New topics for presentations and field trips, informative e-mail blasts, and artistic flower beds continue to showcase society’s goals and celebrate community commitment. Consistency of executive and core volunteers helps maintain pride in community gardens (now in 8 locations), and enthusiasm in learning new aspects of horticulture from local presenters (e.g. essential plant oils; edible indoor sprouts), and field trips (e.g. Mennonite winter greenhouse veggies.) Annual events are growing in popularity, being activities at local greenhouses, Seasonal Centerpiece Workshop, Harvest Potluck Feast and GardenOntario Week (nature treasure hunt.) Roundtable - using member knowledge and experience – (composting) was well-attended and informative.
Key members attended District AGM, biannual district advisory council, plus some events sponsored by other Societies in our district. Two of our members acted as clerks for Judges during neighbouring Flower and Vegetable Show. We’ve initiated investigation of the viability of a Judging School in our District, as there are only two ‘long-time’ qualified judges in north end of this District. Electronic communication (Facebook, e-mail) effectively reaches a widening audience, including sharing of related newsletters (e.g. from our new membership in Seeds of Diversity.)
We supported OHA fundraising efforts by purchasing license plate frames and calendars (containing flower photos from FOUR of our members!) And, gladly gave donations to area food bank, Alzheimer Society and Highway of Heroes, while appreciatively receiving donations from Town and Township. And always, untold in-kind member donations of items - and time, which we estimate in annual reports to OHA and OMAFRA. In conjunction with an ad hoc Canada 150 committee, our Society purchased ($456) and helped plant 800 tulip bulbs in Bruce Mines and Bruce Station late fall. Of these, 150 are part of Canadian Garden Council celebration gardens; majority is special sesquicentennial design available through Home Hardware. Sad news: After considerable planning and planting, hungry skunks dug up many planted in township garden. Anxiously awaiting Spring blooms……
No specific membership drive/event equates with few new members; BUT, renewals are consistent in recent years. (45 renew+5 new) Public events, like plant sales, have been hampered by poor weather and lack of available volunteers. Perhaps next year.
Encouraged by long-time supporter, now OHA President, core members began detailed planning of a rural Seedy Saturday for Central Algoma involving the three other Hort Societies plus Johnson Farmers Market. Our treasurer (lead organizer) successfully obtained seed funding, in addition to annual Horticultural grant, and major sponsorship for the event scheduled for March 11, 2017 at Central Algoma Secondary School.
To be continued….