WCEA Meeting Minutes- March 2022

WCEA meeting minutes 3/15/2022

Present: Eric Jones, Kyle Winslow,, Jen Lobley, Ed Latham, Brittany Foster, Bob Simpson, Donna Coffin, Leslie Monroy


Program Highlight- One Tomato – Donna Coffin (donna.coffin@maine.edu)

  • Goals to increase food gardens, increase fresh food consumption and increase awareness of UMaine Cooperative Extension as garden resource
  • Inspired by victory gardens from 1943
  • Canada brought it back in 2009 with cherry tomatoes
  • Started in Piscataquis in 2014 with cherry tomatoes and harvest survey in fall
  • About $0.30 per plant from greenhouse purchase
  • Over 3,000 given out since 2014
  • $0.50 seedling yielding $9.50 per plant in last three years on average
  • Esterina is very disease resistant in data from surveys
  • Impact includes over $15,000 in value of harvests, around 300 new gardeners in 5 years.
  • 1st week in June for plant distribution

Group has interest but need future discussion. Maybe check out any greenhouses if anyone knows of any?


Approval of February meeting minutes – moved by Bob, seconded by Ed , unanimously approved


Treasurer’s Report:

Review of Balance sheet and Operating Statement

Approval – motioned by Kyle , seconded by Eric, unanimously approved


Staff Reports:

Awesome work from Marjorie Peronto in handwriting all those letters to master gardeners!

Public Speaking event went great!

UMM move: 

  • Jen met with transition team last week
  • We could be in there with keys in hand by July 1st!
  • Ramp to historic door is a complication that is being worked on. One option is to modify the hanging door by the service entrance as the ramp entrance.
  • Do we want a second ramp on the back side going out to the garden?
  • Share blueprints to group next meeting to get spacial feel for things?
  • Bathroom will be made ADA compliant
  • Our signage needs coincides with new marketing moves on campus this summer/fall
  • Basement is nice and dry so we may have good storage there, but some bones and frozen bodies may need new homes.
  • Need to let Betsy know of move soon
  • Greenhouse may need more planning and work to get up and running
  • Eric will share move info with UMM faculty during meeting they have on Wednesday
  • Jen will follow up with Betsy. Not sure what other public outreach should be done and when. Hopefully more guidance next meeting. 


Committee member recruitment

  • Moved to a meeting or two from now. 
  • In meantime think of any specific needs we might have like people interested in gardening for greenhouse for example. 
  • In April we can review list and May we can invite new members with June the onboarding. 



  • Looked at proposed 2023 budget with discussion. Potential expenses for office, greenhouse or other adaptions beyond proposed budget can can come from some of our other funds.
  • Program support increases would be beneficial (in 2018 it was $3,000) and warranted.



Program highlight from Mano en Mano on May 17th