Meeting notes: May 12, 2021

Garden Contact for inquiries:
Listserv for educational opportunities, updates, etc.:

Hollenback Community Garden – Meeting Agenda May 12th, 2021 at 6pm

Approximately 38 people attended
Thanks to Winnie, Allison L., Maria S., and Sandra who hosted the kiddo tour in April! NOTES: Also Monica; thank-you cards are in compost toilet, says Deema
Gratitude to Ernesto and Mark for being available for lumber delivery! NOTES: Lots of applause
Thank you Barak for supporting apprentices with the Lamar Cooperative Farm/Apprentice Garden!
HUGE thanks you to Ernesto, Y and Peter for building the new beds AND the amazing new grape arbor!
Thank you Rose and Emily for your energy, getting folks connected to Hollenback!
NOTES: Deema reminds people that garden closes at 10 p.m., keep noise down and be mindful of neighbors.
NOTES: Claire says they are going green and won’t be printing agendas much, they will email them to members who can print their own copy if necessary

Garden Proposals and Votes:
Chicken coop (Y) NOTES: Y proposes building a chicken coop at the bottom of the wooden shed, enclosing it in chicken wire with a walk-in ramp. He has four hens which are 1.2 years old, they will lay eggs at rate of 3-4 per day total until about 4-5 yo. He will need 3 people committed to taking care of them. Supplies to build the coop will cost about $150; food will cost $30-60 per month to an annual cost of $720 per year. They will need 5 gallons of water per week brought over in the winter. They are legal in City, but no roosters. QUESTIONS: Who brings water? We do/ How are the eggs? Big and incredible, they keep unrefrigerated for up to 3 weeks/ What about kids? Their coop can be carabiner locked/ Will we get input from neighbors? No, we’ll inform them.// Sara S. says we should notify them and the school ahead of time. Deema says they will work to build relationships with neighbors. Member asks what to do if it doesn’t work out? Y said many other gardens are interested, and in the end, they are chickens–you can always just eat them. Y asks for volunteers to mind chickens. THey are as follows: Jamie, Rose, Robert, Mark, Helen, Bob, Sandra, Kristina, Diane, Michele, Stacy, Migle.

Bee Hive (Tara) NOTES: Tara said she took BQLT class with Parks Department for past 2 seasons and has a free and complete beehive setup in the shed, plus free bees from Randall’s Island guaranteed, and the support of the NYC Beekeepers Assn. She has 25 years experience. Proposing hive next to shed with bees’ flight pattern directed upward. Tara said if we adopt her idea, we should make a donation to the beekeepers. She said they have no cost except medicine for bee diseases (up to $300 year). Possibly no honey the first year, but then 100 lbs of honey per year once established, only cost would be extractor and honey jars. BQLT encourages beekeeping, legal in the City since 2010. We would get Epi-Pens in case of stings. QUESTIONS: Sara S. asks if we talked to the school? Tara said she’s afraid of their irrational freakouts./ Rose asks will it help the planet? It will help our garden most, but is great for biodiversity/ Sasha said his wife has a bee phobia and won’t enter garden if there is a beehive. Asks if it’s OK for kids./ Vlada asks if City honey is toxic, Tara says no./ New member asks can we sell honey to recoup cost? Tara said yes, but wouldn’t it be funner to make mead or something with it?/ Emerson cautions that these are both long-term projects and notes that mostly new members are volunteering to help, and advises we talk to other BQLT gardens with bees and/or chickens to see how it works in the long-term./ Tara said it is easy to move bees if it doesn’t work out, but that she had planned to set them up where Y’s chicken coop is proposed. No workers needed to take care of bees/ Tara can do it all herself and will train whoever is interested in learning more about bees.


VOTES WERE CHICKENS: 36 Votes in Favor// 20 Member Votes –2 short of passing
BEES: 37 Votes in Favor// 21 Member Votes –1 short of passing

Sasha said it’s not fair to those not here; Deema and Claire consider running online vote, will decide Friday by noon.

Membership Committee (Rose and Emily):
Requirements, plot availability, and expectations.NOTES: You must do 3 meetings/ 3 workdays/ 4 Open Hours sessions. She explains Plottery situation, and Margaret LaMar Farm for apprentices
Garden Open Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm NOTES: Rose reminds ppl that they MUST put their name in the Blue Book for any work they do, or it won’t be counted. This includes any Special Workdays, garden preschooler tours, classes etc. Sign in the the Special Workdays Tab, these Special Workdays must be pre-approved by the SC.

Operations Committee Update (Ernesto and Y):
Arbor and beds update NOTES: Peter, Y and Neto built, they will stain it this weekend and then lay marble along the top. They will dismantle old grill table and make a new cookout setup.
Workday plans NOTES: Plans to clean up the back area, get rid of weeds between plots, tidy up everything, clean back toolshed, and more. Charge and bring your power tools.
Compost: read the rules, cover your food! NOTES: Neto said don’t just dump your food, cover it well because there are rats coming from the construction next door at the school. Joyce said they are bothering her at her plot (consider consulting BQLT for rat traps; they offered in past).
Clean your garbage better from the back, food wrappers, etc..
NOTES: Y said the City Brown Compost Bins will be back in service by August for thorns, invasive species, and other items that are non-compostable in our garden compost

Treasurer (Mark):
CONTACT CHANGE: Contact Mark at if you have any dues or PayPal issues or questions. All correspondence about paying dues, reimbursement requests, etc. should be sent to Mark at this new garden address instead of his personal email.
Pay your dues, on a sliding scale from $10-50, by June 15th. Use PayPal: @HCGBK, or use Venmo unfortunately is not an option.
Email garden related purchase requests directly to Deema and Claire for approval (send to Hollenback email above) prior to making any purchases. Once approved and purchased, send reimbursement materials to Mark at Reimbursements are paid out via PayPal.
Events Committee Update (Andrea and Maria):
Plant Giveaway 5/16: 12-2pm. Need volunteers for 11:30-1 shift and 1-2:30 shift! NOTES: This has a lot of interest. Maria asks people to bring seedlings and house plant clippings to give away, says this is a nice way to bring the community together. She said that we will have a donation jar out in case ppl want to donate. She asks for volunteers in two shifts, here they are: SHIFT 1, 1130-1 p.m.: Michele, Amit, Allison, Mark, Rose, Joyce, Monica. SHIFT 2 1-230 pm: Lila, Dana, Michelle w/ 2 Ls, Lance.
BQLT Open Garden Day: 6/5 11am-2pm. Need volunteers to staff, give tours, bring baked goods, or any other garden activities (music? Informational talks?). NOTES: Maria asks Rose to perform music for this day, she says yes. Maria said she will ask for volunteers as it gets closer. Wants ppl to bring baked goods to give away, run educational talks if they are so moved.

MEETING CLOSED BY 7:20 p.m., members hang out and catch up afterwards.

Season schedule:
Garden Meeting/Workday schedule:
Wed. 5/12 at 6pm. Meeting
Sat. 5/15 at 11am. Workday
Sat. 6/19 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
Wed. 7/14 at 6pm. Meeting
Sat. 7/17 at 11am. Workday
Sat. 8/21 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
Wed. 9/15 at 6pm. Meeting
Sat. 9/18 at 11am. Workday
Sat. 10/16 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
Sat. 11/20 at 11am. Closing Workday