Sunday, January 16, 2011

MINUTES of the 2nd SLOLA General Meeting (*) updated

SLOLA: Seed Library of Los Angeles
General Meeting
January 15, 2010
at Venice High School Learning Garden

Executives Present:
Chairman David King; Vice-Chair Norma Bonilla; Treasurer Ledette Gambini; Secretary Sarah Spitz

Committee Chairs Present:
Sarah LaVoie Web/Outreach; Lucinda Zimmerman, Organization; Linda Preuss , Database; Cheryl Noda, Membership

I. The meeting was attended by approximately 40 people. Chairman David King welcomed members and guests explaining that there are big issues in the world that we have little control over, and we may feel there's nothing we as individuals can do to change those things. But we can save seeds -- keeping open pollinated seeds in existence in our immediate area.

Although there are no minutes from the first meeting (as elections took place during that meeting), 25 people attended.

II. Secretary Sarah Spitz explained executives were elected and committees were created, chairs established, and first committee meeting dates were set.

III. Treasurer Ledette Gambini indicated that there is approximately $200 in the treasury from the first meeting.

IV: Committee chair reports:
NOTE: All committees will gladly welcome new members to their ranks. Please feel free to contact us.

Linda Preuss, database, spoke of the database as being about recording the seeds we have, keeping track of inventory, making seeds accessible online and also keeping membership accurate. The members researched other seed libraries to see what systems they use to keep track of their contents. A Filemaker Pro database has been started; it needs to be hosted; and ideas for how to create a seed packet directly from the order form has been discussed. This committee will coordinate with the web team.

Cherri Noda reported on membership committee, explaining that the Safe Seed Pledge needed to be signed by all who wish to be members, and that lifetime membership is $10 because we want the library to be widely accessible. Forms were distributed and collected.

Lucinda Zimmerman reported the organizational committee has been communicating about putting together bylaws for SLOLA, defining duties and responsibilities, seed check out procedures and other details concerning how SLOLA will function.

Sarah LaVoie, Web/Outreach chair, said that the domain name has been purchased, she has designed several possible logos, and hosting and templates for the website are being researched and will be decided on. (*Update: The committee was authorized to spend $60 to purchase domain name and has been given carte blanche to begin creating the website itself.)

V: New Member Accord for all Current Members

David King created a Safe Seed Pledge which was distributed and reviewed, signed by all in attendance. This raised a discussion about seed specifics:
  • how we will label seeds, what details to include about the seed, where it was grown, etc.
  • where will seeds be stored (at Venice High Learning Garden: David is in discussion with LAUSD for a locked storage cabinet; a refrigerator is still needed for delicate and temperature sensitive seeds)
  • the idea of avoiding unstable hybrids from being donated
  • will we consider home breeders and seed stability
Also, all documents created will be translated into Spanish. Clara Yoshihara has volunteered to do this.

VI. New Business

A. Vice Chair Norma Bonilla had to step down, due to time constraints and work overload. The Vice Chair's post aids Chairman David King, meets with committee chairs, and handles any details needed as this new group begins to set up its organizational structure. SLOLA will become the seed source for Los Angeles. During this crucial start up time, the Vice Chair will be expected to commit between 10 to 15 hours per week, the load is expected to lighten as the organization begins to get up and running.

Two people have stepped forward to assume the post, which may be split between them: Clara Yoshihara and Lucinda Zimmerman.

B. Approval of committee actions was accepted.

C. New meeting plan proposed: David moved to meet twice a year, but the general consensus is that while the group is still in formation stages, for at least 6 months, monthly meetings will be best. Once established we can consider holding two general meetings a year, March and September, with a festival atmosphere including entertainment, seed seminars, focus on seasonal seeds, a general meeting, a picnic/potluck. Families will be welcome.

D. New member accord, with Safe Seed Pledge, was unanimously accepted

E. New committee proposed: The "Best Practices" committee will be charged with establishing the best practices for seed saving. This will involve:

  • Researching and writing information on the best way to save each kind of seed. We can use for now; where there is no information, we can write and post it there and at
  • put together our organization's best practices/seed standards, dealing with issues of storage, viability and longevity of seeds
  • and, for example, if we have golden bantam corn seeds and no one borrows them for 3 years, do we keep them, or give them up
  • how are seeds to be cataloged: by year, type, localization (data on each seed and where it's grown in LA basin) etc.
  • NOTE: the Database cannot be fully implemented without knowing from this committee what specific details are needed for each seed.
  • Clara wants to be sure that the group is inclusive in its outreach to other communities throughout the LA basin so this is not just a Westside organization
One suggestion came out of this discussion for Web Team: Create a SLOLA JOURNAL for those who wish to share seeds and have them fill in all the details we decide that our best practices should incorporate.

(Side note; Vandana Shiva will be speaking in LA in November; should SLOLA be a sponsor)

Best Practices Committee will consist of:
Albert Chung; George George; Dana Morgan; Jessie Hill; Megan Bomba, Clara Yoshihara, Susan Grant, David King, Lucia Burke (*)

F: New members assigned to other committees:

Patty Kestin has been added to web/outreach.

Best Practices established as above.

G. Other notes:
  • Elizabeth Bowman will contribute a flip cam, to be used for videos to teach specific seed saving techniques that will reside online at SLOLA and possibly also YouTube.
  • Yvonne Savio, who heads the LA County Master Gardener program, introduced herself and the program, invited members to join her e-lists (community gardens and food security; and school gardens). She explained that the application period for 2011 program is now closed, the program is offered once a year, and 50 applicants are accepted out of 200-250 who wish to join. Announcements regarding the next application period are made in November, to those who sign up for E-Lists; and a reminder is sent in December. This is a good avenue to connect with others similarly engaged in gardening projects and activities. Contact Yvonne via email
The next event is JANUARY 29th: Essentials of Seed Saving seminar, which includes lunch, 10 am to 3 pm.

Meeting was adjourned, after which the Best Practices committee met, and an informal seed exchange took place amongst the members.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Spitz, SECRETARY

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