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Carolina Campus Community Garden Advisory Board Minutes –October 23, 2013

PRESENT: Olga Baza, Cory Buhay, Nancy Easterling, Christina Lebonville, Claire Lorch, John O’Sullivan, John Powers, Linden Thayer and Diane Webster

INTRODUCTIONS: Cory Buhay, a sophomore and a half is the newest member of the advisory board. She enjoys writing and is interested in helping us with our social media.


Garden Expansion –Area for new row of beds has been tilled up by Grounds.  We were waiting to get word from Town Manager, via Jim Ward regarding our request to have the fee associated with the Certificate of Appropriateness (for putting up the fence) waivered but received an email yesterday that the waiver has gone through!  We will still have a few hoops to jump through on the University side but we are very close to being able to start installing the fencing which we hope to do before the end of the year.

Hope Cooks-Tuesday nights at a church on Franklin St. UNC students and a chef invite community members to cook and eat dinner utilizing produce from HOPE Garden. Participants also take home vegetables.  An invitation was extended to first shift housekeepers at the last distribution and there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm.  Claire wondered if it was the cooking lesson, getting a free meal and/or the free veggies that appeal to the housekeepers.  (Apparently, none of the housekeepers showed up this past Tuesday but we plan to continue to advertise this opportunity.)

Employee Appreciation Day – Very successful this year, thanks to the contributions of choc chip sweet potato bread from Alice and help at the event from Christina and Diane. We had 240 entries to the t-shirt raffle, gave away all of the bread and wildflower seeds from NC Bot Garden and 40 people signed on to be on our mailing list. Several people expressed an interest in learning how to garden and one woman who works in HVAC Admin told us that she could really use some free vegetables and wondered why our distributions were just limited to housekeepers, which led to a discussion about expanding our distributions to those outside of housekeeping

EXPANDING DISTRIBUTIONS – Although there seemed to be agreement that we would like to provide food for all needy employees (and students for that matter), there are times when we wish we had more food for the current recipients.   We are certainly hoping that the expansion will result in greater quantities but we are not there yet.   It was suggested that we might want to work with the Employee Forum to come up with a way to assess how many other employees would be interested in receiving our produce. It would be important to make it very clear from the start that we are trying to plan for the future (“we are talking long range plans”) so as not to raise expectations…if that can be done.  We have been told that some employees might want the vegetables but would not want the stigma that is attached to being a recipient.

LIBERTY/VICTORY GARDENS –Claire described Professor Amy Cooke’s proposal (she will be teaching an APPPLES section of an Environmental Science course with 10 –15 students next spring be focused on researching and developing a plan for a Victory Garden that her Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 students will implement. Their research will cover: what was grown then, what we should plant (including which heirloom varieties), the role of Victory gardens, canning, other food storage, beekeeping, best management practices, fertilizer, livestock, whether the South had any Victory gardens, what Chapel Hill looked like at that time, etc.  Her students will also consider various options for presenting this material including recreating a Victory garden, our information kiosk, website, workshops, a re-enactment, etc.

Claire needs to let Amy know what size garden we have in mind, where it will be placed (front and center or integrated into the rest of the garden) and if it is something we might want to maintain beyond next year.  The group decided that the Victory Garden should be sizable to make it worth the effort and that it should be front and center so visitors will not have to look for it.  We also thought it would be a good idea to consult with Joanna to get her thoughts on the design once we have more information to work with. It was suggested that we might want to create an exhibition plot/demonstration garden —starting with the Victory garden but then moving on to other themes.

John O’Sullivan who is teaching a course on community gardens passed along these two references that both address Victory gardens during WWI. : video by Cintia Cabib, A Community of Gardens. (2011) and a book by Laura Lawson (2005). City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardens in America. U Calif Press

DUKE CAMPUS FARM – ( Everyone agreed that they have an impressive operation. Although our primary missions are different we have some commonalities. Some of their programs that we might want to consider include:  a beet festival (or some other vegetable festival) perhaps in combination with a potluck (which draws lots of folks to HOPE Garden), an annual report (might be a class project), developing internships, skill building workshops, expanding our partnerships to more disciplines, weed dating for graduate students and revising our website.

  • John Powers has offered to spearhead a weed-dating event for those 25 and under while Cory signed on to organize one for 26 and over, both to take place in the spring and open to both employees and students.
  • John O’Sullivan suggested that when we do our presentation to faculty, we should challenge them to consider ways to integrate the garden within their classroom as well as outreach to the community (regarding issues such as food health, food justice, etc.)
  • We might want to consider offering workshops such as:”Eating Healthy on $40 a week” and/or one targeting folks with diabetes.  Linden was going to check in with HPDP capstone team to see where they are with plans to offer similar programs to housekeepers so as not to duplicate efforts.
  • Diane suggested that we might want to suggest (not sure who makes this decision) that a future theme for the University might be “Food.”  This year’s theme in “Water”.

POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY CLASS PRESENTATIONS DEC. 7TH, 4:00 – 5:00 P.M. –We are invited and encouraged to attend this event.  More details to come.

FUTURE MEETINGS: Nov 20, Jan 15, Feb 12, and Mar 19


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