Steering Committee Minutes from July 26, 2014

Steering Committee Meeting 7/26/14

SC: Andrea Kannapell, David Bivins, Amelia Wilson, Valerie English, Dylan Mabin

Other: Melanie Holcomb, Tammy Dunn, Kit Schneider, Brian Ricci, Max Henstell, Pat McCarty, Gabriele Wolf, Sheri Stein, Sally Smith

We opened by creating an agenda (Budget, Fundraising, BANG budget, projects in the garden plan, work team update/accountability, honoring of Jenny Blackwell, notes from last garden day meeting) and then starting from the easiest, we moved to the most complex.

1. Pat McCarty has asked: Can we honor Jenny Blackwell, who will continue to work with BBG but is leaving the compost outreach of Greenbridge?
Decision: We love Kristen’s idea of a basket of produce from the garden, to be assembled on next garden day (Aug. 10) and delivered the next day.

Val will look for a basket, Brian will make a jar of pesto, Andrea will donate a cucumber. We will send out a note to the membership about this plan and ask that they email Gabriele about what they might contribute. She will organize the basket on Aug. 10, and Andrea will deliver to BBG Aug. 11.

2. Sally Smith proposes we make a plaque honoring Celestine for founding the garden. She agrees to research a plan.
3. Melanie Holcomb agrees to become fundraising coordinator, with help from Tammy Dunn. (They were willing to do it together, but the general feeling is that it’s best to have a single point of responsibility.)

Our consultation was based on a rough budget passed around at the annual meeting. (We would like to ask Ruth to make an updated budget, so we are clear on the current numbers.)

The big takeaway – we are looking at a major deficit. Several thousand dollars at least.

Grants are project-focused. We are unlikely to get grants for operating expenses. But we can look for grants for special projects. Advance time crucial to get funding for projects.

Melanie, Tammy and Mary have been doing a lot of research on what kind of grants are out there. Most have to be applied for in January or February. Most are small, too, so we have to think of integrating a lot of smaller pieces. There’s no single magic grant that will meet our financial needs.

There is discussion of possibly having more than one kind of membership (more money if you don’t work), but generally, we like having all members be stewards of the space.
Melanie and Tammy propose some relatively quick fixes and some longer term.

Increase options for people to give us money, like a Donate Now button on the website.

Herb and compost sale at Garden Days. We will do one for Aug. 10. (Brian will coordinate.)

Consider raising annual dues. Plot holders pay a separate $25.
Or perhaps raise maximum, asking s $10-$50 . We can discuss at next annual meeting (check bylaws for process).

Request donations for party space

Make our plant sale more highly organized to optimize revenue.

Take advantage of the annual Fifth Avenue street fair.

Can we partner with big stores? Also, the Bears garden partnered with HBSC for a community service project for their employees. We can try – takes advance work.

Consider teaming up with other BANG gardens on fundraising/upkeep efforts (like tree work).

Consider partnering with the new school on 4th ave, possibly something involving the chickens. (Andrea notes there is a garden in the works at the school: the SCA’s rectangle of asphalt to meet its promise to make the community whole for the loss of the Baltic St. Garden. )

Hold a produce sale(s) from community plots or individual donations.

Consider new annual events, like a fall yard sale. Make some annual events fundraisers: egg hunt (Pay the Bunny), pumpkin smash. Gab, Brian and Chloe may be able to set up new annual events.


Raffle involving donations from local businesses? (Would take a lot of work.)

Consider adding a page on our web site, promoting local businesses that support the garden.
We can try to spread the word on, Park Slope parents (charges), Linewaiters Gazette.
4. Work teams and accountability.

Can we add ways of meeting responsibilities for open hours? For instance, mini-workdays, with defined projects. Weeding Wednesdays. 6-8 p.m.

Since we don’t have enough people to weed, combine w/open hours?

Post chores — like what to weed or water.

General suggestion: For out of town plotholders, a “please water and harvest “ sign (Amelia & Chloe to make signs)

Sheri proposes alerting members if they are not in compliance with work duties. We discuss changing bylaws to allow for nonrenewal if noncompliance.

DECISION: we will ask work team leaders to update spreadsheet or send info to David, allowing Andrea to follow up by phone, particularly with plot holders.

This is a larger discussion of the culture of membership, rather than be punitive, be more encouraging. Maybe next year, new lock and keys and orientations for all. Mass orientations? 5-10 people at a time.

Gab points out we need clearer information available, organizational chart.

DECISION: David will send email to families, reminding them that gates should be open, even if you are brining in toddlers.
We acknowledget needing a more defined space for children’s activities.

Regarding plots:
Dylan says some members have given notice, others seem to have abandoned. Meanwhile, how do we handle those who want upgrades?

DECISION: Upgradees can have the option of starting their new plot now, or letting it be community for the rest of the year.


5. Deciding landscaping projects will enable us to go for grants.
David notes we need feedback on Sharon Lawless’s proposal. Val will ask for it via email to the gardencoordinator email address.
We can move ahead with one. Bricking in the Warren St. entrance. David estimates it will take one day and 50 bucks. We can solicit donations for this. Andrea proposes offering members double time credit, to both attract labor and offer members an easy way to make up any deficits.

We set SEPT 13 as the target day for the bricking.
6. We set our next steering committee meeting for Sunday, Aug. 24, halfway between the next two garden days (Aug. 10/Sept.. 6

We need a shed reorganization project.

General question: What is covered by the insurance we have through BANG?
Q: Are we paying water, or is BANG? Andrea’s review of notes is that BANG is paying the water.

Q: Are there other expenses that BANG pays?

Add page to website on how the Food Coop compost works.

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