Calvin Park Community Garden
Steering Committee Meeting
Sept. 19, 2011
Present: Cheryl Fischer, Nancy Mucklow, Joanna Cooke, Donna Hamilton, Alan
Regrets: Kim Sutherland Mills, Parker Locke, Lisa Lovett, Kate
Sparrow, Mike Putnam
Cheryl reported that the feedback from communal garden members (who replied
to her e-mail that was sent out in August) was positive. Members were satisfied
with their harvest, although some reported that they didn’t take very many
vegetables because they hadn’t volunteered enough.
Nancy and Cheryl put in a lot of the labour themselves. Members of the
communal plot didn’t always understand what needed to be done. Even with
written updates in the tool shed, some members weren’t sure whether or not to
water or harvest. Some vegetables were picked too early. Large beans that were
left on the plant to provide seeds for next year were picked. Education of novice
gardeners was difficult.
St. John’s Anglican Church was happy to receive extra produce for those in need.
Cheryl met with Rev. Bartlett about one month ago. He suggested using the
garden as an outreach project for people who come to the church looking for
help. They could do weeding and other jobs in the garden to make a contribution.
There was some theft from the donation plot and family plots.
Signage is needed to clearly define the areas: communal plot, family plots
(“These are family plots. Please do not take produce.”), educational children’s
area (“Please help yourself”), and a welcome sign that could encourage people to
join the garden. Grant money may be available for the signs.
Difficulties with the communal garden included
Nancy suggested that the communal garden be redesigned as family plots with
one section (closest to the shed?) as a designated donation plot. A small group of
volunteers could be responsible for the donation plot including harvesting and
taking the produce to St. John’s Anglican Church or the Food Bank. The focus
would be on easy, high-yield vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli and beans.
Nancy recommended that we refrain from planting cucumbers, squash and
zucchini next year to prevent another infestation.
There are presently 27 family plots. Some plots have not been tended regularly.
E-mails were sent to certain members asking if their produce could be donated,
but there was no response. It’s a shame to see vegetables going to waste.
Cheryl agreed to send an e-mail to members who currently have a family plot.
The e-mail will encourage them to come to the Harvest Party where $20 will be
collected to hold on to their plot for next year. Members who are unable to attend
the Harvest Party need to contact Cheryl and arrange to drop off $20.
Also, Cheryl will ask members to clean up their plots by a certain date. Plant
material can be composted. (see composting below)
The composters are presently full and the material will not decompose quickly
because there are too many large branches and sticks.
Rotten tomatoes and other vegetables should be put in the black composter
rather than the wooden ones.
Cheryl will arrange for a truck or trailer to cart the large materials away to KARC.
Volunteers will be needed to help move the material.
We will be more careful about what we put in the composters in the future and
strive to create a good medium for decomposition so mature compost can be
used to amend the soil.
Alan will build another composter so there will be room for all of the garden
Water barrels will be turned over during the winter. Some barrels will fit inside
each other and could be stored in the shed. The large tote is to be moved to the
back of the church.
Nancy volunteered to make a poster encouraging new members to join the
Community Garden. Joanna agreed to photocopy the posters and Nancy and
Joanna will distribute them to neighbourhood apartments, Ann Clachin residence
and near the townhouses.
Current membership guidelines were reviewed and the following changes were
approved: Adding the word “quiet” to #1. Adding another guideline: “I agree to
mulch my plot (mulching material will be available) and use the rain water
conservatively.” #14. “If I am unable to pay the fee I will discuss this with the
treasurer. Financial assistance is available”. (instead of “waive the fee”).
Volunteer teams will include the following: compost, donation plot, site
maintenance, social planning, grass trimming, permanent crops (strawberry and
raspberry plants), flower maintenance.
Joanna will have the new form ready for the Harvest Party (for registrations).
Suggestions for next year
Once/month potlucks at the garden in the evening on a week day (not weekends)
so members can socialize.
Educational evenings (with experienced gardeners on hand) could be arranged for
members who are new at gardening and would like to get advice.
Grow strawberries instead of pumpkins in the current pumpkin patch. Cheryl has
already planted donated trimmings.
Educational workshop on starting seeds indoors. This could be held in Jan. 2012.
Alan reminded us of the idea to plant fruit trees.
Saturday, October 22 at 4:00pm. Music and games followed by a potluck dinner
and AGM. Registrations for next year and a $20 fee will take place as well.
Fall Soil Amendment
Members who are keeping their family plots for next year are encouraged to bring
raked leaves to the garden to amend their soil. This is highly recommended for
Thank you to Lisa for leading a wonderful canning workshop in August! Everyone
left with a jar of beans and a head full of information!
Next meeting: TBA