Archive for the ‘Minutes’ Category

Minutes from 16 March 2015

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden


March 16, 2015 Weccacoe Playground

1. Members signed by-laws and the Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT) agreement, paid dues ($35 per plot), and signed-up  for   watering duty. 

2.  Members were welcomed by Garden Council Chair John Ventre and Vice Chair Thom Hardenbergh. 

3.  Treasurer Susan Schecter summarized last year’s income and expenses and we’re in a good position financially.  

4.  Thom announced the following:

     a.  Garden clean-up is Saturday, March 21, at 10:00 AM.  When you arrive, check the “To Do” List.    

     b.  Orientation for new members will take place at the clean-up.  New Members will receive their plots and keys at that time.  

     c.  Buildings (gazebo, honey house, toilet) will be power-washed before the April 18 cleanup. 

     d.  Volunteers are needed on April 18 to help stain the buildings (gazebo, honey house, toilet).  Thom will provide all supplies. 

     e.  John Keisker will be in charge of the watering schedules.  He’ll send reminder emails to folks when it’s their turn to do the watering and will explain what to do.  Folks responsible for watering must also put out the trash.  Thom will explain trash duties to the new members during orientation.  

     f.  Repairs to the wall where portions of the mosaic mural fell off were completed last fall.  The Garden and NGT each paid half of the cost.  We don’t intend to pay anything further should the homeowner want the artist to replace parts of the mural that fell off. 

     g. Row captains will be asked to inspect plots more often this year than last year.  Row captains are:  Irene S. for row 1, Kevin P. for row 2, Ed M. for row 3, John K. for row 4, John V. for row 5, Mark R. for row 6, and Thom H. for row 7.  

5. John Ventre provided the following updates: 

     a.  NGT:  Jenny Greenberg has joined NGT as Director and has been active in reaching out to our Garden and many others.  NGT has helped with the cost of repairing the mural wall last fall, tree trimming, and treatments this coming spring and summer for the cherry tree blight. 

Minutes 10 November 2014

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
  1.  Minutes from last meeting approved
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    1. Expenses = two checks from BBQ cleared
    2. Watch for emails over the winter re: dues (reduction)
  3. Chair report
    1. Clean up 10a Saturday – big cleanup for winter
    2. Whole Foods is interested in sponsoring a garden.  Our garden will meet Dec. 3 with Whole Foods and NGT.  John will report back.
    3. Ed volunteered to handle trash over the winter.  If a member decides to take out trash, please communicate with Ed or Janice.
    4. Reminder City Harvest can still use your produce as the season draws to a close
  4. Water & Wall report
    1. Water:  water turned off 11/3 cost of $174
      1. Seasonal use down 20%, monthly use down 35%
      2. Final water bill does not match garden estimates.  Revised bill from Water Dept. matches neither estimates nor bill.  Garden officially owes and will pay $180.12 and will consider the matter closed.
      3. $2700 in storm water runoff fees remain in dispute
    2. Wall:  Loose pieces have been removed and wall stucco fixed
      1. Original estimate for work was $1800, revised estimate $2800.  Garden originally agreed to pay half.
      2. NGT is willing to contribute $700 and then is recused from all further discussion and responsibility with the wall.
      3. Discussion among members included wanting a receipt for payment, requesting bill or statement prior to payment (already in process), and determining what % the garden would be willing to pay.
      4. It was moved, seconded, and approved by membership that the executive council would receive the bill from NGT/neighbors and pay no more than 50% which would most likely be approximately $1000.  Garden members entrust the final decision to the exec council with the understanding the garden wants a proviso that we will pay nothing else toward the repair.
      5. The artist returns in the spring to fix the mural
  5. Holiday party – Dec. 16.  Set up at 6p, party at 7p.  Potluck, BYO, etc.  Old Swedes Church
  6. Bees – 5 hives have been put to bed for the winter
  7. Tree maintenance – NGT has provided $2000 for tree maintenance which will consist primarily of severe/needed pruning and organic treatment of the beetles in the cherry and fig trees.  We have two estimates and will work with one of the arborists.
  8. City Harvest – 2 additional Mondays for harvest.  Remind members to place produce in the gazebo over the weekend or use pink flags.  YTD total is 1,448# and we are likely to meet/break the 1,500# total.
  9. Other
    1. Honey – has been paid for and distributed.  Lisa made and donated beautiful labels for the jars.
    2. Donations – exec council will review donations from years past and consider a donation to QVNA for meeting space.
    3. Barbara announced the possibility of a GMO Free PA meeting over the winter.
  10. Meeting adjourned.

Minutes, 12 October 2014

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Minutes of SWQV Community Garden/Linda Witt sub-secretary

Oct 12, 2014

John Ventre opened the meeting promptly at 7 p.m.

September minutes were approved.

BBQ:    Suzanne Schechter reported that the BBQ took in approx. $1724 against expenses she expects to be less than $500, giving us a probably $1225 profit.

John thanked Brian for soliciting food donations.

Wall Update: The neighbors asked for a meeting and wanted to get the masonry started. It seemed to John that they are willing to contribute to the effort. The costs are not yet determined. Artist Isaiah Zagar is trying to put a class together (free labor) to help on the lower 6-8 feet. If he can’t finish this year, he’ll finish in the spring.

Water Report:  The water will be shut off around Nov. 1. Usage between 9/4 and 10/4 was 531 CF or about 4K gallons, compared to last year’s 784 CF/about 6K gallons. We are still awaiting a corrected, up-to-date bill.

Cleanup: Saturday  10/18/14  at 9 a.m. Attention must be paid to the compost. We need to move it.

City Harvest:  Yvonne Howard reported for the committee. They are still looking for donations, but in September we provided 262 ½ lbs for a total of 1654 lbs for the year to date. (Comparison to last year?   1020 lbs –despite a slow start!)

Bee Report: John gave the report in Carolyn’s absence. Five strong hives have been put to bed for winter. Carolyn asks us to plant crocuses, snowdrops and other early-blooming bulbs because the bees will be hungry in the spring.

NGT has offered us $2000 for tree work. Carolyn is getting bids.

Garden rotations: John asked members to let him know if they are thinking of leaving the garden. The waiting list is 60 strong and the person at the top has waited five years.

Extra Business:

  • Karyl Weber, re composting, said she’s interested in bags of clean dry leaves (other than oak leaves which are too leathery).She’ll follow up with a note via the website.
  • Someone asked for a how-to note to be posted in the shed re all the systems in the garden – watering, cleaning the composting toilet, etc.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


Minutes, 8 September 2014 (7 pm in the garden)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

 Southwark Queen Village Community Garden Monthly Meeting

September 8, 2014 (in the garden)

  1. Welcome by John Ventre
  2. August 2014 minutes were approved.
  3. Shanna Flanagan reported on the BBQ, to be held Sept. 27 (rain date Sept 28).  Task and Food sign-up sheets were passed.  She asked for donations of garden produce and tables and chairs.   She has obtained donations from a brewery, ShopRite and Wawa.  Rev. Green will attend.
  4. Treasurer’s report by Suzanne Schechter.    $3000 will be spent to repair the shed.
  5. John reported that QVNA is seeking volunteers to help with the small Mary St. Garden.
  6. The Christmas party will be 7PM – 10PM on Tuesday, December 16 at Old Swedes Church.  Barbara Seiple is organizing it.
  7. The garden is trying to get a shipment of chips.
  8. Cleanup will be Saturday, September 13 beginning at 10AM.  Thom Hardenbough will lead.
  9. Thom reported that the garden used the same amount of water as last month, and half as much as last year.
  10. Thom reported that the new shed door will soon have a lock installed.
  11. Thom reported on the mural, which is separating from the wall.  Masons have bid $1800 to take down and remove the lose material and Isaia stated he will donate his labor to restore the mural.  NGT, which needs to be involved in matters that affect boundary walls, put this matter on its recent meeting but has not yet communicated any result to Thom.
  12. Carolyn Scott reported that there are 5 strong hives with enough honey for the coming winter.  They have been treated for mites.  Barbara Seiple said the buyers of the 15 jars of honey ($10/jar) that were produced this year would be chosen by lottery.  $775 was spent this season on bees.  She thanked Lisa Torrierri for designing new labels for the honey jars.
  13. Ed Mitinger reported that, while City Harvest started a month late this year because of the cold spring, by the end of August 1,091 lbs ew, compared to 1,000 lb at the end of September 2013.
  14. Karyl Weber discussed and obtained the garden’s agreement to build a system for collecting, chopping and containing dry leaves, which will turn to leaf mold by Spring.


The meeting adjourned at 7:45PM. The October meeting will be at Settlement Music School or Weccacoe.

Minutes, 11 August 2014 (7 pm in the Garden)

Monday, September 8th, 2014
Meeting Introduction (John – 1 min)

Treasurer’s Report (Suzanne – 3 min)

  • Made dues deposit
  • Purchased humus
  • Contributed to Heifer

Chairs’ Report (John – 15 min)

  • Water Report: water usage was 783 cubic feet. 35% less than used last year.
  • The Mural Status: pulling away from wall. Tom met Isaiah and his mason and the mason’s expert…. Discussed how far up the wall will need repair. And what is the source of the deterioration? No one has mentioned dollar amount yet. Second mason will be coming in to assess the damage.
  • Attendance Update: Numbers going up in attendance, getting stronger. Calls will go out to people in the red zone.

Committee & Misc. Reports (11 min)

  • City Harvest (Ed – 3 min)
    • Summer Camp with River View had 25 kids, ages 6-12.
    • Last year, 161 lbs were picked at this time ….this year 317 lbs picked at this time, thanks to all who have been using pink flags.
    • Temple U has been doing research on city gardens and we had some visitors researching the garden this month.
  • Bees (Carolyn – 3 min)  Scott and Carolyn working on getting bees ready for Fall. Dean is the new bee keeper. (He is not a gardener)…. There are 5 strong hives and 2 nucleus boxes. Each one has babies and honey and space for queen to lay more eggs. Nucleus boxes will be destroyed by Fall if we don’t need them for our hives. Saturday, Aug. 16, two hives were expected.….. honey was extracted from 3 boxes, treatments for mites was started after. Mites cause deformed wing virus on bees and they end up on the ground. We will medicate the bees and it takes a month. So this began at noon Saturday the 16th, after the cleanup.
  • Barbeque (Shanna – 5 min)  Rain date is Sunday the 28th. Lists for side dishes and tasks were passed around.

Special Topics (John – 15 min)

  • Holiday Party – not too early to set a date. Monday is a preferred day for the holiday party. Could use Olde Swedes again or open to a new venue. Will be an early Monday in December.
  • Pets in the Garden – “The Dog Poop Report” : dog poop found in garden by a gardener. Please keep an eye on your pets and clean up after them.
  • PHeast is in October. Looking for contributions from the garden. It’s their 3rd year. They have asked larger partners like chefs, restaurants and gardens (produce from larger city gardens from city harvest or gardeners themselves) to participate and donate. We will gather produce from those that want to participate in donations. More info as we get closer….
  • South Philly Co-op Garden Tour (Barbara Seiple) 6 there is a tour for the South Philly Co Op …. Noon to 4. They will tour the garden. Pretty organized tour. Looking for volunteers who can be in the garden to help with the tour.
  • Fig tree is not as big due to the harsh winter and frost kill. Will be fine next year. Don’t touch raspberries. Special way to cut them back and Carolyn and Gwen will do that.
  • Adjourned at 7:42pm 

Minutes, 14 July 2014 (at Weccaco Recreation Ctr)

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Meeting Introduction (John – 1 min)

Treasurer’s Report (Suzanne – 3 min)

  • One check for $100 was made out to Christ Church (as a donation.)
  • No electric bill. We have a credit remaining for $90.

President’s Report (John – 5 min)

  • NGA wants gardeners to sign the NGA committee agreement. Words are much stronger. Struck down the law on booze. So it’s ok now. They do have a right to do soil testing and things to protect us against state and city ordinances.
  • BBQ  tickets on sale at meetings and cleanups. $15 for adults, $7 for kids

Vice President’s Report (Thom – 5 min)

  • Water: June to July we’ve used 981 cubic feet of water which translates to 7045 gallons. We don’t know if they are charging us properly but we’ll keep on it.
  • Mural: The wall mural is loose, coming away from the wall. It must be rebuilt. Need to break off loose stuff…. Liability issues if pieces start falling down on people’s heads. We’re trying to contact Zagaar. (the artist who built it.) Garden will split the cost with the owners of the house. We will cap the garden contribution to $1000. If it’s more, we will present cost to garden membership. The damage is 8 feet and below. Continued discussion on this matter….. “Does this impact our signing of the agreement with NGT? They want to be informed about what changes we make that have liability issues. Will they contribute any $$? Who owns the mural?”  No resolutions yet. NGA paid the repairs on mural 8 years ago. Nothing will happen with this until all parties are involved. We have a copy of the house’s deed and there is info about the wall and fence and ownership. So we need to look into it. Also discussion on getting rid of mural and just painting the wall….

City Harvest (Ed – 3 min)

  • At the end of June, we had donated 382 lbs. for the year. (Last year, we were at 443 lbs. by the end of June.) By 2 weeks into July, we should be at about 500 lbs. Also, 65 lbs were picked on July 14, 2014. So thanks for all the donations and thanks to the City Harvest Crew.
  • .Summer Camp in the garden: The kids planted bush beans for transplanting into gardens later and Vincas to take home. The second week of camp we visited the Wissahickon Environmental Center. We are also looking forward to a bird walk at John Heinz, bee demo with Don Shump, and a visit to Bartram Garden.
  • Janice and Ed would also like to thank Kathy DiLonardo and Katie Parker who helped straighten up after the first scamp session.

Bees (Carolyn – 3 min)  

  • There was a huge swarm on July 13th. Landed on the lilac bush. Don and Carolyn caught it and it’s now back in the apiary. Inspector came from the State Dept. of agriculture. We cannot sell our honey wholesale.

Special Topics

  • July means we are in the half way part of the year. Two inspections have been done already. There are a fair number of people who are not attending meetings and cleanups at all (or just 1.) Row captions will be in touch to let you know if you are at risk. There is a list in shed to make up hours. We need gardeners to step up and do their part. 5 cleanups, 5 meetings are required. Cleanups are 2 hours long. Weeding, sweeping, cleaning garbage are all tasks needed regularly. Record your hours on the login sheet in shed. We are also looking for things to be planted, picked and weeded in your own plots.
  • BBQ : $15 for adults, $7 for kids. Checks or cash. Date of BBQ is Sept. 27 at 4pm.
  • Children’s garden is still up in the air, whether it will be fixed up or be defunct and changed to something else…. Being discussed.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40pm. (Great turnout despite the thunder storm!) Kudos to those who attended!

Minutes 12 May 2014

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Southwark Queen Village Community Garden Monthly Meeting:   Held in Garden

May 12, 2014

Meeting called to order 7:00p

Minutes approved.

President’s Welcome

  • Reverend Trimble moved and decided to leave the garden.  There was a card signed by gardeners and a garden donation to Christ Church garden on his behalf.
  • Introduction of newest gardener.

Treasurer’s Report 

President’s Report 

  • Garden Council Mtg – objectives for the year
      • Reduce food waste in garden
      • Clean up west end of garden
      • Plot inspections
      • Clarify language in by-laws upon plot turnover
  • Reminder to sign by-laws
  • BBQ date decision at next meeting

VP Report

  • Water usage report – down a bit from last year
  • Front fence should not be used for storage – please remove items stored along fence
  • Plot inspection results and discussion – reminder to plant plots by May 1.  Garden might enforce this policy this year.

Committee Reports

  • Bees – hive inspections occurred, hives are doing well.  Discussion of bee stings and bee aggression.
  • City Harvest – is back in action and will be helping reduce food waste, waiting for crops to be ready, harvesting soon.

General Business

  • Lawn furniture – random “donation” – addressed and remedied
  • Proposal to re-skin and repair shed.   Proposal introduced by Thom.  Roof is solid, doors need repair, shed needs skin.  Electrical would need to be moved.  Re-stain skin.   It is not clear that funding can come from any other source.  Repairs are badly needed or we face the possibility of losing the shed.  It is not cheaper to build a new building versus repair the existing structure.   Proposal estimates:50 hours of work at $25/hour

    Materials $1400 (slightly old estimate)

    Possible total:  $2700-3000 (allowing for materials costs)

    Motion was made to approve garden funds for this purpose and seconded.  Vote was unanimous.

Meeting adjourned at 7:36.


Minutes 7 April 2014

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Southwark Queen Village Community Garden Minutes

April 7, 2014

At Weccacoe Recreation Center

1.         Meeting Introduction (John )

2.         Approval of Minutes (John )

3.         Treasurer’s Report (Suzanne )

4.         President’s Report

$10 a bale for salt hay.  Goes toward city harvest.

5.         Water Report

March 31 water was turned on.

If you have a barrel that is old and fragile, talk to Tom or John.

On the sidewalk, one tree protector is broken off and the other is badly bent.

Repairman can fix it on site, but not as good a job. Or he can take to the shop for better job.

On site, $250… $450 off site.

6.         City Harvest (Ed)

Season started… 80 gardens in the city have been active with City Harvest.

Salt Hay goes to city harvest.

Green thumb is tending to the courtyard area with city view apts.

7.         Bees (Carolyn )

4 new hives…. Each box has 15,000 bees and a queen from Georgia.

Got them in boxes, Queen had her own box so others could get used to her smell.

Queen comes out of box tomorrow. Hopefully go right to her hive to start making babies.

6 hives total….. 2 hives have lots of babies.

We lost 2 hives during the winter. Bees get in cluster to keep warm during winter… when hives was opened, the cluster            was on 1 side, not in middle where honey is. Bees tried to protect queen and didn’t get to honey. So they died…. Hopefully we’re off to a good start with new hives. Can’t open hives unless it’s 60 degrees…. If you’d like to learn bee keeping, let Carolyn know…..

8.         Special Topics:  The Waiting List

There are names that go back to 2009 on the list….There are 10 to 20 names still in the area and interested in a plot. Reengineering the list? First in, first out process now… looking for possible changes to wait list…. Give us general ideas about changing the list process. Comment: anyone want to lead the charge? Lottery? No open plot in 2 years. Most want to keep the list and go down the list when there is a plot available.

Comment: lack of turnover is a good thing. Why fix it if it’s working?

Vote taken to keep current system in place was unanimous.

9.         Gardener’s Using Patio for Gatherings

Recently the topic has been raised of gardener’s use of the garden, particularly the patio area, for personal gatherings. There has been interest for use this summer.

Request from Pam to have gathering of friends in late May… fish boil for her friends.

Pam: Will leave it as good as we found it. Will take garbage out on Thursday. Will ask for donations to garden as a fundraiser……  will be 50 to 75 people max.

Comment: Will there be a porto john? Compost toilet can’t hold that many people in short period. Liability? Event insurance? Does our parent organization cover this? No insurance ever during our own events…..

Question is much bigger that just this 1 event. How many events a year should we hold?

There is too much controversy…. May 25 is Pam’s event….. Jared’s event was successful and raised us money…

No political event in garden…. Not a fundraiser, says Pam.

Mario Lanza Park is another alternate solution with a permit.

We need to set up procedures if we have personal events in garden.

Comment: Garden is about gardening….. not a recreational place, but a garden to enjoy.

Comment: We all respect the space, why can’t we do a case by case event?

Pam: Up to garden members to decide.

Vote: executive committee should figure out the insurance issue.

Party needs to have a potty and a donation to the garden…..

Resolution:  Majority voted YES to party. 4 voted NO.

10.       Community Gardens Day (Proposal letter below)

“The  Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT) whose mission is to acquire and preserve community gardens and shared open space in order to enhance the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods, would like to invite you and your garden to participate in celebrating COMMUNITY GARDENS DAY on June 21,2014.

Gardens bring a multitude of benefits to a community including: nutritious food, healthier lifestyles, exercise and connections to your fellow neighbors.  We want to rejoice and celebrate that community gardens and neighborhood pocket parks are essential to the fabric of any city and especially OUR city, Philadelphia.

Please join us on June 21st as we welcome residents of the City to explore and appreciate all your efforts, ideas and hard work by sharing your garden with others that day.

The plans for the event are that participating gardens would be open to the public from 10AM to 3PM with at least one gardener present. Much like POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours) where artists welcome the public into their studios throughout the day, we will be reaching out to city residents and offering them the opportunity to visit their local garden, where a range of activities could be happening. These activities could include:

  • Something you already do, such as weeding or a garden work day
  • Tours through the garden
  • A special activity you could use extra hands with (such as grouting a mural/mosaic)
  • Working a City Harvest plot with volunteers
  • A Demonstration/workshop (such as planting, passive composting, or pruning)
  • Host a Make Music Philly Day artist (
  • An arts & crafts activity for kids
  • Have resident “experts” be available for Q&A
  • Host a BBQ or just a hang-out for neighbors

If you are interested in participating on June 21st 10am to 3pm and will be hosting an activity, please register your garden at Registration is open until FRIDAY, May 2nd, so register soon. We are excited to celebrate the importance of your garden to your city, your neighborhood, and you! Invite your friends, neighbors, and the public to learn more about gardening or your community garden,

Thank you for your participation and we will be in touch.


Eileen Gallagher

Neighborhood Gardens Trust

11.       Event Proposal from Queen Village Clean and Green Committee on Thurs. June 12,  7-10pm

Proposal: The Queen Village Clean and Green (C&G) committee would like to host its annual community event at the Queen Village Community Garden. In the past, the committee has hosted an informational fair at the Weccacoe Park each June during the day. This year, the committee has decided that an event at the community garden hosted in the evening would best serve the mission of the committee to bring sustainability to all neighbors in Queen Village through creating an inviting, social evening in a beautiful space that represents an element of sustainability in the neighborhood. We hope neighbors will enjoy the evening, become familiar with the committee and want to join or help the committee in the future.


We would like to invite individuals who might be able to help complete sustainability-related projects in the neighborhood in the future, i.e:

  • Councilman Squilla
  • Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug
  • Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Katherine Gajewski
  • PHS Director of Sustainable Communities Glen Abrams

We would also like to invite neighbors to mingle and discuss topics related to sustainability and the neighborhood. We propose charging a ticket fee for the event to manage the quantity of people and to give the event credibility. The guest limit would be 100 people, but we can negotiate that with the garden.  We propose limiting access to garden plot areas if there are concerns among gardeners.  Food and drink would be from local purveyors, e.g. Yards Brewery, Kennett Restaurant, etc.

75 tickets will be sold, with 15 to 20 invited guests.

12.       Rev. Trimble moved to 15th street and gave up his plot….

Adjourned at 8:01pm. Next Meeting Monday May 12 at 7pm in the garden.

Minutes, 10 March 2014 (at Settlement)

Monday, March 17th, 2014

6:30 to 7:00
Signing of bylaws, paying dues, signing up for hot/cold watering weeks…..
Dues for 2014 are $50 per plot.

Meeting introduction by Cindi.
Cindi resigns as president. John Ventre will be taking over Cindi’s duties as Chair.
Cindi’s comments include: “Thank you for accepting new dues amount.”
“Thank you to past officers from 2012-2013” ….

Introduction of new slate of officers:
John V entre (Chair)
Thom Hardenberg (Vice-Chair)
Suzanne Schectner (Treasurer)
Janice Chorba (Communications Secretary)
Lisa Zollinger (Recording Secretary)

Meeting turns over to John V. whose comments include: “Keep gardening as our focus.”

Treasury report, 2013 summary
(enough to cover water bill and other expenses)

NGA is now NGT (Neighborhood Garden Trust)
• They will be rolling out a new web page that will have all sorts of information –
• There will be a map with links to garden pages
• There will be a page for “How to support NGT”
• Protect and Preserve page for those interested on starting a garden (process and application)
• News and events
• Resources (links, message board and press kits)
They are interested in using a garden for the rollout of the webpage with gardeners attending. Mid-day and Mid-week.

Some  items and activities they are looking at for this and coming years…

• Participation at the PHS fall fest
• Bike tour with gardens as stops for bikers
• A Citywide Community Garden Day – Timing is still up in the air. It would be a day for the gardens and each garden would decide how to recognize the day.

Looking to draft a new NGT Garden Agreement. It sounded like it would apply to new gardens but established gardens may need to sign (organic, soil monitoring, etc.)

Bees and other news:
Pruning is done. Not much taken off of cherry trees because we didn’t want to lose a season of cherries.
Cats are fine. They are fat. Total beggars. Must go on diet this summer.
The bee news is not great. We had 4 hives going into winter. We lost 2 over winter. We don’t know why. Carolyn opened top of hive in Jan. to feed it and it was dead. We still have 2 strong hives. We ordered 2 bee packages which includes 1500 bees and a queen. Cost is $100 per package. Unfortunately, the first year of a hive usually doesn’t produce honey….
Please put any recycled honey jars in Barbara’s plot number #26 or in the shed.
The water will be turned on the last Monday in March (the 31st)

City Harvest:
We had 1300 lbs of produce from the garden last year.
If you’ d like to join and participate in City Harvest, meet in the garden on Monday mornings at 9am to approx. 11am.

No plots were turned over this year. All the same members. There are currently 48 people on the waiting list. There was discussion on how to redo the waiting list. It was suggested that interested people should reapply every year to weed out people who move, lose interest, etc.

Water report:
Water will be turned on Monday March 31.
In 2013 the water was turned off on Nov.1. That’s when Thom went over the final billing to reconcile our usage with the bill. On Feb 12, 2014 we received a letter from the water dept. stating a new process of billing for water usage. In the past year, we received bills each month for $200 and some dollars…. We now have a $2,300 outstanding water bill balance. We need a new program of water usage, storm runoff, and how to keep track of our usage…. We’re still not sure what’s going on. Tom will continue to read water meter each month and keep accurate data. Thom will go to PHS and NGT meetings to keep communication open…. So this summer, think conservation!!

This is not a regular garden clean-up, but a very specific one involving pruning the fig tree and a general “dusting off” of the garden!! The ground is still frozen. While participation isn’t mandatory, any time you put in will go toward your total clean-up hours. And, if you can, please bring along your (small) electric saws to help speed things along.
Thank You and Look forward to seeing you between 10 & noon on Saturday!

Karyl gave us some insight into the concerns present when using commercial compost, which is going to contain biosolids. She has passed on this link which addresses the issue plainly:
“Out of the thousands of toxic chemicals that are found in that sludge, they strictly regulate exactly 10 heavy metals and two pathogens. And it’s nice that they regulate lead, mercury, and Salmonella. But you’re still left with everything else: flame retardants, nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors like triclosan, cancer-causing dioxins, and a long list of other nasties you don’t want in your garden. Or in your body.” Karyl recommends visiting the Organic Materials Review Institute at for a listing of safe products for use in your garden. Thanks Karyl!
Next meeting will be April 7 (due to Passover and Easter the following weeks.) Cleanup will be the 12th.

Meeting adjourned at 7:56pm.

Minutes: 11 November 2013 (7 pm at Settlement)

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Minutes approved
Treasurer’s report

See Deirdre’s report (from email)
$8420 starting balance
$3660 from this year’s honey
$8964 ending balance

3 things helped this year: activity fund transfer, bee income, BBQ donations

Trees – Carolyn
Committee given $1500 to take care of the trees. Carolyn got a 3rd estimate. Work would cover orchard, crabapple trees, euonymous, Sephora, treatment of bagworms on cypress. Requesting $105 additional to cover total of the work cost. Condo association has been asked to split the cost of the trimming along the fence – waiting to hear. Motion was made, seconded and passes unanimously to authorize Carolyn to spend a total of $1605 on tree care for this year as stipulated above.

Budget discussion
Reviewed maintenance request from Thom (rehab garden shed $2500 and other maintenance projects – please include from Thom’s email). Reviewed expenses planned between meeting and March 2014 (see and include from Deirdre’s email).

Discussion focused on water costs, maintenance, etc.

Motion was made and seconded to add projected water bill of $1200 into basic costs and increase dues to cover basic costs as stipulated in the by laws. Raising costs by $1200 raises dues for each plot by another $20, bringing dues to $50 per plot. Motion stipulated that if there is a surplus of funds as a result of a lower than anticipated water bill, the membership will determine what to do with the surplus. 23 plots were present and voted unanimously to support the motion.

Holiday Party is Dec. 18 6-9, serving food will start at 630.

City Harvest collected another 135# of food for a total of 1055 this year.

A water usage report was provided and work continues on water issues.

Meeting adjourned.