2011/03/05 Northside Garden Meeting Notes

In attendance were Michelle, Laura, Dan, Larry, Khin, Phyllis, Deborah, Michael, Elizabeth, Barbara, Carla, Matt, Roz, Alan, Margaret, Abbot, DeAnna, Nina, Ardis, Flavia, Leslie, and William.


There was first a quick review of mandatory garden hosting and work hours; sheets for logging work and hosting hours would be available and posted on the board in the cob shed, as well as online with Google calendar.
All active garden members must sign up for 2 hours each month to host the open garden. There is no regular 5th Sunday hosting coverage. 
All active members must also fulfill 8 hours of garden work for the year. 
The garden hosting begins in April 2011.

The City of Berkeley requires that we measure our plots and the paths of the garden. Elizabeth took a view with Google Earth overlay; actual dimensions of each plot.
We may move to redoing m plan (? Sorry, couldn’t make this out from notes.)
We need to look at areas to be changed and redraw up map for that.
The city suggested eliminating the plot closest to the shed, and moving the compost all to one area. * I was not present for this – is that my plot? fb The city also suggested we put concrete on the paths, however it was the member consensus to not do that.

the original trash and green bin area may be better suited for our meetings; there would be less sun, more shade. There was some discussion of this in past meetings; no decision made on that change yet.
Robin, Ardis, Michelle, Shawn, Leslie, Dan, Barbara, and Friends of Westbrae Commons want to have a say. There needs to be discussion from a 3 garden perspective (Linn, Peralta and Northside), since some may have more access through the gate in this area than others.  Not likely to be a big time commitment – should be discussed on the Path Committee. Michael, Dan, Ardis, Michelle, Robin, and Elizabeth (sorry, that’s the best I could make out from the notes!)

Was contacted by the eVe restaurant in Berkeley. They do a once a month Sunday fixed price dinner, and are inviting area community gardens to supply them with fresh, organic produce from their gardens, in exchange for payment.
Participation and commitment entail supplying them with 18 lbs of fresh garden produce (of any kind) once a month, in exchange for $300. 
Garden members were largely unenthusiastic about participation; concern was our ability to supply such a volume of produce, being that we are a small garden, especially in the cooler months and over winter. 
Gardeners have the option of donating individually, however it would be difficult to commit to monthly donations.
Consensus was to ask Peralta garden about their possible participation, and how we might be able to supply such a volume if we worked contributed with them. 

General garden information for the year will continue to be sent by group email, but will also be posted in the cob shed for those who do not have easy internet access, or who simply prefer the information on paper. 

Will keep the updated information in a binder in the cob shed, to your left as you enter shed. Leslie will also notify all members who were not in attendance at today’s meeting that they can find information in binder in shed. 

All members need to update their Garden Agreements, found in binder in shed. All those present at today’s meeting signed and dated their current agreements for the current year 2011.

Annual garden dues of $20 are now due and payable to DeAnna Dalton. All those who have not yet paid should contact DeAnna, and either mail payment to her, or make arrangements to meet with her to make payment. DeAnna’s contact info is available in the cob shed.  We currently have $1200 in the Northside Garden account.

Discussion of compost. Do we want to continue to use the compost delivered by the City of Berkeley? Discussion among members present was that as it is not organic compost, we do not want to continue using it. Should we use our own, purchase our own compost for the garden? If we were to purchase our own, other gardeners from Peralta ought to be limited in their use of it. 
All Northside gardeners ought to be able to use as much or as little as they pleased, however the question was raised about whether any gardeners ought to be to use compost to refill their entire plot, as it would not be equitable use for all gardeners. 

If we want to buy the organic compost and some of our members want to replenish, gardeners can contribute to the compost 

Suggested Local Hero brand organic compost $35. Soil amendment $25 sq yrd

We are tied with Peralta garden for the compost delivery from the city (Beebo), as they also use the compost, and they do not have a way for Beebo to deliver  it directly to their garden. 

Can we make all our own compost for the garden, as it was part of the original intent of the garden, with no need for outside purchase of compost. Cuttings and weeds could be composted, yet we are allowing the city to cart away a great deal of compostable matter in the green bins.

Several gardeners remarked that weeds in the compost bins is not a good idea, and is why we put so much of our cuttings and weeds in the green bins.

We can’t get a large enough volume of our own compost for sufficient use for all gardeners, hence the need to supplement with outside compost.

Consensus was to talk to Peralta garden about whether or not they want to continue to receive, or to stop delivery of the city compost.

Suggested we make a decision regarding the compost, and possible purchase of our own, or discontinuing delivery of compost from the city, by the next garden meeting. Members present agreed.

We ought to have a Compost Research Committee; Larry, Phyllis, Elizabeth, Michael, and Matt volunteered for this.

We have an abundance of tomato cages stacked behind the cob shed. All those who want tomato cages please take as many as you like and either place them in your plot, or take out of the garden (store at home or elsewhere) as they are difficult to store and handle in and around the shed. Whatever tomato cages remain will be recycled.
Proposed that Robin and Marty move to Deanna’s old plot; all agreed. 
How is seniority in the garden determined? To what degree does service to the garden get factored into garden seniority?

Service, work hours to the garden has not been a determining factor in garden seniority in the past, but it is worth considering.

If we look at other factors, we may run into difficulties with hurt feelings or misunderstandings; it could get contentious.

Abbot is in favor of giving those who live in the neighborhood and those who contribute most time/work to the garden more consideration in determining garden seniority.

Karl Linn established these gardens in order to build community, as a way to invite all those in the community to know one another, and to grow the garden, and their neighborhoods together. It was Karl Linn’s vision that these gardens would only be a beginning, and that more and more people outside this neighborhood would follow the examples set by these gardens, and create their own community gardens in their neighborhoods.

If there is to be a new policy for garden membership admission, it needs to be created, and we need to check with the city of Berkeley to see whether that is legal.

We should research about city requirements.

Matt or Michael (notes just said “M”):
Who will propose a change that we can discuss – done by email (will that work?)

Has orchids to donate if anyone wants them; they will be left by the fence/garden gate, anyone is welcome to them. Whatever ones are left will be composted.

–  Meeting ended  –

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