Email: info@bordersorganicgardeners.org

BOG BUSINESS MEETING 7th September 2008

chez Sarah and Blair Cummock 1.30pm

Present: Laura Aitken, Keith Banyard, Pam Boyd, David Catt, Marina Catt, Sarah Cummock, Blair Cummock, Sarah Eno, Judith Davison, Frances Lindsay, Maggie Warner, Heather Whittaker

Apologies: Lesley Angell, David Brettell, Jane Brettell, David Banks, Roberta Carruthers, Robert Leetham, Ruth Morozzo, Bill Smith, Val Smith, Sue Watts

Chair: Sarah Eno

Minutes of 18.5.08: Approved

Woodside : After a long gap there is now someone coming to weed etc. and keep the area tidy.

Website: The current editors need retraining (according to David Quoyle) and before the AGM Frances T. will get training dates organised (any Mon or Frid evening). So far Laura, Blair and Roberta also want to be trained.

Speakers for winter meeting: Maggie Magee was suggested as someone who could be approached at short notice (Sarah E. will do this). Subject perhaps relating to FWAG and BOG – this can be discussed with her. Possibly also there could be a tie in with wildflower meadow establishment and perhaps Maggie Warner’s sister could also help. Sarah will also pursue ideas of other speakers such as the one from Findhorn and the one from Newcastle Roberta knows about (from Potato Day)

Potato Day : Available to enter Maltings 9.30 on. It is hoped produce will be brought in from 10.30 when tables have been set up (by the Berwick residents). Maltings to provide some tables and rest to be brought from Keith’s and David Catt’s (Keith not going to be there). Sheets to cover the tables to be brought by various volunteers. Display boards to be brought by Sue Watts from Berwick and photo display to be revamped in situ by Frances L. who will bring new photos. Sarah E. to discuss with Bill and Val Smith what they need for their display from the SNH board supply.

There is a need to research and buy more boards. This should be done in near future.

Robert is doing a potato display and Judith will get update on this.

Pricing of tray produce to be done by Sarah E. if Liz and Judith Wolfe don’t want to.

Marina and David will track down their books in Berwick and arrange they are brought. Floats : Keith will make up some £25 floats to be given out. Sarah C. will deal with how she sells the Farm Africa produce but will not be selling it by weight.

Tasting : The Catts will bring bowls and plates for this. There will be a feature on salad leaves (by the Catts and Val Smith) and ad hoc tasting e.g. tomato varieties which it is hoped people will bring. Some early variety apples for tasting.

Refreshments : Roberta has this in hand and is hoping for people to bring cakes and stuff to be used in “teas” or if too much, sold on Farm Africa. Soup not to be provided as it seems to present too many difficulties.

Judith has Catastrophe Cup and will bring.

Apple Day – Planning Report by Laura Aitken
1) Volunteers
So far 22 people have confirmed that they can help and I will be drawing up a schedule to send out to confirm availability by mid September.

2) Stalls we have confirmation from:

Out of the Box
Hoardweel
Honest Crust
Berwick upon Tweed Slow Food
Alec West – he and Pat will not be selling food this year (jams, etc.) but trees only. He will bring about 2 dozen for sale.
I have also spoken to the Caddonfoot Beekeepers Association to see if they could give us beekeeping information to put up on the day.
3) Entertainment & Activities
Morris Dancers – I am waiting to hear of they can make it his year.
Ale Valley Pipe Band – have confirmed that they will be sending 6 pipers to play from 1:30 – 2:00.
Face Painting – organised by Harestanes Rangers.
Willow Weaving – organised by Harestanes Rangers.
William Tell – This will be happening. Does anyone really want to do this or should I ask someone else?
4) Apple Identification
It’s difficult to get someone in October, as all the experts are doing something in their own patch. I think if we want an expert for next year we might have to ask in January! Alec will be bringing a large number of varieties and I’m hoping we will also get contributions from other members. I think we’ll just have to set up the apples and books and have a couple of people at the table to help people with identification – a kind of self-serve thing.

5) Apple Tasting
I think getting to taste apples is one of the best things about Apple Day but we will have to set the table up differently this year. The apple table must sit on its own and cannot have any items for sale, boxes, papers, etc. sitting near by. Items used to cut and display apples, as well as hands, must be kept clean and regularly washed. All apples must be cleaned thoroughly and kept strictly away from unwashed apples. I’m afraid that hygiene will be paramount this year (see item 8).

I wonder if it would be possible to arrange tastings according to sweetness, acidity and tartness? I do realise that apples have such complex tastes that this may not be easy, but having some kind of order might make it easier for people to choose what they want to taste, or to compare varieties. It might also be useful to have a section of apples that we have for sale separated out, so people know what they can buy on the day.

6) Cider Making
I’m afraid that I don’t think cider making will be an option (again see item 8) though I do think it would be great to have the press there and information on pressing. I would like to propose that we have an area where people can learn about pressing, cooking and preserving apples with information sheets and recipes.

7) Food for Sale
Selling food is becoming extremely problematic. Aside from hygiene issues (yes! Item 8 again!) we will not be able to sell individual portions of cakes and such, this year. This is because Harestanes Café will be open and there is a conflict of interest. Members and stall-holders can sell fruit, veg, whole cakes, bread, food to be cooked later (e.g. Hoardweel), etc. but not ready-to-eat food. Homemade jams, jellies and relishes may also be a problem due to strict hygiene controls.

Can we have confirmation on what BOG intends to sell and what the garlic and apple juice situation is?

8) Hygiene
Stuart Kinghorn is the new Environmental Health Officer in the area and Mike Scott tells me that he is very strict. I believe that I am going to have to ask all stall holders selling food to provide proof of their hygiene certificates and public liability if they want to trade. I’m afraid that we have no choice since the rules governing providing food to the public are becoming much more prescriptive. We must also remember that Harestanes is council property and that they are ultimately liable if someone gets ill.

I have been in contact with Stuart to arrange a meeting to discuss our event, but Mike warns me to ignore the rules at out peril. Stuart has been known to shut down an event for even the slightest lack of compliance! I will know more after we meet, but I’m pretty sure that homemade food and cider pressing are out.

9) Displays & Equipment

I am collecting more apple facts and pictures to display, which I will get laminated. Is it possible to get expenses for this?

Do we have enough tables? I think I was told we need another carport. We won’t be able to use the one from Harestanes because they will need it for their activities.

10) Money & Purchases

Keith Banyard is away this year but has said that he will arrange for someone to organise the floats. Can we confirm how many floats will be needed? I will also need to know who will be responsible for this and how the system will work.

I believe that we usually give a donation to the Morris Dancers – who will sort this should they come? Also, shouldn’t we do the same for the Ale Valley Pipe Band?

10) Health & Safety and Operating Procedures
The event has been registered with Common Ground.
A copy of BOG’s insurance has been given to Mike Scott.
I will do a risk assessment update.
Mike S. will be notifying the police (this is normal procedure for public events).
The Harestanes Rangers hold current 1st Aid certificates and are happy to take responsibility for this, though we obviously must ensure that we make the event as safe as possible.
There will be no smoking in any of the buildings or in the courtyard area.
Mike S. pointed out that the toilets at Harestanes couldn’t cope with the numbers attending, so has arranged for portable loos (including 2 with disabled access) to be located near bike-parking area.
Unloading at the front is fine but once completed, vehicles should be parked around the back near the craft shops area. Please do not block the entrance to the shops.
We may be able to use the Harestanes display boards, but this will not be possible if it is windy. We must also make sure that they cannot be knocked over by the public.

11) Set up

Can we confirm set-up times on the Saturday? How do we usually do this? Anything I need to know?

Report on recent events: Around 40 people went to part of the Gardening in the Uplands Day which was reckoned a great success and at least the weather was fair. The Family Event at Amanda’s was also a success though weather awful. Can be repeated next year. The event round Hawick attracted about 30 people (green waste commercial composting, Langdale Allotments and Monica Bolton’s Teviot garden with heat pump. Also excellent morning at Beatrys’ on Uplands Day doing summer pruning, as well as a lovely day at Preston (Duns). No specific future events as yet organised for west or east. An idea was to have a December gathering to make Christmas decorations and/or a joint meal somewhere. No venue arrived at.

Any other business :Keith mentioned that finances are healthy (>£7000). Boards an obvious choice for expenditure. Sarah E. will try to gather consensus on style, colour, availability, cost etc. and Judith also agreed to look into this. Should be sturdy and portable.

Suggestion that we could spend money on having at least the cover but also possibly the photos inside the BOG News in colour. Blair will consult Robert about cost involved.

Meeting ended at 3.30 in order to go round Sarah’s garden + Pam and Heather’s.

Many thanks to Sarah and Blair for their hospitality (and a particular mention about the special squeezed strawberry icecream she made).