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May 21: Meeting Agenda and Community Composting Discussion

Next Tuesday’s Seed Savers meeting at 6 p.m. will be hosting Athena Bradley from the Northeast Recycling Council to discuss Community Composting and to explain the use of a large Jora Composter that is being awarded to the Stamford VT Seed Savers for composting of food waste from the elementary school.

Jora Composter

For this event our meeting will be held in the school instead of the town library. The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Approval of minutes from May 7th
  2. Progress Report: Summer Camp Program
  3. Planning for Church Bazaar
  4. Formation of new Town “Community Committee” (name to be determined)
  5. Chicken Coop update

The remainder of the meeting will be devoted to a discussion of Community Composting under the leadership of Athena Bradley from the Northeast Recycling Council.

This is an important planning meeting; we hope as many as possible can attend, as we NEED YOUR IDEAS!

Green Up Day and a Day in the Dirt

Day in the Dirt 2019

Green Up Day exceeded last year’s record numbers and a great day was had by all.  The Seed Savers’ table offered free seeds to participants and training in how to obtain seeds from the new seed library, located in the foyer at the Town Center.

Day in the Dirt Work Party

In addition to public outreach activities for Green Up Day, Seed Savers rescheduled our Day in the Dirt work party and many volunteers came from 11am to 3pm to build five new garden beds that are now ready for planting. We also cleaned up the eight existing beds, weeded the blueberry patch, and planted three varieties of peas.

Evan and Sierra DID

Day in Dirt Worker

 

 

 

 

 

Seed Savers in the Classroom

Stephen and Jen in Class 2019On Friday May 3rd the Stamford Elementary School invited Seed Savers Stephen Greene, Helen Fields and Jen Ryan to spend the day working with students in all classes, pre-K through 7 (with 8th graders assisting the very young students).

 

Kids picking seeds

Everyone planted two flowers and two vegetables of their choice for home and school gardens. Classes are now caring for the plants until Seed Savers can return in early June to plant them with students at the School Gardens or take home to plant.

Seed Savers Meeting Minutes: April 9, 2019

Attending: Jen Hughes, Pam Tworig, Linda Hughes, Terry Stimson,  Larry Potvin, Stephen Greene, Caroline Burch, Helen Fields, Priscilla Tracy, CJ Vadnais, Betty Vadnais, Jen Ryan                                                                                                                                                Snack = Mcvitee’s HobNobs

 

  • Approval of Minutes from March 26, 2019

 

“There is a lot of good stuff here.”  Minutes approved

 

  • Planning of Seed Sharing Event: Saturday, April 13th at fire house

 

    Flyers handed out for distribution. PSA’s have gone out to iBershires and the Berkshire  Eagle.

Whose coming? Stephen, CJ, Jen H., Helen

Note: Pam will be supervising tree planting in North Adams (Northern berkshire Community Coalition)

Terry will take seeds to start at home.

Get there at 9:30

Seeds need to be alphabetized in expanding folders prior to event.  Get in touch with Helen about when to do this.

Helen will send a notice of the event through the school to parents of school children.

Terry will bring coffee maker and coffee to the firehouse.

Bring coffee mugs from home instead of paper.

We will plant seedlings for fundraising during / afterwards.

Pam has plant pots that she wants to give away and hoops for a small hoop house.  Jen, Terry, Helen, and Stephen will look at the hoop house, tomorrow at 1:00.

Terry can bring some tools and a truck and her Husband to help disassemble the hoop house.

We have about 100 new seed varieties from various sources.

We should also have a procedure for people to leave seeds at the event or at the town offices foyer.

CJ brought A-Frame Sign which we will setup tonight. (Done)

Pam also has additional equipment related to seed starting for the school.

Arrive by 9:30 on the day of

 

  • Day in the Dirt: Saturday April 27th  10 am – 2 pm

 

Building of garden beds etc..  Everything is in place to complete the new beds.

Now that there is a gate, CJ can bring his tractor with a bucket to fill the beds.

If we can finish the garden beds we will start work on the shed.

Work can also continue on Green-up Day.  There will be a dance event that evening.

 

  • Bulletin Board

 

Stephen has purchased materials and is building a bulletin board which will be

mounted at entrance to the school to improve communication.  Location was

chosen by the school principal and approved by the selectboard. It should be

done within the next two weeks.

 

  • School Activities Check-in

 

    A planting activity will take place with all classes at end of April.  This will include

Helen, Stephen, Larry, Terry and Jen.

 

  • Finance Report

 

We have received 187.50 in donations through the VCGN website so far, which will be matched by VCGN. They will match up to $250 for a total of $500.

Additional Notes:

Helen is planning to organize a one week summer camp in July that will culminate with the community dinner that is being planned for July 20th.

Helen recently visited the Hawlemont School to see their agricultural program, which has been very successful.  We should have a presentation about the their program in Stamford. Helen will contact the principal about coming to Stamford to make a presentation.

There will be an all board meeting on Thurs. the 24th?

Next Meeting on April 23rd.

   

Stamford Vermont Seed Savers, Meeting Minutes: Tuesday 3/26/19

Bernice, Stephen, Helen, Caroline, Larry, CJ, Betty, Terry, Micah, and Jen

 

  • Welcome and Hearing of the Visitors
  • Reading and Approval of old Minutes  (Approved)
  • Discussion:
  • Grants status (statuses, stati, stata?)

 

      1. VCGN $500 and new online matching fundraiser info SVSS Matching Fund Donation Link: please view!

We asked for $1,000 – We received $500 with the possibility of another $250 matching funds for a possible total of $1,000, which includes the matching funds.  Matching fund donations must be made through the website. See a Seed Saver member if you need access to a computer and want to donate; we can help you do that.  Caroline will send e-mail requests.

  • NEGEF: what we asked for and how you can help make it real

 

 

We asked for everything that was in the minutes from the previous meeting (March 9).

We will need more 2×4’s for the shed than the previous estimate.

We need a raspberry planting date for donations of plants.  We will need to request permission from the selectboard. Caroline suggested we ask townfolk for additional local raspberry donations.

After talking to Micah we have determined that we will put up a bulletin board on the outside wall to the right before entering the building, under the eave.

 

  • APRIL EVENTS:
  • 4/13/19 Seed Swap plan:  place?

 

Volunteers: Bernie, Helen, CJ, Stephen, Priscilla?,  and Joe? Others? We need more.

Can we use the firehouse again?  – CJ will speak to Bill Levine to see if he has requested the date.

We will also start plants at the seed swap.

Caroline will include the Seed Saver’s website link and encourage people to sign up when she sends the request for donations.

Terry will seed plants at home; Larry, too. Bernie volunteered her brother Leon to also help plant and tend plants.

Caroline has hundreds of 4” pots that she could donate.

 

  • 4/27/19 Day in the Dirt 10am-2pm: Build beds; clean gardens…

 

 

  • MAY EVENTS:
  • 5/3/19 Classroom planting at SES (Helen, Stephen and others)

 

Also Jen Ryan, Terry and Larry volunteered;  SVSS will cover the cost of fingerprinting;

We will buy shelving for in school lights.

 

  • 5/4/19 GREEN UP DAY! We table and sell plants

 

We want to recruit more volunteers for Green Up Day.  How about a treasure hunt for the kids (in the garden).

There will be another Rock and Roll Dance that night.  Maybe the dance/Seed Savers could offer a $2 discount to first timer Green Up Day volunteers.

 

  • 5/11/19 Mothers’ Day “Breakfast in (Garden) Bed.” Breakfast and coffee for anyone who shows up, with or without their mother, to build  garden beds!

 

Call the event Mother’s Day Breakfast ‘n Beds.

 

  • SES Agriculture Committee report

 

Grant request for a small greenhouse: Interest in composting program to compost food waste on site.

Plan for seed planting with kids in class on 5/3.  Return on June 7 for planting.

Looked at School Curriculum, there are a ton of opportunities to integrate.

Use reading buddies to do activities, i.e. planting.

Terry – Suggested educational poster board at food waste and related science projects.

Helen – Planning a one week summer garden camp.  Possibly 9 – 2:30 (School schedule) The week before the community dinner, which could become a culminating event.  She will put out a survey to the parents and kids.

Micah is able to send informational flyers home with kids.

 

  • Flower boxes in Stamford

 

Possible pollinator project in school in the fall.  Flowers will be pollinator friendly and could include informational signs.

 

  • NEW BUSINESS

 

We have $1,000 for a large Jorga composter.  Our goal is to be able to compost school food waste on site.

Bernie is sponsoring a second 50s dance in May with the same band.  We discussed a June Event; a strawberry picnic with chicken tenders and strawberry shortcake as a fundraiser for SVSS.

 

  • NEXT MEETING:  Tuesday 4/9/19 at 6pm in Library (2 weeks from today)

 

~Agenda includes plan for imminent Seed Swap on 4/13/19.

ADDENDUM:

Bernie has a pop-up canopy for outdoor activities.

CJ wants to know “Do Students study the solar system?”   He is interested in integrating a garden sundial project with the school.

 

Stamford VT Seed Savers, AGENDA: Tuesday 3/26/19

      Town Library                                                         6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  1. Welcome and Hearing of the Visitors
  2. Reading and Approval of old Minutes
  3. Discussion:
    1. Grants status (statuses, stati, stata?)
      1. VCGN $500 and new online matching fundraiser info SVSS Matching Fund Donation Link: please view!
      2. NEGEF: what we asked for and how you can help make it real
    2. APRIL EVENTS:
      1. 4/13/19 Seed Swap plan:  place?
      2. 4/27/19 Day in the Dirt 10am-2pm: Build beds; clean gardens…
    3. MAY EVENTS:
      1. 5/3/19 Classroom planting at SES (Helen, Stephen and others)
      2. 5/4/19 GREEN UP DAY! We table and sell plants?
      3. 5/11/19 Mothers’ Day “Breakfast in (Garden) Bed.” Breakfast and coffee for anyone who shows up, with or without their mother, to build 4 garden beds!
    4. SES Agriculture Committee report
    5. Flower boxes in Stamford
  4. NEW BUSINESS

 

  1. NEXT MEETING:  Tuesday 4/9/19 at 6pm in Stamford Library (2 weeks from today)

~Agenda includes plan for imminent Seed Swap

 

Stamford Vermont Seed Savers, Meeting Minutes: 3/12/19

 

 

Helen, Caroline, Susan, Larry, Pat, Bill, Terry, Stephen, Victoria, Jen (Librarian)

 

  1. Grant status
    1. NEGEF gave us a second grant of $3250 last Spring. We have $1500 remaining. Stephen and Larry drew schemes for a shed and priced out wood. Shed is 6×12 with extended roof 18’ beyond shed. Capable of rain water harvest. Larry reports on wood pricing of HP Lumber would be $835. APPROVED paying HP Lumber for this purchase. Still need roofing and hardware in addition to that. We have already purchased and delivered all bed wood. Next year’s grant suggestions:
      1. Greenhouse
      2. Raspberries
      3. Bulletin boards
      4. Fruit trees
      5. Wildflower boxes for pollinators
      6. Speaker series (library events)
      7. Tools donated

 

    1. VCGN. grant tomorrow
    2. Shed and watering systems: see grant
    3. Events
      1. Outdoor Dinner Party (Community Building Committee)
        1. “Stamford Summer Dinner” in front of school/parking lot and rain date in gym.
        2. All community event. Bring your own table and tablecloth; build a rectangular quilt of tables; we ask people to bring their harvest to eat; we provide some corn, soups, potato and tomato; bring your own picnic.
        3. July 20, 2019 Saturday tentative date.
        4. Transportation to gardens for garden activities; hayride; vote for your favorite garden bed with prize for winner. To bring interest to the gardens.

Seed Swap April 13 Bill will check dates

Plant Starts for fundraising: flowers, annuals, herbs, brassicas

Caroline can get mini-meadow author to donate seed packets.

 

We need groups in community to recruit attenders.

Day in the Dirt: April 27 build beds Bill will check dates

Classroom activities Larry and Terry will help with this.

Green up day. We will have a table there. Promote composting at home. We can sell plants again. Outreach table. Branch out with other plants. If anyone wants a table to sell their products they are welcome to do so. We can give away seeds. Terry wants to make raspberry jam. Tyna Senecal sells maple syrup. GUD will contact her.

Church Bazaar: We need a point person for this. Caroline will ask about this. Can we make announcements at St. John Bosco.

Outdoor dinner party: Community Building

August: Food processing workshop? Ask McCann if they offer the class. SG is interested in FOod Handlers; ;Terry is also.

Other workshops?

Harvest event at school

  1. Seed Saving. Bill has a wheat grinder. Used to grind whole wheat and corn in his stone mill. Susan grew blue corn and will bring it to next meeting.
  2. Community Building: Pat described plans for a Stamford Outdoor Summer Supper this summer (possibly July).

 

  1. New business

 

Announcements:

  1. Community Building meeting tomorrow 3/13/19 at Stamford Elementary School.
  2. Caroline has a Timber Press Seed Saving Book and mushroom books.How can we use these and have access
  3. We can plan a mushroom walk soon.

AFTERNOTE: We did not mention that we need a workcamp on 5/11/19 to continue work on the new shed. This is Mothers Day Weekend so we were wondering if people want to also have a SVSS breakfast and workcamp?

Seed Savers Meeting Agenda: Feb 12, 2019

 
1. Old business: SVSS reports
     a. NEGEF grant report and Finance report
     b. Seeds saved and seeds lost to the furies: bring what you have, and tell your story (members)
    c. Stamford School activities
 
2. New Business:
         a) Proposal for Summer Harvest Event
         b) Spring gardening schedule; finish making beds,  planting
         c) Do we want to have a plant sale/activity?
         d) Speakers this year 
         e) Vermont Community Garden Grant application (new)
3. Additional Ideas
         a) working with other committees in town
         b) ????

Intrepid Gardeners

20181013_134541

Last Saturday, October 13th,  it was a cold and rainy day.  As a result, work on the garden was delayed until 12:00 pm.  In the end, a few dedicated volunteers  came to put the garden in order for next year’s season.  Some of the volunteers cleaned up the old beds, while others worked on building new beds. The boards had been cut to length, and were laid out out in advance; assembly moved quickly.  By the end of the two hours we had assembled the foundations for 4 new beds.

There will be one more work day on Oct. 27th to finish the work that has been started.

 

Garden Work Party

Saturday, October 13th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

at

Stamford Elementary School

We will clean the existing beds, plant a cover crop, build several new beds and fill them with top soil and compost.  We will need hand tools, drills, bits and drivers, hammers, shovels, garden forks, rakes and wheelbarrows.  Bring tools, if you have them, or just bring yourself, there will be plenty to do.  Light refreshments will be provided.

All are welcome. Bring family and friends.  A rain date will be announced in case of inclement weather.

 

Seed Savers Meeting Minutes: Sept. 25

  1. Report on recent activities: In the classroom and in the garden:

Delivery of compost by Larry Potvin, Annah Boucher, Ken Boucher, & Stephen Greene, donated by Diane and Nate Finney. It is excellent aged horse manure that we used with great success in this year’s school garden.

We were able to harvest 65 pounds of potatoes from two of the beds that were planted by children in the spring. The following week SG taught grades 6, 7, & 8 how to make potato chips in a microwave using olive oil and a variety of spices. Students were responsible for identifying the geographic origin of several plants including potatoes, peppercorns, olives, and … potato chips (Saratoga Springs N.Y.) Worksheet will be posted on website.

2. Scheduling of a workday:  Work that needs to be done includes the construction of additional beds and a tool shed.

It needs to happen in the next 30 days on a Saturday.

It was agreed that we will have work days on the 13th and the 27th of Oct.

Announce that work will be happening at the garden on the 13th and if we need more work time (which we will) we will carry it over to the 27th.

3. Garden design discussion.

We have agreed to proceed with the construction of the garden beds based on a more classical design worked out using cardboard models to experiment with bed designs.

It was decided that the best location for a tool shed would be in the northwest corner. The new beds will fill in the space between the existing beds and the proposed location for the tool shed. The tool shed should include a roofed extension for shade and shelter. The roof should be designed to collect rainwater. Perhaps we relocate the water tank for collection.

Stephen and Larry will lay out the lines for bed location in advance of work day. Boards will be measured and cut and delivered in groups for assembly.

Weed Barrier and lag bolts will need to be purchased.

4. Farm to School Grant: We have the opportunity to apply for a grant that will help:

  • make the Stamford school garden program more sustainable
  • support other schools in the school district to create additional garden programs
  • bring more locally grown fresh produce into our school cafeterias
  • Work with teachers to integrate gardening and nutrition into their curriculum

We agreed that it would be in our interest to apply for this grant.

5. Discussion of how to renew, expand and maintain enthusiasm for Seed Savers activities over the long term.

Invite families of school kids to participate.

Serve food.

Call on friends to help.

Get the word out well in advance.

 

 

Healthy Potato Chips?

On Friday September 14th, Stephen Greene returned to the classroom to teach grades 6, 7, & 8 the fine art of making potato chips in a microwave oven using olive oil and a variety of spices. Students used the potatoes that they had harvested the previous week to make their own plate of potato chips using the spices of their choice. (Many students made more than one plate).  Students  also learned about the geographic origin of several food crops including potatoes, peppercorns, olives, and … potato chips (Saratoga Springs N.Y.).

Making Potato Chips po

When they were done the remaining potatoes were washed and turned over to the school cafeteria where they were happily received by Principal Hayre for use in the next week’s lunches.

Potato Harvest in Cafeteria

 

Compost at Last!

Compost pickup Sept 8

On September 8th Larry Potvin, Annah Boucher, Ken Boucher, & Stephen Greene worked to deliver three loads of compost to the garden site. The compost was donated by Diane and Nate Finney. It is excellent aged horse manure that we used with great success in this year’s school garden.

Harvesting the Garden

Summer is over and activities at the Seed Savers school garden have been gearing up. On September 7th Stephen Greene went into the classroom to supervise the harvest of our potato crop with the 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Students learned that potatoes are tubers, not roots, and we got to see first hand what this looked like when we dug up 65 lbs. of organic potatoes from two raised beds.

SES Students Harvest Potatoes

Students also harvested a substantial load of heirloom tomatoes that were delivered to the school cafeteria, where Cook Patty was thrilled to receive them, and used them in the salad bar this past week.

Heirloom tomatoes

 

Stamford Vt Seed Savers Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, June 19th:

1. School Programming:  Report on activities in the classrooms of Stamford Elementary School; Angela showed her photo of her children’s garden made because of their love of the garden lessons.

Members enjoyed looking over the gardens planted by students, and Linda weeded while talking.

2.Work Plans:

  • Work and Watering Schedule

Although it rained very much last night, it was still somewhat dry.  SG found a water tank for about $100. CJ might be willing to fill it from fire truck to get started.

It will be elevated so that we can use a hose to water beds from the tank.

And we need a submersible pump to put in the stream. Chris Kilfoyle will volunteer labor and minor parts, as well as advice. SG will send him the info. Details in discussion followed.

Here who says they will water: Caroline, Lynn, Larry and Priscilla will help.

  • Entry to Tennis Court – Delivery of Compost;

once fence is cut, and compost delivered, we can insert the water tank.     Larry, Joe and Stephen evaluated the fence issue. We agreed to go through the middle; SG has hardware to start this project. We plan to make it as child safe as possible. We can start tomorrow (Wednesday).

  • Additional garden beds: wood ready; we will wait until the gate is done; we are getting fifteen 12 footers instead of 10 footers from Mark and Larry. They will only charge us for 10 footers.
  • Watering System: SG getting a 275 gal. tank; we will talk to Mark about how to build it. Larry will look around for some lumber.
  • Tool Shed: we need one for the tools and equipment.
  • Sundial
  • Strawberry beds: we need to think about what we are planting. We want what ties into the school curriculum and lunch program, etc. If we have a few more beds, we can have a school strawberry party. Cherry tomatoes in the beginning of the year; potatoes for fall. What do we want to grow in the next beds. Ask seniors if they want their own beds.

Fall Harvest Plans: We should have a summer party or three for the community(Larry’s birthday, tool shed commissioning; summer reading program; harvest festival)

New Business:  

  1. SG wants emergency contact of people; Caroline adds emails. Chris Warren used to have it. It goes out to over 50 people.
  2. Joseph talked to GMP about spraying weeds; they are now restrained with what they can do; they now smear trunks of trees with weed killer instead of spraying; this seems to be an important.

Next Meeting: July 3, 2018; bring food from your gardens; we will eat and meet.

 

Seed Savers Meeting Minutes Tuesday June 5, 2018:

Present: Stephen, Helen, Timmie, Pam, Ruth, Betty, Larry, Caroline, Ann, Victoria, Angela, Laurie, Jen, Priscilla, and Susan.

Pruning Demonstration:

Pam Tworig shared her expertise in the principles of tree pruning, using the crab apples in front of the school.

Grant Application Status and Budget Report:

 NEGEF has posted that we have been granted $3,250, but we are awaiting official notification. We made $135 at the church bazaar selling heirloom tomatoes.  Seed Saver members can take home whatever tomatoes they want from the remainders.

Church Bazaar Report:

Discussed above.

School Landscape and Garden Design: first steps; maps provided

Discussion: We need to identify the goals.  Entrance to school is one area.Principal Hayre’s idea is to have flowers around the school.   He is open to anything else.

Ideas include: edible landscaping,  native trees and shrubs.                                              Access to the gardens need to be considered

Pat- wants to see an integrated plan.

There are two areas of focus, the gardens on the tennis court and the larger school property.

The most time critical decision will be to decide on the placement of the blueberry bushes.  Placing blueberries along the west side of the tennis courts in a single line along the fence will allow us to hang netting over them from the fence.  The selectboard has already approved this placement.

Four grafted lilacs are being given to the school from North Branch Landscaping.  Lilacs need to be placed carefully, they are beautiful in the right place, but could look odd if planted in the wrong spot.  They are eye-catching and might look good in front of the school. Pam says that they are rooted in place and could stay there for a while.

Stephen will draw up initial plans for garden design and submit to group for commentary and revision.

Next Meeting:

Helen and Stephen say that there is going to be a lot of work to do on the   gardens this year and that we need to have weekly work parties. Helen says that she will be in the garden every Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:00pm and invites others to join her.

           Next Meeting will be June 19th