Terry O'Brien, Area Representative - Mary Tierney and Chris Stodden, Co-Coordinators
With the gardens still frozen and covered with snow and the farmers' Markets nowhere near ready to open, our activities are limited this time of year.
Our quarterly meeting was held at the Library on February 15th and well attended. Plans for the upcoming spring and summer seasons were planned.
Liz Leonard reported the hotline is going well with only one issue of spotty WiFi coverage. We are awaiting new cell towers that are being installed in the Stockbridge area to alleviate this problem. Coverage should increase upon there completion. After Intern graduation there will be two interns and 2 MG's scheduled for each Monday session to answer incoming gardening calls.
Margy Gzozdz reported the bus trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show was a go and they had a fabulous time.
Dot Forrest will be contacting the House of Correction to schedule a work party to help clean up the Springside Display Gardens. Some of the projects will be replacing a portion of the fencing, moving the compost pile and the usual clean up. The Springside Conservancy is asking for volunteers to help with the gardens behind the greenhouse that back up to our display gardens. We will recruit some volunteers to help with the project.
The Roadshow Boards committee, led by Dawn O'Brien has been conducting meetings and is making progress on the subject of "Compost" and is near completion.
Our Symposium is receiving signups and volunteer staffing opportunities have now been posted on the website. A huge thank you to Laura Dumouchel's cousin, Merritt who was kind enough to dig, clean and share over 300 canna rhizomes with WMMGA. The bulbs have been bagged with planting and fall storage instructions and priced. They will be sold at our Symposium, thanks to our Gina Kelley and her merchandising talents.
There will be a drop off box for soil samples at our Symposium for gardeners to get soil pH results emailed to them after they are analyzed.
Additional soil testing has been scheduled for May 11th at the Conservancy Pickup Site at Springside Park and also at the BBG Plant Sale we will have a collection box and will email soil results. Samples collected at these sites will be used for training sessions for MGs who wish to learn soil testing. We will be scheduling additional testing dates in the near future.
MG, Kathy DeVylder successfully helped to establish new Community Gardens in Lenox and Diane Wetzel spoke to the prospective plot holders about vegetable gardening and supplied attendees with a 10 page handout.
Upcoming save the dates:
Berkshire will be hosting our Annual Summer Meeting at the BBG on June 20, more details to follow.
The Intern Class on April 3 will be held at the BBG and we will be providing coffee and refreshments and presenting our volunteering opportunities in the Berkshires.
Final Exam Day will be at the BBG again this year and we will be providing coffee and contributing to the pot luck lunch and provide tours of the Hotline & Gardens.
Berkshire MG's are encouraged to attend.
Our next meeting will be on April 18th at Sugar Hill Assisted Living Facility in Dalton, home of long time MG, Barb Brouker.
At the conclusion of our meeting we exchanged seeds that we saved from last years gardens and got a chance to get some different and interesting choices.
A very happy ending to our meeting.