Notes from the All Garden Meeting 3/22/2017

Minutes UpGarden Spring 2017 Meeting and Updates
March 22, 2017


  • Bonnie introduced herself and reminded us all that she is available to answer any questions about the UpGarden or gardening in general

Volunteer Hours

  • Gardeners must complete 8 hours of volunteer work in the garden in order to keep the bed the following year
  • Gardeners are encouraged to get their hours in earlier in the year (Don’t put it off until October!)
  • In addition to attending work parties, gardeners can get hours by completing the tasks posted on the to-do list in the tool shed.
  • Let Bonnie know if you are having any health or family issues that might prevent you from doing physical work. There are non-physical volunteer tasks available.
  • Michael Poling reminded gardeners how to report volunteer hours.
    • Email volunteer hours to
    • Include the following information: First Name, Last Name, Event/Task (e.g. "watering lawn"), Date, Time Logged (rounded up to nearest 15 minutes).
  • Joining a team is a great way to get hours in.

Teams Join to get your volunteer hours in (contact leads)

Irrigation Team: Craig Moore (

  • Water usually gets turned on in March
  • The irrigation team will conduct audits of the drip systems and then the drip irrigation will be turned on (usually around mid/late May).
  • The irrigation team will offer a class with instruction and basic supplies for setting up drip irrigation.
  • The team is looking for new members, ideally looking for people who are mechanically inclined with plumbing or wiring skills or a desire to build up these skills.
  • The team has a lot of big projects on the horizon including setting up the lawns and common beds with irrigation.
  • Craig explained the audit process. The team will turn the irrigation on and identify any leaks. Plots with leaks will be flagged and the valve will be turned off (to prevent further leaking.) If you have a flag in your plot, try to remedy the leak and then the irrigation team will re-inspect.
  • The drip irrigation runs early in the morning. Sometimes extra watering may be needed, especially if you are sowing seeds.
  • Bonnie reminded gardeners that the drip system is the most efficient way to water our plots because the water gets right to the roots.

Giving Garden: Michelle Bartell (

  • Last year, the city donated 47,000 lbs of produce to food banks. Of that, 28,000 came from p-patches. Of that, 1,147 lbs came from the UpGarden, 900 of which came from the Giving Garden and the remainder was gleaned from gardener plots.
  • Produce from UpGarden goes to the Queen Anne and Ballard food banks.
  • Michelle encouraged gardeners to join the UpGarden forum on Facebook for more news about the Giving Garden.
  • Volunteers are needed on this team to help with weeding and the spring planting.
  • A special thank you to Marilyn Roy and Ron Butcher for carrying our produce to the food banks.
  • Gleaning flags are in the trailer. Post one in your plot if you will be out of town and unable to harvest any produce.

Bees: Myra (This team is full)

  • We are working on getting local bees introduced.
  • In addition, we are participating in a citizen scientist program with a bee scientist in Pullman. There a little blue mailboxes throughout the garden. Eggs will be deposited in there and then sent to Pullman for study.

Finance: Carolyn Kressler (

  • Carolyn reminded us that all the supplies we use are paid for through our fund, which comes from donations.
  • Last season we spent $845.
  • Expenses include costs for upkeep of common beds, compost bags and bins, and shrubs and plants for common areas and tools.
  • We currently have a balance of $1,052.77.
  • Gardeners can make donations through GROW. Remember to designate your gift to the UpGarden. Let Bonnie or Carolyn know if you make a donation so that they can make sure it gets to us.
  • Make sure to take advantage of your employer’s matching gifts. If you’re not sure if your employer matches, Carolyn would be happy to check for you.
  • Some employers will also match volunteer time, so be sure to submit your volunteer time to your employer.
  • Be sure to let Carolyn or Bonnie know if you’ve applied for any matches so that they can keep their eyes open for the $$$$.
  • Carolyn mentioned the idea of having a wishlist (like a giving tree) in the shed for gardeners to donate supplies. The gardeners were enthusiastic about this. This has been established in the tool shed close to the compost tools storage agrea.
  • Bonnie said she expects the slugs to be bad this year, so we’ll likely need a lot of copper tape.

Communications/Publicity: Stephanie (

  • The communications team sends out the Friday email and manages the listserv, the website (, and the facebook page.
  • The team is looking for help with updating/revamping the website.
  • Stephanie would also like other people to serve as back-ups for getting the Friday newsletter out.
  • Bonnie reminded us that visibility and community awareness of the garden is very important so that when the garage is torn down, we’ll have community support to find a new location.

Compost: Ken Coleman (

  • This year we’ll be supplementing the compost with manure
  • Gardeners will be allowed to add 1 inch of the compost/manure blend to our beds
  • Ken reminded us all to CHOP our compost. Machetes are in the shed. If you don’t want to chop or don’t have time, leave it in your bed and use as mulch.
  • Ken has put together a concise explanation of the UpGarden compost process. It will be posted in the shed and will go out in an email.

Common beds: Barbara has stepped forward to lead this team.(

  • The flowers in the flower beds and lawns attract pollinators, which we all need for our gardens to grow, so the common beds are very important.
  • Fabian will continue as berry consultant.

Gleaning: We need a lead for this important team. Michelle, who led this team last year is willing to help get the new lead up to steam. If you are interested in serving as lead or volunteers, please contact Bonnie. This is a good team to be on if weekend work parties are hard for you since you can do this on your own schedule.

  • This team collects produce from gardener’s beds when they can’t harvest and don’t want their food to go to waste. Food collected goes to the food bank. The gleaning team doesn’t enter your bed without your permission.
  • If you’re going out of town and can’t harvest your produce, put the gleaning stick in your plot and the gleaning team will harvest your produce.

Events: Lead needed for this team as well (contact Bonnie for questions or if you are interested)

  • In the past, we’ve had pot lucks and other events at the garden.

Important Projects

  • Rat Patrol Bob ( has taken this on and is working with Sandy and others on possible solutions. Please contact him if you are interested in being on the team.
    • There are rats in the car. We can’t use poison, so we’ll be placing traps. We’ll need someone to empty the traps.
  • Drainage in upper area
    • We must fix this this year (we’ve been warned by the Seattle Center)
    • The plan is to put a pipe under the common beds so that the water will drain rather than pooling.
    • We had much success with fixing the pooling occurring outside of the shed.
    • Clean up of moss and thick mud on sidewalks and around compost stations
      • This is a hazard. Next work party will focus on this.
    • Drainage mat clean up
      • Drainage mats have deteriorated and need to be replaced.

    Hints for Spring Planting:

    • There will be a lot of slugs this year. Bonnie recommends creating barrier around small plants out of sliced up milk jug and copper tape. She has milk jugs near her plot.
    • Cat food tins or other small container filled with beer make good bait.
    • Crows will eat seeds so be sure to use row cloth or other fine mesh over seeds.
    • Planting calendar and books on rooftop gardening are available in the shed.

    New Lock for Shed

    • A new lock will be installed for the shed. The lock was installed on Thursday morning. It will secure the door and be pry resistant. It is a key lock with a key safe close by where the key will be stored. The code to the key lock is [not published here, ask your area lead]. Please be careful to always return key to safe and to lock the door whenever you leave the tool shed.

    Reminder of P-Patch Rules As Bonnie is at the garden the next few days, she will do a walkthrough and then have area leads contact gardeners that need to make adjustments. Please be considerate and monitor yourself so we do not have to contact you.

    • Remember to clean your tools. This will help them last longer and prevent the spread of blight. Use brushes (found just inside the shed), tub of gravel (outside the shed), or rags/wipes to clean off dirt.
    • Keep walkways clear. Pots cannot protrude into walkwaysNo shading or trellised plants that will block neighbor’s sun.
    • Mint, oregano, hops must be contained
    • Artichokes and rhubarb should not go on border of plot. Bonnie has root barrier if you want to use to prevent spread of roots to neighbor’s plot.

    Update on Soil As soon as we receive the report from King County Conservation on their proposals for improving our soil, there will be a meeting to discuss this. Soil test results are in the tool shed with a copy of the suggestions for improvement that comes from the lab.

    • We’ve had our soil tested by the King County Conservation District. In the past, we’ve had a high calcium content.
    • At the beginning of the season, each plot will be given a small bag of fertilizer, specially blended for the UpGarden.

    Update on Children/Youth Outreach and Brookdale Relationship

    • Bonnie told us about all of the wonderful partnerships we have with different children and youth groups including Young Child Academy, Children’s Museum day camps, Pacific Science Center day camps, Seattle Public Schools blind students, homeschooling associations, The Center School, and New Horizons.[Editor’s note: THANK YOU BONNIE!]
    • Residents of Brookdale have been starting starts in their greenhouse and the physical therapist there includes the garden in the walking route.
    • Upcoming events involving children, youth and families:
    • April 5th, Bonnie will be teaching two workshops at the Center High School. Half of each workshop will be in their classe rooms, half at garden. There will be 50 high school students at the garden over the day.
    • April 19th, Bonnie will be presenting at Queen Ann Elementary. She will also be working with two parents from the school to help them re-establish a school garden. One of the mothers is a gardener at the UpGarden.
    • April 22, a group of families will be coming to the garden for an Earth Day event with will include activities for all ages and volunteer work for the garden.
    • Bonnie is also meeting with the Children’s Museum leadership tp scjedule an event with them.
    • If you are interested in any of these days, please let Bonnie know.

    Area Meet and Greet

    • We divided up and meet those in our area so we would get to know our neighbors.

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