Minutes from 7/23/2014 General Garden Meeting

The City has closed the waiting list for the year. No new plots will be assigned except for those already in the pipeline. They also asked for the plot numbers of those plots that are full of weeds and said they would contact those gardeners. Please take note, at the meeting, of which plots need to be contacted at this time. We should contact them, too. Currently, plots 5, 10, 54, and 65 are open. We expressed that we would like to fill them, but it’s not likely they’ll bend.

The playhouse and the easel, which were provided via the Awesome Pittsburgh grant, need to be assembled. We asked for volunteers, and Jeff Robbins stepped forward. As soon as it’s assembled, we’ll chain it to the post. It will hold the art supplies, which Carla will purchase this week. Kristen donated a bulletin board. Jenn will visit Construction Junction to see if they have chalkboards.

The picnic tables/benches will cost $100, assembled. We voted, and decided to purchase two. BS funds will pay for them, but we need someone to pick them up who has a truck; Mary-Michael and Jim McClusky volunteered. They will also be chained to the posts.

Information on how to prune the fruit trees was posted in the shed on the bulletin board.

Donna is planning an art event for kids on August 9th, rain date August 16th. See event calendar for details. Jenn Holliman volunteered to help. We’re asking for gardeners to please donate long shirts to be used as smocks; a hook for the smocks will be placed in the shed. Also, next time you’re at your favorite bike shop, please ask for bike parts that are being trashed; we can use these for art projects.

Donna reports that few volunteers are accomplishing their tasks, and many are not recording their hours. Since this is a community garden, run by the gardeners, it is imperative that all gardeners fulfill their volunteer responsibilities.

We discussed having Burgh Bees come out to get us started with mason bees. We’ll try to set something up as soon as possible.

We still need a tall bat pole. Keep your eyes open for a tall wooden or metal pole, ideally 30’ feet long/high. Some gardeners suggested 3 10’ poles that could be assembled; keep your eyes open so that we can get this installed before the end of the gardening season.

Paths and the area near the water buffaloes need to be mulched regularly. Next time you are in the garden, please spread at least one wheelbarrow full on these areas.

Someone was going to build shelves in the shed – any news on that?

We’re having quite a problem with groundhogs getting into the garden through the fence. It’s very important that the perimeter maintenance volunteers are vigilant about keeping the fence intact and fill holes. Several gardeners suggested that we should try to pile rocks along the perimeter, but without a donation, this is not likely to be something we can afford. There are also animals living under the shed.

Several gardeners reported that people are leaving the gates open and the shed unlocked. This leaves us extremely vulnerable! Please remember to keep the gates shut and the shed locked. Sarah will speak to Brian from SSSNA to ask him to remind the students working in the garden to do the same.

Employees from American Eagle have generously volunteered to work in Bandi Schaum on August 15th from 9 am to noon. We hope to use their work to empty out the jersey barriers, where someone, unfortunately, dumped wood chips and pine needles. We would very much appreciate it if some of the gardeners could join us on that day to help out and say thanks. We’re also looking for volunteers to provide treats and drinks on that day.

If there are plots near yours that are out of control with weeds, you can let the steering committee know by sending an email to bandischaum@gmail.com.

Please pay close attention to where you are now supposed to put your weeds. Composted materials were unfortunately covered by whoever dumped the wood chips, but we will set up a new area to place compostable materials. Do not dump weeds in the compost areas!!

At this time of year, many gardeners are having to deal with garden pests. This is an organic garden, so only organic solutions are permitted. Some resources to help you are:

  • http://www.gardenguides.com/68350-tips-organic-pesticides-vegetable-gardens.html
  • http://www.gardenguides.com/120501-organic-pesticides-vegetable-gardens.html?utm_source=popup&utm_medium=1
  • http://homeguides.sfgate.com/tips-organic-pesticides-vegetable-gardens-50891.html

We met with Jessica from Grow Pittsburgh about the grant we received to redo the composting system. Basically, what will happen is: the weeds behind the jersey barriers will be moved to the front left bin. From that time on, all gardeners will put their weeds there, and the city will dispose of them. The area behind the jersey barriers will be the new compost area (see drawings). In her email below, Jessica explains how it will work.

Please note that we need to set up a work day, and the composting volunteers must be available. There was an initial meeting on July 30th to start to clear the current weed area, but we’ll need many volunteers to make the Grow Pittsburgh plan work.

Jessica’s email:

“Below are some images [couldn’t post them here — will post on the bulletin board-Carla] of the compost bins I had in mind for the garden. Attached is a mock-up plan that you can show to people at the meeting (feel free to adjust if needed–it’s definitely not to-scale or anything).

Also, here are some notes I took:

  • Jessica will help host a compost bin build day and educational session
  • Sarah will ask Donna about compost committee–are there people interested?
  • Sarah/Carla will convey composting info at next Bandi Schaum meeting. Will get back to Jessica about possible volunteer dates.


Front box would be created from unfinished lumber
Weeds would go into Jersey barrier
Need clear signage for ‘Greens and Browns’ box to make sure gardeners follow directions

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