Hollenback Update – June 2020

Dear Gardeners,

I hope you are all safe and hanging in there. The Steering Committee met on Zoom this week and we have some updates we’d like to share with you, for better and safer enjoyment of our community garden this season.

We need to keep non-members from entering the garden. I painted “Closed” on the other side of the “Open” hanging on the garden gate, but please remember to LOCK YOURSELVES IN when you enter the garden. That way no one can walk in after you, and you won’t have to explain to them the BQLT protocol. This is an insurance issue, so don’t jeopardize our umbrella organization by allowing in non-members who may not be covered in the event they get sick after their visit. If they want to join, they are welcome to join us next season.

Remember to wear a face covering in the garden; there are extra blue City bandanas in the compost toilet, if you forget. And refill the Handwashing Station with the hose if it’s empty. Keep hands washed & tools cleaned.

The water is now ON for the summer. Please DO NOT USE THE KEY to turn it on and off; USE THE LEVER at the source. Wrap up the hose on its holder when you are done, and rinse it off. Then turn off the water via the lever when you leave. Emerson is working on Water Committee this summer, filling up the big barrels to water your plot. There is not much in the rainwater harvester. (Note: Dunk rings have been added to all the barrels. Do not add more unless instructed. Each barrel only needs one-half a dunk ring {it looks like a sawdust donut}. If it gets in your watering can, just toss it back in the barrel).

If trash or recycling bins are full, please bag it up and take out trash out on Thursday. There is no janitor, so please pitch in to make sure this stuff gets to the curb. Blue bags for recycling and black for trash, both are on the second shelf of the compost toilet. There are brown paper bags for natural items too invasive or big for our in-house compost bins.

Peter’s Compost Team is turning compost every two weeks. If you are bringing your compost from home to the garden now, please remember no meat, cheese, or soiled paper, and no tags on fruits. Please remove the compost from the bag when you dump it (even biodegradable bags), throw the bag into the trash, and cover your compost ‘offering’ with a pitchfork full of browns and greens. If you’re using this service regularly, consider signing up with Peter or Pat to work a shift turning the compost.

Ops also needs volunteers for two-person workdays with E or B to lead, for the following jobs. Contact them if you’re able to help with these projects: Raised Bed Repairs// Metal shed painted white for summer// Two new barn doors for wooden back shed// Grape arbor constructed and installed// Deadhead rose bushes// Clean and organize compost toilet//Clean area next to compost toilet.

Ops has two projects they are working on this season: bed repairs, and plant giveaways for neighbors. Since you will all need to vote to approve the budget for these, B and E will send a separate email with information, cost, and voting procedures.

We are launching a pilot program of Back Porch Grilling via sign-up sessions. The back stone patio is set up for grilling, with grills, implements, charcoal and lighter fluid, an ash can, a handwashing station and plates and napkins in plastic weather-protected tubs. Please bring your own charcoal if you are able, as we only have a limited amount on hand.

Guests can sign up, first-come first-served via our website for a three-hour session to enjoy the grilling area. The scheduled sessions are Monday through Friday from 5-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12-3 p.m.// 3-6 p.m. // 6-9 p.m. Let’s get everyone out of the garden by 9 p.m., to keep good relations with neighbors.

Attendees must be your FAMILY MEMBERS or QUARANTINE BUBBLE ONLY! Maximum number of attendees to equal six people, and this six people won’t count toward the 10 active gardeners. You must show up and leave at the proscribed times, and you must leave the area clean. If the trash is full, you must bag it and take it to the front. If the grill is full of ashes and dead coals, you must dump them in the ash can. No one is coming to clean up after you, so please agree to dispose of your mess or do not participate.

Your group must stay in the back area and keep in your grilling ‘bubble’ for social distancing, so that other gardeners can use the remainder of the garden to work on their plots, etc. Keep your bubble together until your time is over, and leave people access to the back shed for gardening tools.

Steering Committee has also determined that evening bonfires are allowed. Please respect our neighbors, especially Don whose window is right near the fire pit, by keeping the fire small and keeping your conversations quiet. Keep your mask on and retain social distancing by staying on separate benches with your quarantine bubble. Don’t add more wood if you are planning to leave; make sure there are no flames in your fire before you go, make sure the coals are covered and the lid is on if they are still burning. Keep the fire pit in the middle of the patio, away from flammable items and away from the neighbors’ home.

Membership has finished the Virtual Plottery, and all new members now have a plot. Some folks were paired up in larger L-shaped plots, which we may continue to do in the future. Jeffrey is running the Apprentice Farm; members sheltering outside the City can plug in there upon their return. When the crops come in, Membership and Events will work with Jeffrey to provide extra food to those experiencing food shortages.

Our Events Team of A and M will work with Rose to create Educational Zoom Talks on issues of planting, weeding, T on beekeeping, and plot tours. Consider bringing your phone next time you go to the garden, and doing a less than two-minute ‘plot tour’ where you video close-ups of your plot and what you are growing, for people who are cooped up inside to see. We will post these to our Facebook page. Events will also look into ways to hold a Virtual Harvest Fest in the Fall. Let’s also work on reaching out to new members for 2021, so our community garden more accurately reflects the diversity of our neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors, let them know they are welcome here next season.