Borders Organic Gardeners Business Meeting

Agenda and Minutes 26th May 2014

  1. Apologies. Quick run through of last business minutes for any action points and matters arising
  2. Debrief and report on Potato Day – please bring suggestions for changes to this item
  3. Financial position
  4. Publicity & website
  5. Allocation of tasks and new helpers
  6. Jed Eye articles
  7. Newsletter
  8. Events and future programme planning
  9. AOB.
  10. Date of next meeting

Present: Prue Pullen, Roberta Carruthers, Andy Swales, Barbara Graham, Ilona MacDowall, Sue Watts, Blair and Sarah Cummock, Michael van Beinum, Robert Leetham, Keith Banyard, Jenny Wallace, Catherine Ross, John Wylie, Dave Catt, Sarah Eno. (Initials used in notes below)


1. Apologies: David and Sarah Griggs

2. Minutes of last meeting 19 January 2014 were accepted.

3. Financial report: Main points were that bank account is healthy at £5900 although some more invoices are due to come in for Potato Day.

4. Potato Day Noted that takings are down a little again so that the event just broke even. There is not much room for unexpected costs or problems such as bad weather occurring.

Since there is little room for reducing costs – the biggest being the hire of BUAS hall – it was agreed that we need to raise numbers attending and the overall income from the event.

A range of issues were discussed with the following needing decisions at the September business meeting:

  • Marketing & Publicity – Badly needs improving. Posters were put out but for example, SE found fewer shops take posters and they are often not well displayed. Suggestion that production of A5 flyers to leave in outlets, but actually needs to have person(s) responsible to ensure full coverage of advance publicity. BOG therefore looking for publicity person to cover Potato Day event in particular although some publicity needed at other times. Please come back with ideas and offers of help. RL to look into a source of help in Berwick.
  • Entrance fee – suggest increase. Has been £1 for adults for years.
  • Stalls – Excellent range this year and very busy. Suggest refreshing somehow, perhaps further increase range by including other products – crafts (something Cheryl Grassam, stalls organiser did raise last winter). Implications for hall layout – is there room – can we use the little side room better. Note that KB has a scale drawing of the hall and current layout for P-Day. Get stall holders to advertise event on own websites. Get confirmed list of (some/all) stall holders early to include in advance BOG advertising.
  • Tubers Raise tuber price – some feedback that they are still pretty cheap.
  • Music – this was missed. Thought it adds atmosphere. Cancellation was so late it was not possible to replace in time.
  • Volunteers – the numbers were a bit down. Make more attractive by advising the advance buying of potatoes. However, noted that for the queue waiting outside, seeing lots of purchasing going on was not very positive. Suggested that volunteer purchasing stops by 10.30 am.

Meanwhile, as emailed after the event, much appreciation to all who helped ensure Potato Day success.

4. Website & Publicity SE has mastered the new emailing facility but there was much discussion on the lack of email contact (done via a package called mailchimp) because BOG members need to register on the website to become subscribers to the mailchimp list. Few have done so to date. AS and JW to liaise about the BOG members list in order to improve the numbers on the mailchimp list.

It was subsequently noted found when SE sent out a test mailchimp email to current subscribers that there is the standard option for unsubscribing from an email list. Thus whole membership could be emailed if list provided, with option of unsubscribing made clear.

SE raised a number of points, most especially the appearance of an irrelevant date (posting date) against events. Map also wasn’t appearing on members page. JW will take up with the web designer. (Irrelevant date was removed by mid May).

In general everyone thought the new website was an improvement. Past BOG minutes need to be added – AP for secretary.

The website “editorial group” is: Jenny Wallace (system liaison with webmaster), Blair Cummock (can deal with loading photos); Sarah Eno (contact for items for e-news); Robert Leetham; Jennifer Britain and Catherine Ross (after training). If anyone wants something published, please contact a person on the group.

The info@bordersorganicgardeners goes to Jennifer Britain who deals with this as needed.

Upcoming events to be put on back of BOG newsletter in future – it’s easy to find and makes a handy ‘poster’.

Childrens Day event at BUAS May 20th. PP, BG and RC with SE backup if needed. Lots of games and some information to introduce and encourage children and gardening.

In locating info. for this event RC designed a leaflet on BOG since this is lacking at present.

Agreed that BOG get printed about 1000 good quality About BOG leaflets. BC & RC to liaise on this.

Display Boards – these badly need refreshing. Means different photos especially on members gardens so please take some when on an event, new text and headings; to include children friendly activities (BG can help); biodiversity (MvB & SE?);

Noted that possibly Aldi (online)is cheap place for photo prints.

RG to co-ordinate material sent for display boards, with hard copies of photos (and text?) from BC. Members to send material, photos to BC.

5. Tasks & New helper

Please approach anyone who might help. BOG will need new minutes secretary in Nov (SE standing down but may continue as Company Sec) ; East and West programme co-ordinators; possibly new members sec. (SW offered to take on the minutes sec. role).

6. Jed-Eye articles

A smart local magazine circulating around Jedburgh, Several BOG members have written articles. PP to confirm deadlines to potential authors for next 3 months.

7. Newsletter nothing to report but note change for back cover.

8. Events and programming – continuing OK for the summer

9. AOB – none

10. Next Business meeting – date to be confirmed by KB. It is usually early September. Confirmed later as Sunday 21st Sept.


MVB suggested a project to support National Biodiversity Week 2015 by having BOG gardens mapped. General assent to this. MvB & SE to liaise on proposal.