Received from Tony Tennant. Those attending were: Alison R, Martin B, Brian F, Val H, Terry M, Marion P, Clive R, Jane R, Peter T, and Tony W.

  1. Minutes

    The minutes were accepted as a correct record.  All matters outstanding being on the current agenda.

  2. Potato Day Feedback
    • Overall a very good day.  Busy from the start, and most potatoes sold
    • Finances.  Val gave an interim report, with invoices still to come in, but likely that  it was slightly better than last year.
    • Varieties, and unsold tubers.  Athlete was a last minute replacement for Winston, but didn’t sell as Winston may have sold, considering the number of requests we had for Winston. There were not many tubers left overall.  Val H had been selling some to allotment holders.  There remained 8 varieties, and the remains were to be available at an event at Brackenhall Countryside Centre at Baildon Moor.
    • Delivery, setting up, hall booking and layout, went well.  There had been one last-minute replacement by our suppliers, and one no-show.
    • Speakers. We didn’t do much pre-advertising of the speakers and we wondered if there was in any case a demand from potato buyers who headed straight for the tubers and the cafe.  We decided that in future we won’t hold talks at Potato Day unless Alan Romans is coming.
    • Seed Swap.  Alison remarked that it was a great day for them as they were busy all the time.  Veg in the Edge stated on their website “We had a fab time running our Seed Swap at Potato Day last weekend.  We enjoyed meeting lots of different growers and hearing about your plans for this year….”
    • Volunteers and lanyards.  We thank all the volunteers who help to make Potato Day and our Annual Show a success.  We are now down to 32 lanyards, as some people appear not to have returned them.
    • Stalls.  All the stall-holders were happy with the day.
    • Cafe.  Everything went well.
    • Publicity was a success with Martin B and Peter T being on the Radio Leeds Gardening Show for about an hour, Tony M on Bradford Community Broadcasting, and by use of Facebook.   
    • New Members.  Peter T gave the email list to Tony M.  We are now down to 9 snail mailers, as more people have email addresses.
    • Veg Planners sold well.  Peter T to order more from the HDRA, (Garden Organic).
  3. 30th Anniversary Show - 2019

    To avoid Saltaire Festival street market, which causes access problems for exhibitors and disabled visitors, we have fixed the Show on the 2nd Saturday of September, which is the first Saturday of the Saltaire Festival.  We had hoped to have Graham Porter speak at our 30th Anniversary Show, but he cannot manage the 2nd Saturday.  We decided that we would develop an alternative event which involves him, preferably prior to the Show.  We should all think of what this will be and welcome suggestions.

  4. 2018 Show September 8th (Saturday)
    • Date:  The Show will be held on the 2nd Saturday of September which is Saturday 8th September.
    • Stalls.  We were pleased to be able to accommodate more stalls last year, but it meant they were on the large balcony and some felt detached from the main hustle and bustle of the Show.  Access from downstairs to upstairs is not straightforward.  Peter will investigate using a downstairs room for the additional stalls.
    • Speakers for the Show, while the judging was taking place.  We were all asked to come up with ideas on the theme of “Practical Growing”.
    • Publicity for the Show.  We need to improve this, suggesting to organic allotment holders that they grow something for the show.  Tony W agreed to get some more publicity out before the busy-ness of the main growing season.
    • Schedule.  Marion, Val, and Jane will have another look at the schedule and suggest any improvements.
    • Trophies.  A reminder that we need a new “Best in Show” shield.  Marion P offered to sort this out.
    • Saltaire Festival Brochure.   Tony W offered to do a piece on the Show for the Festival Brochure.
  5. The Future of Ryton Gardens
    • There appeared to be an imbalance in the cost of running the Ryton Gardens site and the income from visitors.  The Garden Organic committee had sought financial interest in the site, not to make a sudden decision to sell it off, but to investigate all alternatives.  A letter received from the Chief Executive of Garden Organic will be put on our website (now done).
    • A request had been received from the Save Ryton Organic Gardens Campaign asking us to support a motion at the AGM against the sale of the gardens.  After discussion, it was agreed that it would be premature to support such a motion.  Peter would draft a response for the group’s comments and send. (now done)
  6. Cliffe Castle
    • Donation of plants for the Hotbox.  We will need donations of plants for the Hotbox in the couple of months running up to the Show.
    • Children’s Activities.  We were asked by Cliffe Castle to think how we can involve children during the summer holidays in some form of activity.
    • Signs.  Martin had helped with signs outside but we also need signs inside.  Those of us who live nearer should try to visit the area at Cliffe Castle, so we know what would be involved.
  7. Other events
    • Visit to Growing with Grace.  Val agreed to contact for potential dates.
    • The meal at Yo-Yo’s was good
    • Request for a Plant Sale at Kirkstall.  We decided that it would take a greater time commitment than we could offer, so reluctantly have to turn it down.  Eccleshill Horticultural Society are having a (not necessarily organic) Plant Sale at their allotments on Harrogate Road on 26th May.
  8. Other relevant business
    • The Heritage Seed Library Order had been sorted.
    • The Seed Co-operative.  Clive R will forward details to Val H.
    • Soil Association records.  Clive R will sort this before the next meeting.
    • Dalefoot Compost.  Terry M had some sample bags, which have been taken by other committee members to try.
  9. Date of Next meeting
    • 24th May, (Thursday) at The Ring o’ Bells, Shipley (room booked)