West 104th Street Garden

October 28, 2013

Workday Meeting Minutes for October 19, 2013

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104 Garden Workday Meeting Minutes

Date: 10/19/13

Lead by Ann Levine – Steering Committee

1. Announcement of 2nd citation for rat infestation:
Follow–up by Melissa Nichols from Green Thumb.  Discussed possible ways to reduce rodents in garden area: harassment–fill holes with dirt and/or copper mesh, end cat and bird food on sidewalk by large gate and hang “pigeon” poster.  Noted that Maria (owner of now closed pet store on W. 100 St.) was seen putting food out for birds and cats. She needs to be contacted at her home, 435 CPW.
Melissa will contact Green Thumb about acquiring the “pigeon” poster to hang on the outside fence.

2. Private Event Proposal:

Noted proposal was sent to all garden members to review with only a reply from one gardener.  Decided that proposal will be reviewed and edited over the winter interim and presented at the first meeting of 2014 for a vote.

Anna (last name?) suggested we contact NYBotanical Gardens for events procedures/policies and similar venues; agreed to help with the proposal.

3. Stage

Stage “committee” (list members) goal to have final plans completed by the end of ’13.

Cindy (last name?) is an industrial designer and agreed to help with drawings if needed.

4. Website Redesign

Lead by Noreen, with Craig, Dinorah; volunteers welcome.  Will do redesign over the winter interim.

5. New Members Orientation

Proposal by Lou to have mandatory orientation for all new members.  No member will be given a plot unless they have completed the orientation.  Lou volunteered to lead the first orientation meetings. Suggested a handbook could be written (or an old existing one edited) to provide members with garden rules, procedures ( with monitor checklist) and plant and gardening guidance. Put orientation dates on the calendar.  Set up “bookkeeping form for member to sign and attach to application for confirmation of completed orientation.  VOTE:  27/yes, 3/no, 1abstain

6. Budget

Noted over $8,000 in coffers (includes $1,000 stage grant).  Garden has kept expenses low in 2013 and made some money from several flea markets.

Ariel mentioned Block Associations caution to keep our account under $10,000 for tax reasons, but it was concluded that was not really a concern.

7. Motion to move butterfly bush in the East garden to the SE coner of the garden by Katy. VOTE:  25/yes, 3/no.  Bush will be moved by Katy and any volunteers this fall.

9. Work day projects and minor announcements:

  • Plant daffodils (not in SW corner of West garden or under tree)
  • Clean grill
  • Turn off water harvesting
  • Add bleach to water system.
  • Do not prune canes near herb garden

October 21, 2012

October 22 Workday Minutes

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Minutes from October Workday

Weeding: blackberries still need weeding and was scheduled as a workday task.

Gazebo: did not find sandpaper so we will postpone sanding the floor for a makeup day.

Path Update: Path can’t be finished without Frank’s tools. He is out of the country. We will schedule a date to complete, and request one additional volunteer. Mary Kelly again expressed concern about the aesthetics of the path and her disagreement with the plan for completion, which was noted. Dinorah requested members’ patience and reiterated that the current condition is temporary.

Stage: the repair and/or replacement of the stage is postponed until next Spring as it has been confirmed that replacement will cost more than $500. In the meantime members are requested  to forward suggestions to the design committee. Alternative plans will be drawn up and presented to members for a vote in Spring 2013. We also now have an opportunity to seek grant funding to complete the project. Anyone interested should contact the Steering Committee.

Shed: task to clear out the flea market items from the East shed to make room for the chairs.

Pruning: Last workday, there were complaints that the fig tree was overpruned. Marc De Rocco, pruning committee chair, was contacted by the steering committee and agreed that pruning will only take place if expressly instructed by the steering committee. Jean asked to trim the top of the fig tree a bit and will trim back the crab apple tree.

Gift Tree: A gift (linden?) tree that was planted a few years ago in a community bed near the East Garden’s east wall is now overgrown and threatens our neighbor’s building. The current location was meant to be temporary, but it was never transplanted and now must be removed. It is likely that the tree will be destroyed. Members voted to remove the tree. Steering Committee will coordinate with Christine Barrow, who is in charge of the bed, to remove the plantings temporarily, so the tree can be removed without destroying any plantings.

Clean Up Day: Jean proposed a clean up day be added to the calendar for next season. Best days would be the weekend after Halloween/Harvest Festival.

Finances: Treasurer, Ariel Behring, gave the finance report. We are low in funds versus other years. Our current balance is around $3600. As we have been spending down our balance by about $2000 per year, the current budget is not sustainable. Ideas for raising funds include one or more of the following

-raising member dues
-budgeting more carefully
-more active grant committee
-allowing advertising (on website and/or event posters)
-pursuing more paid events, like film shoots and weddings

Additional suggestions and volunteers are welcome.

Wedding: Kim Maitland gave the wedding planner who requested use of the garden in June 2013 a quote of $1500 and did not get a response. It is likely that they are no longer interested. Kim noted that the Delay on our part was due to needing member approval, since the event would have required use of both gardens.

Plot numbers: A member complained that the plot numbers that were painted on beds is unattractive. Another member noted that some of the numbers we’re wrong. Dinorah noted that after the last bed audit, some plot numbers did change, but she would have a workday group verify the numbers and create a plan for a more aesthetic paint job.

Halloween decorations: there will be a separate date on Sunday 1-4 pm to hang Halloween decorations. Any donations appreciated. (Note, Dinorah Matias and Paula McKenzie put up almost all the Halloween Decor on Saturday October 20.)

October 10, 2012

Garden Workday – September 22 (Rain Date) Minutes

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Agenda:

  • Announcements
  • Recent Activities/Planning
  • Work Chores

Announcements:

  • Apologies for back and forth about rain date, glad you can make it.
    Thanks to Julia Soledispa, Christine Barrow and Jesus Torres for running another successful flea market, raising $510, over 1200 for the summer. Mary Kelly and Janice Vrana also helped with cleanup.
  • Fig harvest/Labor Day BBQ also a success; need to remember to clean the grill after a group event. Someone should be in charge. Check to see if it is clean.
  • Stray tabby that Katy found last month has a home.

Recent Activities/Planning:

  • Gazebo, flashing is complete, but rain and planned events disrupting our painting schedule. (Raleigh had reserved the gazebo for a party this afternoon, so we can’t do it today.) We will sand and prime during the October workday and paint at a later time TBD.
  • Stage: The condition of the stage has deteriorated to a point where the cost to repair exceeds the $200 threshold requiring member vote. This gives us an opportunity to discuss in more detail among members what should be done. A few proposals include removing it entirely, and seeding the area with grass, replacing it with a paved patio, constructing a new raised stage with more durable materials and moving the foot print to the other side of the garden. Each of these proposals require member discussion and a vote. Since it is a big deal, we will vote via email to include all members.
  • Mowing: It seems the last mowing was cut a bit close. It is not healthy for the grass to be cut so short (bad for root system with too much sun)   It’s important to mow no less than about 2- 2 1/2 inches or so. There are two mowers.  Mower in west shed has knobs, one on each side, to change height of blade.  If you fiddle with it you can see how it works.  Even when adjusted to good height, they made need readjusting as you mow.  But if set for about two inches, it shouldn’t change so much that you end up shaving the grass.

ACTIONS:

  • Events: Noreen will add a line to the Special Events application indicating that the grill must be clear of any trees to reduce the risk of a fire.
  • Stage: The design committee will discuss ideas and options for the stage redesign/repair and will solicit member input.
    Path: Completion of the path project is ongoing. The organizers of this project would like to request patience as this is a work in progress.
  • Lawn Mowing: The lawn mowing committee will place a label on the mower reminding mowers to keep the blade at the appropriate setting.
  • Wedding 2012 Inquiry: Melissa will research whether Green Thumb has guidelines or advice regarding hosting special events of this nature in our garden, with a focus on permit, insurance and liability issues. Katy, Kim and Noreen will work out details with the event planner, including a starting ask of $1500 for use of both gardens.

Chores:

Maintenance:

  • Go through the lumber pile behind the patio and get rid of anything that’s not useful. DONE
  • Repair the side of Barbara Garson’s bed that has collapsed.
    The rosebeds still need to have wood around them. DONE

Special Events:

  • There is a large black bag of flea market leftovers in the gazebo. We need some people to take it to the church thrift store.
    There are 3 cartons of books, stacked neatly under the Halloween & Xmas decoration boxes, in the small shed. I don’t have any good ideas for disposing of these. It was suggested that we try to do something with these as well, perhaps donate. DONE

West Garden:

  • Reseed front lawn and mark lawn off limits. Suzanne will bring the grass seed–perhaps someone can go and get a few large bags of dirt…Needs to be continuously watered for 2 weeks; DONE
  • Collect/ sweep/ rake all twigs and branches that have fallen down in storms and tie into bundles; DONE
  • Get rid of volunteer trees in communal beds–this will take some serious digging (will show you which ones). DONE
  • Take dead (and perhaps living?- ask Julia) morning glories off fence, so there aren’t old vines hanging all year long; DONE
  • Weed berry area and cut back dead canes; NOT DONE
  • Clear out green cold framebox  in preparation for next year — all containers should be emptied, and if people want to keep specific ones, they should be marked and put on potting shelf in East garden. Fix lid. NOT DONE
  • Throw away unneeded wood in back (Frank showed me which pieces) and around shed. DONE
  • Clean grill if still dirty. DONE

East Garden:

  • Deadhead the white (stand-alone) butterfly bush. DONE

ACTION: If you missed the September workday, you will need to get a makeup assignment. Please contact Noreen Whysel at Nwhysel@gmail.com or 212-662-2697. To get workday credit, please contact Barbara Schnoor at 212-567-0244 or barbarashohoji@yahoo.com, after you have completed your assignment.

August 20, 2012

Minutes of the August 8 Meeting

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West 104 St. Community Garden Work Day Minutes, August 8th, 2012

Issues discussed at Meeting:

1. Members approved considering a pick up (obtaining & bringing supplies to the garden ) a workday make up

1.a. Ann will be sending an email requesting volunteers to help Frank getting the materials for the stage

1. Discussion of 12 West 104 St. tenants visiting the garden off-open hours and using our BBQ. The idea of extending the fence on the West Side Garden was considered. Lou said that the contractor who worked on the retaining wall refused to continue the fence all the way to the back because the ground is not flat, making installation complex. (Dinorah’s Opinion: From a professional stand-point adding extra steps is part of any construction process and not a hard job….But we would have to pay for fence now,)

2.a. Lou suggested that we ask Michael (Michael Simpkin is a member who lives at 12 West 104) to put some signs inside the building encouraging people to sign for a membership if they want to have access off-open hours into the garden, and informing them that, otherwise, their visits are not allowed. 2.b. Alan Tenny suggested that in lieu of a fence we put a padlock on the BBQ, an idea that was informally approved. 2.c. (Side Note)Noreen proposed during the SC meeting in August that we write the owner and suggest that if he is going to tell prospective tenants that use of the Garden is one of the benefits of living at 12 West 104. he pay the Garden a sponsoring member fee for each household. Otherwise he should inform them that they have access to the Garden only during official open hours and must schedule and pay for use of the BBQ.

1. The paint chips with the color selection for the gazebo were presented for a vote. Paint brand: BEHR Premium Plus. Velvet Morning – 520E-3 got the most votes (10). 2. Contact Kevin Lee to ask for replacements for water barrel tops. (Done- Dinorah sent an email to him on Friday 10th) 3. Lou is restoring the potting table next to the shed on the East Side Garden. He is cleaning it up and making it more functional to encourage use of it. 4. Wedding event was discussed (over some objection). We received an email from someone who is interested having a wedding in July 2013 and wants to know the procedures. Elements discussed during the meeting: fee, responsibilities, expectations, and rules. Some ideas that came up: to talk with GreenThumb; charging more than the regular fee (50.00) because weddings in NYC are definitely costly and we are not in the position of offering the space for almost free; somebody mentioned leaving it as an open donation because sometimes you get surprised by the amount people offer; others talked about finding how many people we are talking about. Also, the idea of having a fee and using this as a way to create an income for the garden. After the talk, it was decided that now the SC and Kim will be in charge of it. 5. Lou talked with owner of 4 West 104 St. (building next to the East Garden on the east side). The Ivy will be cut at some point, but is not an issue right now. The wall crumbling at the back is the owner’s responsibility to repair. He is asking the Garden for some kind of help. The individual plots along the fence may be putting pressure on the wall, but the wall may be constructed improperly. (Peter noted that the top blocks are not cemented in.) To be continued if owner contacts us again. 6. Frank checked the row boat leaning against the wire fence in the back of the West Garden. He said there was not any harm to the fence. 7. Frank brought hinges for back door of the East Garden 8. Several member thanked David for running a short, succinct meeting.

Informal talks Lou brought up that the floor of the gazebo needs to be sanded and primed before it is painted.

Work activities included: weeding at the back of the West Garden, emptying cold frame in West Garden, collecting the rest of the debris on patio from West Garden, installing the path in the East Garden (halfway done), cutting the grass, installing hinges on back door on west fence in the East Garden.

July 23, 2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 4:29 pm
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West 104 St. Community Garden
Work-eve minutes, July 11, 2012

Issues discussed at Meeting:

1. Should we make deep watering one of the community gardens with the fire hydrant hose a make-up assignment? (This is a 2 person job, at least one of whom should have experience connecting the fire hydrant hose, and takes @ 2 hours.) A majority voted “yes.” Suzanne Charle’ volunteered to be an experienced person.

2. A reminder to the Cat Crew: Do not feed the cats canned food, which attracts flies and smells, during the summer.

3. Reconstruction of the gazebo is finished. The next job is to paint. A majority voted for Blue. Peter Barzeli volunteered to post a selection of blue paint chips on the gazebo so members can choose which one they want.

4. A row boat is leaning against the wire fence in the back of the West garden. A member of the Steering Committee (SC) will speak to the Super of that building about moving it before any damage is done.

5. Both 12 West 104 and a building around the corner on Manhattan Ave. leave bags of garbage sitting out (not in cans), which is likely to attract rodents. A majority voted to report this to the DOB. Peter volunteered to follow through.

6. The East gate to the backyard to 12 West 104 is broken; there is no gate on the West side. Tenants of that building who are not Garden members have been using the garden for picnics and BBQs. SC to research whether it is legal to have a locked gate in these locations (or prohibited by fire laws). If it is legal we will repair and lock the East gate and put in a gate or other obstacle on the West side. (for East gate, Peter will buy hinges; Jean Jaworik will supply bolt.)

7. The sidewalk in front of the street gate to the West garden is in disrepair. We have removed the broken concrete…which led to the idea of asking the City to plant a tree there. Suzanne or Peter to follow through.

8. Members asked to support the Flea Market this Saturday, July 14–by posting flyers, donating goods for sale, and (at very least) stopping by to shop.

9. The elm tree in the West garden needs to be inspected by an arborist. SC to ask Melissa to ask Green Thumb to make a recommendation.

 

Informal talks

a) Frank Grech volunteered to fix loose metal sheet on gazebo roof

b) Peter and Frank tested the stage and recommended rebuilding (estimated work: 3 people on one workday; cost of materials less than $200)

c) Several members complained about the tone on the monitoring reminder email. / Kim Maitland suggested having a 4-member monitoring committee with each member taking responsibility for one month. Kim would consider being the chair.

d) Peter suggested cutting down the tree behind the large East garden shed, a weed that has grown to tree height.

e) Suggestion that we re-write the descriptions of committee responsibilities in more detail. Ideally committee chairs would write a draft and SC would assist in finalizing.

f) Complaint by one chair about their frustration in trying to communicate with committee members and getting no response. SC asked to be notified in these cases so we can help out.

g) Someone said that Kevin Lee has written a HOW TO for connecting the hose to the hydrant. SC to ask him to laminate these instructions and place a copy in each shed.

h) Special Events committee still does not have a chair.

Work activities included: weeding along the fence in the East Garden, sweeping the sidewalks, giving the green bench a second coat of paint, sanding the picnic table(?) in preparation for treatment with linseed oil, cutting boards to edge West garden patio, and deep watering the West garden.

July 3, 2012

July Garden Workday Postponed to Wed July 11

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Due to the proximity to the Independence Day holiday, the workday for Saturday July 7 at 10am-12pm has been moved to Wednesday, July 11 at 6-8pm.

Because of the late notice, the Steering Committee will be on site on Saturday July 7 from 10am-12pm to advise on chores to be completed for workday credit. The general meeting agenda will take place on Wednesday, July 11 at 6-8pm and minutes will be posted to the garden list and news blog. If you are unable to make the July 11 workday and have any issues that you wish to bring up during the general meeting, please speak with any Steering Committee member. If you are unable to make either July date, contact the SC at w.104.garden@gmail.com for a makeup assignment.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope everyone is staying cool and hydrated.

West104Garden Steering Committee
w.104.garden@gmail.com

June 13, 2012

Garden Workday Minutes for June 13, 2012

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Garden Workday Meeting (to post)
June 13, 2012

Meeting Chair: Sumana Raychaudhuri
Notetaker: Noreen Whysel

Pruning Fruit Trees
-Discussed recent complaints regarding how fruit trees have been pruned.
-Fruit trees should be pruned so that ripe fruit is easy to reach.
-Suggestion to have any pruning job be voted on by members. Janice Vrana as a past pruning chair advised against this, suggesting that it should be enough for the SC to discuss pruning with the committee chair.
-Ant problem described. Should this be pruning committee responsibility? SC to resolve.

Weeding
-Noted that NYPD requires that foliage be cut back to within 3 feet above the ground along the fence for adequate visibility into the lot.
-Julia Soledispa’s complaint about someone tearing out the morning glory on the west garden fence was noted.
-Workday activity: Removing dead vines from fence and weeding along both fences.
-Caution when weeding along fence to avoid pulling newly planted seedum. This plant is a hardy variety, according to Sumana Raychaudhuri, and will fill in the space which should make it more difficult for weeds to take hold. There should be enough sun along the fence.
-Reminder that plot owners are responsible for weeding around beds.

Bench
-An East Garden bench is in disrepair however there were no maintenance committee members at this time, so we can delay repair.

Finances
-We have just under $6000 in our account. Ariel Behr, Treasurer, was not in attendance

Membership
-New member information is being updated with tips on how the garden works. A cheat sheet will be posted in both sheds.
-New member rosters is being finalized and will be posted to Google Docs.

Compost
-Our new perforated barrels would smell less. Pleases use these for collecting green matter. Note that “greens” does include coffee grounds, tea bags and coffee filters. “Browns” are typically garden scraps such as leaves, grass trimmings and twigs.
-Jean Jaworek noted that new instructions for compost collection are available in handouts located in a box on the East Garden fence and contain a full explanation of the types of materials we are collecting and what to avoid contributing. More information is on the Composting page on our website.

Pavers
-New slate pavers will be dropped off by the Parks Department Friday Morning at 10:30am.
-444 CPW has allowed us to use their dumpster for collecting rubble while they are undergoing construction. At the moment the dumpster has been removed but should be back by Friday.
-Thank you to Victor Calise for arranging the drop off.
-Also congratulations to Victor on his appointment as NYC Commissioner of Disabled Affairs.

West Garden Lawn
-The area in the west garden between the fig tree and the cold frame has been seeded. The area is blocked off by string, which someone has been removing.
-Please do not remove the string or pass through this area so the grass has a chance to grow.
-The SC will post a sign stating the date at which it should be safe to pass through that area.

New Cat Shelteer
-Huge thanks to Nikki Kowalski and the Cat Committee. The cat shelter has been completed!

Workday Tasks:
-Volunteer to bring unsold flea market items to thrift store (Thanks??)
-Trim branches over east garden shed (Thanks Alan Tenney and Paula McKenzie)
-Move bricks from cat shelter to east side of west garden to construct the narrow bed (did someone already do this? Suzanne?)
-Weeding outside fences (thanks to Julia Sepulveda and Noreen Whysel)
-Clear up brick path in East garden to make room for slate (a huge job for which we thank everyone!)

Also at the meeting we forgot to mention two upcoming events:
-June 21, 1-8pm, Make Music New York
-July 14, time TBA, Summer Flea Market

May 23, 2012

Workday Minutes for May 12, 2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 11:59 am
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West 104th St Community Garden.
Monthly Meeting Saturday 5/12/12

Minutes

Meeting started at 10:21 am

1) ART WORK in the garden

SC: Morse code – current art installation
Vote: To be kept, or to be removed?
Remove: 9 votes
Keep: 9 votes

Opinions:
Jean: Said that in 2011 the garden voted the art to be kept as a permanent installation.
Ann: Proposed it to be revisited.

Flamingo Parade – installation on east building wall of the East Garden.
Concern about the vine. Was the art going to cover it? Was it going to affect its growth?
SC: Proposed an online vote for approval of graphic.
Garden Members approved suggestion.
On-line vote to be sent with picture attached and more details about the art size and way of attachment.

Vote: If it is to be a temporary installation, will the garden agree to host it?
Yes: 23 votes
No: 3 votes

Opinions:
Mary K: Said that the art installation was accepted in 2011 as a temporary piece. However, it remained unclear if every member had seen the graphic previous to that approval.
SC: Even if garden votes to allow the installation, the building owner/management has not agreed (or not) to the installation and the final decision will remain with them.

2) Request for a volunteer to be chairman for the Special Event committee.
Nobody volunteered.
Current members of the committee will select somebody among themselves.


3) Proposal from SC: Installation/extension of a fence at the back of the east wall end on the West Garden.
Reason: To prevent tenants from building in the middle to use garden as their private backyard.

Vote: whether to install new fence or not?
Yes: 2 votes
No: 18 votes

Opinions:
Walli: Concerned about spending money. Expressed concerns about financial status of garden.
Lou: Added that screws were methodically removed from existing gate that grant access to East Garden.
SC: Could we have somebody from the garden contact the building’s owner?

4) Replacement of crumbling brick path in front of east wall communal bed in East Garden.
Vote: bricks on path
Remove during work day (5/12/12): 7 votes
“Clean up” only during work day: 16 votes

Vote: brick path
Replace with another hard scape material: 14 votes
Replace with sod: 5 votes
Clean up: 6 votes

Extra: Dinorah and Paul to have a final proposal of materials for the meeting to be held in June.

Opinions:
Jean: Bricks to be removed once we have a plan in place.
Nikki: Encouraged plan of brick removal to be done on Saturday May 12th because it is a chore that has to be addressed by all members.
Susan Bernofsky: Offered to write grants if Walli will also join her on the task. Walli declined.

5) SC announced decision to not increase membership fee. Current: $20.00

6) Announcement of MMNY – Make Music New York, Thursday June 21st event.

7) Gazebo
Frank to begin work the week of June 21st.

Opinions:
Jean: to meet with new carpenter to assess scope of work to be done. Meeting to occur not later than Tuesday, May 15th, 2012.
Question to be asked: “What is duration of job?”
Mary K: pointed out that last year, garden members had decided to forgo
putting any gutters on the gazebo for rainwater gathering; and that the garden
tried to give the barrels and other water collection materials away.

8) Fire Hydrant.
Should all members call 311?
It was reiterated water should be used moderately due to lack of water access and plenty of rain. Tank in West Garden is full. It will provide enough water to irrigate plants on both sides.

9) Lids for water barrels.
Request for new flat lids that don’t hold water to discourage mosquito breeding.

Jean suggested drilling a small hole in the middle to drain accumulated water into barrel.
Garden approved suggestion. Experiment to be applied.

Concern: Wouldn’t this hole encourage mosquito breeding?
Jean thought small hole size might not encourage breeding.
Answer not completely satisfactory.

10) Removal of plants in communal beds. Main issue: East Garden removal of butterfly bushes and smoke bush.

Kim requested clearer rules regarding communal bed management to avoid future misunderstanding.
Mary K explained that each person in charge of a communal bed has the liberty to rearrange plants (add or remove) on their own behalf.
SC agreed with this remark.

SC representative (Kate) suggested:
a) Email or note has to be sent to all members in the garden before (NOT AFTER) removing any plant of considerable importance, size, aesthetic qualities, or sentiment attached to another member. This step aims to give enough time to the community to ponder the possibility of using the planting material.

  1. Rules for Communal beds should be written down from now on, and be posted somewhere where people can refer to. It could be in the website or a copy posted inside the sheds.

11) Ants on peach tree.
Suggestion: Use of ant traps or mix potions suggested by Jean.

April 12, 2012

W104th Street Garden Minutes – Saturday, 4/7/12

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 10:01 am
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Meeting chaired by Ann Levine.

1. Dumping: The patio in the West Garden and the stage in the East Garden have become dumping grounds for various pots, furniture, etc. Please ask the Steering Committee or the chairs of the Communal Beds before introducing new items. In case you have not done so, please leave a tag with your name on it so that we know who to contact.

2. Lou Ludyny suggested and Ann agreed that furniture covers would extend the life of garden furniture considerably.

3. The garden shall henceforth enforce the $50 deposit to ensure that all trash is carried out after a private event. Also, we shall try to insert private events into the garden Google calendar so that all members know of parties ahead of time.

4. The chairs of the Communal Beds request help with watering of these beds — as well as the lawns, as long as there are no restrictions on water usage — in case of drought (please water if ground is dry an inch under the surface). We all enjoy the communal parts of the garden, so let us come together to help if and when need arises.

5. Julia Soledispa is organizing a flea market at the garden on May 5. There will be flowers/ plants sold and a table for donated baked goods and clothing and other household items to benefit the garden as well as private vendors. Dinorah has designed the fliers — please let us know if you can photocopy them at work. Some color and some black and white would be great. Please donate baked goods/ gently used items, help spread the word and attend the flea market to make it a success.

6. The combination to the garden lock needs to be changed and will be made official at the next workday.

7. As NYC has legalized bee-keeping, and supporting honey-bees has environmental benefits, Carly Tribull, an entomologist and member of the garden, has done preliminary research into the possible location of a bee-hive in the garden. The New York City Bee-keepers’ Association has visited the garden to investigate and has suggested the SW corner of the East garden as the best location. They would provide a bee-keeper who would be responsible for caring for the bees and covering the bee-hive in case of a private event, etc. If the members want honey, there may be “honey-share” options, by which those who wish might obtain honey at market-price or less. While the hive will generate some income for the garden (exact sums were not discussed), there are several members who are allergic to bee stings and may require hospitalization should they be stung. The garden might also be liable if visitors are stung.

There will be a full membership vote by phone and email next week. Carly will be happy to answer questions related to bees over e-mail.

7A. Other options related to bees are (a) keeping “stingless” bees that can bite (akin to a mosquito-bite) and don’t yield honey but may attract mud-wasps which sting and (b) helping with a City of NY Dept. of Parks and Recreations study of honey-bees that offers 6 native flowering plants (free) and instructions on how to observe and report honey-bee activity for an ongoing study on the catastrophic decline of European honey-bee populations in the United States. These options will also be on the ballot.

8. Work was done on tree-pits, the West Garden lawn and paths, replacing the sides of member beds.

9. Florice Peterkin has been the telephone crew for years without a break and deserves a break. Susan Bernofsky will replace her.

10. Frank Grech will work on the gazebo in a couple of weeks.


April 1, 2012

2012 Season Opening – Meeting Minutes 3/18/2012

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 8:00 pm
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Welcome to a new year of gardening. Our opening meeting was held on March 18 at the Schneider Apartments, a lovely potluck meal starting us off for a lively meeting.  Here’s what we discussed.

Financial Statement: A financial statement was distributed. The closing balance of the garden as of March 18, 2012 is $7,353.85.

Calendar: A calendar of workdays and tentative garden events was distributed.

Committees: Several committees reported in with updates.

GreenThumb representative, Melissa Glowski, discussed the role of GreenThumb and upcoming GreenThumb workshops.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Raised Bed Skillshare
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
FiveStarCommunityGarden,Manhattan
250 West 121 Street NY,Manhattan

Saturday, April 21, 2012
GreenThumb/Grow to Learn Spring Supply Giveaway
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
GreenThumb Compound,Queens
QueensPlazaSouth & 10th Street, Queens

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Grant Writing Tips & How to Build a Tree Fence
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jardin de la Roca/ The Rock Garden,Bronx
160 Elton Street,Bronx,NY,Bronx

The Maintenance committee discussed needed repairs to the gazebo. Repairs, including replacement of the outer boards and painting, will begin in April. Structural beams are sound and stairs and lattice are in good condition. Frank will purchase lumber for repairing the gazebo and will pick up extra 2x12s to replace those in plots with damaged boards. Paul offered to accompany Frank to Home Depot.

In addition the status of the East Wall repairs, the committee noted that the gate has pulled out of the capstone, creating a hazardous condition. The owner of the building to the east of the garden is responsible for making repairs. GreenThumb will need to be involved. Kevin offered to check with the building owner and Melissa will check with GreenThumb.

The maintenance committee will also replace the compost platform.

The Compost committee received some money last year through a grant, which we can use to purchase smaller barrels for compost drop-off/collection. Jean Jaworek explained how compost works and requested that members remember to crank the compost barrel during their monitoring hours.

The Events committee is seeking volunteers to serve as committee chair. Kim Maitland, who handles requests for special events, gave an update on rules for hosting events. Noreen Whysel will update the events request form to include the rules and post it to the garden website: http://www.west104garden.org/. Julia Supelveda offered to plan a Spring flea market in the garden, which will be held on May 5. Look for additional information shortly.

The Grants committee should be revived. A member noted that the garden could use better controls on spending and more events for fundraising so that we have a sustainable future. If anyone is interested in serving as chair for Grants, contact the steering committee at w.104.garden@gmail.com. There are a few interesting opportunities, including a mini grant from Change By Us

Monitoring Chair, Walli Raninger, provided signup sheets for garden monitoring positions. Each garden member is responsible for two days of monitoring so that our garden complies with of Green Thumb’s open garden hours requirement. If you have not yet selected your two dates for monitoring, please contact Walli at monitoring104@gmail.com for a list of available dates.

A new member, offered to set up a Google Group for Member communications. Please look for an invitation to join this group. Although it will be an “opt-in” group, we strongly encourage all members to join so you can receive announcements and stay in touch with goings-on at the garden.

Kevin Lee chairs the Water Barrel committee and requested that members contact him at klee94@gmail.com, if you would like to learn how to do it.

The West Garden requires volunteers to join the committee. Please contact Suzanne Charle at suzcharle@gmail.com for information.

Plot Assignments: A plot map with a numbered list will be posted inside the east and west sheds.

New Business: A new member, Carly, who is an entymology PhD student, suggested starting a beekeeping hive. The Steering Committee suggested doing some research first before bringing it to a member vote.

Steering Committee: An election was held for New Steering Committee members. Congratulations and thank you to all for stepping forward.

Caroline Clark
Christine Farrier
David Kaplan
Ann Levin
Dinorah Matias
Katy Pederson
Sumana Raychoudhuri
Noreen Whysel

Next Workday: The next workday is Saturday, April 7.  An orientation for new members will be held on this date to go over the rules as well as tour the garden. All members are requested to attend each workday. If you cannot attend, please contact the steering committee at w.104.garden@gmail.com to request a make up assignment.

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