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Carolina Campus Community Garden Advisory Board Minutes -August 21, 2013

PRESENT:  Alice Ammerman, Olga Baza, Christina Lebonville Joanna Lelekacs, Claire Lorch, John O’Sullivan and Arlene Medder


Garden Expansion:  Overall expansion has been approved but still need to get approval for fencing from the University. The Property Committee has indicated that we need to clearly delineate the property lines of the expanded garden. We are proposing a deer fence to be placed at the property lines except on the Wilson St. side that will have a set back from the street and at the very back of the garden that extends significantly into a wooded area. A split-rail fence will enclose those areas, though in the completed wooded area we will propose using either metal or wooden posts, with brightly painted tops for visibility.  The split-rail fence on the Wilson St side will provide a more “friendly” and low scale to the street edge. There will be openings for pedestrian and vehicular traffic (off-loading mulch, etc.).

Jeff Kidd, director of the Property Office has asked that we get input on our fencing proposal from the CCCG Working Group (Aug 29th) before he presents it to the Property Committee for approval (Sept. 20th). Members of the Working Group include representatives from the Provost Office, Housekeeping, Employee Forum, Student Affairs, Facilities, etc. (This group was originally created to plan for any future locations of the CCCG.)  It was recommended that Claire use this meeting next week with the Working Group to point out our achievements and plans for the future, including the greenhouse.

Claire is getting cost estimates for the deer fencing which needs to be replaced and the split rail. Jeff Kidd has indicated that the University might be willing to help pay for some of the fencing costs. There is also an issue of maintenance particularly around the fence and fence posts, which can get very weedy.  We will need to sort out if this will be the responsibility of UNC Grounds or CCCG. It was suggested that we put mulch around the fence posts and under the fences to minimize the weeds.

NCSU Partnership: Regarding the greenhouse, there’s a potential partnership with NCSU. Robin Abrams, of NC State, is interested in designing the solar greenhouse as a project for one of her classes, resulting in eight potential designs. Another professor, Julie Sherk has expressed interest in a spring building project for her class in connection to the greenhouse. Since all of this might happen before we have gotten the necessary approvals, etc., it was suggested that at least some of the designs be for a mobile greenhouse so that it would be built and moved at a later date.

Funding: The same anonymous donor has stepped forward with ten thousand dollar gift and the Fox Family has suggested Claire apply for another grant on the September 1 deadline, for another five thousand dollars. Thirty Marathon Petroleum executives will be in town for another training at the Kenan Institute and are interested in having their service project in the garden again. Last time the group bought us some tools and made a several hundred-dollar donation.

Faculty Council Presentation: Planned but no date has been set

Healthy Girls Save the World (HGSW) and Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church camp visit: The HGSW visit and tour went very well, despite a downpour. They were divided into groups to work at different stations; mulching, composting, bees, weeding, and harvesting. The girls were rotated through the stations about every 15 minutes until the rain came down. There was a Q&A session once everyone took shelter.

The church group had transport issues and for about an hour it was iffy whether they would be able to stay or not. Eventually they did decide to stay. Some of the campers were enthusiastic while others were less engaged. This was true for their camp counselors as well in contrast to the HGSW where nearly everyone seemed happy to be at the garden.

Lessons learned include: clarifying expectations and outcomes in advance and decide if we can fulfill them or what we can do to meet them. For example, if the group is entrepreneurial focused, ask a farmer to speak.

Fall Fest: John Powers along with another volunteer were able to get 98 sign -ups. Thank you John!

Renisha Howard’s Study: Her study indicated that the reasons individuals decide to volunteer in community gardens are different than why they continue to participate. She suggested ways to foster the number one reason, fellowship, by doing things like group activities or monthly potlucks. However, it was pointed out that if fellowship is one of the main attractions CCCG volunteers continuing to participate, then they presumably are already getting it.  Perhaps, the more important question to be asking is why do others stop coming to the garden.

Although there seemed to be agreement that not to hold regular potlucks, the idea of a once a year garden celebration, or garden birthday party was well received. There’s the question of location; the Newman Center, the garden, see of Carolina Inn would donate space, Vimala’s, etc. This occasion might be a good opportunity to get input from our volunteers on our future and to invite administrators.

Since altruism was one of the primary reasons our volunteers continue to participate, it was suggest that we should provide updates regarding how many pounds of food we distribute annually, how many housekeepers benefit, etc. to our listserv We might also want to attachd some graphs that Arlene Medder recently shared with the Employee Forum looking at these indicators as well as others.

Five year strategic plan: Time to review our five- year plan. Look over what has and has not been accomplished during Year 2012 and first half of 2013 and changes that need to be made, etc.  It was suggested that Claire send the updated plan and highlight areas that she wants input, comments from committee members.

Reminder: Fall meetings are Sept 25, Oct 23 & Nov 20

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