April 2023 Membership Meeting Minutes

Kerri welcomed everyone to the first in-person meeting of the season. It was pointed out that it was Earth Day.

Peter was introduced as the new person on the OPs committee. He was in the garden years ago and has now returned.

The Steering Committee needs co-chairs for the following committees:
Reminder that all members are required to serve on a committee at some point.

It was stressed that we must keep the gate open when we are in the garden.

It is a community garden. That is not just for our members, but for the wider community as well to enjoy the space.

The listservs have been broken into wider community, members, and apprentices. Members were discouraged from using reply all.

Kerri reviewed membership requirements on behalf of Liz who was not present.

The membership requirements are:

Pay dues by June 15 (sliding scale $10-50)
Read and sign the bylaws every year

Members with plots must plant them by June 15.
3 meetings
3 workdays
4 open hour sessions (2 hours each)Our posted open hours for the community are Saturdays and Sundays from 10-4 pm.

Posted open hours are required by the BQLT.

There is a signup sheet to make sure we have those hours covered.
If Saturdays and Sundays don’t work for a member to do open hours, they can also get an open hour credit on other days as available.

Members must keep the gate open during open hours and must sign in the book (kept in the compost toilet) to get credit.

Up to two members (or member pairs) can claim the same time slot for open hours.

Kerri explained a member pair, which means that membership can be shared between two people. They can divide up their hours between them (for instance, one goes to one meeting and the other goes to the two others) but they cannot multiply (i.e. the pair do not get two credits for the same workday if both attend).

There is also a non-plot holding membership level. Requirements for this level are dues, bylaws, 1 meeting, 1 workday, and 2 open hour sessions.
New members become new members by showing up and expressing their desire to become new members.

New members should email hollenbackcommunitygarden@gmail.com to make sure they are noted as having joined and so the garden has their contact info.

New members and non-plot holding members garden together in the Margaret Lamar Cooperative Farm.

New members can arrange to receive their key after paying dues and attending 2 meetings and 1 workday.


We went around and read the first half of the bylaws aloud, a paragraph each, also introducing our names, the year we joined the garden, and one thing we want to grow this year.

The second half of the bylaws covers the responsibilities of the Steering Committee. These were also read aloud, by Kerri, at Alisha’s request.


The April 22 meeting agenda had been sent the membership on April 21, with the following note about an open plot:“We have one potentially open plot to distribute and one sabbatical plot (Barak’s). These will go to the next members on the waitlist, in order. We’ll distribute these after the meeting.”

The potentially open plot belonged to Alisha. At this point in the meeting, Kerri announced that Alisha had asked to address members, and Alisha was given the floor.

Alisha handed around a sheet of paper including her documentation of her credits last season and dates and her summaries of her communications with the Steering Committee about those credits.

Alisha read an address to the group. Her documentation and her address to the group are attached.

Alisha’s address stated that she was asking wider membership for grace because she had missed the rule that only one BQLT meeting or workshop can be used for a garden credit.

She attended only BQLT meetings last year, one of which took place at Hollenback. She had mistakenly believed that she could use these credits for her meeting credits. Alisha said that she now understands the rule that only one “outside credit” is allowed.” Having earned 19 credits in
total (some disputed by SC), she was coming to the community to request a warning instead of losing her plot.

Alisha also presented concerns with the tone and timing of SC communications regarding her plot. She found it relevant that the membership coordinator took about a month to respond to her email attempting to claim credit for the BQLT meetings she had attended. During that month passed the final Hollenback meeting, which Alisha could have attended if she had gotten back the SC’s answer in time.

A discussion occurred, with regular garden members speaking as well as members of the current and outgoing SC. Some people felt that Alisha had signed that she had read the bylaws and needed to be held to them; that with space at a premium, exceptions should not be made. Others questioned whether there was harm in offering forgiveness or grace in this situation.

Alisha pointed out that the bylaws require the SC to respond within a week to member emails.

Mark felt that pointing out SC failings on the bylaws was a red herring meant to distract from Alisha’s failure to meet bylaw requirements. He wanted those enforced and for SC bylaw issues to be discussed separately. Rose pointed out that the BQLT requires more open hours to be posted than we currently have posted.

Rose stated that as a former membership coordinator she had had to take people’s plots who didn’t do their hours even if they were upset about it, but that the membership rules are meant to encourage engagement, and that she probably would have found a way to work with someone who had as many credits as Alisha did.

Helen said that she didn’t feel the extra credits were relevant and that everyone has to abide by the same rules. She also expressed displeasure that Alisha had filmed SC at the plottery.

Rose noted that the bylaws require the plottery to happen at a meeting and wondered if the plottery happening on a different day was intentional on the part of the SC. Kerri said that was not intentionally done to prevent members from observing.

Some other members spoke up in favor of the rules as the rules.

Other people spoke up in favor of granting Alisha’s request.

Kerri said that there really isn’t anything that the SC could do, and that Alisha wasn’t the only long time member who had been informed at the end of last season that they were losing their plots after not earning enough credits.

Rose asked why Alisha was allowed to address membership if membership was not going to be allowed to weigh in on the SC’s decision.

A vote was called on whether to vote to overturn SC’s decision not to work with Alisha instead of taking her plot this year.

Mark pointed out that SC members are allowed to vote.

A vote was taken by raised hands. A quorum was not taken.

The vote on whether to vote failed, with 9 voting to vote and 11 voting not to vote.

Rose noted that she had resigned from the 2021 SC over concerns about democracy and transparency.


Peter gave updates on various Ops concerns.

The first was the Rainwater harvester.

Our neighbor, Don, had attended the meeting. During the introductions he had stated that he was attending the meeting in hopes of improving his communications with our garden.

Peter updated members that the caterpillar will no longer be a rainwater harvester, as we would be removing the rain collecting apparatus from Don’s roof at his request, along with the solar panels on his roof that had previously powered the compost toilet fan.

Mark suggested filling the barrel up with water from the hose and that it might be possible to phase out some of the pickle barrels as he believes them to be a mosquito concern.

Rose mentioned that screens on the pickle barrels might need repaired, but Ernesto showed that they had already been repaired.

Shana felt that the weeds are a bigger mosquito problem than the pickle barrels, and expressed concern that there would be a long line for can filling at the caterpillar if some pickle barrels were eliminated.

Mosquitos and the long term plan for the caterpillar were suggested for a topic next meeting.

Members were encouraged to weed the paths.

Other ops topics from Peter included:
– Bed replacement needed
– Deadlines to order soil and mulch from GreenThumb etc were missed, communications ongoing but might need to spend garden funds on this
– When soil and mulch arrive, extra workdays will be announced
– Water damage to shed would require painting and fixing doors, would schedule a workday for this soon
– Lots of garbage, old wood, scrap etc needs to be disposed of and pickup options are under discussion

SC mentioned that trash goes out Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, with recycling going out also on Thursdays.
Rose mentioned the new city trash rules that loose bags cannot go out until 8 pm.
She wondered if we would be putting the trash out in a container instead, which would need to be replaced in the garden the following morning after collection.
She mentioned that the trash committee is basically Bob at this point and wondered if he could get some credit for that and if the trash committee could be more formalized and have more members on it.

Shana mentioned additional brown bins from the city. Members were reminded to dispose of weeds and thorns in the brown bins instead of the compost.

Members were reminded to pack out their food garbage rather than leaving it in our can.

Volunteers were solicited for the compost committee. [Who?]

Water Committee
Shana and Cristina volunteered for water committee (filling pickle barrels). Mosquito dunks for the barrels were mentioned as the water committee’s responsibility.

It was announced that assorted seedlings will be delivered on various dates for member use.

Helen gave the treasurer report, going over dues and reimbursement as outlined in the meeting agenda. She was asked for the total in the bank. She said it was around $4,000 and that she’d get back with the exact total.

Anastasia and Cristina explained a bit of their roles as the BQLT reps / community liaisons as outlined in the meeting agenda.