April 6 - Seed to Harvest Meeting

posted Apr 7, 2015, 5:09 AM by Kristina Fernandes   [ updated Apr 7, 2015, 5:12 AM ]
Attendees: Krissy Fernandes, Cydney Hodder, Linda Aber, Maureen McMahon, Kathy Cappellano, Vanessa McGrath (we hope you are feeling better Rebecca)

Meeting Agenda:
  • Finalize teacher survey
  • Review STH financials
  • Assign owners for the start of season activities
Finalize teacher survey
We started off reviewing the teacher survey.  Cydney Hodder did a great job pulling the questions together on the Greenhouse/Living Lab.  Krissy took the questions and put them in a Google Docs form along with some questions regarding the existing STH Garden.  The survey was sent this evening and can be viewed at: http://goo.gl/forms/LVAjMeuJqW.  Preceding the survey email was an update on the 2015 STH season.

Review the STH financials
The STH financials were reviewed.  Because the greenhouse and elevated garden beds were upgraded (for sturdiness and quality) the NEF funds have been exhausted plus another $500.  We made a list of the remaining must have items and agreed that we should keep the cost of those to $500 or less.  The must have items include:

  • Soil (we will need about 2 yards to fill the elevated garden beds, build up the existing beds, and fill the potato bins and possible two new beds out back)
  • P-Stone (we need about 2 yards to fill the bottom of the greenhouse and build up the paths between the beds out back to decrease weeding maintenance)
  • Rain Barrels (we will need 2)
That leaves the budget as follows:

NEF Grant: $4,000
Wholefoods Grant: $2,000
PTO Budget: $428.75 (amount left of $600 annual budget)

Greenhouse (and shelves): $3,076.10
Elevated garden beds: $1,475.00
Must have expenses: $500

Amount left for 2015 season: $1,377.65

We talked about trying to leave the PTO funds untouched an roll that into next year (need to confirm with Chris Scully that this is ok).  The remaining roughly $900 can be used to purchase the nice to haves such as learning equipment for the Living Lab, and outdoor chalkboard for the classroom area, cattle fencing panels as archways between beds for climbing vegetables, garden craft supplies/brick border, etc.  We decided to wait until we get the results of the teacher survey to priorities and make decisions on what to purchase.

Assign owners for the start of season activities
Vanessa had to leave early, so we decided to assign everything to her :)

But really, we made a list of the highest priority tasks and took ownership.
  • Schedule "Garden Opening" dates and recruit volunteers.  Includes setting up a Sign-up Genius form to allow people to commit to attending.  We discussed scheduling two days (one after school and one on the weekend).  The tasks that we would like to complete are weeding what is left from last year, adding soil where needed, edging the rear flower beds and adding mulch, edging the berry bed and digging up weeds or transplanting herbs, raking, and lining flower beds with more rocks.  Owner: Linda Aber
  • Organize STH Classroom: Seedling Planting.  Includes sending Sign-up Genius to teachers and then coordinating volunteers (also through Sign-up Genius) for scheduled dates/times.  Owner: Cydney Hodder
  • Weed out flower beds.  Owner: Maureen McMahon
  • Investigate care of blackberries and raspberries.  Also, transplant some strawberries to berry garden.  Owner: Kathy Cappellano
  • Get the STH garden sign and message board installed.  Owner: Krissy Fernandes

Aside from the agenda topics above, we took a look at our seed stock (we don't need any more at this point), the new watering cans for the kids ($1 each at Christmas Tree shops) and reviewed the Garden Plan (on Farmer's Almanac).  Cydney started a list of items to go looking for at the salvage yards.

We also went over a few things from the last meeting.  First, Metrowest Irrigation has been scheduled to come out and service the sprinklers on Thursday, May 7 between 2:30 and 5:30.  Krissy will be there but has to leave at 4:00.  Maureen will be back up if they aren't there by then.

Next, there was a limited number of greenhouses left in stock of the model we wanted.  Krissy worked with the NPS accounts payable department and they were able to expedite the signing and creation of the PO.  We were able to send it to the vendor today and the greenhouse should be shipped by Wednesday of this week.  This means that we can start putting it together over April vacation if anyone is looking for something to do :)  Kathy also offered to see if we could schedule help from Keurig's community volunteers (we should see how quickly we can get their help).

Finally, we discussed where to buy the soil and stone from.  We may be able to get a discount from Weston Nurseries.  Kathy is also going to investigate pricing from Windy Low.  We would like to keep the costs for all must haves to $500.

Oh, one more thing.  Corey Dehner has offered to donate a compost tumbler and we have happily agreed to take it off her hands :)

That is all I can remember (I really need to start writing this stuff down at the meeting).  If anyone recalls anything else that I missed, please let us know.

I think we probably don't need to meet again until after April vacation.  What is everyone's availability the week of April 27?