Monday, March 17, 2008

Minutes, March 17th

Agenda March 17th

Tuesday 11:00-1:30
11:00 Gillian, Rafe, Caytee can be there
Caytee can be there the whole time
Gillian: somewhere around 12:30-onwards

Richard’s crazy potato or sweet potato growing technique:
garbage can, drills holes
fills with cut sprouted potatoes and soil
puts on a dolly and moves around to sunny spots!
(the potato cart! – visibility on campus)

1) ERC coffeehouse on the 19th – who’s going?

-Caytee is going anyway
write a song
Rafe will be there too to help talk
Leah djembe? email

2) seeds and planting

should be planting in green house right away
Richard has some seeds: lettuce, etc.
Gillian also has some through Concordia Greenhouse
Plan: seed on Thursday
Gillian: ordering more seeds this week at Concordia, coming in (?) weeks

Gillian’s times at Concordia:
Wed and Fri at 3:15 (this friday???), some Sundays

-date to go shop at Ile Perrot?
Windmill Point Farm, 70 acre permaculture

can order online and/or go to farm
long weekend – trip to farm!
-people with cars?
-Rafe: email/call the farm, can we visit/shop for seeds over weekend?

-Richard’s rules protocol for the Mac Greenhouse, plans for planting there

Gillian and Julia: ask Richard about soil, can we get it from him, and if not what else can we use? anything

-Downtown greenhouse?

only 2 flats, can seed any time, high ‘security’ for bio pest control,
should plant something “cool” there!
need to bring own soil and fertilizer
need to buy own pots or plug trays

-Other seed sources?

3) Cold Frame improvement and maintenance – materials needed and dates?

Monday March 24th (Easter) : 11 AM cold frame maintenance/garden work (insulate, paint, fix up, shovel)
if field trip: 9 AM (tentative)
before weekend: bring enough material for another cold frame back to MUGS so we can make another one
Brendan and Leah: find out about the code

Nighttime insulation: blankets
St. Henri kids: Salvation Army?
others: look for anything that would be a good insulator
Rafe: do you have a staple gun? might (For other insulation, bubble wrap etc.)

-check out Square Foot Garden “sunbox” cold frame design, is it feasible for more cold frames?

Gillian will scavenge around for thermos at Con greenhouse, including soil thermometer
Brendan will ask around, Gillian will ask around about equipment

4) Budget
Maddie: unlikely to get QPIRG stipend, 35-40 Applicants
other sources?
Leah: has a file/experience with applying for $$

new items:
-gas for field trips!
-summer stipend
-wooden planks and/or tiles (can be homemade, from concrete or broken tiles?)_
-flats, pots, and plugtrays

we have the list, and can ballpark prices, just need to submit
Set Deadline:
Submit budget to Green Fee by Thursday!
-get paper work from Alex
-or start over

Minutes, March 10


1) Solin Hall March 19th/Green Week

March 19th 7pm ERC WEDNESDAY at New Rez. hosted by environmental rez council. 5 minute presentation. Rafe, caytee,…anyone and everyone. good opportunity to promote for summer.

green week – next week. tuesday or wednesday, table at crossroads next to geurilla composting, fun and interactive that has to do with what we do: what veg are you? give them whatever veg they are as a reward. maddie is getting the quiz.

2) Plant info and garden plan
* Gillian rasp and straw: straws are going up the fire escape.
* perennials need to be run by Shannon
* square foot garden: book suggested by caroline, also lent 3 seed catalogues.
* seems to be that people want local seeds rather than ordered from around Canada.
* Make a list of exact things we want to plant and exactly where they are coming from and where they are going in the garden.
* Sub committees for plant design? – need list of timeline: caytee. layout: ginny
THURSDAY 5:30 GEO lounge to do physical plan.
* size of plot is 24x24 minus a 12x12 chunk. 24 feet of railing to be used as trellice. cold frames are in the low sun spot but spot could change. being planted here are early harvest.
* meeting with Concordia greenhouse to discuss seeds and amount of space necessary.
* growing in pots. also potential cheap stuff from collective garden center….(from agri class)
* Rafe has emailed the old people who planted in the garden for plan suggestions.

3) What needs to be seeded indoors (to tell the Stewart bio greenhouse?)
Gill and rafe will figure out.

4) Budget
grow bags
coldframe material

stuff we have already bought
Tim: $50 on building supplies

could get soil from vermacompost owners around the city and R4.

5) Cold Frame Maintenance and Improvement (and Repair)
rafe should use broom in the future. as not to break anymore.
cold frame duty? slot rafe in any morning. leah will make a schedule.

6) Organizational Structure
rafe’s vision: its important to remember that the MSE garden is only one of many projects to come. the idea of having a vague mission statement of stuents around downtown growing vegges however they can, people can do different projects at all times…

this summer we want to keep a rigourous log so that people in the future can use it. office in the mse can be a resource. learning from other people’s downtown gardens, if we want to be more outreach we should learn from other outreach programs ie tim Murphy.

Gillian is planning to get Tim Murphy to come next monday meeting

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meeting 7 - January 9, 2008

Present: Tim, Leah, Ginnie, Maddie, Rafe, Caytee, Alex, April

1) Point People for this semester:

PR/Publicity: Leah, Ginnie, April

Internal Communications: Tim, Rafe

Volunteer Coordinating: Caytee, Maddie

Garden “expert”/Planner: Gillian (suggested though not present)

Budget and Finance: Alex

University Relations: Oliver? Who else?

2) Publicity Ideas

April: made a prototype canvas bag – to be sold at Organic Corner for 5-10 dollars

Logo contest? Or do we have our logo w/April’s beet picture?
-need to resubmit to AUS/SSMU listservs
-stickers: Maddie has an in
-events? Maple sugar/snow selling at 4 corners, potato stamps
-have an event or party planned for activities night
-summer recruitment: advertise at Midnight Kitchen: pamphlets, posters/ announcements

3) Cold Frame building plans

Can we use Arch or Engineering shops?
Tentative plans to do something on Sunday

4) Tim: Trevor says we can have a presence at the sustainable campuses conference (late Jan/early Feb)
-can do a 30 minute presentation if we prepare and register

5) Maddie: we should change meetings to potlucks

6) Leah: do we want to be part of heritage seed bank network? I have an in

Meeting 6- December 5, 2007

Alex C talked to Imad (SSMU VP Finance) about different funding possibilities
Imad Barake:

“SSMU has three sources of funding:

club funding
need interim status (which we have????)
then, in 3 months, need:
-3 events

2) campus life fund
not a lot of money there
doesn’t do start up costs

**3) green fee fund
more money
same forms as campus life fund
forms: don’t need revenue specifics setc.
-need budget, but doesn’t have to be too specific
-three week process, pretty quick”


1) Fill out financial forms and make a budget

2) Build Cold Frames
Tim drew plans
- ? = seal?
- must convert cm to inches, not a big deal

Might as well assume we can get reimbursed

Plan for materials buying:
weekend car availability (Tim’s friend)
1) ecocentres 2) home depot for everything else
(Call eco-centre to see if open on saturday)

3) Proposal for MSE summer
Where do the vegetables go?
-starting in spring: veggies go to midnight kitchen
-summer: vegetables go to volunteers, extras go to Santropol?
-starting fall school year, veggies go back to MK

pilot project; focus is not production, but to see how many people needed, gauge involvement
want to increase production in future

publicity efforts throughout spring to increase awareness and get summer volunteers


-info session
-fun stuff

DELEGATION – What tasks/roles need to be filled next semester?

1) PR person (two people)
“branding” and signage
**publicity for summer:

2) Communications within – secretary, typing minutes – setting out schedule for meetings, making up agenda
also blogging etc. and newsletter

3) Cold frame/general volunteer scheduler/coordinator (people)
Incl. Summer

4) Person(s) who know when things need to be planted and how they need to be planted (“expert consultant”)
Incl. Summer

5) Budget and finance

6) University relations – also city relations

Gillian: Let’s start small:
better to concentrate on getting the MSE plot, use it as a good pilot project
later: make proposals to city or school for other spaces

Pete Barry is talking to Vikram Bhatt right now about whether people can get ENVR 401 credit for cold frames – maybe not cause you need a client.

-Could we get the grounds crew to plant edible/nice looking plants?
-Eric Champagne liked idea of berry bushes/fruit trees
-Orchard behind Thomson House/Education Building??

Meeting 5- November 28, 2007

Gillian and Oliver went to test the soil at the reservoir.
-Waiting for results
-The soil is not deep enough, issue with structural integrity if we terrace it
-We should add soil and not use the pre-existing soil, terracing
-Potential water supply problem.

Meeting Friday, 9 AM in the MUGS lounge:
-Professor Bhatt, Professor Luka
-Grounds keeping staff (Eric Champagne)
-Radu (planning)
Questions that we want to ask at the meeting:
-How would groundskeeping like to be involved and what kind of help can they offer us?
Eric: What kind of assistance can he give us?
Radu: What does he know about this site and what advice can he give us?
Shannon: Can we do coldframes no matter what the proposals for the summer are, and what are the other proposals like? Can we use the MUCS office?

What do we want?
-Using the MSE garden for coldframes
-Reservoir as square foot garden (build terraces and retaining walls)
-Have students doing research projects with this, but mostly be a student initiative
-Have administration’s help whenever we need it, but have this project be student maintained and supervised
-Possible need for a work study in the summer
-Distribution: keeping the food on campus
-Involve architecture students, engineering students, management students, open to anyone who wants to participate
-Document our process

Research for Environment 401 or 490:
-environment students need to be informed
-email Pete
-Environment Students Society lstrv?

Landscaping Architecture Professor?
- to help with the structure of the retaining walls

Monday: Professor Bhatt’s students are doing a presentation on urban agriculture.

*Alexandra has a truck that we can use

TD Canada Trust contest- Go Green Challenge
-we need 4 students and a staff member, we could win $25,000

-need to develop a tentative budget
-we need materials
-Professor Bhatt wants to know if people are doing coldframe research, wants plans
-develop a list of positions and duties
Friday: Going to eco-centres and buying materials for coldframes

Meeting 4- November 14, 2007

• Tim asked engineering shop to use to build cold frames, can be used any time as long as considered for school, it is locked at night, shouldn’t be too hard to fit to the windows
• Gillian: can use arch shop as long as not being used by students making models
• And tech director of moyse hall, and it can be rented out: given contact of lady in charge
Also made a website.
• Rafe contacted the horticulture for gardens and grounds, needs to ask supervisor before he can get go-ahead.
• Gill: also talked to Pete Barry (coordinator for mse) thinks it’s a good project, he’d like to see it as a 490 of 401, no problem with non enviro students doing courses, if done as feasibility project wants us to present at end of year to mse profs. 401 is cool because necessitates a client who would be mcgill gardens & grounds. And there is money available from the mse. Talk to Shannon scott to see if can take over the old mucs office. (use for storage of garden supplies and cold frames).
• Gillian suggests a cold frame design team: Tim as an engineer others have building skills.
• Tim Murphy also suggested that it would be cool to make a design for santropols container gardens. (if it’s possible)
• Potentially disassemble the box from last year.
• April will get in touch with Vikram Bhatt and Geanne Wolfe, Rotem.
• Curtis has been in touch with Nik Lucca and the amazons of national geographic.
• Mcgill just hired a sustainability director, and Gillian will email jim and get both him and the sustainability director on board.
• Kathleen Ng – enviro officer of mcgill should be contacted
• Green fee, campus life, and the mse could go to a summer stipend, perhaps qpirg. (these are important for the proposal)
• Camille can get soil for the summer, and seeds can be germinated at the greenhouse at Mac.
• Tim Murphy is in for an open discussion on urban agriculture, (he works at santropol)
• Shannon scott to be contacted.
• Contact radu: from planning.
• Rafe will put the statement of purpose into a petition form.
• Gillian will ask Oliver to contact the Yale proposal writer.
• When asking for profs and participants use the piece rafe wrote and tell them to aim for the week after next, (the one after thanksgiving)
• We have funding from green fee.
• Seeds have been offered by the greenhouse and camille’s parents could be donating seeds.
• LET’s MAKE CAMPUS CROP PARAFANALIA!!!!! Campus crops logo competition!!! Gillian is emailing ssmu and aus to get this on the email list.

• Long-term and how can we do it? Internships can come later.
• Concerned with discussing the reservoir, know least about it.
• Educational space?
• Plots? Collective? Can be used for education. Primary for community.
• Internships, be involved for credit, gardening workshops.
• Food going to midnight kitchen? Yale farm didn’t grow enough to give to school so brought it to a famers market….before decision can be made need to do the feasibility study. And participation is also contingent on this.
• Have different sites, hillel and reservoir. Terrace it?
• Office of planning designated these areas for student gardening.
• (check that out)

Meeting 3- November 7, 2007

1) Cold Frames

-Build this semester, use to grow in late winter/spring
-use of architecture shop (Gillian)
-donation of windows (Gillian?)

2) Proposal for Space Behind MSE

Still a lot of questions that need to be answered before proposal is written:

-Do we want the space for the spring (pre-growing season), summer/growing season, or both?

Who will make sure the garden is maintained and that students/others stay involved over summer?
-paid position, research for credit, internship?
-paid position might be difficult to get this summer
-however, Nadya was paid by MSE as an SMP member last summer
-summer research for credit: good idea
-possibility of volunteer volunteer coordinator(s) who are dedicated to sticking in Montreal for the whole summer

3. The Big Question:
-Are we planning primarily for a garden for academic research (with the aspect of community involvement and benefits) or community gardening project (upon which people can conduct academic research for credit)?
What is our vision?

Curtis: primary vision is for community gardening, research is secondary
Caytee: agreed
Marc: agreed, but we need short term concrete goals which academic research concerns could drive
Ginnie: agreed, but research might make things more feasible
Tim: would be cool if the initial gardening project[s] could kick start other gardens; also take students outside McGill and into larger community
April: research for credit can be incentive for keeping people here and involved in the summer
-Cold frame project could be primarily academic research-driven, but research could become secondary for other projects
Rafe: research for credit good for keeping people/leaders committed, especially over summer
Julianna: ideally, projects would involve not just students, but people from larger community
-Community is priority, but research can open channels otherwise unavailable
Maddie: Community first; need to meet with MSE, figure out if we can arrange researchers to be paid (or get credit) for summer work (research/planning/volunteer coordination)
Gillian: Empowering to try to grow things year round, because McGill “community” only is present fully 2/3 of year, much of which is off-season for crops (hence the cold frames)
-This project will take a lot of research in the broader, non-academic sense, so why not try to get credit for it? But community still priority, academic credit secondary
Nadya: Research/documentation/writing up any projects we do is a big priority, because this will leave a legacy/blueprint for people to continue project or do similar projects at McGill and elsewhere (and seeking academic credit will encourage documentation)
April: Cold frame research will be a good short-term, concrete first step

4) Avenues of Research

Gillian: Anyone in any faculty can take ENVR 396 – Environmental Research
-Requires one professor (in the MSE), one project, multiple students, each looking at a different research question/from a different angle (ie a multidisciplinary project/multidisciplinary team)

For example, ENVR 396 – Cold Frames/Community Gardening could include:
-research on specific growing techniques and yields
-research on allocation and use of space
-research on community/social involvement

Maddie: February/March/April will be the hardest months for starting up this project, and academic research project will be good impetus for both getting it going and providing continuity through summer and into Fall (possibly with a follow-up/reevaluation research course with the same or different students)

-Conclusion: a research project: ENVR 396 – Cold Frames/Community Gardening – for next (Winter 2008) semester

5) Next Steps

-A grounding point from Gillian: once we figure out space, etc., we are going to have to decide some concrete stuff: what crops to plant, when, what systems and techniques to use, volunteer schedules, volunteer coordination.
(this may be better done site-by-site, by people doing academic research or volunteer coordinator)

-Reservoir triangle: this space is there for us to use (along with stairs to nowhere, MSE space if Shannon says yes)
-we need to talk to Facilities, Gardens and Greens

Proposal: One meeting with Campus Crops and:
-Facilities people
-Gardens and Greens people
-Interested Faculty members
-Anyone else?

-seek out and contact relevant administrators and faculty (Rafe)
-develop letter of intention
-develop list of points, questions to ask at meeting

6) Etc.

-Sources of funding: Green Fee (requires proposal) Campus Life Fund (fast and quick?)

-Gillian has contacted Hillel re. their interest in turning their space into a garden

-Need for gardening know-how (we’ve all done a little, but we need more expertise)

-Santropol Roulant looking for things to do during the winter

-Solution: ask Santropol to give a [winter/year-round/general] gardening workshop!

7) Goals for Next Meeting:

-by next meeting (one week), we should be able to gauge availability of the different administrators/faculty we want to meet with, and be able to schedule a time for the meeting

-plan meeting with admins/etc.