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Brainstorm Box

8 Jun

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Budget Planning for 2013 Garden

29 May

CVEarthLab’s Educational Garden for Children is self-funded. Over the past 3 years, we’ve invested nearly $5000. in cash, donations in kind and grant awards to get the garden off the ground. (We applied for one grant this year, but we didn’t get it.)

Besides planting and watering, the garden requires a lot of manpower and a variety of resources. Sustaining its success will require an assortment of efforts and skills, including fundraising, grant researching and writing, researching and writing proposals for the board, website maintenance and content creation, internal and external communications, taking and posting photographs, soil quality testing and stewardship, harvest potluck party planning and prep, mulch contributions, errand running, weather proofing, cat and squirrel deterring, making or buying organic pest sprays and fertilizers, and all sorts of creative problem solving. And money! Our most expensive supplies include planting soil (@ $10 per 2 cubic foot bag) compost ($13 per 16 cubic quart ) and mulch ($5 per cubic foot).

Thankfully, most of the overall expense (@ $5000.) was for start-up costs. We expect future annual costs to be much lower. Still, maintenance expenses are significant. It will take about $500. to fill the four raised beds (around 90 ft3 total) that need to be replenished this year in order to maintain safe soil quality.

Therefore, we ask that each CVEarthLab member family or individual commits to water the garden 7-10 times, and do at least three of the following four crucial duties this year:

1.  Collect and deliver 2-3 bags full of mulch (about 15-20 lbs).  Free mulch is available from Green Wood Cemetery.

2. Help run one volunteer activity, such as a fundraising event, garden pot luck dinner, garden clean up, or host an educational garden activity.

3. Donate one bag of potting soil (about 1.5 cubic feet; $10).

4. Donate $20 in cash.

Thank you.

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