Borders Organic Gardeners.Minutes of Business Meeting. 16/1/07 at Bridgend House, Greenlaw.

Present. Sarah Cummock, Frances Tecckam, Ruth Morozzo, Bill Smith, Val Smith, Keith Banyard, David Catt, Marina Catt, Lorraine Douglas, Roberta Carruthers, Maggie Warner, Sarah Eno, Judith Davison, Jayne Brettell, David Brettell (Chairman).

Apologies. Robert Leetham, Lesley Angell, Susan Watts, Blair Cummock, Tom Stewart, Frances Lindsay.

Minutes and matters arising.

The minutes of the previous meeting were passed unanimously. As further information it was pointed out that the remaining legacy money for the Woodside garden had been put towards the purchase of fruit trees.

Potato Day.

Roberta outlined progress

· The recipe competition is off the ground and underway.

· Most of the stands are now allocated. There are still about 5 left. To give a good balance of stalls, it would be nice to have these taken by environmental and conservation groups. Suggestions, contacts etc. to Roberta.

· Frances Tecckam and Judith Davison agreed to handle the publicity.

· Speakers. Alan Romans, Finlay Dale (Scottish Crop Research Institute) on breeding potatoes and Mayan Gold. Fi Martynogo (in 18th century dress) to include a cookery demo. Possibly one other speaker.

· Arrangements with the venue are organised- we will need to receive the potatoes on Friday, set up on Saturday after 1.00 p.m., as well as run the event on Sunday.

We discussed the following

· Tuber prices. After lengthy discussion we decided to keep both the entrance charge and the price per tuber the same as last year, except for Mayan Gold and possibly two other varieties which were particularly expensive. These may be bagged up- 5 for £1. We appreciate that this will probably mean little, if any, profit from this year’s event, but feel that it is important that the move to a bigger venue is not perceived as being linked to higher prices.

· There will be no auction. We may run a half price sale towards the end of the event. People on the till will need alternative price crib sheets for this eventuality. We discussed various strategies for dealing with any left over spuds at the end of the afternoon.

· To move the meeting on, we agreed that David, Roberta, Keith, Robert and Judith would sort out the pricing of the onions and shallots later.

· The programme- we hope to issue this to every party coming in. It will contain a list of varieties and basic information. Other suggestions, besides the winning recipe, are there other potato recipes to include? Can we answer frequently asked questions- how many potatoes do I need to fill a particular size plot/ feed a family etc.

· Thoughts for future years

o Gill Orde will be doing the catering. We do not charge for this. In future years we may wish to charge and possibly consider other caterers.

o Can we get feedback from people on what they think of the new varieties they buy? This could be useful for the newsletter and/or programme next year.

· We need more boxes for potatoes and notices for them. Please let Roberta know of any sources you know about.

· A BOG banner for the entrance would be good. Keith will investigate this with Fantasy Prints.

· We also need signs for inside the hall, lampposts etc. and for anyone who goes to Borders College by mistake!

· Jayne will coordinate the purchasing of sundries for Potato day. Sarah has a supply of paper bags.

· Counting entrance. We will work out attendance from the money taken at the end of the day, rather than trying to count heads. We will offer a bag crèche, as the car park is not directly outside.

· Jobs- We need around 24 stations to be manned- a lot of volunteers! Roberta and Judith will be around to troubleshoot.

· Helpers will have BOG aprons and stick-on name badges.
Programme for year.

Jayne and Ruth are putting the finishing touches to the list. Details for some events later in the year will be finalised nearer the time. We plan to change the format of the tomato/produce event to an Organic Produce Show on 26th August, possibly in St. Boswells. We hope to organise a speaker for a date in November.
ASK funding.

ASK submitted a bid for funding for a further year of the horsetail trials and for a project on pests and diseases. We agreed to fund the horsetail trials for this year, and also to a grant of £400 towards the pests and diseases project, subject to discussions on one item in the estimate, on links between the ASK and BOG websites and on a possible workshop for BOG members.
Any Other Business.Website.

Frances has sent briefs out to three possible suppliers; the deadline is the end of next week. Hopefully the site will be ready by potato day. The anticipated costs are around £1000 for the set- up, plus an annual fee.

Frances also showed us some new ideas for layout for adverts/ front of newsletter, and suggested that the illustrations could follow a seasonal theme. Members with drawing skills needed!

Keith pointed out that Companies House want accounts drawn up ending in February (when BOG became a company) rather than in September, which is our normal accounting period. Keith agreed to investigate ways of presenting our accounts in a format acceptable to Companies house.

Village Shows.

We agreed to give prizes of around £5-10, plus a year’s Free BOG membership for a competition class – “A Tray of Organically Grown Vegetables” – in local shows. Judging is to be carried out by the show judges. Information and contacts for interested organisations to Judith.

We thanked Roberta for her kind hospitality and lovely cakes and biscuits and headed out into the snow.

The next business meeting is on the 13th May at Sue Watts, Low Greens, Berwick, before the seed exchange.

Minutes by Judith Davison. 18/1/07