Archive for May, 2015

Minutes from the May 11, 2015 meeting of the Southwark Queen Village Community Garden

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden


May 11, 2015 @ 7:00 PM (in the Garden) 

1.  Welcome.  John V., Chair, welcomed members, outlined the agenda, and called for approval        of the April minutes. The April minutes posted on the website were approved. 

2.  Treasurer’s Report.  Suzanne S., Treasurer, gave a report on dues collected, donations received, bills paid, and funds available. 

3.  Chair’s Report, Part I. Thom H., Vice Chair, announced the following:

     a. Garden clean-up is Sat., May 16, 10:00 AM. 

     b. Water used to date exceeds water used to this date last year.  Even so, it’s the second lowest water usage amount on record.  Gardeners should continue efforts to save water.

     The water-duty schedule has not been posted because all gardeners have not signed up. Gardeners who haven’t done so must contact John Keisker and sign up. 

     c. Row captains were announced last month. There is a row captain for each of the seven rows in the garden. 

     d. At the May 16 cleanup, the first inspection of the season will take place.  By this time, all plots should have been cleared and planted.  It behooves gardeners who have not cleared their plots or started planting to do so before the inspection. 

     e. Thom asked Carolyn S. to explain what’s happening with the cherry and magnolia trees.  She said the treatment for the cherry tree borers seems to be working.  The treatment has already been paid for with funds from NGT and the garden. However, if we want the dead branches pruned it will cost about $350.  The magnolia tree is suddenly dying.  The bark is splitting and the tree may die by the end of this year.  A plan for the magnolia is to remove the plants growing under its canopy and to excavate the flare.  There’s a 50/50 chance this will save the tree.

     Several gardeners expressed opinions about trees in the garden.  Following Karyl W.’s recommendation that the garden have a long term plan regarding trees we want in the garden, John V. stated that next month’s agenda will include time for a tree discussion. 

4.  Chair’s Report Part 2.  John V. announced the following: 

     a. It is important for everyone in the garden to complete the membership paperwork.  The annual signing of bylaws indicates the gardener’s intention to follow the bylaws and it provides the gardener’s current contact information. 

      The new procedure for NGT is that each gardener signs the NGT agreement one time only.  If you sign this year, you don’t have to sign next year.  Only future gardeners will sign the NGT agreement in the future.  We must have everyone’s paperwork so that we can forward the NGT signature pages to NGT by their deadline.  

     b. June 20 is NGT’s Community Garden Day.  Our garden is signed up to participate.  This means we’ll be open to the public.  Garden members are encouraged to be present so that guests can see us and talk to us.  There will also be some tours and children’s activities.  Please support this event by your attendance. 

     c. The 2015 Garden Map and contact list will be emailed to members within a week.   

5.  Special Reports:

     a. Bees.  Carolyn S. reported that Lisa Pappo is now helping the beekeepers bringing the number of beekeepers in the Garden up to 5 (Carolyn, Dean, Scott, Barbara, and Lisa).  She explained the status of the hives and why there won’t be honey this year.  She also said we’ve received free help/information from the State apiarist.  The next opening of the hives is scheduled for May 25. 

     b. City Harvest.  Ed M. reported City Harvest meets every morning at the garden and all are welcome to join in their work.  If gardeners wish to donate some of their crop, City Harvest will harvest the plants.  All the gardener has to do is put a pink flag next to the plants to be harvested.  The pink flags are available at the City Harvest plot near the gazebo.  Ed said that 30 lbs. of kale was harvested today. 

     c. Water Duty.  John K. was not present, but gardeners were reminded to contact him and sign up if they haven’t done so.  There is currently a shortage of volunteers for the months of July and August.  

6.  Special Topics:

     a. New Gardeners.  John V. introduced the following new members: Marie and Mike Mouliner who are at plot #1, and Dannielle Bock and Melanie Stecura who are at plot #35.  Sally Wang who used to be at plot #35 has moved to plot 44. 

     b. By-Laws.  John V. reported that the Garden Council met to discuss changes needed in the by-laws.  Draft minutes from that meeting were emailed to garden members yesterday.  Volunteers are needed to form a committee to draft revised by-laws using recommendations from Council and recommendations developed by the committee.  This draft will then be presented to all members for their consideration.

     One of the major issues Council discussed is the naming and definition of member categories.  Council is recommending two categories: (1) gardener – a person with full rights and obligations, and (2) assistant – a person without rights and obligations.  Gardeners are limited to two per plot when the plot is first awarded.  If one of these original gardeners leaves, the other may stay on the plot but may not bring a new gardener to the plot.  The number of assistants per plot would not be limited.  While assistants could work on the plot, the assistants could not obtain the plot if the gardener left the garden.  Moreover, the assistants have no obligation to attend meetings or cleanups and would not have the right to vote on any garden matters.  These would be the obligations and right of the gardeners.  Any assistant who wishes to have a plot someday should get on the waiting list.

     Another recommendation of Council is that membership eligibility be limited to Queen Village residents.  We will determine whether anyone currently on the waiting list lives outside Queen Village and notify them of the requirement.

     Council also recommends that membership dues must be paid no later than the April meeting, that plot inspections be conducted once a month from May through October, and that bylaws regarding warning notices and expulsion from the garden be made clearer and stronger.

     Within a few days, John will email members to ask for volunteers for the by-laws committee.  

     A question and answer period followed John’s report, and the following points were made:

  • Members with special circumstances should notify the officers so that reasonable accommodations can be made for temporary and special circumstances.
  • Arrangements for individual plot care would be between gardeners and their assistants.  However, arrangements affecting the garden would be between Council and gardeners of the plot.
  • All gardeners are welcome to provide input regarding changes to the bylaws.  Please talk to one or more members of Council about any of your concerns. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm 

Minutes by Isabelle Buonocore

Recording Secretary

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Did you know that the SWQV Garden has its own NEW Pollinator Garden?  It’s just beginning, with more plants and design ideas to come, but it is really livening up the under-utelized NE corner!

One of the Pollinator Garden volunteers, Pauline Candaux,  has graciously put together a list of native– and some non-native –pollinator plants that will provide blooms throughout Spring, Summer and Fall.

Please click here for the list:      Pollinator Plants

Bee Update

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

On Tuesday, May12, 2015 our Garden’s apiary experienced a swarm.  Our Beekeeper, Carolyn Scott, has provided us with information on why bees swarm and what happens when they do:

“ Swarms are usually the result of congestion in the hive. They are normal and the way in which the honey bee, as a species, procreates.  The swarming bees are led by older workers and the swarm has a queen in it. They leave behind a swarm cell plus about 1/3 of the original population. The swarm cell will develop into a new queen in the hive. Initially they are in disarray in the air above the Apiary. They soon come together in a large cluster (a swarm) and go to a near by location such as a tree, grape arbor, gazebo, bush. This a temporary stop over while their scouts look for a permanent home. They appear very menacing but are not. They are full of honey that they have ingested so they have food when they arrive at their new home. They feel like we do when we eat too much They will remain in this temporary stop over for up to 5 days depending on weather, finding a new home etc. The swarm makes a decision as to where it wants to go and they then take off. Could be a hole in a tree, or even a house! (like under the eves …)

How can you help us catch a swarm? If you see a lot of bees hovering above the Apiry or on their way to a tree etc, dont panic. Watch them as they form an organized large (or small) cluster and land somewhere. Then call Carolyn or Scott MacDonald and give us the location. If possible we will try to come to the garden and catch the swarm. This can become a new hive for us. Remember, dont panic! They are not interested in you, and we want to catch them.”

The Beekeepers were busy yesterday checking on the status of the swarm and preparing a box where they hope the bees would settle and decide to stay.  As of now the bees that swarmed are no longer in the grape arbor or in the box that was left for them.  Now all we can do is wait and keep an eye out.  If you see a swarm of bees anywhere in the area, please let Carolyn know!


Minutes, 13 April 2015

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

1.  John V., Chair, welcomed members and asked for a motion to approve the March      meeting minutes.  The minutes were approved. John reminded members who have not yet signed the bylaws or NGT agreement to do so and to give the papers to Isabelle B., Recording Secretary.

 2.  Suzanne S., Treasurer, passed around a collection jar for the Heifer Foundation and then gave a report on garden funds, dues income, and bills paid.  Members who have not yet paid dues should give their check or cash to Suzanne.

 3.  Thom H., Vice Chair, announced the following:

     a. Garden clean-up is Sat., April 18, at 10:00 AM.  If weather requires a    postponement, an email will be sent to members.  The task list will be in the shed in case members want to do clean-up before Saturday.  The list will be in a white loose-leaf binder along with a sheet to be filled out so that the member gets credit for the work.  Please record your name, date worked, number of hours worked, and the work performed.

     b. “Staining party” originally scheduled for Sat., April 18 is postponed to the fall.

     c. A task for Sat., April 18, is bundling cut wood for trash collection.  If members want to get rid of any wood from their plots, bring the wood to the patio where Thom will saw it down to the appropriate size for trash collection.

     d. Water turn-on was March 31.  He will do the first water reading on May 1 and provide updates on how much water we’re using.

     e. He will check reports of a broken waterspout and a damaged water barrel.

     f. Row captains will help with this year’s monthly plot inspections.  Plots should be cleared and planted by May 1 according to bylaws.  A recent walk through the garden showed 19 plots have made no progress, and 7 of 19 are in really bad shape.  


4.  John V. announced the following: 

     a. Everyone needs to get paperwork in.  Each gardener must sign bylaws and each    gardener must sign NGT agreement.  If a minor is gardening, their guardian must sign the NGT agreement for them.     

     b. Dues are paid per plot not per gardener.  If you’ve mistakenly paid dues for more than one gardener on your plot, contact Suzanne for a refund.

     c. Anyone who is an assistant/co-gardener and wants to have a plot someday must get on the waiting list.  Plots are not inherited if the original gardener leaves.  Please contact Isabelle if you want your name on the waiting list.

     d. Volunteers are needed to come up with ideas by May 2 for activities at the garden on June 20, Community Garden Day.  Please contact John if you can help.

     e. Contact the following gardeners if you have questions or interest in working with them on specific areas in the garden:



              (1) Linda W. – Oversees flowers bordering plots along the main path into the garden and   along the front fence.  Linda is assisted by Mark V.

            (2) Gwen M., Carolyn S., and Pauline C. – Oversee herb garden, flowerbeds near the grape arbor and gazebo, and raspberries.

            (3) Lisa R. – Oversees shade garden near the east gate, and shade garden in the northeast section of the garden.

            (4) Barbara S. and Mark R. – Oversee flower beds along east wall and rock garden.


5.  Reports:

     a. Bees.  Carolyn S. reported that work was done on the hives Sat. April 11.  Beekeepers are Carolyn, Dean, and Scott.  Barbara S. handles honey sales.  If anyone is allergic to bees, contact Barbara S.

     b. City Harvest.  Ed M. reported that the first harvest yielded 7.5 lbs. of collards and 19 lbs. of spinach.  Anyone who wants to help with City Harvest should meet with other volunteers Monday mornings at the garden.  Call Ed M. or Janice C. if you have questions. 

     c. Watering Duties.  John K. reported that some gardeners still haven’t signed up for watering duty.  Please contact John K. if you haven’t signed up.  He will send email reminders to those on duty and explain what needs to be done.


6.  Special Topics:

    a. Pollinator Garden.  Carolyn S described a project to develop a pollinator garden in the northeast corner, which used to be the children’s garden.  A few gardeners have provided suggestions, and it’s a work in progress.  She’s currently making a list of plants that attract pollinators.  Pollinators include different types of bees, bats, butterflies, and moths.  Funding for the pollinator garden is being discussed.  See Carolyn if you have questions or interest in helping with this project. 

     b. Garden Handbook.  Volunteers are needed to develop a handbook that would be the “go to” book for information on garden activities.  If you can help write sections of the handbook, contact John V. 

     c. By-laws.  John will be sending out an email to explain the need for a review and updating of   the bylaws. 

 The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm


 Minutes by Isabelle Buonocore,

Recording Secretary


Agenda, 11 May 2015 (7pm in the Garden)

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

1.    Welcome, Approval of May Meeting Minutes and Review of Tonight’s Agenda (John – 2 min/split)

2.    Treasurer’s Report (Suzanne – 3 min)

3.    Chairs’ Report Part 1 (Thom – 15 min)

  • Upcoming clean up – Timing & Key Tasks (Depends on which of us are leading this month’s clean-up)
  • Water Report
  • Row Captains update
  • Inspection update

4.    Chair’s Report Part 2 (John – 15 min)

  • Importance of paperwork for Garden and NGT
  • NGT’s Community Garden Day June 20th
  • Garden Map

5.    Special Reports (10 min)

  • Bees (Carolyn)
  • City Harvest (Ed or Janice)
  • Water Duty (John K)

6.    Special Topic (John and Thom – 15 min)

  • Introduction of new gardeners:
  • By-Laws: Council review and direction:

- Gardeners/Co-gardeners and assistants
- Plot Secession
- More…

  • Next step to complete By-law update.