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Transylvania Master Gardener Board Meeting Minutes January 9, 2023

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Transylvania County Extension Master Gardener Advisory Board Meeting:  January 9, 2023, 10:30 a.m. 

Location:  Martha Mayberry’s House

 Welcome and Call to Order:  Betsy called the meeting to order at 10:50 a.m.

Attendance   Title
Betsy Bond Co-President X
Mary Miller Co-President & Edu. Program Liaison X
Joy Evans Treasurer X
Brenda Doroski Secretary X
Maryann Mickewicz TransPlanter Ed./ Program Committee X
Bart Renner Extension Agent X
Lani Leary Advisor/Past Co-President X
Cindy Gilbert Advisor/Past Co-President X
Martha Mayberry Ancillary Support X
Nancy Carroll G of S Liaison X
Cindy Decker Editor/ Compost Co Leader X
Jane Robertson Hospitality Chair  
Lynn Bartosh Volunteer Coordinator X

Lynn Bartosh

Betsy Bond

Nancy Carroll

Cindy Decker

Brenda Doroski

Joy Evans

Cindy Gilbert

Lani Leary

Martha Mayberry

Maryann Mickewicz

Mary Miller

Bart Renner

Jane Robertson

Reviewed and accepted November 7, 2022 Board minutes (with minor correction of date in the table). Motion: Mary; Second: Martha; approved by vote

Reviewed Finance Report:  Joy reported expenses of $131.17 (for the graduation event) and a balance of $5939.29 on December 31, 2022 (see attached financial report for more details). She stated that we are in better financial shape than 3 years ago.

  • Denotes Action to Be Done
  • Denotes Action Completed

Old Business

  1. Education Committee Update:
    • Spring Symposium. Maryann reported that planning continues for Spring Symposium. Mary Palmer Dargan from Cashiers will present on landscape design and landscape redesign on March 18, 2023, from 9:00 – 12:00 at the library Rogow Room. The Ed Comm is reaching out to sponsors and donors. The aim is to have 150 attendees. Food will be provided.
      • The board agreed that using Eventbrite for registration is worth the expense (approx. $2.50/ticket) given the many benefits, including providing a ready contact list in case last-minute notifications need to be sent.
      • The board agreed that ticket prices of $10/MG and $15/public are reasonable.
    • Maryann distributed the initial 2023 program calendar. The Ed Committee (Maryann, Mary, Steve, Karen, and Rose) has confirmed nine of the ten monthly programs. Board discussed potential speakers for the plant diseases program (e.g., Inga Meadows although she is a very specialized, researcher from NC State that may be in the area for work at Fletcher research station). Maryann and Bart will continue to explore options.
  2. 2023 MG Class: Thirteen of the 21 applicants have been accepted. Bart has notified all applicants. Applicants from other counties are eligible. The cost this year is $140 (a $10 increase).
    • Since there is an opening for one more trainee, Nancy will contact Liz Garrison to see if she submitted an application and is still interested in participating in the class.
    • Betsy will confirm with Bob and Leslie that they do not wish to be mentors this year (due to health reasons).
    • Joy will contact Mary Agnew to confirm her interest in being a mentor again this year.
    • Board brainstormed other potential mentors – Julia Kennerly and Rodney Holcomb. Lynn will contact them to explore interest.
    • As “mentor to the mentors,” Joy will explain the mentor role and responsibilities to Lynn.
    • Cindy Decker will write a TT article in October laying out the benefits and commitments of being an MG.

 February 14, 2023 Soup Luncheon Planning

  • Discussed draft agenda distributed by Maryann (see action items related to Garden and Committee Leaders below).
  • Maryann will include lunch information and sign-up link in the Transplanter.

New Business

Determined Advisory Board meeting day and time

In order to accommodate Brenda’s 1:00 p.m. scheduling conflict on the 1st Mondays, the board agreed to meet from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on the 1st Thanks!

Discussed open leadership positions and ideas for filling:


Garden and Committee Leaders

Educational Articles (monthly for TT) Cindy Decker – confirmed

Website for NCSU (for TC) decided to delete this position since few use the NCSU website for news

Facebook Lynn Evans – Joy will ask if she wants to continue

Publicity (for programs not handled by committees) – Lynn Bartosh volunteered

Cindy D. will send her the TT article requirements

  • Educational Programs Liaison Mary Miller – confirmed
  • EMG Programs & Publicity Committee Rose Cruickshank, Karen Szafran, Steve Matadobra, Maryann Mickewicz, Janet Lute, and Mary Miller – confirmed
  • Educational Outreach: Soil School 4-H Agent Sarah Holden – confirmed

Demo Gardens (other than GofS):

  • Allison Deavor Cindy Gilbert – Betsy volunteered to co-lead
  • PF Ranger Station Mary Agnew – Betsy will contact to confirm
  • Library Raingardens Bob and Leslie Mertens – Bart will contact to confirm
  • Spring Symposium Committee: Ed Programs Committee – confirmed
  • Vegetables and Fruits Marion Buehler – Maryann will contact to confirm and offer suggestions for co-lead (Linn Branson)
  • Herbs Mary Miller and Lani Leary – confirmed
  • Pollinator Cindy Gilbert is stepping down; Nancy will contact Mary Ellen and Lynn will contact Holly Votaw to see if they would be interested
  • Shade Liz Menis – Maryann will contact to confirm
  • Rain OPEN – decided a separate lead was not needed and removed from the list
  • Kiosks Martha Mayberry and Nancy Carroll — confirmed
  • Construction Committee Cliff Odom, Pat Leitch — Maryann will contact to confirm
  • Talks in the Garden (GofS) — decided to move to areas for volunteers; no lead necessary
  • Compost Cindy Decker and Mary Miller – confirmed
  • Hospitality Coordinator Jane Robertson – confirmed
  • Sunshine Coordinator Dee Veenhof – Maryann will contact to offer co-lead or replacement (due to health issues); Joan Munn is a potential co-lead/replacement; Martha volunteered to do if needed
  • Educational Programs Committee members – announce seeking new members at Feb lunch and in Transplanter
  1. Brainstormed Ideas for Field Trips
    1. Clemson University Camellia Garden and Table Rock Tea Garden (which is on the way there).
    2. Arboretum “behind the scenes” tour. Cost is per vehicle and free if you are a member (which a handful of MGs are).
    3. Biltmore grounds only tour
    4. Van Wingerden Greenhouse Company in Mills River
    5. Southern Highlands Reserve – expensive at $50/person and often booked.


  1. Considered how to improve member retention and participation
  • Provide opportunities for members to create connections and friendships (e.g., garden workdays, and social interactions).
  • Make people feel welcome through personal interactions and invitations to participate.
  • Schedule events such as hands-on smaller workshops (e.g., flower arranging), garden helper day (e.g., Marion’s garden), and social events at members’ homes (e.g., Rodney’s moss garden, Phyllis’ garden).

Upcoming Schedule

  • February 6, 2023: Advisory Board Meeting from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Ext Service Conf Room.
  • February 14, 2023: education program (10:00 – 11:00 a.m.) and soup lunch to welcome the new MG class (11:30 – 1:00) at the library Rogow Room.
  • March 6, 2023: Advisory Board Meeting from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Ext Service Conf Room.
  • March 14, 2023: NO regular 2nd Tuesday monthly program.
  • March 18, 2023: Spring Symposium from 9:00 – 12:00 at the library Rogow Room.

Today’s meeting adjourned 12:20 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Brenda Doroski, Secretary.