August 10th Garden Day Meeting Notes

We had a terrific garden day, cleaning up the peach tree, watering everywhere, turning compost, weeding, and sanding and staining the remaining two benches. Turnout was better than one might expect for August, with 16 members plowing in.

The garden provided pizza for lunch (and some of us went off the reservation and got sandwiches or burgers, on our own dime).

We had a chicken update, a discussion of feral cats, started a wishlist, mused over planning the potluck for next meeting, talked about fundraising ideas, considered the sad state of the shed, debated not renewing the pre-garden day workshops, noted that some new members were not getting emails, and approved a payment of $180 per year for water to BANG! Details below.

Gabriele put together a lovely basket and floral arrangement for Jenny Blackwell, who is leaving the NY Compost Project, though staying on with BBG. (Andrea delivered on Monday morning, but had to leave at desk as the subject was elusive.)

Kristen Davis’s chicken update: The chickens are 12.5 weeks old. Maturity is 16-20 weeks. That’s when we’ll know for sure if we accidentally ended up with any males. (Experts do try to determine the sex before the hatchlings are sent, but it is a delicate and imperfect art.)

The coop extension is well under way, but it is more time-consuming and complicated than foreseen. We still have several steps to complete. Melanie Holcomb put together an excellent summary laying out the steps:

1. Stabilize the foundation.
2.  Secure a layer of hardware cloth onto the lower half of each wall.
3.  Raise and assemble the structure.
4.  Place and attach beams across the top for the roof.
5.  Wrap hardware cloth around the top half of the walls and roof.

We have not set a date for the next group effort.

Feral cats:  It looks like a couple of feline vagabonds have taken up residence, or are at least frequent visitors. Those living along Warren and St. Marks are requested to check with neighbors in case anyone actually owns the cats. Mimi Rosenfeld and Mary Dillon said they would look up information on groups that capture, spay and relocate.

Wishlist: Elements here were strictly for discussion. Bigger shed, opening up more sunny areas for plots, glider swing, hammock, and (this one took the writer by surprise) a request to consider making all plots community plots. Some think we would have higher yields, and we would not face the problem of abandoned or undertended plots. We may revisit this at future meetings.

Potluck: Sept. 6, 1-3 p.m. We discussed putting up a signup sheet both electronically and in the shed. Would be nice to plan it out a bit.

New members not getting email: David Bivins (garden coordinator) and Amelia Wilson (membership coordinator) arrived at a method of getting the new email addresses to Val.

Workshops: It was agreed that there had not been a lot of attendance at the pre-garden workshops. Proposal was to consider doing workshops on other days, so that they could be at a more convenient hour.

Shed: Mimi Rosenfeld and Nadine will work together to inventory the shed and create a basic level of organization. We will then label everything, with the hope that members will be able to understand and follow the system. Mimi also has a large storage box, which Matt Kirby is arranging to pick up. We can use for toys or for some part of the shed overflow.

Fundraising: Film screenings in September. (Andrea’s husband, a film librarian with NYPL, can organize the films.) Per film rules, we cannot ask for donations for the film, but we can ask for donations for the garden or for popcorn etc.

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