St Charles County Master Gardener
Plant Sale / Steering Committee Special Meeting Minutes
Thursday 19 March 2020
Attendees: Kevin Minard, Jan Carron, Rebekah Davis, Joe Walker, Justin Keay, Alex Reichert, Cindy Platzer, Mary Medina, Mary Carey, Marsha Brown, Laura Stiemel
Call to Order: Justin called the meeting to order at 1:15 PM
A special meeting was called to brainstorm and discuss plans going forward regarding the plant sales due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Justin Keay facilitated the meeting using the Zoom streaming service for a conference call-style meeting.
Marsha discussed with the group the two strategies her, Laura, and the plant sale Committee had come up with as ways to potentially operate a limited plant sale while reducing exposure as much as possible. An email of these strategies were provided. Strategy #1 Seemed the more feasible option to the committee where a plant list pdf would be provided to the MGs ONLY as an order form. This form would then be emailed to a designated MG and times would be arranged for pickup. Marsha said that due to licensing and time constraints there would only be names, no descriptions or photos. Tomatoes and peppers have been discontinued for the sales regardless.
Alex contributed that while the MGs could still work in the greenhouse and out in the gardens, we can not be seen promoting an organized event like a plant sale even with social distancing. Alex will followup on social distancing procedures with Justin and Kevin to share with the rest of the MGs.
Justin suggested exploring possible donation options and Marsha added that they were looking at options also. Joe mentioned using the majority of the plants in the Demo Gardens this year.
Cindy proposed going with Plan #1 and sell off our inventory at a later date to Master Gardeners only. Distributing whatever is left to other groups via donations if a public sale is still an issue. Alex cautioned that if the group had a sale and it excluded the public it could become bad PR for the Master Gardeners and the Extension who’s mission is community education and outreach.
Marsha and Laura reported that the Sale Committee will schedule another meeting at a later date after the COVID-19 restrictions have eased to discuss potentially scheduling a native and perennial plant sale.
The meeting concluded with the decision that while the Extension is closed, there would be no public plant sales. Schedule a limited internal selloff of inventory among the MGs, assessing what is leftover and can be donated. Plant Sale Committee will coordinate with Justin, the SC and the Extension Council on the details of how this will be done. Word will go out via constant contact to the mailing list that the sales are postponed, later the following week both sales will be announced to the public as canceled. At the same time: Master Gardeners will receive a notice that we are facilitating a sale to them to help recover the cost from the Cool Season sale.
The next SC Meeting will be conducted in the same manner as this one, via Zoom web conference.
Meeting was adjourned at 2:02 PM
Respectfully submitted, Rebekah Davis