Email: info@bordersorganicgardeners.org

Minutes of Annual General Meeting Borders Organic Gardeners

Smailholm Village Hall : 10am  09.11.08

As this was Remembrance Sunday, a 2 minute silence was observed at 11am.

Present : Lesley Angell, Keith BanyardGraham Bell, Rosemary Bell, David Brettell, Jayne Brettell, Pam Boyd, Roberta Carruthers, Jim Cameron, Liz Cameron, David Catt, Marina Catt, Sarah Cummock, Judith Davison, Joan Dale, Eric Dale, Lorraine Douglas, Sarah Eno, Valerie Hunter, Robert Leetham,  Frances Lindsay, Peter Lindsay, Ruth Morozzo, Maggie Warner, Bill Smith, Val Smith

1. Apologies: Dave Allan, Jane Allan, Laura Aitken, Jean Bennett, Jane Bowen, Blair Cummock, Joy and Steve Elves , Beatrys Lockie, Jim Lockie, June and Derek Russell, Frances Teckham, Sue Watts

2. Minutes of AGM 2007 : Approved unanimously .Proposed : Roberta Carruthers, Seconded David Catt

3.Reports :

Chairman : In her first year as chairperson, Sarah noted that 3 large events and 17 small had been run smoothly, partly due to sterling work by a committed band of helpers. She has had to grapple with and sort out new situations sometimes with communication difficulties but is prepared to tackle the job again next year (fortunately!).A couple of issues she raised : Fife has an excellent set of organic farmers so why doesn’t Borders? Also, councils are aware of pressure on allotment space and perhaps we need to make representations about this. Our core aims – education and gardening are going strong with lots of requests to appear at events. Many thanks to all those who have helped.

Secretary : Judith thanked everyone for their help and said this year’s programme was bigger and more varied than usual with lots of new things including children’s activities, more to support town and allotment gardeners and more focus on green issues (Berwick Festival etc). BOG show prizes are increasing and any new requests are welcomed. This year there have been fewer talks than previously. As reported last year it would be good to encourage new members to be more active. Despite our resolve last year we have still not produced new display facilities.

Events West (David Catt). This year’s multiple event format proved successful .Experience of the Uplands Day showed 3 events would have been enough as only a few hardy souls survived all 4 on offer but each event was well attended and enjoyed. Hawick Day proved a good selection with 3 handy venues to visit. Only 1 event was very wet (Family Gardening) but enthusiasm undampened and Amanda prepared to repeat next year.

Events East (Jayne Brettell) This year there were not as many events as there might have been and some were cancelled. Those that took place were enjoyed, particularly the Plant Exchange as well as the Green Festival despite monsoonal rain. At this event BOG had supported a children’s stall next the BOG stall which was extremely good (if loud)

Potato Day (Roberta Carruthers). Thanks to everyone for their help in making this a big success. The hall is booked for next year and this time only 2 speakers organised (Alan Romans and John ). There will be a further meeting in Roberta’s house on December 1 at 7.30pm. She will provide soup. Chairman thanked Roberta for her hard work 

Produce Day (Judith) Teamed with the Slow Food Festival and held in Berwick benefited this event as numbers were high. Good idea to be in a town and in conjunction with another event. Downside was not much produce on display (weather?). Perhaps because 2 weeks later than usual. Next year should try for a town with event on, a Saturday and end August/beginning Sept.. Sarah reported Farm Africa very pleased with cheque sent from stall proceeds.

Apple Day Sarah explained that the organiser, new member Laura, had struggled with this event due to a combination of adverse circumstances and felt there should be a ready made list of contacts and regulations issued to whoever does this next year, though Maggie Warner was praised for a lot of help. Laura has supplied Sarah with ideas and thoughts to give to a new organiser next year. Part of the problem was the new Health and Safety regulation limitations as well as Harestanes’ caterer’s restriction on what could be sold by us, resulting in a nasty letter to Laura by one retailer. It was also felt that the sweet stall should be discontinued. A big vote of thanks was expressed for Laura who did a splendid job notwithstanding. Alex West’s display was excellent, the NHS Healthy Eating Awards were presented and lots of people came. Profit was £460. Need to consider if Harestanes is right venue given the need for indoor cover if weather bad (it was very windy).

Newsletter (Robert Leetham) Thanks to Maggie Warner for proofreading and to Blair for layout, and to all who gave contributions. David Catt gave many on Events and Judith on various things. David Griggs translates one from a French gardening magazine. Any contributions welcomed as no lack of space in Newsletter. Might consider some issues in colour though it doubles the price (£380 instead of £138).We could perhaps have a demo page printed and possibly do 1 in 3 issues in colour. On the environmental impact of printing, BFT knows of printers who are aware of these issues and they could be approached for information. Jayne said newsletter praised for high standard of content (“scary”).

Literature (Marina and David Catt) Books have continued to sell steadily but she would like to pass on the job as she has done it for 10 years. It requires book storage space (a table), transporting them in crates and she can supply all the information of how many books to keep in stock etc. Books ordered 2x yearly. Catts can also supply a collapsible trolley. Also it provides anyone keen on talking to people about gardening with lots of scope and its very interesting. Job could be split and events attended by rota. Travel expenses could be provided if need be. Bags continue to sell and more may need to be ordered. A request was made to have the web address on the bags.

Membership (Maggie Warner) Healthy increase in numbers noted. Catching up on new email addresses can be hard. Also some people have paid twice due to not cancelling old standing orders. Subscriptions will stay at £5. Anyone wanting a new membership form can print it off the website. Also she could make a register of people interested in helping at Events and this could be forwarded to organisers.

Website :Frances is trying to arrange training in groups of 3 (potential date 29Nov.), though it was pointed out that a Hall with several computers would be more efficient for training larger numbers at a time. It was also suggested that blogs should be visible to all and not just members.

Woodside (Lorraine Douglas) This is now running smoothly with Jane and Annie having employed someone to weed and look after the Allans demo garden where they want to grow organic vegetables for the shop. They are keeping the display boards there and Pascal’s bench and are continuing for at least another year. The Allans have renewed the Council contract for their composting demo.

4. Treasurer’s Report (Keith Banyard) Keith explained that the deficit shown was because certain creditors’ bills came in later (£1700 for horsetail trials). The bank balance is healthy as usual. He has now broken down the large Miscellaneous figure and the Potato Day figures show the stall income also. Since there is now no Woodside expenditure we are getting in more than we are paying out, and we need to think what to spend it on (suggestions included display boards and an orchard somewhere). In previous years we have given a donation to Garden Organic but a downside of GA is that they don’t engage in events in the north. It would be possible to donate directly to Heritage Seed Library. The Soil Association was suggested and as we don’t have any connection to them Sarah will write to them to try to have more interaction with them. Dave Allan has told Judith GA are trying to reassess their vision and mission and we may be approached by them as a “hub of excellence”. We could report to them what grows here in the Borders.

5. Appointment of Office bearers All those in post agreed to continue apart from the Eastern Organiser (Jayne): Sue Watts will do this with help from Gemma Banks, and Marina (Literature). New person to be sought, ideally by Potato Day. As no offers forthcoming a request could be put in Newsletter. All other Office Bearers appointed unanimously. Proposed: David Brettell, Seconded, David Catt.

6. Election of Directors: All 5 Directors are happy to continue, though Keith is not sure if this needs to be established yearly or less frequently and will find out

7.Appointment of Company Secretary:  Judith to continue this job.8. Any Other Business : a)      Allotments. A request has been made to Judith from someone in Berwick wanting an allotment to see if she can find out what happens about this and what if anything is available from the Council, Scottish Allotments Association etc. We could get the facts together and put this in the Newsletter, and also ask if anyone has a large and unused garden, though the idea of a temporary allotment is not on. Certainly there is a growing interest in allotments and they are high on Councils’ Agendas on Green Spaces.b)      Berwick local action project : keen to do workshop on recyclingc)      Slow Food people – they have lottery funding and we could get involved with them. Do we want this?d)      Suggestion for Glendale Festival next year (date however unsuitable)e)      Sarah has approached Hawick to join in on group involved in making it a Transition Townf)      Events – could they possibly be on a Saturday instead of always Sunday? In theory, yes, except Potato Day and Apple Day because of preparation beforehand. Next year – Produce Day and AGM could be.g)      Do we really need an Apple  Day ? And could we find venue accessible by public transport?Harestanes restricting because of regulations, no indoor space. The Hirsel was suggested as well as Ednam Village Hall which has space inside and outside.At this point (12.15) the Meeting broke for the usual excellent shared lunch and reconvened at 13.30 to discuss plans for next year.  Planning Meetings : One to be in January before Newsletter deadline – Abbey Row, Kelso ; possibly Sat. 10 Jan 2pm. There will be a smaller meeting before then. Talks : Roberta keen to have Steve Wilcox (Newcastle Univ.) and will see if he can do April. Pruning Workshops : David Catt finds there is always a need for these. He plans to do a special apple grafting one in Edinburgh the w/e after Easter in Frances Lindsay’s garden. He is away all March and almost all April howeverOther suggestions: workshops for first time gardeners?Sarah to look into Whitmuir (West Linton) visit for May?Useful to have BOG at Berwick Green Festival JuneFamily Day – Amanda again (June)Jayne may contact someone re bees talk.Produce Day – end August rather than September, tie in with some green event in a town (west)Business meeting early September – tie in with local event.AGM Saturday Nov 7th, SmailholmPotato Day – could have small display of salad produce (Val Smith). Potato tasting to be discussed at meeting Dec. 1. Lesley will do childrens’ activitiesSuggestion to have BOG at Peebles show. Stall cost ~£30. Sarah and Frances agreed to man stall. (16 August)Display material : need a Committee to sort this out. Suggestion that could employ experts but Roberta said this was what she had trained for so will look at spec and have Marina and Judith on Committee. Marina wanted suggestions on colour and materials and could contact Amanda on “ what young people  find attractive”. Agreed a radical redesign not needed.Apple Day – manager of Harestanes attended (Mike Scott). Realized we are considering relocating but said the exhibition room would be available at certain times (Sunday 4 October). Obviously they want to keep Apple Day as it is their busiest day of the year. Needs a decision before Christmas. Also he said Harestanes could be more involved in the organisation seeing that was one of the main drawbacks this year.Alec West would be prepared to give pruning demos /lectures as well as his display of apples. Money available for community projects so working group set up to look into community orchard/allotment for BOG involvement : Sarah, David Brettell, Ruth Morozzo, Maggie Warner.Also a suggestion (Robert) that we could find a project to support rather than set one up. Meeting finished at about 14.45pm.

 Minutes of Annual General Meeting Borders Organic Gardeners
Smailholm Village Hall : 10am 09.11.08
As this was Remembrance Sunday, a 2 minute silence was observed at 11am.
Present : Lesley Angell, Keith Banyard, Graham Bell, Rosemary Bell, David Brettell, Jayne Brettell, Pam Boyd, Roberta Carruthers, Jim Cameron, Liz Cameron, David Catt, Marina Catt, Sarah Cummock, Judith Davison, Joan Dale, Eric Dale, Lorraine Douglas, Sarah Eno, Valerie Hunter, Robert Leetham, Frances Lindsay, Peter Lindsay, Ruth Morozzo, Maggie Warner, Bill Smith, Val Smith
1. Apologies: Dave Allan, Jane Allan, Laura Aitken, Jean Bennett, Jane Bowen, Blair Cummock, Joy and Steve Elves , Beatrys Lockie, Jim Lockie, June and Derek Russell, Frances Teckham, Sue Watts
2. Minutes of AGM 2007 : Approved unanimously .Proposed : Roberta Carruthers, Seconded David Catt
3.Reports :
Chairman : In her first year as chairperson, Sarah noted that 3 large events and 17 small had been run smoothly, partly due to sterling work by a committed band of helpers. She has had to grapple with and sort out new situations sometimes with communication difficulties but is prepared to tackle the job again next year (fortunately!).A couple of issues she raised : Fife has an excellent set of organic farmers so why doesn’t Borders? Also, councils are aware of pressure on allotment space and perhaps we need to make representations about this. Our core aims – education and gardening are going strong with lots of requests to appear at events. Many thanks to all those who have helped.
Secretary : Judith thanked everyone for their help and said this year’s programme was bigger and more varied than usual with lots of new things including children’s activities, more to support town and allotment gardeners and more focus on green issues (Berwick Festival etc). BOG show prizes are increasing and any new requests are welcomed. This year there have been fewer talks than previously. As reported last year it would be good to encourage new members to be more active. Despite our resolve last year we have still not produced new display facilities.
Events West (David Catt). This year’s multiple event format proved successful .Experience of the Uplands Day showed 3 events would have been enough as only a few hardy souls survived all 4 on offer but each event was well attended and enjoyed. Hawick Day proved a good selection with 3 handy venues to visit. Only 1 event was very wet (Family Gardening) but enthusiasm undampened and Amanda prepared to repeat next year.
Events East (Jayne Brettell) This year there were not as many events as there might have been and some were cancelled. Those that took place were enjoyed, particularly the Plant Exchange as well as the Green Festival despite monsoonal rain. At this event BOG had supported a children’s stall next the BOG stall which was extremely good (if loud)
Potato Day (Roberta Carruthers). Thanks to everyone for their help in making this a big success. The hall is booked for next year and this time only 2 speakers organised (Alan Romans and John ). There will be a further meeting in Roberta’s house on December 1 at 7.30pm. She will provide soup. Chairman thanked Roberta for her hard work
Produce Day (Judith) Teamed with the Slow Food Festival and held in Berwick benefited this event as numbers were high. Good idea to be in a town and in conjunction with another event. Downside was not much produce on display (weather?). Perhaps because 2 weeks later than usual. Next year should try for a town with event on, a Saturday and end August/beginning Sept.. Sarah reported Farm Africa very pleased with cheque sent from stall proceeds.
Apple Day Sarah explained that the organiser, new member Laura, had struggled with this event due to a combination of adverse circumstances and felt there should be a ready made list of contacts and regulations issued to whoever does this next year, though Maggie Warner was praised for a lot of help. Laura has supplied Sarah with ideas and thoughts to give to a new organiser next year. Part of the problem was the new Health and Safety regulation limitations as well as Harestanes’ caterer’s restriction on what could be sold by us, resulting in a nasty letter to Laura by one retailer. It was also felt that the sweet stall should be discontinued. A big vote of thanks was expressed for Laura who did a splendid job notwithstanding. Alex West’s display was excellent, the NHS Healthy Eating Awards were presented and lots of people came. Profit was £460. Need to consider if Harestanes is right venue given the need for indoor cover if weather bad (it was very windy).
Newsletter (Robert Leetham) Thanks to Maggie Warner for proofreading and to Blair for layout, and to all who gave contributions. David Catt gave many on Events and Judith on various things. David Griggs translates one from a French gardening magazine. Any contributions welcomed as no lack of space in Newsletter. Might consider some issues in colour though it doubles the price (£380 instead of £138).We could perhaps have a demo page printed and possibly do 1 in 3 issues in colour. On the environmental impact of printing, BFT knows of printers who are aware of these issues and they could be approached for information. Jayne said newsletter praised for high standard of content (“scary”).
Literature (Marina and David Catt) Books have continued to sell steadily but she would like to pass on the job as she has done it for 10 years. It requires book storage space (a table), transporting them in crates and she can supply all the information of how many books to keep in stock etc. Books ordered 2x yearly. Catts can also supply a collapsible trolley. Also it provides anyone keen on talking to people about gardening with lots of scope and its very interesting. Job could be split and events attended by rota. Travel expenses could be provided if need be. Bags continue to sell and more may need to be ordered. A request was made to have the web address on the bags.
Membership (Maggie Warner) Healthy increase in numbers noted. Catching up on new email addresses can be hard. Also some people have paid twice due to not cancelling old standing orders. Subscriptions will stay at £5. Anyone wanting a new membership form can print it off the website. Also she could make a register of people interested in helping at Events and this could be forwarded to organisers.
Website :Frances is trying to arrange training in groups of 3 (potential date 29Nov.), though it was pointed out that a Hall with several computers would be more efficient for training larger numbers at a time. It was also suggested that blogs should be visible to all and not just members.
Woodside (Lorraine Douglas) This is now running smoothly with Jane and Annie having employed someone to weed and look after the Allans demo garden where they want to grow organic vegetables for the shop. They are keeping the display boards there and Pascal’s bench and are continuing for at least another year. The Allans have renewed the Council contract for their composting demo.
4. Treasurer’s Report (Keith Banyard) Keith explained that the deficit shown was because certain creditors’ bills came in later (£1700 for horsetail trials). The bank balance is healthy as usual. He has now broken down the large Miscellaneous figure and the Potato Day figures show the stall income also. Since there is now no Woodside expenditure we are getting in more than we are paying out, and we need to think what to spend it on (suggestions included display boards and an orchard somewhere). In previous years we have given a donation to Garden Organic but a downside of GA is that they don’t engage in events in the north. It would be possible to donate directly to Heritage Seed Library. The Soil Association was suggested and as we don’t have any connection to them Sarah will write to them to try to have more interaction with them. Dave Allan has told Judith GA are trying to reassess their vision and mission and we may be approached by them as a “hub of excellence”. We could report to them what grows here in the Borders.
5. Appointment of Office bearers All those in post agreed to continue apart from the Eastern Organiser (Jayne): Sue Watts will do this with help from Gemma Banks, and Marina (Literature). New person to be sought, ideally by Potato Day. As no offers forthcoming a request could be put in Newsletter. All other Office Bearers appointed unanimously. Proposed: David Brettell, Seconded, David Catt.
6. Election of Directors: All 5 Directors are happy to continue, though Keith is not sure if this needs to be established yearly or less frequently and will find out
7.Appointment of Company Secretary: Judith to continue this job.
8. Any Other Business :
a) Allotments. A request has been made to Judith from someone in Berwick wanting an allotment to see if she can find out what happens about this and what if anything is available from the Council, Scottish Allotments Association etc. We could get the facts together and put this in the Newsletter, and also ask if anyone has a large and unused garden, though the idea of a temporary allotment is not on. Certainly there is a growing interest in allotments and they are high on Councils’ Agendas on Green Spaces.
b) Berwick local action project : keen to do workshop on recycling
c) Slow Food people – they have lottery funding and we could get involved with them. Do we want this?
d) Suggestion for Glendale Festival next year (date however unsuitable)
e) Sarah has approached Hawick to join in on group involved in making it a Transition Town
f) Events – could they possibly be on a Saturday instead of always Sunday? In theory, yes, except Potato Day and Apple Day because of preparation beforehand. Next year – Produce Day and AGM could be.
g) Do we really need an Apple Day ? And could we find venue accessible by public transport?
Harestanes restricting because of regulations, no indoor space. The Hirsel was suggested as well as Ednam Village Hall which has space inside and outside.
At this point (12.15) the Meeting broke for the usual excellent shared lunch and reconvened at 13.30 to discuss plans for next year.

Planning Meetings : One to be in January before Newsletter deadline – Abbey Row, Kelso ; possibly Sat. 10 Jan 2pm. There will be a smaller meeting before then.
Talks : Roberta keen to have Steve Wilcox (Newcastle Univ.) and will see if he can do April.
Pruning Workshops : David Catt finds there is always a need for these. He plans to do a special apple grafting one in Edinburgh the w/e after Easter in Frances Lindsay’s garden. He is away all March and almost all April however
Other suggestions: workshops for first time gardeners?
Sarah to look into Whitmuir (West Linton) visit for May?
Useful to have BOG at Berwick Green Festival June
Family Day – Amanda again (June)
Jayne may contact someone re bees talk.
Produce Day – end August rather than September, tie in with some green event in a town (west)
Business meeting early September – tie in with local event.
AGM Saturday Nov 7th, Smailholm
Potato Day – could have small display of salad produce (Val Smith). Potato tasting to be discussed at meeting Dec. 1. Lesley will do childrens’ activities
Suggestion to have BOG at Peebles show. Stall cost ~£30. Sarah and Frances agreed to man stall. (16 August)
Display material : need a Committee to sort this out. Suggestion that could employ experts but Roberta said this was what she had trained for so will look at spec and have Marina and Judith on Committee. Marina wanted suggestions on colour and materials and could contact Amanda on ” what young people find attractive”. Agreed a radical redesign not needed.
Apple Day – manager of Harestanes attended (Mike Scott). Realized we are considering relocating but said the exhibition room would be available at certain times (Sunday 4 October). Obviously they want to keep Apple Day as it is their busiest day of the year. Needs a decision before Christmas. Also he said Harestanes could be more involved in the organisation seeing that was one of the main drawbacks this year.
Alec West would be prepared to give pruning demos /lectures as well as his display of apples.

Money available for community projects so working group set up to look into community orchard/allotment for BOG involvement : Sarah, David Brettell, Ruth Morozzo, Maggie Warner.
Also a suggestion (Robert) that we could find a project to support rather than set one up.

Meeting finished at about 14.45pm.