Email: info@bordersorganicgardeners.org

Minutes of Business Meeting Sunday 13th May 2007. 79 Low Greens, Berwick. Meeting chaired by Roberta Carruthers, Vice Chairman. Present- Robert Leetham, Bill Smith, Tom Stewart, Maggie Warner, Pam Boyd, Jean Bennett, Sarah Cummock, Alan Davison, Lesley Angell, Judith Wolfe, Robin Wolfe, David Catt, Marina Catt, Val Smith, Roberta Carruthers, Loraine Douglas, Judith Davison, Ruth Morozzo. 1. Apologies.

David and Jayne Brettell, Frances Teckkam, Frances Lindsay, David and Alison Griggs, Blair Cummock, Sarah Eno.
2. Minutes of last meeting.The minutes were passed unanimously. 3. All Matters arising, were dealt with or included in the agenda. 4. Treasurer’s report.

Keith reported that the funds stand at around £8000, after payments due to be paid to ASK for the horsetail trials etc. for which an invoice is awaited. The date for the return to Companies House has now been altered to the end of March. Several members have taken up the option to pay more than the minimum £5 subscription.
5. Reports on recent events
Potato Day

Roberta reported that the event had been highly successfully and financially sound. The Borders Union Hall has been booked for next year, 2008 being the European Year of the Potato. We expressed our thanks to Roberta for all the work she has done organising this event. There will be a meeting to be arranged soon to discuss this further.

Robert summarised his analysis so far of the questionnaires filled in by visitors. See attached document.
Workshops etc.

Dave Catt has run well attended workshops on winter pruning and specialist grafting. The workshops aimed at people new to organic gardening (East Organic Gardening tips, West- Getting started) were less well attended.

Michael Shallis’s talk on Going Green was well attended, very good and much appreciated.
6. Forthcoming events.Harestanes -20th May. David and Marina will take the book stall etc. along to the Open Day next Sunday at Harestanes. Produce Day 26th August

This will take place at St. Boswell’s Village Hall from 11.00 a.m. until 3.30 p.m. Memories of earlier events of this type indicated that prime considerations were getting people to bring material to exhibit, and that people who attended wanted to buy things. We will explore the possibilities of having stalls-organic shop etc., getting members to sell their own produce and providing teas, soup etc. Judith will coordinate this.
Village shows
Our offer of a prize for organically grown producehas been taken up by Etal, Southdene and West Linton. Earlston are interested for next year. We have been asked to give a more precise specification for the prize. We agreed that the prize should be for “A tray of Organically Grown Vegetables” (to include at least four different types of vegetable.) and that, for this purpose, we would consider “organically grown” to mean “grown without the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides or weedkillers”. If organisers feel the need to impose further rules etc. for individual Shows, we would view this sympathetically.
Apple Day

We need a team and a coordinator for this, and to ensure that jobs are spread out, rather than falling on the shoulders of just a few individuals.
Talk on 7th November.

The talk will be by Denise Walton of Peelham Farm. The precise title is to be confirmed but will relate to links between ecological farming philosophy and food production. The talk has been booked for Abbey Row Kelso. Judith will ring to ensure that we are not party to the choir practice this time.
Willow Workshop- September

This will take place Harestanes. Ruth and Frances will provide further information as arrangements are made.
Slow Food Festival- Berwick, September 2008.

We have been invited to be present at this event. One possibiity would be to have the Produce Day as a “roving event”, and in 2008 to link up with the Berwick Slow Food Group.
7. Website
Frances sent a report to the meeting. We have accepted the bid of Dave Coyle for setting up the website. This is now underway and should be fully operational within a month. The part developed site can be viewed at www.bordersorganicgardeners.co.uk. Frances has been doing a tremendous amount of work consulting on the layout of the new website, and is now organising people to take responsibility for various sections of it. 8. New Officers.

Roberta reminded us that she and David Brettell would be standing down at the next AGM. Volunteers have expressed interest in taking on the roles of Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Ruth would also like to stand down as western coordinator, and Sarah no longer has the facilities to run the sundries as before. This requires someone reasonably central, with a storage facility and the ability to haul around quite heavy materials. If anyone volunteers, we would like to continue the present provision; otherwise, Sarah will do what she can with her now limited storage for our stalls at public events.
9. Any other business.Health and Safety- Risk Assessments.

Judith reported that risk assessments are now needed for workshops and other BOG activities. The draft workshop risk assessment which had been circulated was agreed to and this will be circulated to relevant people. It would be nice to find someone with more experience in this field to take on this task.
Shopping bags.

Keith showed us some bags he had obtained from the producers of the BOG aprons. We agreed to buy a quantity to offer for sale at future events.

We will also look at other merchandise.
Onions and garlic at Apple Day.

Val asked whether it would be possible to sell Spring varieties at Apple Day. Robert will investigate further.
Next meeting.

This will be in early September. We will investigate the possibility of combining it with a workshop/informal discussion group. Date and venue to be confirmed.
Judith Davison 24/5/07

With thanks to Sue for hosting the meeting and looking after us so generously.
Appendix- Summary of tick box response on Potato Day Questionnaire. Potato Day Feedback forms87 forms were returned [approximately 10% of paying adults] Question 151 repondents were making their first visit [59%]; 8 their second [9%] and 27 were vetrans of ‘many’ potato days [31%] Q225 had heard about potato day from BOG News [29%], 5 by seeing a poster [6%], 18 from newspaper ads [21%] and 36 [41%] from ‘other’ sources – several people mentioned word of mouth or family and friends here. Q3 What people bought:Potatoes 74 [85%]Garlic 21 [24%]Onions/shallots 30 [35%]Goods from BOG 20 [23%]Goods from Market 43 [49%]Lunch or snack 67 [77%]

N.B. Meeting to plan Produce Day and preliminary plans for next Potato Day.
Friday 15th June, 7.30 at Roberta’s in Greenlaw. Please let me know if you cannot attend but would be willing to help at either event.