Minutes from Meeting 12/18/2008

Note: Updated 12/20/2008 with amended minutes.

December 18, 2008 
Board of Directors Meeting of the Friends of Boulder Knoll


Greg Melville            
Jeff Rapoport            
Fellis Jordan
Jill Casertano                        
Kim Stoner             
Tim McConnaugh


  • Jill’s email request for volunteers was responded to by Susan Fox, who offered to write emails and send letters for the purposes of recruiting and responding to membership. Conversation followed regarding need for more volunteers in general, and perhaps the need to have a gathering to get members together and reach out for more volunteer. Greg offered to host.
  • Jeff collected information regarding purchase of water and storage. The cost is generally low, only the shipping/transport costs are high. $500.00 to $1,000 for a storage tank, $600.00 for initial delivery of water; $200.00 per delivery after that; cost of pumping and electric is additional, unless gravity fed up on hill by Bob and Anne’s. Estimate of $2500.00 for system.  Jeff believes that this would be much more worthwhile to apply to a well system, the Board agreed that this is not the ideal manner for managing our water issues, but agreed that the information is helpful as we plan for managing this issue.
  • Preliminary Budget proposal from Jeff: Expenses estimated at $34,000, including a $16,000.00 salary, $10,000 for well drilling, $2,500.00 for irrigation; and revenues dependent on a 16 week CSA membership for $320.00. Discussion continued about the role of donating food and how this will work into our CSA plans; idea of choosing a family in town to offer a share to; also a possibility Plant a Row organization through CT Food Bank, which is organized to collect food grow, process and distribute in New Haven county. We need to add into budget funds for deer proofing and access to electricity.
  • Jill composed a letter to Whole Foods asking for $ and/or working relationship- Review and Discussion of the letter: Feedback provided included inclusion of ideas related to what we have accomplished, and who we are; refocus flow of letter to start with focus of complimentary philosophies; and focus verbage on what we are currently accomplishing/doing, not suggestive of just starting. Discussion shifted to creation of a fund raising packet to be distributed along with a cover letter that gives additional information about us, who we are, what we have accomplished; Further discussion about creation of a powerpoint presentation using media that already exists to use with fundraising events/meetings. Jill will revise letter to Whole Foods and prepare a packet of information to send with the cover letter. Goal to have this letter out by the first of the year and to reach out further by mid-January to try to arrange a face to face meeting. Packet will include a list of accomplishments to date and a “CV” of current Board Members, along with numbers of contributing members and list of interested CSA members. Tim offered to work on a power point presentation to accompany our requests for money (Jill will forward files to Tim with images, text, etc.) The current FBK Pamphlet was reviewed and it was noted that providing food to those in need was not include amongst our goals. This will need to be updated for future printings and on our website as well. Wording of the goal will be “To donate a portion of our product to those in need.”
  • Fundraising letters- Revisit letter created by Jeff and Fellis to reach out to the community. We need to revise the letter, and distribute through newspapers, direct mailing etc. What is the game plan and what are the priorities? We need to revise the letter, and send out a large, and personal, mailing that includes a personal note from specific members, and ask members of the community for money.  Who to revive the letter? Greg
  • Who to make list of who this should go to? Jeff will send out his data base for us to review;  then all members of Board will be asked to review and add to the list. Susan Fox will be asked to develop a mailing list. All members of the Board will divide up the letters and personalize these letters with notes.
  • Fundraising Event- Do we want to/can we feasibly pull off a fundraising event? Shall we scale it down? Shall we look at other options? Paul Hammer idea of a Cheshire Farm Tour by Bike (donations by the mile).  Shall this coincide with a volunteer meet and greet at Greg’s house? An open house of sorts for possible new members, volunteers and CSA members. Final decision was made to postpone a fundraising diner at the Cheshire Grange and replace it by the open house event for new members and volunteers at Greg’s House, along with the February 1st mailing.  The bike tour idea will continue to be explored in the spring.
  • Kim will follow up with the town about our list of interests/ questions generated at previous meeting. Can we have a CSA in the coming year? Can we have access to electricity? Will be added to this list.
  • Greg was to contact Tina Sullivan- Encourage us to come up with an alternative to the town’s flora and fauna inventory.  Kim recommended that we ask the town what their management plan is for the coming year in the absence of a flora and fauna survey; ( Follow up email from Kim suggests that working with Tina to have a flora and fauna survey that is based on volunteer efforts and has a educational component would be a positive idea. )
  • Land Trust – Greg will contact Kevin Wetmore to establish relationship and find out about land’s trusts rumored plan for a CSA.
  • Membership: Susan and Fellis will work together to reach out to members new and old, to maintain membership lists, and write letters, etc. to members, to reach out and encourage participation, etc.
  • Volunteers-  A gathering for potential volunteers for an informational gathering and recruiting session- Greg has offered to host a gathering for church and temple groups, public service groups, scouts, etc. to present our organization, etc. (Ties into need for a volunteer coordinator also);
  • Need for identifying our market- meetings needed with buyers about what they need and what they need to pay for it to be workable.  Need input from folks such as Sam Hammer regarding what  is best to grow on land.


  • List for membership mailing and coordinating: We will coordinate and develop the list via email by 1/22/09; the letter will be edited and printed up; we will need envelopes stamped with self addressed envelopes;
  • Saturday 2/28/09- 2-4pm; hot drinks and sweets for open house at Greg Melville’s house;

Next Board Meetings:

January 22, 2009- at home of Fellis Jordan
February 28, 2009- at home of Fellis Jordan

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