Blue, Shannon, Swithun, Elspeth, Jay for a while
Action points are underlined.
The mission statement was discussed. Something like the following was written down:
To make the Forest more environmentally friendly and to raise awareness of ecological issues in and around the Forest, using the garden and cafe activities to implement practical solutions and as educational tools.
We can refine the above in this thread and then after the next Forest WG meeting, put the final form in a sticky thread.
The garden is a bit small for growing more than flowers and herbs. If we want to grow vegetables in any quantity, we need something like an allotment. Usually, the waiting list is the best part of a decade. But if we apply as an organisation, then this might be shorter. Blue knows how to get a good yield from a small area. Swithun will research how to apply for an allotment.. Blue will look into the sneaky sneaky. Having the allotment as close as possible to the Forest would be best, for getting volunteers to work in the allotment.
Responsibilities of WG
The WG will be responsible for ensuring that we keep on top of the recycling of rubbish from the kitchen. Kitchen Managers should try to get rid of any recycling, and we don't want to be the only ones who take the bins out. But we will make sure that the bins remain manageable.
We will also be responsible for the composting of material from the kitchen.
Perhaps this wording can be refined at some point. Then it could go in a sticky too.
Shannon has a recycling bin now, so all that is needed are some paving slabs for it to sit on. These will prevent the naughty woodland folk from stealing our prescious compost.
Given that we can only compost a fraction of what the kitchen generates, the only people who can do composting are members of the WG. This isn't to deprive others, but just the simplest way to prevent the compost from getting out of hand, as it has done previously.
The KMs should do this every day. But it is a pain, so we will try to come up with a better solution.
Swithun will look into opening up the walled up room downstairs. This could be used for storing a week's worth of recycling without it being a fire hazard. Then it could be uplifted by LEEP/ChangeWorks.
Blue will talk to his contacts at LEEP/ChangeWorks about their end of this.
Shannon will see about getting another bin for the kitchen for glass. If the rubbish is separated at source, then it does not have to be done later, when it is riper.
Elspeth expressed an interest in getting active in the garden. Blue said the garden was good for growing herbs and flowers. There are lots of bulbs in the ground just now. Perhaps enough herbs could be grown to introduce a special Forest Herb Tea in the cafe.
As well as the WG meetings, Blue hopes to start practical garden meetings.
We will organise some gardening workshops, in conjunction with the Workshop WG. One that was suggested was collecting paper cups from the kitchen and using them as plant pots. Just add mud and seeds. Blue can also demonstrate how to make a mini-bender greenhouse for your window sill.
Jay was an energy consultant. He is willing to do energy audit at some point Blue also knows someone who could do one for free. This would help us to pinpoint and prioritise areas where we could improve on energy efficiency. Some advice on grants and other help available would be good.
The plants we have at the moment are not working well. They are either too out of the way, or too in the way. Spider plants last for ever and are hard to kill, so would be good. They also absorb toxins from the air. A shelf for the plants would be good. Blue will work on this.
The vegetable supplier we have just now is good. They are cheap, deliver every day and the ordering system is convenient. But we can't know in advance where things come from. Can we find a better supplier? Swithun will investigate the Gorgie City Farm coop. The Syrenians have a farm somewhere nearby which might be able to provide some vegetables. ECO can't deliver every day and are expensive, and we have used them before. We are looking for someone who can deliver locally grown produce. Organic would be best, but is not a deal breaker.
It would be handy if we knew what was seasonal.
We are not buying lemons - at least during winter. They have no juice and come from far away. Instead, we are getting organic lemon juice, which probably works out cheaper, given the amount of juice we got from recent lemons.
Shannon will find out if anywhere in Edinburgh can recycle batteries. If there is, then we could set up a battery collection point, as well as point out that people should use rechargeable ones where possible.
Blue will talk to Pogo about our space on the site.
The next meeting will be on the 19th December at 7pm.