Thursday, March 31, 2011




MARCH 13, 2011

Executive/Board members in attendance: David King (Chair); Lucinda Zimmerman (Co-Vice Chair); Clara Yoshihara (Co-Vice Chair); Sarah Spitz (Secretary)

Absent: Ledette Gambini (Treasurer)

Committee chairs present: Elizabeth Bowman (Web/Outreach); Linda Preuss (Database); Cheryl Noda (membership); Albert Chang (Best Practices); Lucinda Zimmerman (Organization)

David King called the meeting to order. Mission of SLOLA is to save open pollinated, non-GMO seeds, and to hold them in community, loan them to members, bring back seeds to the library after growing. We need to create the organizational infrastructure to insure their continued viability.


Secretary: Sarah Spitz passed around Minutes of previous meetings.

Treasurer: Ledette unable to attend, in her stead, Julie Mann reported on the accounts. SLOLA at present operates under The Learning Garden’s 501 (c) 3 non-profit status. The treasurer’s report will be submitted as part of these minutes. This is the information contained in that report:


Memberships $ 710.

Seminar fees $ 1575.

Donation $ 100.




David King/Seminar $1250.00

Pam Nears/catering 250.00

Julie Mann/paper supplies 9.41

Paypal fees/seminar 35.36

Transfer to TLG/Seminar costs 30.23

SLOLA Administration:

Paypal fees/members 11.29

Sarah LaVoie/Domain Name 25.34

$ 1611.63

Ending Balance 2/28/11: $ 773.37

Committee reports:

Best Practices: Albert Chang reporting. Each member of this committee will be responsible for a “portfolio” including a specific vegetable family, researching the best way to select, store, which to keep, best way to keep, the standards for keeping the seed pure and viable etc. Nine people on the committee, and with so much to do would be happy to have more.

David King and Albert share responsibility as co-chairs.

Some of the current portfolios are, for example: hot peppers are Dana Morgan; beans, Jesse Hill, etc. Albert will email a google doc to all members of the committee to outline the various “portfolios” available and who is taking responsibility for them.

Database: Linda Preuss, chair, reporting. Committee is soliciting additional members, structure for the database has begun but without seed in place as yet.

Ideas for what to include in database: picture of the seed, picture of how plant goes to seed, description, etc.

Membership: Cheryl Noda was present but asked someone else (NAME NEEDED) to give the report for her.

Verified membership: 62 members recorded. Safe Seed Pledge is part of membership application, must be signed by all members. Now available in English and Spanish, with other translations being worked on. Application will be available on one sheet in English and Spanish as a two-sided printed document. Other translations will be on the website.

Membership committee is charged with creating database of members who’ve paid and signed safe seed pledge, notify members of upcoming meetings, take care of membership needs and questions.


Lucinda Zimmerman notes that there has been little or no feedback from members regarding the proposed bylaws, which are located on the SLOLA Blog and Facebook page for review. Also, we’d like to establish a calendar that can be coordinated with The Learning Garden regarding events and meetings.

Albert has ordered copy of a book on bylaws, the proper structure and legal issues, from the National Association of Parliamentarians.

The immediate short-term goal is to have in place a mechanism to hold legitimate elections, terms of officers, how to add and replace officers, committee chairs, etc. We want to vote on basic bylaws adoption within 3 months; they can be expanded or updated later.


Elizabeth Bowman reporting, that the core group has met and selected Zach Mann as the website designer; he is moving forward on selecting host and the logistics of how SLOLA Web Team will be enabled to update the site, once established. Monthly costs of hosting need to be set up; can range from $6.95 to 8.95 per month. Question is finding the best hosting “deal” that is being offered at the moment that gives us the capabilities we’ll need, maintaining a database, training videos, enabling members to order and check out seed, and for email addresses.

David King suggested a motion to authorize the Best Practices Committee to purchase seeds that will form the basis of SLOLA’s inventory.

Lucinda moved, Albert seconded the motion to authorize $100 purchase of seeds but first to see if the seed can be donated.

Jesse Hill has offered to find donated seeds. (UPDATE AT THE NEXT MEETING: She scored big time!)

Also need to create a list of acceptable seed vendors to share with membership and post to web. Visit to find list of vendors who’ve signed the Safe Seed Pledge.

We can accept seeds from individuals if the source can be identified and when and where the seed was harvested.

A second motion was introduced to offer training by a Best Practices Committee member at each general meeting, a 15-minute introductory session for all members, in which some aspect of seed saving is shared.

Everyone involved in SLOLA is being asked to submit their top 25 (or choose a number) of cultivars that they would like to see SLOLA have available. What seeds do you value; what winter and summer varieties, for ex: cranberry beans, scarlet runner beans, Windsor fava beans.

Albert suggested focusing energy on the seeds that Monsanto may be trying to control, for example, soybeans.

Send list of most-desired cultivars via email to David at:

A mission statement for SLOLA will be something we discuss at a future meeting. Ideas are welcome – but it should be something you can say in “one breath” or “one sentence.” Send all input to David’s address, above. Mission statement should take into account that seed is a sacred trust; should include our mission to educate; and that we are here to insure that seeds will be available to people in our community, regardless of their economic status.

By next meeting, the core values, vision statement and mission statement should be available for consideration. These are text items that can be included on a informational brochure or flyer about SLOLA to be shared with the community at large at related events. If possible, we’d like to vote on this at the next meeting.

Sarah Spitz undertakes to notify members listed in member database about the next meeting of SLOLA, which will take place on April 17th at 2:30 at The Learning Garden.

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