Minutes of Business meeting. 8/5/11 held at 55 Ravendowne, Berwick.

Present- Jean Bennett, Gemma Banks, David Banks, David Catt, Sandy Irvine,Sue Watts (chair), Marina Catt, Pam Boyd, Prue Pullen, Margaret Gribben, Keith Banyard, Robert Leetham, David Griggs, Ian Pullen, Lesley Angell, Roberta Carruthers, Judith Davison.

Apologies- Alan and Mary Cartwright, Judith and Robin Wolfe, Val Hunter, Sarah Eno, Andy and Maggie Warner, Sarah Cummock.

1. The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as a true record. Proposed by Sandy Irvine, seconded by Keith Banyard.
2. Matters arising.
· Horsetail trials- a summary of the trials appeared in the last newsletter and the full version will be forwarded when computer glitches are sorted out.
· Prue Pullen has agreed to work with Roberta and Mike on organising Apple Day.
· Catherine and John are happy to do a Literature box of pamphlets etc. which people can take to events such as the Green Festival.
· Sandy asked for whether we still had involvement with Woodside Garden. No one present was aware of any, all funding issues are now resolved. Sandy will seek clarification on comments that were made to him at Woodside.
· Last year our accounts were prepared by a firm of accountants. Keith proposed that in future he would prepare the figures for the accountants and that we use their documents at the AGM. Keith will be prepared to clarify for us at the AGM.

3. Literature Report.
Catherine and John had sent on a report for consideration at the meeting. They pointed out that the book stall (like most book shops) was having difficulty shifting stock due to information now being available on the Internet and online book traders undercutting retail prices. They have reduced the price of many books to move stock on. Catherine and John listed what they saw as the purposes of the book stall and the meeting was very supportive of their emphasis on talking to people, giving advice and encouragement, recruitment and spreading the message about organic methods. We agreed that we were happy for Catherine and John to continue to use their own judgement on setting prices and managing the literature.

4. Programme for rest of 2011.
· Apple Day Roberta, Prue and Mike will me meeting to discuss this soon and will get material for the newsletter to Robert.
East programme.
· Shorewood Farm Liz has organised for us to visit Shorewood next weekend.
· Grafting workshop. The workshop cannot go ahead this year as we need to order the rootstock the previous autumn. We will buy this autumn and do the workshop next year. Keith pointed out that the rootstock needs to be planted in the ground in a garden, the grafting done, and then the plant dug up and taken away the following winter. We will continue with the pruning aspect of the workshop and publicise the cancellation of the grafting aspect in the newsletter, website and by email.
· Taking cuttings. The person who we hoped would take this workshop is unable to do so. Someone else will be approached.
· Green Festival We have provisionally booked a space in the marquee and agreed to hire the table and chairs. Lesley agreed to coordinate.
· Sue is hoping to fix up a talk on wild flowers and the organic gardener sometime in the autumn.
West Programme.
· Newcastle University Farm Trials. This visit on 28th July will look at the comparative trials being run on organic/non-organic methods. We will call in at Cherryburn (NT) beforehand.
· Garden visit Berrybush, Yarrow on 26th June- advice on how to get better production and labour saving tips requested.
· Summer pruning of fruit trees 16th July in Bowden
· Garden visit/Business meeting Edenhope 17th September.
· Winter pruning to be arranged for November.
5. Any Other Business.
· Marina asked whether we were still members of Garden Organic. We used to be but this seems to have slipped. Judith will investigate. Following discussion we agreed to sound out Garden Organic on hosting their AGM in the area.
· Roberta asked whether we could become a member of Wooplaw Community Woodland. We agreed in principle to this and Roberta will find out more details. We will also consider taking out membership of other local groups as a means of donating to local organisations with aims compatible with those of BOG.
· We have been approached by Simon Cross who is trying to market worm castings. He has suggested giving a talk to members and bringing free samples. Sue will consult with Maggie Warner and investigate this further.
· Jean pointed out that the garden at Lindisfarne Castle, originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll is maintained on strictly organic methods and suggested this as a venue for a visit next year. We also discussed the possibility of combining with a visit to Kyloe Woods led by a local specialist.
· Marina asked us to introduce ourselves as some people didn’t know everyone. We did this and asked if everyone who has a name badge could try to remember to bring it along to events in the future.

Minutes by Judith Davison 9/5/11