08/21 Meeting notes

Gratitude:

  • Folks who’ve helped with and signed up to help with rats
  • A for new walking group
  • S & E for emptying the dirt behind the compost
  • E for the new platform outside the compost toilet

Announcements:

  • DB is stepping down because she needs to attend to her career more this year.
  • DS volunteered to step into the co-president role and will be on the ballot.
  • If anyone else is interested in being co-president next year, please let the Steering Committee know!
  • We’ll hold an electronic vote after the September meeting.
  • This is R’s 2nd year as the membership co-coordinator, and she’s stepping down now. E will remain. We’ll hold elections to replace R, along with other Steering Committee seats in October.
  • E volunteered to do a 3rd year on the Ops committee, so he’ll be on the ballot for that in October.
  • Y (also on Ops) will be away until May (out of NY). P and C will be supporting with this work until he returns.

Rats:

  • The exterminator came and set 6 bait boxes: toilet, compost, rainwater harvester, along the back fence, along the fence shared with Don, and at the front of the garden.
  • E put up signs warning folks to keep dogs on leashes and be careful with children.
  • The exterminator will return the first Friday of each month to refill boxes.
  • There’s a sign-up sheet for rat duty (disposing of dead or dying rats), and it counts as Open Hour credit.
  • Tools for disposing of rats are in the white bin near the trash and city compost bin, labeled as such. There’s bleach, gloves, and bags in the compost toilet for rat duty.

Activities for today’s workday: lining the compost bins with chicken wire, spreading mulch around, pruning the shade garden, take down the dying tree, clean the front fence (roses, vine).

(Discussion about rats & disposal)

  • A: We have the budget. We could pay an exterminator to come dispose of dead rats.
  • D: We’re getting help through BQLT for the exterminator.
  • W: People have already signed up for rat duty and don’t mind. It’s okay.
  • Several people: We’ve seen a decrease in number.
  • M: As long as we mark on the sheet when we spot new burrows.
  • D: Maybe next workday we can address burrows.
  • W: Once we kill them they’ll stay dead.
  • E: Rats like loose soil. Planting cover crops during winter will help them not come back.
  • D: Winter rye.
  • E: What do burrows look like?
  • Several people: A hole.
  • D: See Christina’s plot.

** Bonfires are illegal. Please refrain.**

Also don’t plant things in pots that aren’t yours. Ask first.

Membership:

  • Open hours Sat & Sun 10-4
  • Membership requirements: 3 workdays, 3 meetings, 4 open hours shifts
  • Sign up for open hours via spreadsheet
  • Garbage committee still needs members!
  • B: I am the garbage committee.
  • M: In the tally spreadsheet colors will indicate whether your requirements have been met. Look and see if you still have stuff you need to do.

Treasury:

  • At the end of the season M will put out a report of what we spent.
  • Over the winter M and the presidents will make a small budget.
  • Generally in good shape.

Events:

  • Harvest Fest is Sept 25. Want to gauge interest and comfort with events given rise of Delta variant. Concerns?
  • W & A: Is S across the street doing her block party? We should coordinate with her so that the whole street gets blocked off.
  • M: Lot of people. Outdoors. We don’t know people’s vaccination status. Require masks? No ability to regulate once we open the gate. Less concerned for us than about creating a dangerous space.
  • S: Many businesses are requiring vaccinations. We could ask.
  • M: We could put signage up front.
  • A: It’s reasonable to require.
  • E: Have folks wear a mask if not vaccinated.
  • A: Can we require a vaccination?
  • W: We can’t mandate or enforce.
  • D: We could ask BQLT. There are venues checking cards.
  • A: We should have the right. Not safe.
  • E: We would have to require it for ourselves first.
  • A: Have folks self select, like bands who are doing shows.
  • E: NY Welcome concerts required vaccinations.
  • M: 1st — we’re comfortable with holding an event. We’ll still have to figure out where we stand on masks and vaccines. I’ll get in touch with S.
  • M: We’ll be holding an evening potluck on Wednesday August 25th (this coming Wednesday) from 6-9. Just casual, social. All are welcome. If the weather is bad, we’ll postpone a week. Trying to build more community.

Ops:

  • Hole in the shed has been fixed / covered. We’ll talk to M about maintenance.
  • M: Fixing path, raised beds, inventory for what’s next.
  • A: for the pathway, make it wheelchair accessible, maybe get a grant.
  • E: also get rid of stinging nettles.

BQLT:

  • In their August meeting they announced that they received a $40K grant that they’re using for a tree committee. It’s in the early stages, but the idea is to work with gardens that are having tree issues and even offer classes on tree pruning. They’re asking gardens about problems they’re having.
  • A: did you ask about ours?
  • E: yep.
  • W: email Peter R and Sahas. They do a lot with our trees and might want to take the class.
  • S: reminder: keep an eye out for spotted lantern flies. They’re a year-round problem and they look different throughout their stages of development. Several whole towns are under quarantine for them.
  • E: Apple tree has disease, a circle with legs on the leaves, some kind of rust.
  • W: we only get apples every other year.
  • A: put garlic on everything
  • W: mulch your tomatoes at the beginning and cut bottom leaves to prevent disease and mold from spreading up from the soil.
  • E: Some clarifying info about the Greenthumb update that I send: Not everyone knows what Greenthumb is versus BQLT. Greenthumb is a part of NYC Parks Dept. BQLT (Brooklyn Queens Land Trust) is an affiliate of Greenthumb. We’re part of BQLT. Some gardens are also a part of Greenthumb. They have separate bylaws. Greenthumb gardens have requirements that we don’t have to worry about. I send Greenthumb emails because they have interesting programs. We also receive some stuff from Greenthumb.
  • D: Next meeting is on Yom Kippur. Maybe move the meeting to Saturday instead?
  • A: Walking is totally open, not garden specific. Meet at 6:30pm at the gate Mon – Thurs. Email me or just show up.
  • D: remember to sign in. Thank you!