. The membership fees are to be paid at the March garden meeting or as soon afterwards as possible but no later than April 1 or at another date arranged with the garden officers.
3. Each fall, the membership fees for the following year will be determined by taking the current year’s basic costs less the year’s fundraising proceeds designated for “general funds” and divided by the number of voting plots in the garden. The fees will be reviewed and approved by the garden officers and reported at the November garden meeting.
4. It is the intention of the garden membership that dues shall not be a barrier to garden membership.
5. A $2,000 “rainy day” fund will be kept in reserve for unexpected costs.
II. Meetings:
1. Meetings are held on the second Monday of every month from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, except the months of December, January and February. If the second Monday needs to be cancelled, the meeting will take place on the second Tuesday of the month.
2. Location of meetings October through March will be at an indoor site; from April through September, meetings will be held in the Garden unless the Chair(s) moves the meeting because of inclement weather.
3. Any plot attending fewer than five meetings per season, March through November, will receive one warning.
4. Any plot unable to attend at least five meetings due to issues outside of gardener control must inform his/her Row Captain.
5. Required meetings are earned per plot (not per gardener).

5. The Officers are to give notice and provide an agenda, noting the matters on which a vote will be taken, at least two days before a Meeting.
6. The members who have a right to vote who are present at any regularly scheduled meeting will constitute a quorum, except for amending the By-laws, when 50% of the Voting members must be present to form a quorum. There is one vote per plot. Voting members for plots will be noted upon meeting sign-in.
7. Except for amending the By-laws, all issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple majority of the Voting Members present at the meeting in which the vote takes place (Ex.: If 20 Voting Members are present a simple majority constitutes 11). The vote of two-thirds of the Voting Members present is required to amend the By-laws, assuming a quorum is present.
III. Clean-ups:
1. Regular garden clean-ups are held the Saturday following a garden meeting. Rain dates for clean-ups will be Sunday following a garden meeting. Clean-ups require two hours of work in the common areas as directed by the clean-up leader and excludes any time spent working on the gardener’s own plot.
2. For those who cannot complete the required regular clean-ups, a task list and sign up sheet is posted in the garden shed. Members are to record his/her completed tasks and time to be counted towards the regular clean-up requirement on the sign up sheet. Two hours of tasks equal one regular clean-up.
a. A plot with fewer than the required regular clean-ups and does not without equivalent task time will receive one warning.
b. Any plot unable to attend the required number of regular clean-ups or complete equivalent task time due to issues outside of his/her control must inform his/her Row Captain.
c. Required clean-ups are earned per plot (not per gardener). IV. Election of Officers:
1. Officers are elected to a two-year term at the March meeting. The holding of an office is limited to two consecutive terms.
2. The officers are: Chair(s), Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary.
V. Row Captains:
1. One or two gardeners per row will be appointed by the Chairs to serve as Row Captain(s) for a term of two-years.
2. Row Captain duties include:
a. Making sure each gardener on his/her row keeps his/her garden plot free of weeds and debris and paths are clear and weed free.
b. Making sure no items are stored in any path (except watering cans).
c. Notifying gardeners in your row of special clean-ups and other events.
d. Notifying gardeners in your row without email service of all meetings, clean-ups, and other activities by phone.
e. Resolving gardeners concerns and grievances or bringing them to the attention of the officers if unable to resolve.
f. Coordinating and leading one clean-up per season.
g. Reporting the general health of the row to the Chair(s) on a regular basis.
VI. Garden Council:
1. The officers, Row Captains, and the immediate past Garden Chair(s) will constitute the Garden Council.
2. The Garden Council will serve as the By-laws Committee to consider proposed changes to the by-laws. The Committee will present its recommendations on the By-laws to the Members. Only the Members can approve changes to the By-laws.
VII. Garden Criteria:
1. Each garden plot must be cleared and planting begun no later than May 1 or the plot will be forfeited.
2. Each plot is responsible for mulching, weeding and clearing his/her plot and the paths surrounding it. Each plot must chip the paths bordering the plot.
3. Each gardener is responsible for maintaining the ‘health’ of his/her plot by removing noxious or invasive plants, sickly plant material, rotting plant materials and/or pest infested plants. Any plot receiving notice from a row captain, the Inspection Committee or Garden Council of unhealthy conditions in the plot must clear the unhealthy conditions within five days of receiving the notice. Plots with serious infestation may be cleared at the discretion of the Garden Council or Inspection Committee.
4. Absence: Any gardener unable to maintain his/her plot due to circumstances beyond his/her control must inform the Garden Chair(s).
5. Gardening activity and plant growth must be restricted to each individual’s plot.
6. The Garden Council will determine if any of the common gardens produce, materials, or supplies may be donated or sold. All proceeds will be turned over to the treasury for benefit of the garden only.
7. Harvesting of Common Areas: The Chair of the Orchard Committee will determine the harvest dates of all common area fruiting plants and will notify the membership of harvesting day(s). Each gardener may pick only enough fruit for a sampling. Please don’t be greedy.
VIII. Inspection Committee:
1. Consists of at least three members of the Garden Council, including a minimum of one current officer.
2. The Committee will conduct inspections in May, June, July and August to ensure that all plots and aisles are clean, healthy, and free of weeds, infestation, and hazards. Additional inspections may be conducted at the Garden Council’s discretion.
3. The Committee will notify the appropriate Row Captains of plots or aisle areas that do not meet criteria and the Row Captains will notify the members whose plots and aisle areas require remediation. Members are expected to reply immediately to such a notice and make arrangements to have the plot and aisle area back to standards within five days of the notice. Failure to comply within five days without adequate excuse, as determined in the discretion of the Chair(s), will result in a warning.
IX. General Rules:
1. As part of the community, gardeners are expected to participate in garden activities and preparation for special events, such as: the PHS City Garden Contest, Fundraisers, Festivals, Holiday Party, Special Projects, and Fall BBQ.
2. Grievances should be brought to the attention of the Row Captain. The Row Captain will attempt to resolve grievances and will convey unresolved grievances to the officers for resolution.
3. Removal or harvesting of any beneficial creatures from the garden is prohibited. No digging of worms.
4. Use of non-organic or synthetic pesticides or herbicides by individual gardeners is not permitted. The Garden Council encourages and prefers gardeners to utilize organic and natural gardening methods.
5. No one may climb trees except at the direction of the Orchard Committee.
6. Gardeners may not damage, prune, harvest, pull out weeds or plants or tend to other gardener’s plot unless specifically invited. Failure to comply with this Rule may result in loss of membership in the Garden. A dismissal requires a majority vote of the Garden Council.
7. Guests and children, must be accompanied by a Voting Member or assisting gardener and obey all garden by-laws.
8. Pets brought into the garden must be restrained on a leash, kept out of plots and the person responsible must clean up after the pet.
9. Illegal activities within the garden, by a Member or his/her guests, will result in the Member’s immediate expulsion.
10. Violation of any of the garden by-laws will result in a warning.
11. Any gardener who does not satisfy the Membership Requirements or receives two warnings in a season is eligible for dismissal. A dismissal requires a majority vote of the Garden Council.

Minutes: 8 April 2013 (in the Garden)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

1. Introduction and approval of March minutes – John V.

2. President’s Report – presented by John V.
Bylaws changes will be proposed by Garden Council at an April 16th meeting and presented to the membership during the May meeting. A quorum will be needed at the May meeting. Please attend!

3. Vice President’s Report – John V.
March clean-up was well attended and a resounding success. Thank you everyone!

April clean-up is 4/13 from 8 until 12. Come for 2 hours during that window to get credit. More wood chips are being delivered this Wednesday evening so if you need hours come spread them around.

30th anniversary t-shirts are available for $10. They are in the shed and are organized by size. Leave money in an envelope in the cigar box on the bench inside the shed.

Plot inspections will be mid-May. Plots must be cleaned up, planted, mulched and looking cared for.

The weekly watering duty schedule is posted on the website on the calendar. Place your cursor on “Watering Week” on the Monday of each week to see a pop-up list of who is on duty. Questions, see Anne S. A list will also be posted in the shed for quick reference.

Rose clippings should NOT be composted or put in the chipping pile. They must be trimmed down and disposed of in double paper bags (as you would a broken glass).

4. Treasurer’s Report – Deirdre
15 plots still owe dues. Please submit dues directly to Deirdre or leave them in an envelope with your name and plot number in the cigar box in the shed and then call Deirdre and let her know you’ve done so.

Current balance is $3,800. $500 was given to Thom for the rain barrels. Water bills remain unpaid on advice of PHS.

5. Fundraising – Chris Jefferson
For those who want to make tax deductible gifts to the garden it can be done in four simple steps: 1) write a check payable to “Neighborhood Garden Assoc.” and in the memo line, write “SWQV Community Garden”; 2) send the check to the Horticultural Society; 3) NGA will send an acknowledgement letter to the donor with tax info; and 4) NGA will remit the contribution to the Garden.

Consider leaving a gift to the Garden in your will.

Whole Foods Markets offers weekly 5% days (tuesdays) where a local organization receives 5% of the daily sales proceeds. Chris to see if the Garden can get on the list of beneficiaries.

6. City Harvest – Ed. M.
The Garden has participated with City Harvest since 2005. City Harvest operates in 60 gardens city wide. The weekly harvest takes place at 9am on Mondays and volunteers are welcome. All produce goes to River View just across Christian Street. Over the past 5 years the Garden has donated over 8,000 lbs of produce to River View. This year harvesting started last week and 75 lbs has been harvested to date in 2013.

City Harvest is helping out with obtaining salt hay and Ed and Janice are organizing the effort. If anyone wants salt hay to mulch their plot please bring cash to the clean up on Saturday and give it to Janice. Bales are $12 a piece and will be delivered in 2 weeks to the plots.

7. Bees – Carolyn
The hives were inspected last week and are approximately 2 to 3 weeks behind where they were last year. One hive died over the winter, and one is pretty weak and won’t produce honey this year. We have four healthy hives and a new hive was ordered to replace the hive that died. The new hive cost $100.

The bees are not in a good mood right now so it’s best to stay off the patio if possible and don’t go near the hives.

The Garden doesn’t have Epi Pens because it doesn’t have a place to keep them at the necessary temperature. If you have an allergy to bees, please be sure to bring an Epi Pen with you and let others know.

8. Kids Lab – Don S.
The perimeter of the Lab has been finalized and plants in the space will be kept and used to designate the boundaries between the Kids Lab and the Shade Garden. The maximum number of children allowed in the Lab at any time won’t exceed 10-12. There will also be general educational information available for everyone in the Lab. Initial plans for events will be out in June.

9. Composting Toilet – Anne
Maintenance of the toilet will be added to the Saturday cleanups. Additional people are needed to help with the upkeep. It has been getting a surprising amount of use over the winter and will need to be emptied every 4 to 6 weeks.

Practical tips: 1) make sure to fully cover your “contributions” with the mulch that’s in the bin next to the toilet. 2) if the “contribution” pile appears tall, use the small purple hoe that’s in the toilet shed to push the pile back a bit. Sometimes it appears the receptacle is full but it’s just the pile that needs to be spread out.

10. Jared Littman’s Beer Sharing Fundraiser – Jared L.
Jared hosts a monthly beer sharing event at various restaurants in the city that draw 70+ people who pay $15 for the event. Jared proposes hosting one in the Garden as a fundraiser. The number of attendees will be determined after consulting with the BBQ organizers for their thoughts and experience but will probably be around 100. The event would take place on a weekend evening and last approximately 3 hours. Jared will handle the recycling and will investigate the possible need for a portapotty. The membership voted to approve this event.

11. Other Business
Carolyn raised concerns about children running in the garden and cutting through plots. The membership expressed various points of view and it was agreed that all children must abide by the rules of conduct set out in the by-laws (i.e. may walk/run on main pathways but may not cut through plots on “in plot” paths). Concerns with children’s behavior should politely and appropriately brought to the parent’s attention. We are a community garden and need to be able to communicate politely with each other about these concerns.

Carolyn requested that trash be left by the west gate and not by the trash cans. It’s too much to drag out on Thursdays.

Thom announced that the water has been turned on and reminded everyone that ONLY the water committee (those designated each week to fill barrels) shall turn on the water to fill the barrels.

Minutes: 11 March 2013 (Settlement Music School)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Introduction – Cyndi – welcome; motion for approval of minutes from November 2012.

Treasurer’s Report – John
General Funds – November Meeting Balance $4,075.41

Donation – from neighbors to the west
Subtotal Revenue $200

Holiday Party – room deposit
PECO Electric Bill – no charge
Holiday Party – room charge
Irrigation system service
BBQ Expenses
Settlement Donation
NGA Donation
Heifer Fund – $100 donation
Supplies for Holiday Party
PECO Electric Bill
PECO Electric Bill
Subtotal Expense -$1,145.57

General Funds – March 2013 Meeting Balance $3,129.84

Settlement Music School – Thank you for use of room during off-season $100
NGA – Thank you for support of SWQV Community Garden $100
Heifer Fund – $100 Donation meeting collections +$28 from general funds
Flock of Chicks, Ducks, Geese, Honeybees and Share of Trees $100

Electric: Credit due to solar panels covered Nov, Dec and Jan bills current credit balance is $37.10
Water: $220.84 water bill for 2011 – 2012 service charges and 2012 usage charge (2011 usage charge was lost by PWD and will not be paid). Runoff charges remain unresolved at this time.

Grants Account – No changes since August 2012 Meeting
Philadelphia Activities Fund Account
Starting Balance $2,000
No expenses/revenue – no activity
Ending Balance = $2,000

Green Roof Account Balance – $520 – no activity

Rainy Day Account
Balance = $2,000 – no activity

Please note: with the current general funds balance of $3,129.84, if we take out the $1,150 seed money required for Bees and BBQ, we are left with $1,979.84 that could be applied towards a 2013 water bill.

State of the Garden – Cyndi

Generally all is well.
The arborist hasn’t come this year. If the membership wants an arborist, we need to find/raise money.
House hours are May 4th. Volunteers are needed.
No new member. The waiting list is 50 long.
Bylaws changes are forthcoming. The intention is to call a Council meeting in early April and then be able to present proposed changes to the membership at the April meeting and bring to a vote in May.
We’re seeking suggestions for 5-10 minute educational sessions during general meetings. Got an idea? Let us know!
The water bill – it’s still unresolved. The run off assessment is in dispute. Thom has been very actively involved in communications with PHS and PWD. In 2012 the Garden paid $200 for water usage. The storm water run-ff is in dispute and we’ve not paid it as recommended by PHS.
Budget – The Fiscal Health of the Garden. We’re living “paycheck to paycheck” with one month of expenses in the bank. The bees and bbq are self-sustaining. Dues cover the following: 1) turning on the water; 2) mosquito control (dunks); 3) PECO; 4) trash bags; 5) munch for flower beds. Water – update from Thom – the water department hasn’t assessed usage charges for 2011 because the date was lost. Other items that need funding: maintenance items (shed repairs, arbor repair, arborist for the orchard).

The Garden needs fundraising this year. Please start thing brainstorming. Think beyond the plant sale and events we’ve done in the past. We can do lots of little events or one big event. Possible ideas: a flea market on the sidewalk in front of the garden; a rummage sale; soliciting donations through PHS (if we can use their tax exempt ID #).

Usage has increased for the past several years. We must all encourage conservation efforts such as mulching within each plot. Using runoff from adjacent buildings is being researched. Conservation will be an educational topic for one of the spring meetings.

Vice President’s Report – John V.
The row captains are the same as last year, with the exception of the last row (back row) which still needs a row captain.

Committees are being eliminated. The old structure is gone because it wasn’t working as intended. In lieu of committees, we will have “Advisors” who will advise on the areas generally covered by the committees. Advisors will lead activities during monthly clean-ups. So far, Mark Raymond has volunteered to be the Advisor regarding the orchard and tree trimming; Karyl Weber is advising on compost; Linda Witt and Barb McKenzie and Gwyn McDonald are advising on garden health; Thom is advising on maintenance; Anne Seidman is advising on watering schedules; and Frank Sherman is advising on the Childrens’ Garden.

Make sure you signed in for this meeting, for the NGA waiver and the bylaws and paid dues. ALL GARDNERS (including assistant gardners) must sign the bylaws and NGA docs.

Bee Report – Carolyn
All 6 hives made it through the winter. Five are strong and one is weak. A new hive has been ordered to replace the week hive. Don, Scott, Carolyn and Frank are the bee keepers.
**Reminder – please DO NOT feed the cats! thank you!

Childrens’ Garden – The Garden has a $2,500 grant for educational activities which has been earmarked to develop the childrens’ garden. The Childrens’ Garden group has renamed the project “Kids Lab” and the vision is that the space will be an educational resource for kids and gardners alike. It will be a place for kids to learn about plants, insects, nature and ecology. The plan for 2013 is to start small and grow slowly. This project is being approached as a multi-year project. The first step is to be up and operational by the end of May and have the space available as a resource for summer camp.
One project – create a seed bank over the course of 2013. If interested please speak with Frank Sherman.

Saturday’s Clean-up If you have ideas for tasks contact John V. The list will be posted on Saturday. The clean-up will run from 8am to 12pm.

Please don’t over fill trash bags. Please put trash bags by the west gate, not by the trash cans/compost bins.
The grape arbor was pruned.
The garden is in bloom!

Agenda: 8 April 2013 (7:00pm in the Garden)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

1. Meeting Introduction (John)

2. Approval of Minutes (John)

3. Treasurer’s Report (Deirdre)

4. President’s Report (John)

a. By-laws changes to be proposed by Garden Council
b. Would like a vote on changes during May meeting (need quorem)

5. Vice President’s Report (John)

a. Last Cleanup
b. Next Cleanup
c. Garden Council Meeting on the 16th
d. Inspection of garden in first half of May — date to be decided at council meeting. Remember May deadline for garden to be cleaned and hopefully mulched.
e. Salt Hay Orders: A truly extraordinary mulch!
f. Watering duty assignments on Website Calendar — cursor over a Monday to see that week’s assignments
g. Reminded: Be sure to bag rose clippings, don’t put them in the chipping pile

6. Committee & Misc. Reports:

a. Making a tax-deductible gift to the garden (Chris Jefferson – 3 min)
b. City Harvest (Ed – 3 min)
c. Bees (Carolyn – 3 min)
d. Kid’s Lab (Don – 5 min)
e. Composting Toilet Maintenance (Pauline – 5 min)
f. Littman’s Fundraising Idea (Jarad – 5 min)

7. Q & A

Next meeting: May 13, 2013, 7:00 pm in the Garden