We set our first Garden Workday as April 6th at 10:00 AM.
I just wanted to re-cap our first meeting for those who were unable to attend on March 19th, plus add any latest updates. We talked through a few items for restarting this year, and I think we made some good progress.
First we started with an update on the seeds started in Bill & Deborah’s basement. We planted roughly 200 seeds, with an expectation of approximately 100 plants. We have a variety of tomato and pepper plants. Deborah showed us pictures of a few seedlings that have started. Very exciting!
We discussed receiving compost and hay from Four Springs Farms near Kutztown. We estimated we would need approximately 11 cubic yards to fill the raised beds, and at least 12 or more for the soil in the open area. We decided we would limit to no more than 20 cubic yards, which would cost us approximately $540 based on $27 per cubic yard. We also discussed putting newspaper (as a base) covered with hay in between plots to reduce our mowing area and eliminate the challenges of getting tangled up in netting and maneuvering the mower in between beds. Rich has opened up part of the fence on the south side so the delivery can be made as close to the beds as possible. Peter Kish looked at our soil report and said we will probably need to add additional materials to the open area.
We then spoke about the need for a rototiller. We estimated the cost of a tiller to be about $80 per day, and the purchase of one could start at $750 and higher. We looking for everyone in the garden to ask around to see if they know anyone that may have used tiller they may be looking to sell, as well as look in classified ads. We then talked about fund raising ideas for a tiller and other expenses, and Sue Kiefner spoke about having a garden tree, where people could donate money to purchase specific items needed for the garden. Sue volunteered to work on this project and has already come up with some great plans.
Then we talked about the number of current plots anticipated to be used in the 2013 season. There are 4 plots that will be vacant, and one additional member coming in. We are estimating the number of plots we still have left will be at least 3. We agreed to leave the plot fees at $25 for this year, with the understanding that if you are able to help defray the cost of the compost delivery, that it would also be appreciated. We reviewed the budget and expenses for 2012. The expenses of the garden were approximately $900, with $390 coming from plot fees and the balance from extra donations of 3-4 members.
We talked about some other ideas for the season. Jane Cook mentioned how time consuming and challenging watering has been especially during the hot weather, because of rolling out the hose carrying it up the hill and rolling it back up when she is finished. The idea would be to have a faucet and line semi-permanently run up to the shed. This would require us to dig a trench and run PVC piping up to the shed. The end at the building would be disconnected. Also discussed was a way to drain during the winter, including a French drain. Rich said he could design some plans that would work.
Also, we reviewed ways to reach out to the community and get others involved. We also discussed the obstacle regarding working with the Boy’s club, including transportation limitations and the need for background checks and clearances. Some of us have this paperwork, and as we have more we could restart communications.
The challenges of the groundhog were discussed. Rich had mentioned about a different type of chicken wire that would work better, and possibly looking into some other ideas. Some ideas included planting outside and around the fence,
Composting has been a challenge for us, and we talked about clearing out and redesigning the compost bins. Deborah volunteered to take some of the larger pieces down to the trash.
That about sums it up. If I missed anything please let me know.
Happy Easter to Everyone,
Jason & Jaimee