April 2010 Meeting Minutes

 Hollenback Community Garden

Wed, April 21, 2010


In attendance: (25 Members!!) Cara Montague, Claire Henry, Jennifer Rubain, Carmen White, Laurena Covington, Judy Poehler, Kayla Jobe, Hannah Arnett, Charlie Bayrer, Cassandra Simmel, Tom Mayer, Heather Lasche, Maggie Hersovits, Val Williams, Gary Collen, Emerson Atkins, Carolyn Silvera, Kate Daloz, Peter Brown, Vlada Tomova (Alex), John Ryan Brooks, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Marisa DeDominicis, Lorne Lieb, Greg Merryweather


☼Icebreaker Interviews:  Each person interviewed one other person, and shared the answer to one question.

What is the most mischievous thing you did as a kid?                

What was the best or worst present you ever got?

What is your favorite color?  What does your favorite color say about you?



☼ Shares & Reports from Gardener Workshops

                        Permaculture- Vlada Permaculture is the idea of creating a self-sustaining entity, be that a community group, garden or eco-system.  Vlada liked the workshop idea of promoting “garden socials” within a community garden.

                        Building Raised Beds for Accessibility- Jennifer Jennifer and Gina attended this GreenThumb workshop.  They ordered lots of lumber for raised beds.  We will let gardeners know when the lumber will be available.   Hopefully it will delivered by 5/14.


☼ Composting at Hollenback- Peter reported that he is hoping to have the new compost bin materials cut and ready to assemble at the garden in the next couple of weeks.  Once the bins are built, the garden will discuss how to resume and manage our community compost program.


Brooklyn Queens Land Trust

The garden is currently owned by the Trust for Public Land, but managed by the BQLT.  TPL would like to transfer the land deed to the BQLT in the next year.  Let’s talk about what this means, and what our choices are.

            The garden discussed the current state of the BQLT and whether or not we want to maintain our affiliation with that organization (for more information, see History of Working with the BQLT).  The garden decided that:

            1. Mark and I will arrange a meeting between garden members and BQLT board members to hear from the board what their side of the story is.

                        Meeting time:  Thurs, 13 May, 7 pm, 459 Vanderbilt Ave 

            2. Hollenback will invite the BQLT board to come to our next garden meeting on Sat, May 15th to discuss further the state of the BQLT, and it’s potential ability to protect and manage the Hollenback property in the future.


            At the end of the meeting, the garden voted on a proposal to sign the licensing agreement (Licensing Agreement) between the BQLT and Hollenback.  The agreement, which Hollenback has traditionally signed every year, gives the BQLT the right to manage the garden property (pay for insurance, inspect and turn on the city water system, provide legal support, provide infrastructure support, handle easements, etc.)  Concern was raised that the licensing agreement also (click here to see the BQLT Licensing Agreement) gives the BQLT too much power over the running of the garden by requiring the garden to get approval for building new pathways or structures, and that if we violate any rules of the agreement, we may loose access to the garden.  The agreement is also seen as a “vote of confidence” in the BQLT.  The vote result of the garden proposal to sign the licensing agreement was:

            For: 0

            Against: 12

            Abstain: 12

 Result: The licensing agreement will stay unsigned pending further meetings with the BQLT and garden members.  It is unclear what the ramifications of not signing the agreement are, and Cara will do more research to find out this info.


New Business

☼ Guardian of the Keys- Cassandra volunteered to be in charge of handing out keys to new members who earn them or to current members who need a new key.  If you need a key, please see Cassandra.

☼ Sweet Cherry location scout- Judy picked up a free semi-dwarf sweet cherry tree at a fruit tree workshop.  The garden discussed where to put the tree.  Concern was expressed that the height and spread of the tree (12-15ft) could shade plots and other plantings, and that future landscaping should be facilitated by committees rather than individuals.  A Planting Committee (Marisa, Melissa, John Ryan, Claire, Judy, Cara, Mark) was formed to scout out a location for the tree, plan further landscaping this season, and plan a trip to the BBG plant give-away on May 12th.  Final decision about the tree will be made at the May meeting.  Until then, Judy will plant the tree in a pot.





Best Practices: Sharing our Questions and Our Experiences

☼Weeding– discussion postponed until next month



House Keeping

☼ Dues- dues are paid on a sliding scale $10-50.   You can give your dues to Cara.  Dues are due before 6/15.

☼ Open hours- please sign up for one open hour shift per month.

☼ Survey



On the Horizon

☼ Greenthumb Seedling Giveaway, Sat May 15, 10-12:00- Greg volunteered to attend and pick up seedlings for the garden

            @ KingsboroPsychiatric Hospital’s Urban Oasis,

                (Clarkson Ave., btwn Albany & Utica Ave.)

☼ Memorial Herb Garden PLANT-LUCK, Sun, April 25th 10-2:00. (rain date: Sat May 1st)

            -Please sign up to bring an herb!!!!




☼Next Meeting: Sat, May 15th, 11-1:00 @ the garden (rain location: 459 Vanderbilt Ave)


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