Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Minton Stable Garden Annual Meeting

Despite the rain and the unintentional conflict with the first night of Passover, about 30 Minton Stable Community Gardeners attended the annual meeting, which took place on Monday night down the street in the English High School library. At least one of the lucky former waitlisters was there to pay her $30 dues and sign her contract stating that she will follow the ever-increasing list of rules; new additions for 2010 include a protocol for dealing with people who are at risk of losing their plot (due to not completing hours or other violations), the procedure for those wanting to use the property for their own gatherings, and the opportunity to donate extra work hours into a bank so others who may have some physical limitations or other emergency can have them applied to meet their own requirement (still 4 hours per season). With a few families and individuals having left the neighborhood since last season, a few more plots are being allocated to those at the top of the waitlist (of now over 40 wannabe gardeners).Thanks to Allan for sending me photos; I posted this one because it features almost everyone in attendance. If you click on photo to enlarge it you can make out the Steering Committee members in the back facing the crowd--I'm wearing yellow, Todd is left of me, John is right of me in a white shirt, Asa (in a black jacket with white stripes) is discussing the rules, Terry is right of her (in a maroon sweater). Roxane is sitting on the left side of the table, wearing a light blue shirt and taking notes on her laptop. Jennifer, who usually takes notes and chairs meetings, was taking a well-deserved vacation in Guatemala.

We managed to finish ahead of schedule so I could (as treasurer) process the dues payments of everyone who had brought them. In past years different issues extended the meeting; at least once there were disagreements between dog owners and gardeners over where dogs could roam and do their business, and the year the shed was built there was much discussion about how to carry out that project. But this year dogs were hardly mentioned. Bees were, though, as Joe (one of the gardeners) presented some information in advance of a possible proposal to keep some at the garden, a project in such an early stage that it has not sparked any controversy. One item that members did want to discuss was how to better turn our weeds and plant waste into compost. Right now we don't have the capability and there are sanitation issues as well, but there seems to be enough interest and energy to investigate and implement a plan to change that.

If you are a member reading this post, I would like to remind you that there will be four Steering Committee seats to be filled in the election this May. Asa, Roxane, and I will stay on for the second year of our two-year term, but the four whose terms are ending have decided not to run again. Sure, there is work involved, and decisions to be made, but we only meet for two hours a month. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have (there's a link on my profile page if you want to email me), or you can contact the committee at


Bryan Bunch said...

Maybe your gardeners would worry too much about weed seeds to do this, but I get terrific results by throwing all garden waste--including some leaves, plants cleaned up at season's end, and weeds removed--into a pen about 3 or 4 feet across made from rabbit wire (sturdier than chicken wire). After a year or two, I unhook the fencing and relocated it next to where it had been. I use a manure fork to remove all the plant material that has not decomposed and put it at the bottom of the new location. Below that old material is a wheelbarrow or two of beautiful compost that does not even need sifting.

Sally said...

We have a similar setup for collecting garden waste, and have used some of the results on non-vegetable beds in common areas, but I think the issue is that the temperature in the bins doesn't get hot enough to produce compost that meet's the BNAN's/others' standards for using on vegetable gardens. I am still trying to understand the situation better. Thanks!

giulietta said...

Hey sally,

I'm intrigued by the completed hours. Do folks need to volunteer? That's not something required - yet out here in our garden that I know of. I like that you can "bank" them for others.

Thx! j.

Sally said...

Every plot holder needs to complete a minimum of four work hours. For the most part, people participate in "work days" (one of about ten per season). I have to go and can explain more to you later. Most of the work involves maintaining the common areas.