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