2016/11/26 AGM



Apologies
were received from Tony T. Those who attended were Peter T, John D, Brian F, Kay G, Val H, Frances H, Terry M, Marion P, Clive R, Alison R, Jane R, and Tony W.

  1. Minutes of last year's AGM, and of our last normal meeting on 27 September, 2016

    These were both agreed as correct records.  All matters outstanding were on the agenda for the meeting immediately following the AGM, (see below).

  2. Chair's Report

    Peter felt that it had been a good growing year.  “A mild wet winter followed by a cool early spring, and then a warmer May and June with plenty of rain if not sun.  July and August were sunny and overall this led to an earlier growing year.  The lower number of entries at the Show probably reflected this.  Peter himself had a good year but he had never seen so many slugs, although, oddly, they didn’t go for his spuds, even without nematodes.

    “Overall it was a good year for the Group.  Potato Day was (close to?) the best we’ve had.  There was a massive surge of people through the doors and we sold most of our spuds.  The Show, on the other hand, went very well but was one of the quietist, and has led to considerable discussion which continues.  A New Year meal was held at My Lahore.  The Plant Sale, held in Roberts Park as part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal was a bit disappointing, and needs further consideration. The visit to see Terry Marshall’s organic tomatoes, was very interesting, as ever, but not well attended.

    “The Group continues to be healthy and overall had a good year.  However, it would be dishonest not to mention that there was some questionning of whether or not we should continue with the Show in the following weeks.  We have an excellent website, but have struggled to make best use of it, and of social media.  These may be the way to address our occasional shortage of volunteers, and get more younger people involved, particularly in organising events.  In the mean time, we continue to discuss our issues constructively and try to find better ways to get our organic message across.

    “On a positive note for the future, local Group Veg on the Edge will be running a Seed Swap with us at Potato Day in February 2017.

    “And finally, thanks to all our members and volunteers who have come along and helped make our events run so well, and a particular thank you to the rest of the committee who put so much time into the organisation.”

    Peter was thanked for  his report, and for his work as our Chair.   Matters arising from it were on the Agenda.

  3. Treasurer's Report

    Val went through printouts showing the costs and income of our events, and our balance sheet, which was healthy.

    Val was thanked for her detailed report and work as our Treasurer.

  4. Website Report

    The website had been transferred to a new host, which is cheaper but faster.

    Most use of the website occurs around Potato Day and the Show, though there were 30 users on New Year’s Day.  Website usage was growing,  some came from referrals from social media.  Most were first-time users.  It was hoped that we could have more usage as a result of posting more on Facebook and Twitter.  It was noted that the  visit to Terry’s tomatoes was not on the website. 

    In the past, apart from the Minutes, the Group felt we had relied on one person to do everything, which was not fair on him.  Clive R. volunteered to put more on Facebook – this will include advance details about Potato Day and the Show and any other events.  We needed a volunteer for Twitter.  (Update: following the meeting a new volunteer, Michelle H, has offered to post on our Twitter.)

    We agreed that events / information related to healthy growing, but not specifically organic, could be put on our website, Facebook and Twitter, e.g. World Soil Day and about Bees.

    Tony W was thanked for his report and work on the website.

  5. Election of Officers

    All the officers were asked to continue, and were elected for the following year.

    That ended the Annual General Meeting.  It was immediately followed by a normal committee meeting, minutes of which follow.

  6. Potato Day, February 11, 2017

    The draft list of varieties to order had been on the website and there had been no further comments.  It included 2 new Earlies, and 5 more Organics than last year.  John D volunteered to place the orders and he will be available to receive the deliveries from our suppliers, for which he will be paid.

    Peter T had asked Cath to book the Hall for 11th Feb, with the usual access.

    Stalls:            The usual: West Riding Organics Compost; Riverford, who will leaflet for us; Veg on the Edge will do Seed Swap; Palestinian Solidarity Group will be asked if they have any organic oil; Leeds V + V; Plenty; and perhaps Forest of Bradford.  Brian and Peter will consult potential stallholders as usual

    Val volunteered to organise the CaféJane R will find information cards on varieties produced by WCF.

    Publicity:       Our website, Facebook and Twitter, and posters which will be produced earlier than last year.  Flyers at 1/3rd A4 x 100, plus what Riverford need.

    It was noted that the lead-in time for Gardening magazines was 3 months or more.   Peter T will inform Garden Organic and Radio Leeds Gardening programme.  John D will contact Bradford Community Broadcasting.  The new WYOG  general leaflet will soon be ready., and it was agreed that Tony W obtain quotes for printed bags for Potato Day, which would give details of organic potato growing, and of our September Show.

    Talks:   Alan Romans will be invited, and John D will invite Carlo, the master composter.

    Unsold spuds:  There will be the opportunity to sell them at Bracken Hall on the Sunday.  BCEP may be able to take some, and John Brooke  would help if any remain.

  7. Compost

    Terry M reported on his trial use of Dalefoot Composts made from Bracken and Sheeps’ Wool.  He had found them better than WRO.  The difficulty was the price if bought a bag at a time.  It would be much cheaper by the pallet.  The nearest stockists were at York, Scarborough and Levenshulme (half way betweem Manchester City Centre and Stockport).

    Agreed that Terry M will bring some to the January meeting, and that Peter T would talk to WRO about their compost.

  8. Annual Show

    Although there was some disappointment following the low attendance at the 2016 Show, all agreed that we must continue, and do our best to advertise it earlier.

    Date: Fixed for September 9thHall needs to be booked.  In previous years we had waited for Saltaire Festival to fix their dates before we fixed the date of our show, which did not give us much time to publicise our Show.  In previous years the Saltaire Festival had been on the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of September, with the Festival’s International Market on the latter.  When the Show was held on the same day as the market, there were major access difficulties, so it was again decided to hold the Show on what will be the first week of the Festival.

    Schedule: A revised schedule done mainly by Jane and Val had been circulated.  Some classes had been dropped as there had never been any entries, and as last year the different varieties within each class will be in a/z order.  The class numbers are to add.

    Additional cups:  We will discuss what we should do with them.

    Publicity: We agreed to start advertising the Show from Potato Day onwards, and to use all resources available to us.

  9. Contact with Schools: co-ordination

    A list of all schools in Bradford was circulated to the 3 people who work with schools.  When we know who contacts which schools a co-ordinated list will be drawn up.  We’d also try to find what contacts there are with schools from the rest of the county.

  10. Plant Sale

    The last 2 years had been disappointing.  A massive amount of work had been put in for little return.

    It was agreed not to hold a Plant Sale in 2017.

  11. Visits and Talks

    We agreed to put this on our next meeting’s agenda.

    Possible talks include Graham Porter, either at our Show, or as a special one-off talk.  John D said that Those Plant People would be happy to see us in late May.

  12. Other business

    West Yorkshire branch of the Soil Association past minutes and accounts.  Clive R reported this was still ongoing.

    Brighter Blooms  Peter T had contacted them.

    Advice pages on our website:  Agreed there was so much advice on the internet, that we wouldn’t generally put additional advice on our website.  A link to Garden Organic’s website would be worth adding.

    Snail mail  one person taken off, and one added.  Agreed they should be sent the minutes.

    Donations  deferred to next meeting.

  13. Date of Next Meeting

    Tuesday January 10, 2017 at 6pm, at the Ring o’ Bells, Shipley.  John D agreed to book.  Our meetings are open to all.