Sandi Marr, DHS Reporting Secretary
Our first monthly program of 2016 was opened by Debbie Thomas, President at 7:00 p.m. sharp. New guests and returning members were warmly welcomed along with the introduction of our 2016 Board of Directors & Executive.
Guest Steven Gaundor from the Fair Board gave a brief update and invited continued support from DHS as in the past.
Debbie highlighted some new changes for 2016 arising from the November survey results (27) which were overwhelmingly positive: “Most appreciated about DHS….fellowship, friendship, welcoming, relaxing, fun, Ways and Means, refreshments, learning new things, entertaining, informative speakers, well run and organized, great leadership, proud of town beds.”
Three areas for improvement included: starting on time, reducing noise in the hall, and more parking. Starting time: doors open at 6:30 pm; a short video will be shown at 6:50pm to announce beginning time; late registration/ways and means will continue at break time. Changed layout will eliminate congestion at the back of hall upon arrival. Noise: the food table will remain out the entire meeting to eliminate noise in the kitchen with prep and clean up. Parking: off Lock Street, across from Hart Funeral Home, and in lot which backs onto Optimist parking lot.
Moving ahead, we will endeavour to shorten the business portion of our monthly program with the Treasurer’s Report and Minutes posted on our bulletin board as well as on our website. Although Fall Seed Exchange is typically done in February it was decided to stay with fall amongst our own members. Our Four Seasons Garden Photo contest will continue but photos must be of gardens. Comments and suggestions are welcome throughout the year with a book at the back of the hall for additional comments at any time.
A monthly SACHEM gardening column will be written by Sandi Marr announcing upcoming DHS programs and encouraging new guests to attend.
Our 2016 brochure was highlighted with a few changes of dates such as the Annual Plant Sale on May 14 and Christmas Planters Nov. 5. Be sure to check out our newsletter by Sue Mazi for more information and monthly updates. Everyone was encouraged to consider where they might enjoy volunteering such as Lions Home Show, Trillium Awards, Town Gardens, Jr. Gardeners (police check required to work with children), etc.
A 15 minute break was taken with time to purchase 2016 memberships for the Early Bird draw at next month’s program. Fees will remain the same again this year: $10 for single and $15 for couple. Our goal is to reach 200 members to qualify us for a larger grant. Consider a membership for your spouse or someone living at the same residence.
Delicious refreshments were provided by Marlene Link, Pauline Bradford, Denise Richardson, Helen Edl and Joan King. Sandi Marr introduced our Panel of Experts for “Master Gardener’s Q&A 2016: Marlene Link, Doris Thomson and Lester Fretz, host. The panel discussion and audience conversation was lively and most informative covering a broad range of topics: wintering over poinsettias, starting plants from seeds, organic farming, weed control, use of rain barrels, composting, use of manure, use of power tools such as rototillers, mulching with leaves, and pruning fruit trees. We are fortunate to have such a wealth of gardening knowledge and experience amongst our own group. Thanks to those who participated.
Everyone was invited to return for our February 18 program with guest Theresa Forte (Canada Blooms speaker, photographer and journalist), “If you plant it, they will come: Birds, Butterflies, Bees.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m. with 49 people signed in. Ways & Means winners were called with thanks to Betty Ballanger and Gwen VanNatter for organizing these recycled treasures and everyone who donates.