Garden Committee Meeting – April 25, 2019

Started: 6:30 PM
Ended:  7:30 PM

Attending:  Tyler, Borden, Rob, Keith, Mikki, Dan, Teresa, Jesse, Hieke, Christine, Rebecca, Hugh & Rowan, Amber, Lisa
Quorum:  Yes!

Garden Orientation

  1. Review of the “Renfrew Community Garden Mission Statement, Bylaws, Registration & Bed Rental Agreement”.
    • Our Promise… to be safe, be friendly and keep the garden clean!
    • Focus on the garden as a whole, everyone takes care of everything!
    • Focus on our composting rules.
    • Focus on our our raised beds, please keep them lovely and weed free!
  2. Volunteering Opportunities
    • Garden Mentors – Amber, Jesse, Lisa
    • Membership Coordinator – Amber
    • Public Relations, Social Media & Renfrew Reflections Correspondant – Rebecca
    • Edible Tree Garden – Lisa & Christine
    • Site & Composting Manager – Tyler
  3. Events & Work Bees
    • Garden Orientation & Seed Exchange, April 25, 2019, 6:30 PM (required attendance)
    • Gardening 101 & Mulch Spreading, May 11, 2019, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Autumn Cleanup, TBA, (required attendance)
    • Possible Gopher Smoking Out, TBA (possibly late July)
    • Autumn Harvest Potluck, TBA
  4. Introduction to the Spigot
  5. Introduction to the Storage Bin
  6. Communications
    • We use several means of communication.  For this summer we will send our main announcements by email.  Members are welcome to use email as well.  Please be respectful and do not share email addresses with others outside of the RCG membership.  We have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group.  While the Facebook Page is mostly managed by admin, the Facebook Group is widely used by everyone to post garden photos and boast about your garden produce.  Twitter is another means.
    • However, at the meeting we decided that WhatsApp is the most appropriate way for daily chatter.  This is an easy and free mobile phone app so we’ll try to pull that together before summer.
  7. More on Mentoring
    • Currently we have three garden mentors – Amber, Jesse and Lisa.  All three of us will be at the garden a lot… so ask us questions on site!  We will also meet you by appointment or answer questions on WhatsApp.  We may plan 2 or 3 mentoring sessions as well, where we can meet as a larger group to talk about gardening.  This is a new program at the Renfrew Community Garden, so please let us know what you like, and what we can do to support your gardening efforts this summer!

Other Business

ISSUE:  We have a gopher infestation at the Renfrew Community Garden.  Gophers are extremely destructive, and they carry disease, lice, ticks, and fleas.  They are also known to chew through irrigation lines.  So far they are building tunnels on the east mound and over to raised garden beds 25 & 27.  They are expanding their warren quickly.

MOTION:

I, Lisa, move that the Renfrew Community Garden Management Committee take the following action to deal with our gopher problem:

  • PLAN A: We will deter the gophers using humane methods for two months (May & June). We will harass them until they leave voluntarily using the following methods:
    • Raised Garden Beds
      • Plug holes every time by backfilling with the adjacent soil in the beds.
      • Affected raised bed renters can apply other Chair-pre-approved humane deterrents.
    • Mounds
      • Insert dog and cat doodles, as much as you can, as often as you can, deep into the gopher holes. Mothballs and castor oil are other possibilities.
      • Fill holes with coffee grounds (easy to get at Starbucks or Café Baya Rica) as much as you can, as often as you can.
      • Fill and tightly plug ALL of the holes as often as you can. Gophers can easily dig themselves out… but we want to annoy them as much as possible.
      • Sonic Spikes, ex. Transonic Mole and Gopher Chaser (Home Depot $60 each, we’d need at least 2, emits vibrations and noise, powered by solar panels).
      • Apply any other Chair-pre-approved methods for humanly deterring gophers.
    • PLAN B: If after two months (in July), if the gophers have not vacated the RCG we will employ more aggressive means of deterrents and extermination:
      • Gas Bombs, ex. Giant Destroyer Smoke Bomb/Gasser. This product will suffocate and kill the gophers inside their tunnels.  It may need more than one application to be successful.  The exits are plugged and the toxic gas is released inside the tunnels.
      • Other Chair-pre-approved methods for exterminating gophers.

AMENDMENTS TO THE MOTION:

  • The motion is amended to include calling 311 to help us deal with the gopher infestation in PLAN A.

RESULTS:

  • In Favour: 11           PASSED as amended!
  • Apposed: 1
  • Abstain: 0

Meeting Minutes – February 20, 2019

Quorum Reached (min 3): Yes! 9
Meeting Started:         7:02 PM
Meeting Ended:           7:58 PM

Welcome – Heike Pauli & Lisa Mulder

    • New Terms of Reference
    • Finances are blended with RCA officially now
    • Our Golden Pear is infected with Fire Blight and will be cut down in the next few weeks.  It will be replaced at the cost of Plantation Nursery this spring.
    • Membership renewals – there are still some available beds.

Budget for June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 approved for $2495 for…

    • Wood Mulch
    • Plant Material
    • Deer Protection
    • Metal Tags for Tree Labelling
    • Water Barrel Maintenance
    • Signage/Bulletin Boards/Painting
    • Hoses
    • Hose Storage
    • Spray Wands/Nozzles
    • Combination Locks

Budget for June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020 (not written yet, submissions welcome)

DISCUSSION:  The unspent funds be forwarded from last year’s RCG budget (2018-19) to this year’s RCG budget (June 1, 2019 to May 30, 2020).We will accept input for the upcoming RCG budget for the next few weeks… up until the budget has to be submitted to the RCA for approval.

Action Required:

  1. Position Available – Chair
    The floor was opened for nominations.  Amber Parkhill was nominated by Heike Pauli.  Amber accepted the nomination. No other nominations were presented.  Amber Parkhill is declared the new Chair of the Renfrew Community Association by acclamation.  Thank you Amber!
  2. Summer 2020 Fees – keep as they are?
    MOTION: Lisa Mulder moves that the RCG Fees be kept as they are for Summer 2020.
    Seconded by Corianne.
    Approved by unanimous vote.
  3. RCG Bylaws – keep as they are?
    MOTION:  Lisa Mulder moves that the phrase “All mulch (including straw), soil and compost brought into the gardens must be organic.” be changed to “All mulch (including straw), soil and compost brought into the gardens must be food safe and pesticide free”.
    Seconded by Mikki.
    Approved by unanimous vote.
  4. Events – dates/times?  Combine or have as separate events?
    1. Spring Orientation (required attendance)
    2. Gardening 101 Session
    3. Mulch spreading

Discussion revolved around whether the events should be held together or separately.  

    • 7 members preferred several small events versus one large event.
    • 3 members preferred one large event vs several smaller events.

In the end there was general consensus to hold two events, tentatively:

    • Spring Orientation (required attendance) on
      Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:30 PM.
    • Gardening 101 + mulch spreading on
      Saturday May 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM.

Other matters

    • Seed Exchange – let’s all use the FaceBook Group “Renfrew Community Garden YYC” to coordinate our seed sharing.
      – Amber has an order going out shortly and is asking if anyone wants to coordinate a seed order with her.
    • Stanley Jones School (SJS) Historical Garden Weeding
      • We want to give first dibs to any SJS group who wants to use it for fundraising.
      • If the school doesn’t want it, Mikki and Corianne said that they’d like to organize the program on behalf of the Renfrew Community Garden and Renfrew Community Association.
    • The Fall Potluck Dinner was suggested.  It was held in 2017, but not in 2018 ( and was missed).
    • Community Cleanup announced for May 25, 2019.

Next Meeting – planned to coordinate with the RCG Spring Orientation Meeting.

Revving Up for SPRING 2019

We are deep into winter!  Our gardens are hibernating under a shallow layer of snow.  Although our gardens are fairly inactive right now, we gardeners are revving up for spring!  What will we plant?  What new strategies will we attempt this year?  What rare variety of tomato will we grow?

First!  To ensure that you have a garden bed at the Renfrew Community Garden, make sure that you contact Heike as soon as possible!  Beds are limited and interest is high so don’t wait another moment.

Second!  Have a plan.  What are you planting this year?  What will your rows look like: long/short, widely space/tight?  Tall plants on the north side of the garden, shorter plants on the south?

Next!  Get out to the nurseries and select some interesting seed packets.  Read the label.  If you’re planning on planting after Victoria Day (when the risk of frost is tolerably low) then plant the seeds in pots the correct number of days ahead based on the time to germination and transplant… if you plant them too early, your kitchen will be overtaken by lanky overgrown seedlings… we’ve all experienced that!  Also, when selecting seeds, check the number of days to harvest… our growing season is only about 110-140 days long (maybe longer as our climate continues to warm) so don’t select varieties that take too long to ripen.  One crazy veg to grow is eggplant!  Did you know that the eggplant is ripe enough to eat at anytime?  The longer you leave it on the vine, the bigger it gets… but you can eat it at any size!

Don’t forget that most fruit trees benefit from pruning during February/March while it’s still cold.  That’ll keep us busy until spring arrives!

Revving up for Spring 2018

It’s already April and we are in the mood to get our hands dirty!  But hey, there’s a foot of snow on the ground still.  This is more than just an annoyance, it’s downright painful!  After a harsh winter we are ready for some warm gentle breezes and green grass!

Our Garden Orientation is this Thursday, April 19, 2018, where Heike will show us the operations of the garden, how to access water and hoses, what our responsibilities are as gardeners here, etc.  We’ll do this despite the inches of snow we’ll still have on site!!

There are also a number of activities happening this spring at the Renfrew Community Garden and at the Renfrew Community Association including Earth Day Celebrations!  Keep your eyes attuned to the Renfrew Community Association FB page for more information on this April 21, 2018 event!

Want to learn how to plant trees? Or just want to help out? Get involved in planting trees and shrubs in our Edible Tree Forest (AKA trilobite swale) this spring.  Dates and times TBA and will be announced with short notice.  Contact us to get on the mailing list and/or monitor the Renfrew Community Garden YYC Facebook group to get the minute by minute updates.

Meeting Minutes – January 26, 2018

Present:  Lisa, Amber & Heike
From 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Budget

The following financial reports were reviewed and approved for submission to the RCA as soon as possible:

  • 2016-2017  RCA/RCG Financial Reconciliation Report
  • 2017-2018 (to date) RCA/RCG Financial Reconciliation Report
  • 2016-2017 RCG Finance Report
  • 2017-2018 (to date) RCG Financial Report

The 2017 Mission Statement, Bylaws , Registration and Rental Agreement document was reviewed and then amended for the 2018 season.  The amended version was approved to be posted and used for the upcoming 2018 gardening season.  (It has since been posted to this blog).

The 2018 Renfrew Community Garden 2018 Orientation Meeting has been TENTATIVELY set for Thursday, April 19, 2018.  Stay tuned for the actual date.

Stanley Jones School Historical Gardens weeding project – Heike said she’d investigate the membership for interesting in maintaining this amazing opportunity to generate funds for the RCG.

SIGNAGE – Amber said she’d investigate the options for signs at the RCG.  These would be small scale signs identifying public pick beds, donations beds and private beds.  The signs could do so much more as well…

Garden ROLES have been altered for the 2018 as per the bylaws mentioned above.  We are now looking to more formally fill these roles.

Next Meeting:  February 20, 2018.  Stay tuned!

Meeting Minutes – October 25, 2017

Present:  Heike, Samantha, Catherine, Martin, Sierra, Shelley, Lisa
Commenced 7:05 PM, Adjourned 8:05 PM

Bins

  • Gratitude to the Compost Council of Canada and the City of Calgary Folks who are currently helping to build our compost bin (and maybe our storage bin)!  What a difference that will make to our garden!  It is expected to be mostly completed before winter officially begins.

Kiwanis Club Update

  • The CHINOOK KIWANIS CLUB is donating $1000 towards the purchase of the benches, picnic table, bike rack.
  • The NORTHMOUNT KIWANIS CLUB will contribute the remaining funds required to purchase the benches, picnic table and bike rack.  They are also contributing a dedication rock that will recognize the Kiwanis Club as a contributor to the RCG.
  • New Concept Landscaping & Contracting Ltd. is contributing the labour and machines needed to install the new features!

Meetings

  • The RCA Board has asked us to let Corianne know in advance about any meetings we may be planning so that she can schedule them in the RCA calendar. This does not include meetings that we are holding at the Friday Pub Nights (these do not have to be booked).

Mice

  • We should move out any edibles from underneath the RCA patio including bonemeal. Does anyone have a place where we can store these?

Budgets

  • The RCA Board is asking us to prepare a special budget for this coming up spring and summer project expenses. This is good for us because the RCA Board will approve all of our potential expenses in advance (even if they exceed the RCA Financial Policy limits).  This will minimize the hoop jumping next spring when we get back into spending mode!
  • The RCA Board is asking us to prepare an annual maintenance budget that will be attached to the RCA Business Plan which the RCA is currently working on.

Balancing & Closing the Books for 2017

  • We will need to reconcile our 2017 spending and revenue against the following to close the books on this year.
    • Parks Foundation balance
    • RCA RCG Account balance
    • 2017 Membership List

Planning for 2018 – Project

  • We received $1000 from Stanley Jones School for the Historical Garden Weeding project this summer. We must ensure that this money (any gaming money) is spent STRICTLY on AGLC approved items.
  • Ideas – If there is a project or idea that you want to lead and create, please provide a short description of your concept, a list of the materials that you will need to purchase and the approximate cost of each item to the RCG committee co-Chairs, Heike or Lisa.  The deadline for submissions is early February 2018.  We will combine all of the project budgets into one large RCG project budget and submit to the RCA Board at the February Board meeting.
    • Trees, bushes, perennials (Lisa)
    • Metal tags and wire for labelling trees and bushes (Lisa)
    • Stamp set (Lisa)
    • Signage (we need to assemble a list of potential signs and then order/create them)
    • Garden soil to top up beds (Lisa)
    • Compost/manure required to enrich the beds
    • Tree watering bags (about 6) (Lisa)
    • Bunny protection for bushes and trees over winter
    • Micro-library
    • Trellis
    • Bulletin board/Sign
    • Street signs (eg. 8th Ave, Renfrew Crescent)
    • Banners, signs, sandwich boards
    • Compost/Storage Bin accessories/materials (eg. Concrete sidewalk squares)
    • Cinder blocks for the Water Tank
    • Motion Lighting
    • Insect Hotel

At this point, the RCG committee moved and approved the purchase of new garden soil and compost/manure for Spring 2018.  It was generally agreed that the beds need to be topped up.

Planning for 2018 – Annual

Action plan for Winter 2017/2018:

  • Update bylaws
    • When should renewing members pay? (End of October?)
    • When should elections be held? (End of October?)
    • Add a clause that asks members to keep the gravel clean.
    • Pets?
    • Maximum number of beds per member?
    • Other?
  • Elections
  • Advertising for 2018
  • Eduational Seminars
  • Spring Up! for the Renfrew Community Garden Fundraiser (discussed as an option)