Notes from the Fall All Garden Meeting, 11/14/2017

Minutes from UpGarden Fall 2017 Meeting
November 14, 2017

Financial Report

  • Our total account balance is $913.66
  • So far in 2017, we’ve received 164.50 in donations ($64.50 in a matching grant from the Gates Foundation, and a $100 donation from a gardener)
  • So far in 2017, we have SPENT $411.85
    • $143.75 for fertilizer for common beds
    • $129.44 for plants for common beds (we lost a lot during last winter’s cold snap)
    • $98.84 for general garden supplies such as garbage bags
    • $30 for the dump fee for our yearly trip to the dump
    • $9.82 for flowers for the high school bed
  • We also had $216.55 in expenses that were paid by means outside our accounts
    • $79 bees damaged when a car hit our garden (paid for by the city)
    • $88.10 for a new lock for the tool shed (paid for by the city)
    • $49.45 for common beds/plants (paid for by an individual donation)
  • **Notes** - we kept our general expenses down this year thanks to the ‘wish list’ posted in the tool shed – a lot of people helped by donating small items – THANK YOU!!
  • If you or anyone you know would like to donate to the UpGarden – here is how you can do that:
    • Go to: https://www.grownorthwest.org/donate
    • Click on “donate”
    • Fill out the information – in the “apply my donation to” drop-down, select “individual garden: specify in donor scroll”
    • Then in the Donor Scroll section – be sure to write “UpGarden PPatch”
    • Be sure to let Bonnie or Carolyn know that you donated, so we can track it and ensure it makes it to our account, and THANK YOU!

Irrigation

  • The water has been turned off for the year
  • The final thing the team needs to do is drain all the spigots – they will be requesting volunteers to assist with that during a work party
  • The irrigation will be turned back n sometime in the spring (usually March-ish)

Pollinator Beds (formerly known as Common Beds)

  • We lost a lot of plants last winter due to long periods of freezing weather – so we had to buy quite a few new plants this year
  • Our fertilizer costs were getting high, so we made a compost concoction to fill the beds to help the new plants.

Bees

  • The mason bees did very well this year
  • We have a lot of cocoons for next year (around 50 or so) – we may need to buy a few more.

Giving Garden

  • We donated 1050 pounds of food to local food banks (Ballard, Queen Anne)
    • Compared to 1130 pounds in 2015 and 1147 pounds in 2016
    • 6 high school kids volunteered for the gleaning program and they did a lot of the gleaning works – THANKS!
  • They have laid straw for paths for the winter crops
  • Started the Grow a Row program this year – where gardeners can plant a row to grow specifically to be donated to food banks. It’s harvested/donated when ready.
    • You get 4 volunteer hours for doing this

Compost

  • Bob reconstructed a couple bins, so we don’t lose as much compost anymore
  • All the compost was used in the pollinator beds (there was 1.5-2 cubic yards of compost)
  • There are 2 piles cooking right now – they’ve been adding composted manure, so it will be potent when it’s done in the spring
    • They could use any grass clippings to add to the compost (BUT NO MORE LEAVES!)

Winterizing

  • A reminder that weeds will still grow/bloom even if you cover them with burlap – so don’t put burlap over weeds
  • If you planted a cover crop and it doesn’t come up, you will still need to cover the bed with something else

Communications

  • Expect to receive a survey/email asking you what mediums you use to get information about the garden (weekly email, website, Facebook page, Facebook forum, twitter)
    • We are going to see what people use so we know what mediums to focus our energy on
  • EPing is organizing all the information/documents regarding the garden that can be stored/accessed in one place
    • We’re figuring out where that place will be – right now you can find many of the documents on the website
  • EPing is considering the possibility of migrating the Facebook Forum page to Facebook Workplace
    • We need to be a non-profit to do it (for free) – so she is considering coordinating with GROW to do that
  • The communications team made a flyer for Bonnie to hand out at the various community outreach events she goes to, and a business card for Bonnie to hand out
  • Remember to send all email to Bonnie at her Gmail account (bonnie.hedman@gmail.com)

Community Outreach

  • Ken recently attended a meeting of the Seattle Center planning committee – and they weren’t aware of the garden or what we do
  • The communications team is putting together a packet for the planning committee talking about all the good things we do:
    • Seattle Children’s Museum day camps
    • Seattle Center High School bed – 99 kids were up at the garden at the end of the year working
    • Lowell Elementary School classes – Bonnie teaches classes for the kids

Pilfering Issues

  • Every PPatch has trouble with this, it is not just ours. But some people have had entire harvests and/or plants taken
  • If anyone has this happen to them – it’s important that you let Bonnie know!!!
    • She will file a report with the Seattle Center security
  • If you notice your neighbor’s garden isn’t being worked on, let Bonnie know – they may be having a medical or family issue and could use some help
  • Also – be careful digging in your garden – a couple people have found used needles in their gardens
    • DO NOT PICK THEM UP YOURSELVES – Seattle Center Security will come dispose of them. Their # is in the toolshed as well – but it’s 206-684-7272

Dogs/Poop

  • A reminder that dogs are allowed in the garden – but they MUST be on a leash
  • Several gardeners have found dog poop in their gardens – considering erecting a couple signs reminding people their pets need to be on a leash.

Maintenance

  • Cigarette butt cans were added – and they’re being used (YEA!)
  • The maintenance team fixed the drainage mat problem, which (hopefully) will prevent those large puddles from appearing this winter
  • There is a trellis plan for the berry patch
  • We’re working on getting new sand to clean our tools with (current sand is very muddy)
  • There is a trellis plan for irrigation for the raised beds

The Rat Problem

  • The first rat nest was found last year in the compost. A 2nd was found in a pile of leaves
  • 11 rats have been killed so far, this year
    • There are 2 baited traps (baited with peanut butter) and they get moved around
    • They are hoping to get additional rat traps
  • We may never eliminate them, but hopefully we can get them under control
    • The rats are all over the Seattle Center as well – they have hired a professional rat control person who comes once a week
  • Possible solutions discussed:
    • Dry up their food source – this would require us to have no winter crops one year
    • Cats? – the Seattle Center won’t allow this
    • Working to get several additional traps
    • Try baiting them with kale or something else they really like
    • Organized garden work party to hunt them out and kill them
    • Clean out beds (the rats like to hide in anything not being used)
    • Hire terriers to help kill them
  • If you find a rat hole in your garden – let Bob know – he will attempt to kill the rat (if you don’t want to do it yourself)
    • There is a pitchfork in the toolshed useful for this purpose

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