- Approval of Minutes from April 9, 2019
- Report on Seed Saving Event, April 13th
- Report on Bulletin Board
- Planning for “Day in the Dirt” work day on Saturday
- School Activities check-in
- Financial report
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
“There is a lot of good stuff here.” Minutes approved
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
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.
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.
A planting activity will take place with all classes at end of April. This will include
Helen, Stephen, Larry, Terry and Jen.
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.
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.
Building of garden beds etc.
Bernice, Stephen, Helen, Caroline, Larry, CJ, Betty, Terry, Micah, and Jen
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.
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.
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.
Also Jen Ryan, Terry and Larry volunteered; SVSS will cover the cost of fingerprinting;
We will buy shelving for in school lights.
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.
Call the event Mother’s Day Breakfast ‘n Beds.
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.
Possible pollinator project in school in the fall. Flowers will be pollinator friendly and could include informational signs.
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.
~Agenda includes plan for imminent Seed Swap on 4/13/19.
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.
Town Library 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
~Agenda includes plan for imminent Seed Swap
Helen, Caroline, Susan, Larry, Pat, Bill, Terry, Stephen, Victoria, Jen (Librarian)
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.
Harvest event at school
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?
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.).
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.
Present: Stephen, Helen, Timmie, Pam, Ruth, Betty, Larry, Caroline, Ann, Victoria, Angela, Laurie, Jen, Priscilla, and Susan.
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:
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.
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
Meeting will start early at 5:30 for a demonstration of fruit tree pruning by Pam Tworig of North Branch Landscaping. Meet in front of the school.
Tomatoes for everyone! What can we do with unsold tomato plants?
Church Bazaar 6/2/18:
Caroline told Diana that we want a table and we have a table reserved. $12 for the table.
We need volunteers for one hour each
Betty 11:00 – 12:00
Green Up Day Report
57 people participated in Green Up Day. SVSS sold enough spider plants to cover the cost of the grow lights for the school. The eyeballs in the planters were a big hit.
We have a lot of spider plants left. For the church bazaar.
Seed saving this year: any commitments?
Stephen – watermelons 2 varieties
Susan – has blue seed corn. She is not going to grow corn this.
CJ – Will Grow Ruby Red Sorghum
School Garden Next Steps: we need to put our spring calendar together
Dave Bushika gave us about 100 pots for repotting.
Caroline will zap out a reminder to Hiedi about the planters.
Repotting will happen at our house on Thurs. Betty will work from home
2. Mushroom walk? Who and when and where?
How to build a raised bed garden A Tuesday evening talk June 12
How to plant blueberries
3. Work camps to build/plant/expand school/community gardens
We have to figure out what the overall plan for the garden is?
Blueberries go along the southwest corner of the tennis court.
Larry: has a suggestion for water. Build the shed and use rainwater to fill barrels.
June 5 we will design and plan the garden.
Seed Library: new container; where can we put it?
Library committee meets Wednesday, 6pm bring seed library. Caroline will present proposal for keeping the seeds in the library.
NEGEF Grant Status
We will know before the end of the month if we got the grant. Then we will receive funds by the middle of the month.
Church Bazaar 6/2/18 We need volunteers for one hour each
Green Up Day Report
Seed saving this year: any commitments?
School Garden Next Steps: we need to put our spring calendar together
SVSS Website info
Seed Library: new container; where can we put it?
NEGEF Grant Status
New business? Other?
In attendance: Larry, Jennifer, Priscilla, Betty, Sheila Lawrence, Stephen, Helen
Announcements: Caroline has received 90# of potatoes and will make them available to SVSS members after she has distributed to others.
School Gardening Report: Outcomes of seed planting activities at Stamford Elementary. SG and HF taught 4 classes at Stamford Elementary School with all students. Eleven flats were planted for school, home and town flower and vegetables. NEGEF grant is in progress. We need to continue to build our communications and attendance for upcoming activities.
Seed Library: Progress report. CJ and Caroline are working on the case for seeds. We need to make the seeds available now.
Seed Production: Individual membership goals for 2018. Who is planting what for our Seed Savers plan. Jen wants native species which might be at risk of disappearing. Larry can get seeds from his uncle of large, flat pole beans (his sister has them). He plants them every year and wants to save them this year. “Larry’s Yellow Pole Beans.” Stephen will try personal watermelons. When ripe they turn yellow. It is reported that they are often too seedy, but delicious. Jen has Spanish peppers from Spain and will try to grow them (originally came from Mexico); pimentos du Padron. Sheila reports Valerie Dickerson at The Lane plants a giant flower pot with 5 veggies in one pot on her porch.
Stephen brought 2 flats of tomatoes started at the Firehouse; can you adopt a flat to keep alive since we are running out of space.
WE NEED GROW LIGHTS FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND FOR SEEDSAVERS.
Green Up Day: Plans for outreach and fundraising. Helen, Betty and Bill Levine will sell plants at the June 2 Church Bazaar.
Jen has school volunteers who want to come and split perennials to sell at their school fundraiser. They will come and clean up your garden (moms and kids) . Larry has daylilies that they can come and dig them. Jen will contact Larry.
Larry says some places are planting milkweed to grow monarch butterfly. Larry has Joe Pieweed. He is not getting enough monarch.
Trees and Shrubs: Recent donation. Helen reports there was an anonymous donation of $300 to plant blueberry bushes on school grounds. We discussed where to plant. Blueberries like wet. Jen reports we need 3 varieties. Sheila says talk to Dottie and David Howes on Clayton or Barlow on The Lane. Larry and Sheila suggest set up the fencing and the poles first. Much with oak or pine chips. Dan also grows good blueberries. Acidy mulch.
Wish List: Lights etc. We need a shed. Compost (Larry’s sister has some when it dries).
New Business: Starting the school/community garden. Jen is willing to work with kids to plant peas, radishes, lettuce soon with Helen. Let’s plan a planting date with school; Jen, Angela and Larry will come help on another Mad Monday. Helen will discuss with the Principal. Can we coordinate with the Library Committee to have garden events this summer.
Next meeting is Tuesday, May 15 at 6pm in the Stamford Library. Bring a plan for workdays in the community garden.
WE NEED LOTS OF POTS FOR REPOTTING SPIDER PLANTS.
Larry, Helen and Timothea will repot spider plants tomorrow after 4.
Jennifer will repot with Helen on Thursday noon to 2. Priscilla will come after 1:30.
This will be at Helen’s house 394 East Road.
Anyone that wants to join us is welcome!
In attendance: Stephen, CJ, Betty, Caroline, Linda, Donna, Bill, Priscilla, Ruth and Timmie
Communication: We discussed the need to improve our communication process. It was decided that we would send 2 emails, one a week ahead of time, and a second 2 days ahead. We also agreed to create a subscription list tied to the website that would notify members when a new announcement is posted. Stephen will contact Chris about the best way to do this. We want to give members an opt out clause, if they don’t want to receive announcements.
Seed Production: We will be asking for volunteers to grow out open-pollinated plants for seed production.
Caroline will be receiving 80# of organic potatoes, which she distributes to friends and neighbors. She will make leftovers available to Seed Savers.
Seed Library: CJ has dimensions for seed bin, which he will provide to Caroline. Caroline will discuss the possibility of placing the card catalog in the library with the appropriate authorities.
School Gardening Report: Helen has been in touch with Micah and the school Ag Committee. He is still very interested in working us to integrate the garden with curriculum. We have the supplies that we need to get them started on seed germination when they get back from spring break.
Flower Box Project: Caroline reported that Heidi wants to be involved in the flower box project and has been doing research to find out where they can be placed legally. She is out of town till early May. We plan to have students starting flower seeds for the boxes, focusing on pollinator-friendly varieties.
Caroline would like to hand off the project to someone who is able to maintain the boxes during the summer. Any volunteers?
Trees and Shrubs: We decided that there is not enough time to plant bare root plants for fundraising this year. CJ suggests that perhaps we could take orders for native trees and shrubs and place a bulk order. There is strong interest in butternuts. Ruth has spoken to someone about gathering butternuts from their land in the fall. Maybe this is a fall project? CJ wants to graft a fruit tree with different varieties of fruit. His brother-in-law is an arborist who could talk about grafting. Arbor day is the last Friday in April. Is this a project for next year?
Wish List: We discussed having a wish list for donations of tools and other supply items that we will need for the gardens and other activities. We could post the wish list on the website and perhaps send out in a mailer through the school.
New Business: Caroline is looking for a presentation on Thurs. May 3rd to preview green-up day. The speaker from Williams that she had lined up is not available. What is happening with the idea of a mushroom workshop? There is a select board meeting that night that would conflict with a presentation. Unresolved.
Fundraising :Adopt-a-Seedling. We will be sowing seeds to grow out for a fundraiser at the church bazaar in early June. Caroline will secure a table at the church bazaar.
Helen and Bill will have spider plants for sale on green up day.
Victoria will have sketches of the school gazebo on Friday evening at the fire station open to interested parties.
Next meeting will be in 2 weeks on Tuesday.
Stephen, Timmie, Priscilla and Donna stayed late to seed 8 trays of different tomato, pepper, and eggplant varieties, for a possible 256 plants for the fundraiser. Stephen took them home to put under lights.
Adopt-a-Seedling. We will be sowing seeds to grow out for a fund raiser at the church bazaar in early June.
We will be asking for volunteers to grow out open-pollinated plants for seed production.
School Gardening Report:
Flower Box Project:
Trees and Shrubs:
In attendance: Helen Fields, Stephen Greene, CJ Vadnais, Betty Vadnais, Ruth West, Priscilla Tracy, Angela Brothers.
School Classes and seed germination
Helen is on the school’s agriculture committee and will meet with them to coordinate activities between SVSS and school classes.
The kindergarten reportedly wants to grow herbs in the courtyard.
Several teachers have expressed an interest in growing plants for the town’s flower boxes. We have discussed helping with them by providing seeds of native flowers that benefit pollinators.
Betty V. expressed interest in planting native trees and shrubs on the school campus. Ideas for woody plants include, butternuts, hazelnuts, blueberries, and others. She will do follow-up research.
C.J. V. suggests that we ask kids to gather recycled materials for growing plants such as paper cups, boxes, milk boxes, egg cartons …
Helen F. will call school tomorrow to set up a meeting. – Ruth W. will assist in this effort
NEGEF Grow Grant status
Unknown at this time.
It is our understanding that we are not tied to line items in the proposed budget and can make changes in response to arising needs.
The proposed watering system using a 12 volt pump and PV panels was discussed. CJ says that he has oodles of rain barrels that could be used. He thinks that a ram pump or a rotary pump might be better options for a watering system.
CJ has a salvaged card catalog unit from a library that he is willing to donate. It has about 20 sliding drawers that could accommodate seed packages and could fit on top of one of the low book shelves. It would be great for organizing and storing seeds. We will need to make a request to the library committee for approval. Stephen will take the lead on this and work through Caroline.
School fencing and garden access
Chris W. contacted us to raise a concern about a fence that is being proposed for the school playground. Helen will go to the select board and school principal this week to find out what is being proposed and request that vehicular access for the gardens is incorporated into the plans.
Seed Saving Volunteers
A call for SVSS members to think about growing for seed production led to the following information.
Susan successfully grew blue corn last year and may have seed.
Helen tried to grow green Oaxaca corn which did not have enough time to ripen.
Stephen tried to cross two strains of pumpkins naked seeded and pie pumpkins unsuccessfully because the flowering of the two varieties were out of sync.
CJ grew quinoa which was eaten by something
Joe also tried Quinoa which also got eaten
Stephen asks members to think about picking a crop variety that they would like to grow specifically for the seed library. We will discuss this again at the next meeting.
Helen will try amaranth this year.
Ruth would like help starting a garden.
Perhaps we could schedule garden slams to create gardens for individuals.
There is interest in selling plants later in the spring. There is also concern that we would be competing with commercial growers, specifically Many Forks Farm.
Sharon (MFF) grows to plant starts to order. Orders should have been submitted by April 1, but she may be selling additional plants. Helen will get in touch with her to find out how we can avoid overlapping interests.
Helen says that 8th grader, Nick Carpenter has agreed to work with us on a pumpkin project.
There is a spring plant sale in North Adams. Do we want to start plants for that event?
Williamstown garden club hosts a fundraiser on May 26th with perennials.
We could each grow a few trays of something and sell at someone else’s event.
Stamford church bazaar is on the first Saturday of June, We could have a table at this event.
We will bring germination mix and trays to the next meeting to get plants started.
People could donate money to sponsor trees or berry bushes on the school grounds in support of Betty’s native tree plans.
We could create an arboretum on school grounds with trees and shrubs that are sponsored by individuals or families.
Let’s grow American Chestnuts.
Helen will contact Johnny’s Seeds for catalogs to be used in school classes.
We are subscribed to Seed Savers. Org and will receive packets of seeds.
Betty will contact them to find out why we are not on their online map.
Betty will talk to Micah about planting sugar maples in school yard.
CJ suggests a grafted fruit basket tree.
Next meeting will be Wed. April 17 6:00 at the fire station. We will be filling trays with seeds for propagation.
In attendance: Stephen, Helen, Joe, Priscilla, Caroline, Susan, and Pat
NEGEF Grant report approved
Additional expenses modified to include 2 bags of germination mix.
Anticipated need for funds from a NEGEF Grow Grant
Garden Infrastructure: PhotoVoltaic Pump and watering system, Tool Shed 10×12, Additional Garden Beds, Sliding Garden Gate, Signage . . .
Tools: Garden cart, shovels, hoes, hoses, etc.
Seed Storage and filing system
Seeds for pollinator project and specific seed production varieties
Flower boxes for pollinator project in collaboration with Pat’s group.
(*We are working in the direction of a greenhouse as we build capacity in the school.)
Possible additional Funding needs:
Teacher Training Funds
Harvest Festival Support
We have had the A-frame bulletin sign for street level advertising donated to us.
We are collaborating with a flower box group by growing out pollinator friendly flowers. Opportunity to involve school kids in germinating seeds and growing the flowers.
Mushrooms: Ask Chris and Jen if they will lead the charge on Mushroom work to set date. Hold it at the fire station
Green-up day: May 3rd workshop to coincide with Green up Day, possible talk by Hank Art from Williams College about water quality, invasive species, local environmental issues
Next Meeting April 3rd.
Stamford VT Seed Savers invites you to join us for an public presentation by Sharon Wyrrick, the farmer and owner of Many Forks Farm in Clarksburg, Massachusetts. Many Forks Farm is going into its seventh season and provides produce to 50 local households through its community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share program.
Sharon will be discussing the intricacies of planning and managing a successful home vegetable garden in our region. Gardeners of all ages and levels of experience are invited to attend to share their wisdom or to learn some new tricks from a seasoned professional.
Refreshments will be served. The Stamford Community Library is located behind the Stamford Town Office and School, on Route 8 in Stamford, Vermont, just minutes from North Adams, Mass.