Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/31/09

Kathy Kendall
Will Chang
Zach Mascetta
Alan Steinman
Michelle Murphy
Susan Halpin

  • New above ground system with 3 hoses and a timer was installed on Tuesday. The garden is watered each morning at 4AM for a half an hour. Looks like the system is working great. Thank you Ed Whittaker from Underground Concepts in Hopkinton and Alan Steinman.
  • Group finalized the plans from Assabet. They will be building us a 12 foot gazebo without screens, and with 2 interior benches. We also decided to upgrade a few of the materials for the shed to make it easier to maintain.
  • Michelle Murphy presented us with a check for $8,000 from the Murphy Sisters Foundation. She was very pleased to see the garden project underway. She brought a beautiful granite bench, 2 gazing balls (one maroon and the other gold), a garden angel, sundial, and a weather station. This money will help purchase needed materials for gazebo, shed and footbridge.
  • We are working on placing the bench, gazing balls and sundial in an appropriate place in the courtyard. Garden angel is already sitting in one of the raised beds.

Food Pantry
  • Any vegetables harvested during the summer that we cannot use in our Culinary classes will be donated to the Northborough Food Pantry. We will need to discuss how that will work in the summer with our volunteers overseeing the garden each week. Food pantry is open on Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Alumni Website
  • There is a link to an alumni website off of the main school website. It would be nice to have a link to the Courtyard/Garden project so alumni would be informed about this project. They also may want to donate funds and services.

Grub Control & Fertilizer
  • Now that the courtyard has been mowed on a regular basis, qe were wondering if our facilities department would be able to put some grub control and fertilizer on the grass so it would be more healthy and look nicer,
Garden Maintenance
  • All beds except for the pumpkin patch have been weeded. All beds were fertilized.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, June 9 at 2:05 in E107.
  1. website
  2. Make summer schedule for maintenance
  3. Food Pantry process/schedule
  4. Weed Pumpkin Patch /Harvest radishes/String Peas

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/24/09

Connor Gillis
Kathryn Kendall
Will Chang
Alan Steinman
Andy Mariotti
Susan Halpin

Murphy Sister’s Foundation

  • The foundation will be donating $8,000 to the Courtyard project. Thanks!!!
  • The following are the items they will also be donating to the garden in addition to our monetary donation: Bench, Angel statue, sundial with inscription "This is the time to be happy and this is the place to be happy" and 2 gazing globes in maroon and gold.
  • Michelle Murphy will be coming to our next Garden Meeting on Tuesday, June 2.

Assabet Valley Carpentry Dept.
  • Changes in sizes and materials for the gazebo and storage shed based on feedback have been given to Wayne Coulson the carpentry instructor at Assabet. He would like us to finalize this project very soon so he can make his educational plans for his sophomore students for the fall.
  • Ed Whittaker and Alan Steinman will be installing a temporary above ground irrigation system that will consist of hoses and timers that will help us greatly during the summer months. This will be installed on Tuesday, June 2.
  • Discussion of a permanent irrigation system ensued. It will be hard and extremely expensive to get a well installed in this area since there is no access to the outside. The town will not approve an underground sprinkler system. We will have to talk to the town about alternatives. However, for right now, the watering needs will be met by what will be installed on Tuesday.

Painting Down the Garden Plan
  • Alan suggested that a Math class or any other class that is willing to take the master landscaping plan and use the scale given to measure areas and actually spray paint the plan onto the grass. It will give all us a visual of where each structure and each patio area will be located. Now is the time to discuss changes in placement of structures, patio areas and gardens.

Work Needed in the Garden
  • Garden beds are in very bad need of weeding. Please let us know if you would like to help with this task.
  • There are also some more seeds that need to be planted -- miniature pumpkins (white and orange).
  • Andy Mariotti used the stakes and string to create a climbing structure for the peas.
  • We already have strawberries and radishes that can be picked.
  • Gardens will need to be fertilized in the next couple of weeks.

Courtyard/Garden Website and Webcam
  • Kathy Kendall has been working on the website. Wording and ideas for pages were discussed. Website should be up soon. She is using Contribute to create the site. This will make it easy for our committee to add information easily.
  • We also discussed using PayPal on the website to assist with making donations on line. Perhaps we should notify alumni, they may be interested in helping with this project.
  • Web cam has been taken down. As soon as time allows, more work on the web cam will happen.

Electronics Recycling Program
  • The CLEAN group is planning to help out with Andy Mariotti and Sue Whalen’s electronics recycling program on June 20th from 8-12 AM. The funds raised are going are going to be given to CLEAN. CLEAN will be donating them to the Courtyard/Garden project. Thanks!

Next Meeting
Tuesday, June 2, 2:05 in E107.

Thank you and good luck to Connor Gillis as he graduates and heads off to study agriculture in New York. Keep in touch Connor!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/17/09

Dan Bradley
Connor Gillis
Carro Halpin
Alan Steinman
Susan Halpin

  • Dan Bradley is now on board as our “Courtyard Garden Booster”. Dan was one of the original organizers of this project back in 2007. He spearheaded the effort to create a courtyard garden working with the Murphy Sisters Foundation and the landscape architect to develop the plan for the courtyard that we are following. In the capacity of a “Booster” Dan will be in charge of all of the fundraising to help us implement the courtyard/garden plan.

Feedback on Courtyard/Garden Structure Drawings by Assabet Carpentry Dept.
  • We discussed the drawings of proposed structures as drawn by the Assabet Carpentry Department. Drawings look great. We feel very fortunate to have the possibility of this partnership, where we will have to pay for just materials to have structures built. The following are comments given by committee members.
– Instead of plywood subfloor, could we use pressure treated lumber ?
– Instead of wood clapboard siding, can it be cedar?
– Double wood door, could we use a composite material or vinyl?

- Location of gazebo continues to be discussed. On the plan it is in the middle of the courtyard. Not sure if center has room enough, now that the raised bed vegetable gardens are there.
- Can the gazebo be bigger, perhaps 12-15 instead of 9 feet?
- Instead of screens, can it be “open air” with benches on sides for people to sit on?

- If the footbridge were properly placed, it could serve the dual purpose of band stand or it could look lovely with climbing flowers, etc.

Algonquin Acoustic Club
  • Algonquin Acoustic held an Open Mic Jam in the garden on Thursday afternoon. It was a beautiful hot afternoon to listen to some great talent from ARHS and eat ice cream! Thanks to Ms. Hassett and Helene Gu for giving our garden area some good press. It made us all anxious to have this great space developed so we can enjoy more events like this one! Pics from that afternoon will be posted on the website.
  • Thank you to the Lifeskills students for taking over the task for watering the vegetables each weekday.
  • Unfortunately, the sprinklers we purchased are not working out as we had hoped. They are not oscillating and the timers have stopped working. These were returned to Lowe’s and a different kind of sprinkler was purchased, no timers were included with the new sprinklers. The area to be watered is very big now that the pumpkin patch has been planted. Sprinklers need to be moved and turned on and off. This is becoming a chore to do each day. Watering during weekends is also becoming a chore.
  • Next week Ed Whittaker from Underground Concepts will be setting us up with a system of hoses and timers that will not need to be moved and will be automatic each day.

Eagle Scout Candidate Projects
  • Nick Gionnatti from Northborough Boy Scout Troop 101 will be building compost bins and a green house for the garden as his Eagle project.
  • Harry Nicol also from Troop 101 is interested in doing a project for the courtyard.

Meetings/Garden Chores
  • For those who would like to attend garden meetings and would rather work in the garden than sit a meeting, we could really use some help in the garden during this time. The following chores need to be done in the next week.
- Thin out lettuce
- String peas
- Weed all beds
- plant additional vegetables, fennel, onion, carrots
- finish digging out bed with rhubarb and mint

Electronics Recycling Day at ARHS
  • The technology department is going to be holding an electronics recycling day on June 20th. More details will be forth coming.
Classes in the Garden
  • I will be starting to bring my Nutrition & Culinary Arts students out to the garden occasionally to become familiar with what we are growing and help with whatever needs to be done.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, May 26 at 2:05 in E107
Agenda Items
  1. Webcam/Website/Online summer maintenance schedule – We really need to get this up soon, so we can be sure the garden is properly taken care of during the summer.
  2. Next step with Assabet, finalize plans and placement of structures
  3. Fundraising

Friday, May 15, 2009

Meeting Minutes (5/11/09-5/15/09)

Rosanna Giorlandino
Connor Gillis
Felipe Silviera
Susan Halpin

  • Students viewed drawings and quotes for gazebo, storage shed and bridge from Assabet Valley Carpentry Department
  • Since meeting attendance was very low, we did not discuss any other issues
  • Students helped with positioning sprinklers out in garden. We discussed tasks for Friday’s work day.

Drawings and Quotes from Assabet Valley Carpentry Department
  • Thanks to Shirley Lundberg and the Assabet Valley High School Carpentry Department we now have drawings and quotes for materials for the following items to be built as the fall project for the carpentry students. (ARHS will need to purchase only the materials).
Storage Shed
Foot Bridge
  • Thanks to Andy Mariotti we have scanned these documents and they are available for viewing on the following website.
  • In the very near future all of the Courtyard/Garden information will be moved to our new website: This website will be specifically for the courtyard/ garden project, however website is still under construction.
  • Please view the scanned documents and provide any feedback to Susan Halpin. We would like to finalize this project with the Assabet Carpentry Department soon.

Fundraiser for Garden – Algonquin Acoustic Open Mic Garden Jam
  • This fundraiser was scheduled to be held out in the courtyard area on Tuesday and then on Thursday of last week. Unfortunately, the unusually rainy week we had prevented this event from happening either day. Hopefully it will be rescheduled soon.

Money/Donations – Very Good Week
  • Charlie Chung from National Honor Society donated $100 to the Vegetable Garden Project – Thanks Charlie!
  • Class of 2008 donated $4,000 to the Courtyard portion of this project. Thanks Grads of 2008!
  • Northborough Garden Club awarded $100 to the Vegetable Garden. Thank you!
  • Gillis Brothers donated all of the plants needed for Friday, May 15 work day – Thanks Connor for coordinating this!
  • Southborough Ed Foundation awarded the Vegetable Garden Project a grant of $3993. This will enable Mrs. Halpin, and Mrs. Connolly to attend the Mass Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Graduate Course where they will gain ideas on curriculum to be developed using the garden. This grant also enables us to purchase wheel barrels, shovels, hand tools and other needed supplies. Supplies also include food preparation and cooking supplies for Mrs. Halpin’s & Mrs. Loughlin’s Foods classes. Thanks SEF!

Tools & Supplies
  • We purchased wheel barrels, shovels, gloves, fertilizer, stakes and hand tools. Bob Wall from Shemin Landscaping Supply allowed to us to purchase quality materials for a discounted price. Tools and supplies were delivered in time to be used for Friday’s work day. Thanks Bob!

Work Day on Friday 5/15 Very Successful!
  • Bud Richardson shared his planting know how and expertise in getting us started with planting the following vegetables and herbs:
  • Twelve students from various clubs such as CLEAN, NHS and Interact helped with the digging and planting. All beds are planted and seem to be thriving.

  • Thanks to help from Alan Steinman and his irrigation specialist we will have an irrigation system set up in the very near future that will enable us to water all of the vegetable/herb beds without moving sprinklers. They will also be set up on 7 day timer system. This will be tremendously helpful during the summer. Staff and faculty members who have volunteered to oversee the watering (Andy Mariotti, Susan Halpin, Eileen Palmer, Kathy Dagliesh, Bud Richardson) will now just have to make sure timers and sprinklers are working properly.

Next Garden Meeting:
Tuesday, May 19, 2:05 in E107
Agenda Items
  1. Work in the Garden – weeding, stringing peas, identification markers for plants, fertilizing
  2. Assabet Quotes/Feedback
  3. website/webcam
  4. summer watering/weeding schedule

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/5/09

Bud Richardson – Acting Facilities Manager
Andy Mariotti – Network Mananger
Connor Gillis – Student
Alan Steinman – Alan Steinman Landscaping
Rose Giorlandino – NHS
Susan Halpin – Co-Chair
Doris Cahill – Parent

Metrowest Daily News (Sunday Edition) – Very nice article about the 1966 class ring that was lost in our courtyard and found during our workday on 4-4-09. Check it out

Website/Webcam/Summer Watering Schedule:
  • Andy Mariotti with the help of George Clarke has installed. They are experimenting with its functionality. Right now it is facing out on the courtyard and taking still pictures at intervals. This will be a great asset as we show the community the progress in the garden and in the courtyard.
  • Andy showed us how to access the camera and the website template he has developed.
  • Kathy Kendall will work with Mr. Mariotti, and Mrs. Doyle to get the website information created and linked to the school website using a template.
  • A summer watering/weeding schedule needs to be developed at our next meeting. There will be an online schedule located on the new website. Faculty and staff that have volunteered to be on the schedule and oversee the garden for the summer are:
- Andy Mariotti
- Susan Halpin
- Eileen Palmer
  • This would include making sure the timers for the sprinklers are functioning properly and weeding is done. Perhaps each volunteer could be responsible for a one week span, or do one particular day during the week…we will need to clarify this at our next meeting when members of CLEANARHS and NHS volunteers are in attendance.

In School Watering Schedule:
  • Now that we have many vegetables as well as strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb planted watering each school day is needed. We are talking to the Life Skills classes about taking on this daily task until the school year is finished.

  • We discussed the possibility of having a well as the source of water for an irrigation system. This seems like a very expensive alternative ($5,000-$10,000) given there is no way well digging equipment can access the courtyard. A well would have to be dug outside by the Copy Center room and pipes would need to be brought up the walls and over the roof into the courtyard.
  • Right now there are 4 hydrants in the courtyard from which water is accessible. Different sprinkler heads/and a couple of different zones would be needed because the courtyard sections (vegetable garden, perennial gardens, trees, bushes) all have different needs for irrigation.
  • Bud, Alan and the irrigation specialist will work together to come up with a proposal for the best solution for an irrigation system to fit our varied needs.

  • Since we still have no money budgeted for this project, Alan has offered to drop off 2 wheel barrels and some shovels to use as needed and on the workdays. This equipment will be kept in the courtyard and can stay until we have money to buy what we need.

May 1 Work Day
  • Rose Giorlandino, Connor Gillis and Mrs. Halpin planted strawberries, raspberries and rhubard. Thank you very much for the plant and equipment donations from Doris Cahill, Alan Steinman Landscaping and Gillis Brothers. Plants are doing great.

Next Work Day, May 15:
  • Friday, May 15 from 2-4 we will be thinning the radishes, stringing the peas, and planting a few more vegetables. If we have enough volunteers we can clear a patch of ground for the pumpkin patch too.

Task List
  • Website – Kathy Kendall, Andy Mariotti
  • Email Plant List to Mrs. Cahill – Mrs. Halpin
  • Irrigation Specialist to Site - Alan Steinman, Bud Richardson

Next Courtyard/Garden Meeting:
Tues, May 12, 2pm Room E107