Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 5:30-7:30

I.  Board Positions
      There are 3 openings on the Board for 2012
      The Board meets about every 2 weeks to plan garden activities, set policy, and help solve problems.
      If you would like to have a bigger say in what goes on in the garden, consider volunteering. It's a congenial group and we often have quite good coffee. As always participation on the Board counts toward volunteer hours.

II. Finances
      The first 2 years that our garden existed, we had a large grant from Frozen River Film Festival and a generous gift from a former gardener. This is our third year and there is no extra inflow of income.
      The sole income for the Garden comes from your plot rental fees and fundraisers. We are currently operating in the red.
      Our goal is to become solvent this year and figure out a way to become self-sustaining in the long term.
      The board discussed solutions to this problem at length, and we need your input. Any change in our fee structure will affect everyone and we think that you, the gardeners, should have a say in the decision.

Here are some of the ideas we've come up with so far:
      The Pollinator Series Garden Notecards fundraiser-If this is a success, it will put us a long way toward getting through this year.
      Raising plot fees by $10 ($35 and $50). This would help, but would not make us sustainable.
      Assess a fee upfront that gardeners get back when they complete their volunteer hours. Implications: This would give people the option to contribute either time or money to the garden. The hope is that the two would stay balanced, but it could tilt too far one way or the other.
      Offering workshops and classes. Instruction would come from our own group. Participants would pay a small fee to attend. There is a huge amount of knowledge in the group. Sharing it would benefit everyone.
      Expanding the garden. Up until now there has been no plan to expand, but there is currently a long waiting list for plots. Expanding would bring in more income. There would be upfront costs (fencing, plowing, etc.) and possibly higher maintenance costs. We would have to run the numbers on this. Labor for the start-up is huge (If you gardened that first year, you will remember.) Are we up for it?
      Grants--we've looked, we've applied, no luck, long story
      A secret angel--would be lovely, but not a sustaining solution

Any change to our fees affects everyone. We don't want to become so expensive that people who really need to grow their own food are excluded. If you have opinions, or better yet, other ideas, let us know. If you can't come to the annual meeting, email your ideas.

Sue Burnett, the treasurer, will have a full report of our finances at the meeting.

III. Gardening as Community: The community garden is a wonderful project and something to be proud of. As a gardener you have a 2-tiered responsibility--first to your own plot, then to the garden as a whole. There is no way the garden can continue to exist without everyone becoming involved in some way. Each person has his or her own skills, abilities and interests to contribute. Some people will be able to contribute more than others, which is fine, as long as everyone contributes something.

The last agenda item to discuss is the more ephemeral issues:
      What direction is the garden heading?
      How does what we are doing jibe with our original mission?
      How to encourage more participation in the garden events and work days?
      Alternatively, is everyone satisfied with how things are? (If it ain't broke, don't fix it)

This is your garden and all opinions and ideas are encouraged. Everyone is encouraged to attend the annual meeting. 
The BA Miller Room is on the 3rd floor. Enter the main hospital entrance (not the clinic) and take the elevator. 
If you are not able to attend, send your ideas and input by email.

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