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Archive for May, 2011

Join us on Saturday, June 18 from 7 – 9 PM for an evening in the garden.

Visitors are welcome! This is a great opportunity to chat with fellow gardeners. Bring a snack for share if you’d like, a drink (sorry, no alcohol without a permit) and your questions and/or gardening knowledge. Members, feel free to water, putter in your plots, and mingle.

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Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, May 26, 2011
3:00 – 4:30 pm

Board Members Present:

  • Don Converse
  • Angela Minyard
  • Ann DoVanQuy
  • Diana Wood
  • Rebecca Barria (left early)

Absent:

  • Rod Pittman
  • Murial Knope

Visitors:

  • Adrian Bonser (honorary board member)
  • Karen Converse

Expansion Details. We walked through the expansion areas of the garden and discussed layout, including how to handle the pantry and demonstration beds located on the old borders of the garden. Don, Diana, and Angela planned to meet Friday to stake plots and prep the area for the workday. New members will be asked to attend a workday to select their plots and mulch the paths. Don will lead the workday and set the date for June 4, time TBA. Rebecca will email everyone on the waiting list to invite them to join our membership and attend the workday.

Water. Rebecca reported that Brent Walker, the parks & rec manager, has agreed to install two faucets closer to the garden now that we are expanding. Don will coordinate with Brent about the location of the faucets and plumbing logistics. Diana will meet with a consultant to discuss the rain harvesting system at the greenhouse and the cistern/faucet system at the garden. We may purchase an additional cistern. We discussed the possibility of installing a well and determined more research is needed.

Master Plan. We’d like to get more details regarding the boundaries of the garden on the new Brook Run master plan so that we can move forward with plans for a linear orchard. Discussed possible future expansions models, such as larger plots, communal gardening, and urban farm.

First Aid. We will purchase a simple first aid kit to keep in the toolshed.

Greenhouse Landscaping. Diana and Karen presented a plan for the greenhouse landscaping. The plan includes a water harvesting system, and irrigation system, ADA beds, a safety fence around the vent control system, and requests for the city crews to remove dead/diseased shrubs/trees, rebuild a retaining wall, repair the fence, install gutters on the barn for the rain harvesting system, and repair the swamp wall in the small greenhouse. Diana will present the plan to Brent Walker, the city’s parks & rec manager.

Weekly Tips. Non-board member, Karen Converse, expressed appreciation for Rebecca’s email alert to members about squash bugs, complete with photos and organic control measures.  She opined that regular weekly “tips” sent via email to members would be a good way to provide timely educational information. Rebecca will send out weekly(ish) tips based on gardener’s questions and timely issues.

Workdays. Karen also suggested that a regular schedule of monthly workdays would help members plan ahead to contribute their efforts toward the common areas.  One Saturday a month and one weekday a month (to accommodate members’ availability) could be the designated “garden days”, with supervision being provided via rotation of team leaders or board members.  A regular schedule might also help to provide the structure needed for organization of work tasks.  (This type of schedule was observed to work successfully at Donaldson and Tucker Master Gardener sites.)

Next Meeting Date: TBA

 

 

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Squash Bugs

Reports of squash bugs in the garden are coming in, and the damage they cause can make plants susceptible to disease.

This is a squash bug:

This are its eggs:

These are the eggs hatching:

These are the nymphs:

This is the damage squash bugs cause:

The best was to control squash bugs is to cultivate a healthy garden and diverse ecosystem. Physical controls include dropping the bugs in soapy water and smashing the eggs. If that doesn’t work and you’d like to try a spray, Mother Earth News recommends Neem as an ORGANIC pest control. (My favorite place to buy organic garden supplies and get advice is Farmer D’s garden center.)

Additionally, these repellant plans might deter squash bugs: catnip, tansy, radishes, tansy, nasturtiums, marigolds, beebalm, or mints.

The good news is that once your plants are well established, squash bugs aren’t such a big deal. The larger plants can handle a little nibbling.

(Photos copied from this website. IGNORE their insecticidal remedies because we require ORGANIC practices.)

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Our next board meeting will be Thursday, May 26 at 3:00 PM at the
garden.  (In the event of rain, we’ll meet at Goldberg’s Deli in Georgetown Square.)

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Van and Sally Malone, garden members and Food Pantry volunteers, are featured in this Patch article about their front yard vegetable garden. They are such great ambassadors for this movement.

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This is a three minute clip from an episode of TrustDale TV. The clip stars four of our garden members: Tracy, Ann, Sally, and Don, and highlights our food pantry initiative.

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Membership Meeting & Potluck
Saturday, May 14, 2011
9:30 am: Mingle
10:00 am – 11:00 am: Membership Meeting
11:00 am (ish): Q & A (Ask an accomplished gardener!)
Noon(ish): Potluck 

                                                 Meeting Agenda

·      Introduction of current board members

·      Introduction of newest board member

·      Chairperson’s remarks

·      Rules & Procedures highlights

  • Organic method required
  • Year-round cultivation & paths maintenance required
  • No rotting fruit in plots! (Email pantry team)

·      Recruitment for garden TEAMS

·      Expansion news

·      Budget update

·      Spring plant sale recap

·      Food pantry team status

·      Reminder re: September elections

·      Questions?

·      Next meeting (TBA—late summer 2011)

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