All posts by pepperjunction

April 2022 Membership Meeting : Minutes

Garden Contact for inquiries:    33 people in attendance

Saturday, April 23rd, 11am

Introductions (Dana)

  • Welcome to the Hollenback Garden 2022 Season! 
  • Shoutouts: Ernesto et al. for rebuilding beds! Pat, Sandra, Moss, Eric K et al. for turning the compost!  We are in great shape for compost production this year because of their efforts!

 Steering Committee for 2022 season

  • Co-Presidents: Claire Henry and Dana Skallman
  • Ops: Ernesto Leon and vacant (Y Ris not returning this year)
  • Membership: Liz Wagoner and vacant (Emily Sommer is stepping down)
  • Treasurer: Vacant (Mark Lewin acting as interim Treasurer) 
  • Events: Kerri Brewer and vacant (Allison Lichter needed to step down)
  • BQLT Rep: Anastasia Standrik
  • BQLT alternate: vacant
  • VOTE: for Alicia Berbenick for Events NOTES: If there is quorum we would vote, but need to do online
    • TREASURER ROLE: Sasha Malchik, who was voted in last year, is not able to take on the role. Mark, the 2020-2021 treasurer, graciously offered to stay on as acting treasurer until we vote in a new incumbent.
    • OPS ROLE: Is vacant so we need a volunteer to partner with Ernesto
    • MEMBERSHIP ROLE: Emily has to step down, so we’re looking for another person to work with Liz
    • BQLT Alternate ROLE: Looking for someone to partner with Anastasia

Votes for these positions to likely occur electronically in order to get folks in the positions ASAP. Remember, the bylaws stipulate that all members in good standing should serve on the Steering Committee in a capacity at some point.

Covid-19 and the Garden (Dana)

  • Hollenback will be open as usual in 2022; we will monitor any Covid-related developments and make changes to our open status accordingly.
  • Gate stays open when members are in the garden.

Membership Committee (Liz): 

  • Membership requirements are: Dues & 3 Meetings/ 3 Workdays/ 4 Open Hour sessions 
    1. Memberships can be in pairs
  • Please sign bylaws on paper or online. 
  • Garden is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm; gardeners complete open hours during these blocks or during other blocks of time. Open hours get recorded in binder in the toilet.
    1. Expect an email for more details about open hour signup
  • There are additional opportunities to earn credits through workshops and sharing NOTES: We will help you make up any workday credits
  • Plant your plot by June 15th, or forfeit it
  • New members and being an apprentice
    1. Shared herb garden
    2. Children’s garden
    3. If you’re new, email:  with your email address, phone number, name, and if you plan to share a membership your partner’s name and contact info. 
  • The plottery/waitlist drawing was conducted on March 15. The results are recorded in the membership tally and those who have indicated they want a plot in 2022 are named below. 
  • We  have seven fully-available plots and two sabbatical (one year) plots to be shared.
  • Members may switch plots in order of seniority before plots are distributed to those without plots. 
  • Those who do not get a full plot assignment will retain their number on the waitlist for next year, and will have priority over 2022 apprentices for plot distribution in 2023. 

NOTES: SC has instituted a change in the way we operate the Plottery so that it is more in line with the bylaws. Now your place in line will be preserved. They ask members to add the year you joined to your name on the Membership spreadsheet

  1. eric k / matthew e
  2. alicia b
  3. moss l / rachel w
  4. anastasia s
  5. constance f / rob s
  6. annie m / isaac g
  7. chelsea f / dylan d
  8. jamie h
  9. stacey j / linsay a
  10. stephanie k / sarah n
  11. helen j
  12. amanda s
  13. sandra w

Operations Committee Update (Ernesto/Dana): 

  • Coordinate physical projects that need to happen. Can email Hollenback email with project ideas.
  • Rebuild raised beds–this is underway, THANKS ERNESTO
    1. Let us know if your bed needs rebuilding NOTES: Adrian wants to volunteer to be 2nd Ops officer
  • Early season goals include: clean up from winter, spring city water hookup, hook up rainwater harvester, replace beds
  • Compost Committee
    1. Has to be turned. Need to find interested folks to coordinate. Let Ernesto/Claire/Dana know if you are interested! So far we have: Moss, Pat, Sandra, Eric K.
    2. Water Committee: Simple — keep water barrels filled and put mosquito things in there. Let Ernesto/Claire/Dana know if you are interested.  So far Peter R. has committed; we need 2 or 3 more folks!
  • Trash–M, W, F (take out Sun., T, Th–trash + recycling)
    1. Take out on night before
    2. Please take out if you see it full or fill it or if you grill or add food
  • Plot maintenance (e.g. things overgrowing; surrounding pots)
    1. Please be mindful of things overgrowing and blocking walking ways and access to others’ plots. NO pots around beds smaller than 10” to ensure clear walkways.
  • Compost! Our food scrap dropoff has been paused since June 2021 due to the previous rat situation.  The bins have now all been lined with rat-proof hardware cloth and have had covers made. We are resuming making compost from garden-generated materials (e.g. weeds, cuttings, leaves, etc.).
  • VOTE: to resume food scrap drop off in our compost production.  This will only be for members, not for the general public.
  • Native Plant areas sub-committee: Shana and Andrea Parker=need other volunteers. This group will steward the native shade (under the Stewartia tree) and native sun gardens (Jane’s old plot), PLUS make a plan for the new rear seating bed with native plants.  They will need to make a design and source/cost new plants.  Then we bring it to the garden to vote on the expenditure.  This is a super fun opportunity to get involved with something that will impact the living structure of the garden for years to come!

NOTES: Shana says let’s try one test brown bin to see if the City is picking it up per her calls

Treasurer (Mark (interim)):

  • Treasury related questions/PayPal issues: Please do not email Mark directly. NOTES: We need a new Treasurer candidate for the Members to vote on.
  • Dues and PayPal
    • Dues are $50 to $10, on a sliding scale, and are due by June 15th, via PayPal. NOTES: Mark asks all members to pay $50 unless it constitutes a financial strain. DO NOT USE THE GARDEN GMAIL ADDRESS TO PAY DUES; IT DOES NOT CONNECT TO ANYTHING.
    • The garden’s PayPal username is @HCGBK, or you can use this link:
    • If your PayPal account isn’t in your name, put your name in the payment “message”.
    • Please select the “Friends and Family” payment type, not “Goods and Services”. 
    • Please do not use in PayPal to pay dues.
    • Unfortunately, we can’t accept dues via Venmo or Zelle.
  • Reimbursements for pre-approved garden-related purchases
    • BEFORE making any purchases, they need to be pre-approved. Email purchase requests to Dana and Claire at for pre-approval.
    • Note that items that exceed $200 require approval via community vote.
    • Once approved and purchased, send reimbursement requests including receipts to
    • Reimbursements are paid via PayPal.

NOTES: Mark says there is about $3K in our HOllenback bank account

BQLT Updates (Anastasia): NOTES: We need a second BQLT Rep this year

  • What is BQLT?
    • Brooklyn Queens Land Trust: 35 community gardens as members
    • Liability insurance, nonprofit status, city water, maintenance support
    • Protected land
  • Water will be turned on at the end of April
  • BQLT Point People: Domica Roberts (BQLT) and Alonso Cordoba (our “Ambassador”) 
  • Emails full of info from BQLT to come!
  • Next BQLT Operations & Gardeners in person meeting is on May 7
  • BQLT Arbor Day Event, May 7th, see the email Anastasia forwarded to participate

Events Committee Update (Kerri and Vacant) NOTES: Alicia volunteers to be 2nd Events Chair, if voted

  • Fundraising Ideas: Plant Giveaway/Sale (grow our own seedlings and/or purchase from Go NYC plant sale), Sidewalk Sale during Workdays, DIY Workshop Ideas. 
  • Start propagating house plants! 

NOTES: Events wants to do an event once a monthly for the community. They also want to use social media presence to promote a garden newsletter they plan to create. They also want to connect with the Community Fridge on Myrtle to give any excess produce. Pat Mohr said he works the fridge and needs food but mostly volunteers. 

  • NOTES: Tara would like to have the Harvest Fest this year in tandem with the Block Party
  • Also, Tara requests Ops or another subcommittee make a map of the land, clearly denoting what has been planted there (tree, flowering bushes, annuals) so that members don’t mow or weed it out. Andrea volunteers to help with this. 

Email Protocols (Dana)

  • Listserv purpose; YR is the point person, Emily will help.
  • Only use listserv email for announcements and events that relate to gardening; ex: BQLT updates, events happening w/ Green Thumb, educational opportunities with BBG, watering requests, sharing gathering info with garden. Please do not reply all.
  • It’s NOT MODERATED so use sparingly.
  • Proposals, ideas, concerns, questions–send directly to Claire and Dana (send to Hollenback email: who will share with SC and respond accordingly. 

Fun Stuff

  • We have our new peach tree in place:  thanks to Shana and all the volunteers who assisted with that effort!
  • Seedlings: GrowNYC order to come! We’ll send an email when they arrive
  • Seedlings: Also an order coming from GreenThumb on Saturday, May 7.
    • 2 flats of veggies/flowers/herbs mix sourced from Rise & Root Farm 
    • 2 flats of native plants mix provided by Greenbelt Native Plant Center 
  • Bees! Tara is spearheading the effort to bring a hive to Hollenback. More updates soon!

NOTES: We read the bylaws aloud, and must remember to change the new member plant date to June 15.

**Conversation about plots vis-a-vis email from Steering Committee of 4/19

Garden Meeting/Workday schedule 2022

  1. Sat. 4/23 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  2. Wed. 5/18 at 6:30pm. Meeting (in Garden)
  3. Sat. 5/21 at 11am. Workday
  4. Sat. 6/18 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  5. Wed. 7/20 at 6:30pm. Meeting (In Garden)
  6. Sat. 7/23 at 11am. Workday
  7. Sat. 8/20 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  8. Wed. 9/14 at 6:30pm. Meeting (in Garden)
  9. Sat. 9/17 at 11am. Workday
  10. Sat. 10/15 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  11. Sat. 11/19 at 11am. Closing Workday

NOTES:Tara wants to investigate the community funds being used for a paid teen internship/mentorship. Mark cautions about spending money we dont have. Financial resources could be linked to a specific event to pay for that thing.

Rachel S. talked about plot reconfiguration and how much it her her. No vote to member in good standing, but her physical mobility issues make her new plot hard to access. Asks for support to remediate accessibility of plot, to level ground, widen path more than a foot, and wants higher sides like Baraks. Also to remove the bricks and fill the new plot with soil, bc she can’t do heavy labor. She also asks future reconfiguration plans to be made public ahead of time.
Six people volunteer to help her. Barak offers his bed and she accepts, but wants it in her original space. So we separate his bed and trade it with hers, and people help her configure the path and bricks how she likes them, with new bricks donated by Dana.


All member meeting minutes Oct 16 2021

Thanks to Andrea & Maria for a great Harvest Fest! We raised $477! Thanks Eric K for so much rat duty!

Reminder about leadership changes: 

  • DS was elected co-president
  • We’ll send an e-vote for the current open positions:
    • AS for BQLT rep
    • EL to extend his role in Ops for the 2022 season to help cover YR’s sabbatical
    • LW for membership
    • AL & KB for events
    • SM for treasurer
    • SW might be up for BQLT alt depending on her schedule

E will resend requirements tally. Please get your requirements done by Nov 20 (last workday).

Our balance is $4,200. In good shape.

M, D, C will do a prospective this winter of what we’ll need to spend next spring so that we’re well prepared.

Events: We’ll do a Halloween event on Sunday, have a table out front with candy, charcoal roast some marshmallows. Will send an email for volunteers (could this count as any missing credit — workday, meeting, open hours shift?).

Ops: today we’ll clean out leaves out front, make covers for the compost bins (take down the chicken coop and reuse the wood), weed edges of the paths. FYI: the toilet fan works again (with solar! After being broken for 7 years). 

Rats: haven’t seen many so switching to weekly rat duty. Please sign up in the spreadsheet, sign in, and put the tally in the spreadsheet.

Compost: all in favor of tabling until next spring (unanimous).

One more workday on Nov 20th!

08/21 Meeting notes


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!

July 17, 2021 Meeting Minutes


Thanks to A for the amazing job weeding the main path, and to W for doing her weed talk today.

Membership reminds people that when we are in the garden, the gate needs to be wide open (not just a few inches) and that we need to welcome people in as they may be hovering by the gate. We’re not a private garden and the space is for the whole community to enjoy.

We need garbage committee volunteers; will send out in an email request.

Hose info: please remember to coil and *turn off* the hose when you leave, and also to drain it after you turn it off so that the water isn’t 1000 degrees when the next person turns it on. The “extra” water can be used to hose off the hose itself, which gets dirty, or to fill one of the standing barrels.

It was brought up that the hose still leaks; E will get gaskets.

Treasurer info: M said that we have about $3,900 in the bank.
Reimbursement info was shared, which is to email garden related purchases directly to Dand C for approval in advance ( and to email for M to process your reimbursement (through paypal).
M is looking at making an end of season report to make a budget at the opening of the season possible next year.

Events committee asked people if they have ideas for talks–like We’s weed talk–that happen at meetings & workdays. Is there a topic you’d like to see some education about? A talk you can give yourself? Reach out to the hollenback email if so.

One event that is being considered is an evening potluck, as food brings people together. We should also start thinking ahead to Harvest Fest, when we have a fun low-key contest tasting produce we grew and prepared. So put down your pickles! 9/25 is a possible date.

W mentioned for Harvest Fest that there are a lot of vendors who have supported us in the past for our raffle at the event, who could well be approached especially as we didn’t have the event last year.

We realized that one of our September meetings fell on Yom Kippur, so that will be rescheduled; stay tuned for that update.

S took a class through Greenethumb about multi-grafted fruit trees: and we will be getting a multi-grafted fruit tree! Greenethumb will come to confirm the best location, but possibly where the butterfly bush was (we need to take out the stump) or behind the white shed on the schoolside of the garden could be spots. Depending on her schedule, she might need a volunteer to attend an orientation for this project. So stay tuned for that request (will get a credit for going).

R reminded that for people who can’t make it to our scheduled meetings, there are opportunities for credits by attending BQLT or Greenethumb meetings or workshops. Membership sends opportunities out from time to time in an email, but if there is a meeting or workshop you’d like to attend for a credit, do reach out through the Hollenback email to get it approved and tallied.

Speaking of fruit, P mentioned that now that our apple tree is so healthfully full of fruit, it’s actually important to strategically remove some of the unripe fruit so that the branches do not become too heavy. He would do this at the workday. W said the green apples could be made into chutney.

Speaking of apples, it was pointed out that removing the fallen apples from the ground around the tree on a regular basis is important for our rat situation, so if we could all help out with that!

Next we talked about the rats and received a few updates.

The vote will go out electronically very soon. Options are

  1. No Kill: Cleaning garden making it less hospitable
  2. No Poison Kill: Cleaning from Option 1 plus burrow destruction and non-poison traps
  3. Poison Kill: Cleaning from Option 1 plus burrow destruction and poison baits

After the meeting that we had about rats on zoom, SC wanted to make it clear that, for all the pros and cons of each option, these do proceed 1, 2, 3 in terms of effectiveness at getting rid of rats, with 1 the least effective and 3 the most effective.

C still hasn’t heard back from the school after attempting several different communication approaches; she will walk over there in person and see if that helps. (Recap: we want to acknowledge the problem together, we want to know if they’re baiting, what plans are for summer school and the food distribution project, and how long the construction goes.)

Traps research is ongoing (for the trapping but not poisoning option) but the consensus is that many different types of traps should be used as the rats figure one type out and avoid it.

We are still working on connecting with BQLT for support and advice re: physical signs should we use poison bait.

Reminder that BQLT will pay for extermination but only the exterminator who will only offer poison baits, so the middle road where we use traps but not rat poison will be paid for by us.

People power to remove carcasses and/or dying rats will be ESSENTIAL to our ability to implement option 2 or 3, whether we go with a smaller committee of 7 or so people or a daily signup sheet for everyone who can stomach taking a shift. (It was asked at some point if an outside service could be hired; the Rat-Be-Gone service–of Eric Adams fame–was contacted but is quite expensive at $250 a month.) Since neighbors on the block are putting out poison bait, we are already dealing with the need to dispatch/remove poisoned rats.

Dry ice is readily available for $1.40 a pound as long as you get ten pounds (less is $2 a pound) from Brooklyn dry ice, if we want to try that out should we vote for burrow destruction. This method, which means the rats go to sleep underground, was discussed at the rat meeting. Brooklyn Dry Ice is in Midwood so a member with access to a car would be very helpful if we go with that technique–would receive a credit.

Attendance at the meeting was a little shy so rather than hold a vote we went with a general consensus to leave the temporary scraps pause up to SC. Claire announced that we will pause for at least one more month as that area is still being evaluated for possible burrows and as it has taken us this long to even decide on our extermination voting options.

As the SC mentioned in an email they sent out, the recent raised-hand in-person vote made some people feel pressured. In the interests of making it widely accessible for everyone to vote, we are going to send out the vote electronically. This will not be as 100% blind as paper slips in person, since the SC will need to tally the votes, but how each member votes will be kept confidential. When that vote goes out, please do respond, and promptly.

JUNE 19, 2021 HB Membership Meeting NOTES

Garden Contact for inquiries:

Listserv for educational opportunities, updates, etc.:

Hollenback Community Garden – Meeting Agenda June 19th, 2021 at 11am


NOTES: 35 people attend, icebreaker what’s your favorite fruit?

  • Gratitude to Y, Mark, Shana, Josh, and Sandra for being available for the GreenThumb lumber and soil delivery on May 23rd!
  • Gratitude to Winnie for cleaning out the toilet!!

Questions and Open Dialogue (Claire and Deema):

  • Chickens:
    • Due to some challenges with timing and community relations, we will not be able to proceed with the chicken coop in the garden. We understand that this is disappointing on a number of levels.  Nonetheless, it is necessary to proceed in this way at this time.
    • NOTES: Claire and Deema discuss that they went to BQLT for mediation but they could not get back to us in a constructive manner. Apprentice asks: Curious are we asking for forgiveness and not permission. Deema said they were confronted with a conflict and didn’t feel like it was a smart idea to proceed. We didn’t get the help we needed from BQLT, we didn’t want to bulldoze ahead and proceed given the heat.
  • Bees:
    • We will still be moving ahead with having a hive at the garden, however it is too late in the season to split a hive and set up one at Hollenback. Rest assured that bees will happen next spring!
    • NOTES:  Claire: we will have a hive. We voted on it last meeting, will rewalk the space for the optimal positioning. Will split a hive of bees and put half the bees here, next year in the spring.  Robert Moskel asks Do neighbors know about the bees? Joyce questions not telling neighbors, asks how other gardens with hives deal with the community. Mark says Telling them isn’t the same thing as asking permission. Shana says we need to tell the school. Claire says we’ll put it where they can fly straight up. Winnie aks what are we doing with the lumber. Ernesto says We have other priorities but we’ll get to it. Rose says where the coop was, was the original bee location.
  • Rats:
    • See email from June 13th: New guidelines for garden cleanliness
    • Rats a city-wide problem and not specific to Hollenback
    • BQLT will send an exterminator in the coming days (Thanks to Eric for spearheading!)
    • NOTES: Claire said everyone needs to pick up their BBQ food scraps from the ground. Take the trash can to the front only, no cans in the back. Look into a more secure trash container purchase. Remind people that rats are bad since Covid bc of closed restaurants, construction next door, school food trash, and rats moved from restaurants to our compost. It’s only been a problem in the last year, it’s not that we are bad stewards of the space. BQLT will send an exterminator this week. Eric asks about problems w chemical baits. Shana says watch for cats eating dead rats. Ernesto wants to find out metrics exterminator works under. Apprentice says at the other garden she was at Clifton Garden by Meckelburgs, they put down poison then they had dead rats, also new live rats, plus poison. Shana says rats will eat veggies, roots and even moss if no scraps. She found burrows and says stuff them w old cat litter. Claire says we’ll scout for them today, empty compost bins and look for burrows by school and by Don’s fence, line compost bin with chicken wire, look for holes and clean behind it. Rose says Ick factor, dead rats worse than live. Apprentice asks will it get rat junk in our crops. Christina said read on BBG they can spread diseases. Joyce says they DO spread diseases.
  • Misc:

Membership Committee (Rose and Emily): 

  • Garden Open Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm
  • Bylaws signing
  • Garden Guidelines
  • New members & Apprentices to gather after meeting
    NOTES: After meeting, apprentices meet up on bluestone patio where Emily will run an apprentice orientation. Rose says that the New Member cutoff date is actually May 31, not June 15. Reminder that Open Hours folks must keep the gate open for everyone to enjoy. Reminder to people to reach out to Rose if they are having problems meeting requirements; they will help you make up credits. Update: don’t cover the woodpile in the back with the tarp anymore. Firewood for fires to be stored under the wooden table at the bluestone patio to keep dry.

Operations Committee Update (Ernesto and Y): 

  • Workday plans
  • Compost: read the rules, cover your food!
  • NOTES: Claire asks, should we stop composting? Rose says there are rat feces in the compost if we don’t discard the existing compost. Joyce has plot next to compost, suggests we get rid of all of it, don’t use the compost for 30 days, have to make it hard for rats. Start fresh, reset the compost and do education. Mark agrees w that, says first priority is the health of the garden, compost is not improved with drop-offs, let’s just use only clean browns/greens of garden waste, and deal with core issues first. Shana says rats poop everywhere, not just in compost. If we get rid of the compost, they’ll eat our plots. We’ll still have rats until we tackle where the rats are coming from. Compost stop is a band-aid on the problem. Find out when the school is finished with construction. Rose: if we decide to pause the compost it’s a good time to do it bc everyone’s planted already. Suggests creating a hinged compost cover with screening, because hopefully we can kill them but the are not going away forever. Sarah says we should keep the compost and use it as a source to trap them, that way we will know whether it’s the source. Throw away contaminated batch, use a different technique like Bokashi. Eric: I think the compost is attracting them bc it’s warm. I’m on the side of resetting, bc I’m not comfortable touching the compost. Christina says we should pause and restart with a thoughtful approach. Educate people, and don’t shame people for eating in the garden. Shana says let’s also get rid of the pile of rotten wood next to the browns and greens, that it’s a ‘rat condo.’ She seconds Sarah’s suggestion of Bokashi compost with a long explanation of the Japanese composting method that you do at home with fermented sweet barley settled in home bins for one month so there’s no bugs or mice. Eric says the food from the school cafeteria is another source bc rats don’t choose to eat vegetables unless there’s nothing rotten to eat. We must turn compost more often and seal the bins, I am happy to do that. Robert asks if pest control guy will answer questions, says we need a ‘rat expert.’ Barak says let’s use the workday to take compost bins apart and rebuild them. Says it’s important to have compost as part of organic gardening. We could buy or craft a big tumbler instead. He says being able to get together and do grilling is an integral part of social garden life, but we need the infrastructure to support it. A thorough cleanup today will go a long way. Helen says we need solid construction, at her last garden they had big plastic bins with lids and no rat problem. Andrea says a rat’s nest was found at her last garden, they lined the bins w fine wire and make a lid, an no rats came again. Sarah said there should be a laminated checklist, which Claire and Deema already made as part of this agenda. Bob said let’s just dump the food scraps bin out. An apprentice said we need to have mesh so it can breathe, and tether the lid closed with bricks. Claire said rats can chew through plastic, reminds people they love meat especially. If we take the rats out, new rats will come in. Deema said let’s vote to remove the compost, line the bins, pause collection of scraps for 30 days. Throw away scraps, make a lid, get exterminator in here. Eric says what about the two bins of ‘dirt’ (breaking down compost, actually)? Can we keep them. Barak said let’s check the greens and browns and throw it away if it’s bad. Let’s leave the empty bins exposed and dismantled for the exterminator to bait, maybe it will give us time to think up a new system. Ernesto said last time they turned the compost there were no rats in there. Joyce gets mad and leaves, (Ernesto follows to talk to her, says he told her that he was not against her suggestion, just that he wanted facts and solutions, not just another person to say ‘I saw rats,’ bc we all saw rats.) Shana said we should do all our votes online. Rose said to dismantle the compost bins is a bad idea, her proposal is to ditch the food scraps and line the bins w chicken wire, then get into long-term plans later. Mark said he’d prefer not to have the commitment to restart, but few support that. Winnie suggests we vote instead to ditch all the compost scraps and pause drop-offs for 30 days, but not dismantle or rebuild compost until exterminator examines it and advises. Rose calls that proposal up for a vote, the vote is 27 in favor. Claire said today we will clean it out and throw it all away, look for burrows, turn the other piles and look for infestations, and move all the donated dirt into the way back.
    Claire suggests also discussing no longer allowing people to have food in the garden. It’s important to keep up with the trash, especially meat. Let’s get new bins. Winnie suggests we table this lengthy discussion for next meeting, people agree and we move on.

Treasurer (Mark):

  • Contact Mark at if you have any dues or PayPal issues or questions. 
  • 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.
    NOTES: It’s our responsibility to follow the garden benchmarks we’re supposed to meet, as custodians of the space. Let’s not take advantage of infinite good will of our neighbors. Don’t be here after the 9 pm curfew. Abiding by the bylaws are the responsibility if all members of the garden. He reminds people that dues were due a couple of days ago, send them $10-50 sliding scale at PayPal at @HCGBK. NO MORE GMAIL. Check the Master Document rose will resend this week and see if you paid. If you truly can’t afford it, email Mark privately. 80% members paid.

Events Committee Update (Andrea and Maria):

  • Gauge interest and solicit volunteers for Next Plant Give-Away, potentially 6/27, 12pm-2pm
  • Solicit volunteers for giving Educational Talk before next workday (7/17)
    NOTES: June 27 from 12-2 is a plant giveaway, Amanda, Marc, Alicia new and Audrey volunteer. Please bring houseplants to share and put them on the propagation table next to Don’s fence. There will be a plant talk by Winnie on Edible/Non-Edible Weeds 11 a.m. at the July workday.

Garden Guidelines

Open Hours

We keep the garden open to the public from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturdays & Sundays throughout the growing season. 

Please sign up in advance for the Open Hours that you intend to staff and remember to sign in when you arrive in the Blue Membership Binder in the Compost Toilet so we can record your hard work. When staffing open hours, we ask that members welcome members of the community, tell them a little about the garden, and answer any questions they have, directing them to our website ( or the Hollenback steering committee email (below) for more information.

Enjoying the Shared Space

  • The garden and our tools are shared resources! Remember to clean off and put away any tools after you’re done using them.
  • The garden is open to the community when a member is present—keep the gates OPEN when you come to water, tend your plot, or have a BBQ, and kindly welcome visitors if they wander in. 
  • The garden closes at 9pm. Please clean up and be out of the garden by 9 pm.
  • When using the fire pit, please make sure it’s out before you leave, clean out the ash into the ash can, and invert the pit so it doesn’t collect water.
  • If you’re going to grill or use the fire pit: there are no reservations, but please inform folks via the listserv if you are planning a group gathering and be inclusive—all are welcome. Additionally, please pack out your food trash to help avoid attracting rats. Be sure to pick up any food that may have dropped to the ground during your event. Be sure to scrub the grill to remove all meat residue.
  • If it’s a trash night, please bag and take out the trash to the curb!  Sun., Tue., and Thurs. evenings (+ Recycling on Thursdays).


Our compost doesn’t get as hot as commercial compost like NYC’s, so please DO NOT add:

  • Animal products (meat, fats, fish, bones)
  • Paper, wrappers
  • Oily or cooked foods, including bread
  • “Compostable” plastics or wrappers
  • Large pits (e.g. avocados, peaches, nectarines)
  • Pernicious weeds (we use the compost in our plots and these will regrow there: e.g. bindweed, Japanese knotweed, Virginia creeper)
  • Thorns (we turn it with our hands and these hurt)

Appropriate things to put in the compost include raw fruit, vegetable and plant scraps.

After adding your compostable material to the first bin on the left, please turn it and cover it with a handful of greens and a handful of browns from the bins behind you. We do not accept compost contributions from non-members.

Contact the Garden

Questions, concerns, proposals, ideas, just want to chat? Email the steering committee at:

Please only email the shared listserv with garden events (no non-garden business) and refrain from replying all, as it goes to a large audience.

Season schedule:

A.              Garden Meeting/Workday schedule:

1.     Sat. 6/19 at 11am. Meeting and Workday

2.     Wed. 7/14 at 6pm. Meeting

3.     Sat. 7/17 at 11am. Workday

4.     Sat. 8/21 at 11am. Meeting and Workday

5.     Wed. 9/15 at 6pm. Meeting

6.     Sat. 9/18 at 11am. Workday

7.     Sat. 10/16 at 11am. Meeting and Workday

8.      Sat. 11/20 at 11am. Closing Workday


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

April 2021 agenda and notes

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

Hollenback Community Garden – Meeting Agenda April 17, 2021 at 11am

Icebreaker (Deema and Claire) 50 people attended

  • Introduce yourself
  • What motivated you to join a community garden? What does it mean for you to be part of a community garden? NOTES: People said to meeting the community, grow things, bc I have kids, to meet new people, learn about gardening, nice to see the cycle of life, passed garden and was interested, wanted to learn about composting, connecting with the community, get hands dirty.

Covid-19 and the Garden (Deema)

  • BQLT is leaving it to the discretion of gardens how to reopen. Hollenback will have a ‘normal’ season [events TBD]. All membership requirements are intact.
  • Masks must be worn at ALL times while in the garden, except when eating/drinking
  • Adhere to at least 6 foot social distancing criteria
  • Gate stays open when members are in the garden. Questions/concerns, see Claire and/or Deema directly. NOTES: Introduce yourself to people, say hi, connect, garden closed after dark, respect neighbors and keep noise down
  • No area/grill reservations in the garden. As a community garden, when member(s) are present, the space is open to all. Inform the garden as a FYI and be inclusive. All are welcome.
  • Garden closes after dark and we ask that social gatherings do not go past 10pm like all other NYC outdoor community spaces. This is in line with respecting neighbors and keeping noise levels down.

Membership Committee (Rose and Emily):

  • Membership requirements are: Dues & 3 Meetings/ 3 Workdays/ 4 Open Hour sessions
  • Bylaws NOTES: Emily sent around sheet for people to sign that they abide by bylaws.
  • Garden is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm; see online open hours sign-in sheet. NOTES: Sign into Blue Book for every event you do, even volunteering to run tours, etc.
  • Plottery today! All members who qualify, pick your ‘plottery’ number & pick from available garden plots
  • Plant your plot by June 15th, or forfeit it.
  • New members and being an apprentice. Apprentices get their key after 2 meetings / 1 workday / paying dues. Introducing Apprentice Coordinators. NOTES: Sandy and Monica running Farm
  • Any experienced gardeners interested in a little mentorship in helping apprentices plan their plot? NOTES: Spoke of Margaret Lamar’s legacy, Jane agrees to help Apprentices with any questions about growing

Operations Committee Update (Ernesto):

  • Workday plan: NOTES: Ernesto wants to get rainwater harvester hooked up, wood moved
  • Rebuild raised beds–separate workday; Raised bed lumber expenditure vote c. $800 NOTES: Vote approved by majority
  • Grape arbor expenditure vote: cost has increased from previously voted on $500 to c. $750. Need to vote to spend the extra money. NOTES: Vote approved by majority
  • Grow NYC seedling order: arrives May 1st. Plants will be on the wooden table, first come first served. We will send an email reminder when they are there. NOTES Neto needs one helper
  • Compost Committee, headed by Pat: call for volunteers! NOTES: Peter Mohr also on Compost Committee, volunteers are Moss, Stephanie, Alison, New Alicia, Anastasia
  • Water Committee: call for volunteers! NOTES: Volunteers are Sasha, Big Mike, Alliya.
  • Trash–M, W, F (take out Sun., T, Th–trash + recycling) NOTES: Volunteers Bob and Winnie
  • Plot maintenance (eg things overgrowing; surrounding pots)
  • Compost! No meat or animal products; no paper/wrappers; no avocado pits/stone fruit pits; no “compostable” compost bags. Please review the plaque above the compost and cover with a handful of greens and browns. Let’s keep critters at bay! Reminder: We cannot accept compost from the community (we don’t have the capacity). Garden member drop-off only! NOTES: No stickers , no stone fruit or pits, turn to get air in, Pat Mohr disposes of rats nest.

Treasurer (Mark; Claire to cover):

  • Pay your dues, on a sliding scale from $10-50, by June 15th. Use paypal: @HCGBK, or use Venmo 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.
  • Contact Mark at if you have any dues or PayPal issues or questions.

BQLT Updates (Eric and Dana):

  • Introduce Alonso, Hollenabck’s Garden Ambassador. Domica Roberts is the BQLT Program Manager. NOTES: Alonso and 2 visitors from Q Garden off Q train is our new contact point. Makes sure gardens are protected from developers, Garden Open Meeting is on First Saturdays, all are welcome,
  • Emails full of info from BQLT to come!

Events Committee Update (Andrea and Maria)

  • Garden tour for kids from Aozura
  • Visit on Wed. 4/28 and Thurs. 4/29; arrival btw 10-10:15am. NOTES: Winnie and Allison, need one more volunteer for Wednesday
  • Need volunteers! Helping with tour = open hours credit
  • We will continue with educational talks before workdays; if you’re interested in learning about something or sharing your knowledge, speak with Andrea and Maria. NOTES: Reach out and connect with our surrounding community, children and adult groups both.
  • Plant Giveaway: pick date in May NOTES: 20 people are interested, we still need to pick a date–is the workday simplest?
  • Fundraising Ideas: Sidewalk Sale during Workdays, DIY Workshop Ideas
  • Please start propagating house plants! People love them!!! 😀 NOTES: A garden member stared a propagation table setup next to Alisha and Sara/Robert’s path next to Don’s fence. Put giveaway plants for neighbors there.

Season schedule:

  1. Garden Meeting/Workday schedule:
  2. Wed. 3/17 at 6pm. Meeting (Virtual)
  3. Sat. 4/17 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  4. Wed. 5/12 at 6pm. Meeting
  5. Sat. 5/15 at 11am. Workday
  6. Sat. 6/19 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  7. Wed. 7/14 at 6pm. Meeting
  8. Sat. 7/17 at 11am. Workday
  9. Sat. 8/21 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  10. Wed. 9/15 at 6pm. Meeting
  11. Sat. 9/18 at 11am. Workday
  12. Sat. 10/16 at 11am. Meeting and Workday
  13. Sat. 11/20 at 11am. Closing Workday

FURTHER NOTES: Sasha says someone cut all the raspberries by the fence down, now there will be no berries this season, please don’t cut unless you ask first. You’re only supposed to cut the very brown bits down at the end of the season, not beginning, and not the green branches. Be prudent. Jane says raspberries are amazing for pollinators, keep them

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.