Major Initiatives for our Garden in 2013 Coming From Community Garden Road Tour and Post Tour Discussion (19/12/2012)
The items below represent matters the ‘working group’ and primarily the Road Trip Participants, Juliet, Clare, Suzie, Matt and myself identified as priorities as a result of the Roady trip and some internal review of the gardens current operations.
The task for the ‘working group’ next year is to prioritise the order of tasks/projects and assign/volunteer for responsibility of the same. Items have been given basic assessment of planning and organisational requirements or in some cases e.g. signage, could be executed with post haste with minimal effort/planning i.e. low hanging fruit. Although these may not be priority items perse, they may early attention due to the apparent ease of execution.
This document will form the basis for the discussion and carriage of works and associated planning to begin in January next year for task identified in this document and resulting from another session scheduled for next year in which oversights and assignment of tasks can be addressed.
It is envisaged these projects/operations will be adopted by small project groups/pods for the duration of the associated project(s). It is envisagde these groups/individuals will be given parameter guidance by the Committee in terms of approaches/costing and than given responsibility to execute plans with support as required.
LIST OF PROJECTS OR TASKS
H = high priority M= medium priority
I = immediate (criteria – does not require extensive resources, planning or funding i.e. within months and < $100)
ST = short term (criteria – within 6 months and requires some planning and only moderate resourcing i.e. < than $200)
MT = medium term (criteria – with 12 months and requires some planning and resource assessment i.e. > $200- $1000)
LT = longer term (criteria – greater than 12 months and requires considerable assessment and planning and potential funding not available in the foreseeable future > $1000)
Signage (information and Inspiring) and Art: H: I to ST
A project team/pod to form and identify necessary signage requirements for the garden. Identify and execute opportunities for art. This project(s) will appeal to artistic and creative persons to develop a range of low cost directional and interruptive signs. This may require the building of some information kiosks where assistance will be required.
- Suggested Kiosk(s) Characteristics;
- Notice Board with;
- Donations Box
- individual pods, who heads them up and their contact details;
- committee members and their contact details;
- how to put a proposal up to committee for consideration.
- Excess produce
- What’s On
- Worm Juice for Sale
- Seeds for Sale
- Notice Board with;
Seed saving: M: I
A small group to formulate requirements for seed saving and execute requirements.
Swap Meets M: MT
These were a feature of several over community gardens where individuals bring their excess produce/equipment and swap or purchase by negotiation. This is potentially a revenue raiser for CRGC. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and approach initially. Swap items may include jams/chutneys, baked goods, clothes/books/toys etc
Producing Fermented foods for Sale/Donation M: MT – LT
These were a feature of several over community gardens. This is potentially a revenue raiser for CRGC. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and approach.
Conducting Spiritual/physical practice eg yoga,
tai chi, qigong, meditation etc M: MT – LT
These activities were a feature of several other community gardens. Most gardens didn’t seem to charge much for these services but it did give a greater dimension and membership appeal to a broader range of people. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and approach.
Recruiting CHCC councillor(s) to the committee H: I – ST
This is likely something that will happen in conjunction with a planned presentation to Council early next year (February/March) regarding the Garden’s progress and support requirements from Council (i.e. paid Coordinator role). This will coincide with a invitation to Council Directors to have a conducted tour of the garden. Some of the requirements we will present to Council will be initiated by investigations of items in this document.
Larger plots (up to 400m sq) which could be leased by individuals or groups M: ST – MT – LT
These were a feature of several over community gardens and a means by which such members as the African Community may be interested. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and approach.
Develop extensive composting and worm farm facilities M-H: MT
These were a feature of several over community gardens. These appeared to be good revenue opportunities (See Northey St’s use of cylindrical metal barrels used to make bulk compost and Southport’s commercialisation of compost making) . Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and approach.
A Cafe in the garden – serving meals, hot drinks, sweet treats etc. M-H: MT-LT
These was a feature of Northey St. Perhaps a longer term plan for us but one that we should include in medium term plans to be reviewed annually for feasibility to ensure eventuation when appropriate conditions prevail.
Ramping up the Nursery Developing Production Standards/Quality Controls and Better access to grow seedlings, fruit trees, local native species in tubestock: H: MT
There is already a initiative at CRCG to upgrade the nursery via a grant. Once the outcome of that application is known we should review our operating standards and quality control etc.
Becoming a tax deductable charity H: I
These were a feature of several other larger community gardens and would be worthwhile investigating to understand the pros and cons. Requires a small project team/individual to investigate and report on feasibility and approach.
High Profile Workshop Presenters (includes catering, notes and evaluation surveys) H: MT
These were a feature of several other larger community gardens. This is potentially a revenue raiser for CRGC. Requires a small project team/individual to investigate and report on feasibility and approach, and potential presenters and frequency of same.
Quality and allied supporters/sponsors list: H: MT
Develop a list of preferred service suppliers that can be proudly displayed and supported by the garden and provide a potential discount to members shopping with sponsors.
Look into getting Approved “Work for the dole“status: H:I
This was a feature of Northey St and would be worthwhile investigating to understand the pros and cons. Requires a small project team/individual to investigate and report on feasibility and approach. It is envisage this venture may provide additional funding for a coordinator and extra labour to maintain and expand the existing garden.
Social concerts and events from the meeting space to raise funds, attract new members and raise community awareness of the garden H: MT-LT
This is a feature of several other community gardens and would be worthwhile investigating on how we might provide such an attraction and the various permissions/precautions we need to take. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility.
Consultancy and Design Service M: MT
Offer an ‘add-on’ service for consultancy in a range of horticultural services. Requires a small project team/individual to investigate and report on legal, commercial, lease agreement, methodology, qualifications aspects of this proposal.
Customized interactive Group tours of the garden: M: MT
These would be over and above the Ambassador Tours Arlan is already conducting. The proposal includes approaching local groups and clubs etc to understand what type of customised tours they might like. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and suggest requirements.
“Nature loo” composting toilet as 2nd Toilet M-H: MT
Lismore community garden had a covert “Nature loo” composting toilet… Apparently costing only $200.. This could be another option for a 2nd and composting toilet facility. Requires a small project team to investigate and report on feasibility and suggest requirements.
Develop a Comprehensive Management Policy for Plot Holders Responsibilities H: I
Develop a comprehensive management policy for plot holder’s responsibilities re care of their plot e.g. rotting fruit and dereliction of plot procedures. We have borrowed a version based on the Yamba garden policy and this needs to be reviewed before adoption. Requires Committee to review/adapt and adopt.
Set short and long term Goals H: I
As part of this program of suggested tasks in this document identify long term goals that can be implemented and budgeted for now, to ensure implementation rather than relegation.
Align budget expectations and funding to Project Plans H:I
Once we have settled on projects priorities in per this document develop budgets and funding methodologies to match. Requires an executive team to address once this process of project analysis is ratified.
Create Pathways in The garden H: MT
It was noticed in other community Gardens how important pathways were in the garden for the development, navigation and personal journey in a garden. Requires a small team to identify what pathways we can develop now, using what material and in what timeframe, budget, report and execute.
Clear processes for project start-up H: I
It was noticed that in Mullumbimby CG there guidelines clearly displayed for members to follow if they have an initiative they wished to offer to the association. We can adapt and adopt these guidelines. Requires an individual to copy/adapt and present to Committee.
Accessible avenues for members concerns and input/feedback H: I
Ensure an easy access for members to escalate concerns to avoid more complicated processes required to resolve issues. Small team to investigate and formulate guidelines and present to Committee.
Identify What Areas Additional Policies We Require H: I
It is apparent that areas such as Plot Holder Responsibilities require clear policies. A small team is required to identify what other areas require further policy development/plan of management review e.g. Animals in the garden, Issue escalation processes (e.g. bullying), use of manures etc.
Paid Garden Positions H: I
The larger gardens have funded positions to coordinate activities of various types: As part of presentation to Council (envisaged around Feb- March 2013) regarding our status and what assistance we need from Council, we should include the need for at least one paid coordinator. The CRCG should forts explore means of financing, supervision, direction, duties etc. Requires a small team/individual to investigate and report to Committee initially.
Succession planning for all positions H: I
This is really reinforcing the previous statements that all Committee executive positions and potentially co-ordinators positions require two persons to have knowledge of role to able effective handover/support as required.
A guiding thought in this process: Not all needs can be satisfied but compromise meets the needs of all
Steve McGrane – President of Coffs Regional Community gardens
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