Members attending: Barb Heywood-Jones, Herb Jones, Karl Goodwin, Ron Dobie, Bob and Velda Parsons, Sheila Nopper, Bob Vosburgh, Ron Sakolsky, deNeen Baldwin, Rae Eckel, Mike Nestor, Charlie Johnston, Fireweed, Veronica Timmons, Peter Bickel-Janes
Co-facilitators: Mike and Fireweed, Time keeper: Rae Eckel, Speakers List keeper: Herb Jones, Minutes: Veronica Timmons
(1) Old Business
A.- Bob’s thoughts
B.- Cards- condolensce card for Marjo, and thankyou notes to SPUDS allies
C.- Farm Plan Update
(2) New Business
A.- Linnaea Farm Update
C.- Soil Testing
(3) Basis of Unity
Revisions Updated- Community Building, Sustainability, Group Process, Ethics
(4) Topics for Upcoming Discussion
(5) Next meeting, Co-Facilitator Selection
(1) Old Business
A. Bob’s thoughts/Field issues
-Bob Parsons was invited to share a written submission he made a few weeks ago about the necessity of maintaining the field’s fertility. Entitled, The Soil, these thoughts had already been posted here on the right hand side of the blogspot). Bob elaborated on the current state of the field, which members attending the previous meeting, Nov. 11th, were also already apprised of. Full details can be found in the last minutes.
Bob P. added that the absence of earth worms is a concern, stressing the need for additional humus, e.g. seaweed. A group of members will gather seaweed and put it on the land.
-Bob Vosburgh suggested that we don’t let the cover crop go to seed in the future, given the difficulty of moving the tangled pile of rye plants recently relocated for mulch to the lower end of the field. (again, see the minutes for Nov. 11th, for details)
Rae and Fireweed will work on getting thankyou cards out to anyone who has assisted SPUDS and hasn’t already received a formal appreciation: the Fire Dept. (water), the Scrutons (hay), Anne and Larry, Jane and Patrick Fawkes (apple juice), Ironwood Farm (inoculant), Mike Lindsay (ploughing). Anyone else?
C. Agriculture Plan Update
The Islands Trust is initiating an Agriculture Plan for the island and seven islanders are volunteer members on the Steering Committee, including SPUDS members Peter Bickel Janes and Fireweed. Anyone interested in links provided to the Steering Committee members regarding Farm Plans in other communities can contact Fireweed directly. She will also act as a liason for SPUDS, keeping members abreast of the activities of the Committee.
D. Book-keeping/Financial Update
-deNeen announced receipt of the cheques and chequebook, formerly held by Corinne, along with a spreadsheet documenting 2009 income and expenses. deNeen plans to retrieve additional materials from Corinne soon.
-Veronica is awaiting reimbursement of $230 for winter pea seed she purchased for cover cropping.
-Mike will assist with book-keeping and he will replace Corinne Bjorge as a signatory on SPUDS bank account. Mike will go to the Credit Union to get the signing authority changed.
-The membership present approved Mike Nestor replacing Corinne Bjorge as signatory for Cascadia Food Sustainability Projects.
-Grant in Aid: Herb suggested that we apply again for the Regional District Grant In Aid.
Fireweed asked if members are getting their minutes before they go to a meeting. She reiterated that anyone interested is welcome to assist with helping keep communications flowing smoothly in a timely fashion. The minutes are sent to the membership of the whole after they are put up on the blogspot. Sheila asked for the minutes to also be sent as an attachment to the email announcing the blogspot posts so they can be more easily printed out for those that want to do that. Sheila will make sure the FreePost copies are available to those not on computer in advance of subsequent meetings.
(2). New Business
A. Linnaea Farm
-Fireweed provided an update on the Linnaea Farm Potato Coop system. They are on a four year rotation. Members pay $20 for a Linnaea Farm membership plus $50 per family for the Potato Coop Membership ($30.00 for individuals)
-The coop has been operating since 1984.The harvest is abundant, using almost exclusively green manure and cover cropping. (Pigs were brought in one time to clean up leftover potatoes, and a couple of years ago they amended the soil with rock phosphate and magnesium). Sections are sometimes left fallow. Favorite cover crops are
- Regarding SPUDS crop rotation, Bob Parsons suggested that we divide the field into thirds to enable us to get a better yield. He has seed potatoes that can be used next year. Fireweed suggested that a four year rotation would be preferable, depending on membership numbers and yield expectations from the area available to us for cultivation.
- Potato Preferences and Yield: Some members commented that they liked the Seglinde and
-The importance of addressing crop rotation, planting plans, etc, with more time for deliberation was duly noted. These topics were deferred to another meeting.
Herb said that Peter Marshall of the Fire Dept. has requested that we purchase a Forest Valve that goes on the bottom of the cistern to enable them to fill the tank more easily. Herb will research cost and supplier and report back.
-Charlie mentioned that his loan of irrigation equipment to SPUDS may or may not be temporary in the short term.
C. Soil Test
-Rae has purchased a kit from Art Knapps and will share it with SPUDS. A discussion ensued about when and where to test the soil. Rae will test the field this winter and again later in the spring for comparison. She will report her findings.
D. FundingTo be discussed at another meeting.
(3). Basis of Unity
The group discussed the drafts of the Basis of Unity Statements that follow in red and black ink. The most recent revisions are highlighted in red. For previous drafts in their entirety, please refer to previous minutes posted here on the blogspot. Number 3. (Soil) is in green because it has not yet been discussed by the group. It is a revision, however, of Velda’s original draft.
We want to build community by providing affordable access to land where we grow potatoes in an enjoyable, safe, welcoming environment. We strive to encourage and nourish the cooperative participation of a diverse intergenerational group of people with various skills, perspectives and physical abilities. Together we hope to celebrate our harvest and eventually share the overflowing bounty with the broader island community.
2. Sustainability (Draft 3 – Veronica)
Sustainability to the SPUDS Co-operative means that we will:
a) whenever possible, source supplies locally, use organic seed, compost and fertilizers
b) use the best farming practices that do not harm the soil, plants, people, animals or the ecosystem as a whole
c) increase the yield of the production to ensure an organic potato supply for the future
d) work toward maintaining a membership level commensurate with the yield ability of the field
e) sustain the membership through regular communications, education and other events
f) maintain a harmonious and respectful working relationship with each other, the community and the Dharma Fellowship/Hermitage Board
g) maintain financial sustainability
3. Soil (Draft 2 – Bob and Velda – to be discussed on Dec. 11th)
a) members will care for the soil by not using pesticides, toxins or any harmful substances on/in the soil
b) the needs of the soil will be determined and discussed by the members and met in the best possible way
c) the soil will be amended, weeded, planted and the crop harvested at the appropriate times according to nature’s cycles and the weather
4. Education (Draft 3 - Veronica)
a) We encourage members to learn about organic farming, potato growing, how cooperatives operate and to share skills.
b) We will track our activities and their outcomes through reporting and record keeping.
5. Group Process (Draft 2 – Fireweed)
a) We strive for equality and inclusivity by sharing responsibilities and practicing power-with (rather than power-over) in our deliberations, decision-making and actions.
b) Before speaking we pass our words through the “Three Gates:”
- are these words true?
- are they necessary now?
- are they kind?
6. Ethics (Draft 2 – Mike)
SPUDS seeks to be a non-commercial, non-profit endeavor. Any revenue will be reinvested in the activities of the collective.
(4). Topics for Upcoming Discussion
The following topics were identified as needing to be discussed and agreed upon in upcoming meetings
* methods of growing potatoes
* petroleum product use
* animal products
* decision-making process
Shiela proposed that the membership decide on our decision-making process at the next meeting.
(5). Next meeting
Friday, December 11th, at at Bob and Carol Vosburgh’s, 3061 Nelson
Ron will be one facilitator, with Herb as a backup if Ron is unable to attend.
The agenda will be limited to discussion around the final sections in our Basis of Unity, including SOIL, and deciding on our decision making process so we have time to add some seasonal socializing to our last SPUDS meeting of the year. Members also agreed to bring vegetarian (or vegan) party fingerfoods to share!