Our April Monthly Program evening began with setting a new record for April …..91 people signing in!!!!
Debbie Thomas warmly welcomed everyone. A special welcome was extended to new members and housekeeping details were explained including washroom locations, refreshments by volunteers, Ways & Means, emergency exits, and our sign-in sheet.
In keeping with Volunteer Recognition Week, our faithful DHS volunteers were recognized. Heartfelt appreciation was expressed to our Board of Directors. Debbie Thomas thanked our Directors who work tirelessly and passionately, often behind the scenes, contributing to a successful organization.
Our membership drive at the Dunnville Home and Garden Show, April 15-16, produced an outstanding increase of 83 persons, already exceeding our 2015 membership of 206. We are grateful to Gloria Hunter and Deb Zynomirski for their creativity and hard work in organizing this event. Our booth was inviting. Mini demos were offered by Marlene Link, “Good and bad mulches” and Sandi Marr, “Porch pots” and “Fairy gardens.” Thanks as well to members who helped with set up, clean up, and volunteering at our booth over the 2 days including: Ellen Guenther, Ian Steel, Pauline Bradford, Mary Lou Johnston, Judy Jeffery, Margaret Bottrell, Kim Dickie, Beth Powell, Ken Sherwood, & Agnes Wolters. Thanks to Donna Cavers for booth props and Judy Jeffery who donated pansies, to make our booth look lovely.
Saturday, May 14 is our Annual Plant Sale, our biggest fundraiser of the year, one week later than usual. If you have any plants to divide/remove from your beds to donate to our sale, please drop off Friday May 13th at the Farmers Market between 5-7pm. Please have plants in pots and identify type and color. Also, this year we will take any outdoor garden type art, furniture, decor, or planters you wish to donate. No books, please.
Saturday, April 30 is District 9’s Spring Forum, open to all Horticulture members, from 9am-3pm, at St. Andrews Church Parish Hall, 156 Main St. W. Grimsby, ON. Lunch and meeting is $20 with guest speakers and flower shows. More details are on our DHS website. We will be awarded the “Doris Lightheart Award” given out to the Society in District 9 with the highest percentage increase of membership. In 2015 our increase was 59.68%. In 2014 we set a goal of 200 members in 2015, which we exceeded. We should feel proud of this accomplishment.
You may have noticed the large Spring flower pot arrangements placed Uptown, courtesy of Dunnville Business Improvement Association (BIA). The Rotary Club is partnering with us again and donated $2000. The proceeds will be going towards new concrete curbing to be installed around the East and West “Welcome Signs.” Watch for the progress on these beds with all new plantings to follow by DHS.
Our 2016 Jr. Gardeners Program is launched under the leadership of Judy Jeffery, Margaret Bottrell and Pauline Bradford. 35 junior members, ages 6 -14 yrs. will be accepted. Feel free to talk to anyone on the Executive about this and encourage those you know who might be interested to join. As a fundraiser through Vesseys (50% profit for DHS), they will be selling good quality bulbs, ready for fall planting. More details will be coming.
Mark your calendars for July 10th, “Members-only Summer Garden Tours” replacing the Trillium Awards, this year. You may anticipate visiting over 8 homes showcasing beautiful gardens in rural settings. Details of the specific locations and homeowners will be revealed next month. If you wish to bring a non-member, they are more than welcome. They will be asked to purchase a membership at the first garden they visit.
Another exciting event is our “Summer Horticultural and Winery Bus Tour” August 13. Deb Zynomirski has been hard at work planning this event. Deb says, “Tickets are available for purchase at $50/person including transportation and tours to 3 outstanding wineries. Our day will begin at the Niagara College School of Horticulture along scenic Niagara Parkway. We will then visit 3 different wineries including: Reif Winery (sensory garden), Southbrook Winery (environmental/organic approach), and Konzelman Winery (along shores of Lake Ontario). A “Sommelie” or trained wine professional will join us for the day. Again, members are welcome to bring non-members. They will be asked to purchase a membership.”
For those interested, our Monthly Program Minutes and Treasurers Report are posted on the back bulletin board. These informational pieces also come through email along with our Newsletter, program reminders, etc. from Kim Christoff. Members’ emails are never shared with 3rd parties. Be sure to check out our DHS website if you have internet.
The Grade 3/4 children from Dunnville Christian School offered an amazing presentation on April 4 about their desire to partner with us and the County with ideas for Centennial Park fountain. We are very excited about this new partnership (ie. with garbage pick up, plantings, watering, weeding) and we are hoping to have the refurbishments completed in order for a re-dedication of the Park in 2017 (Canada’s 150th).
Members are invited to volunteer on the “Sign Up Sheets” (registration table) for upcoming DHS including weeding and planting.
Tonight’s refreshments were provided by Agnes Walters, Beth Powell, Bruce Burton, Gloria Hunter. One volunteer is needed for June. Please speak with someone from the Executive if you are able to help out. Thanks to all who provide these delicious treats which we all look forward.
Break time was announced with time for ticket purchases.
Debbie Thomas called the program to order and Sandi Marr introduced our guest, Karen Richardson, Curator Haldimand County Museum and Archives. Highlights of Karen’s power point presentation “Early Kitchen Gardens” included what our ancestors planted and why. We have much to learn from them especially in our desire to grow our own food and purchase local. Plants were used for food, medicinal purposes, beauty products, and to keep predators away. Early Settlers needed and had every food group to survive. Karen shared many interesting tidbits such as “popcorn was our first snack food.” For those interested, Dam Seeds offers organic heirloom seeds.
After a brief question and answer period, Debbie Thomas thanked Karen Richardson and offered a few closing remarks. Everyone was encouraged to celebrate Earth Day, April 22 by doing something good for our earth. Remember our local sponsors, and remember to show your membership cards at Garden Centers for a discount if applicable (not all Garden Centers offer discounts to DHS members).
Everyone was dismissed and Ways and Means winners were announced. Thank to everyone for their support. We raised $99.75 from Ways and Means and $66.25 from Kitchen Tips.