VISTA Matters is the weekly community newsletter for garden members. Included are key dates and communications necessary for all members to know and be involved. 
VISTA Gardens News - November 4, 2016
Urgent Fall Festival Requests

We received an untimely surprise today that reduces the budget that we expected to have to help execute next weekends Fall Festival. As a result we need assistance to fill in some gaps that the budget reduction has created. 

If you can help with any of these needs please either call or email Barb Mahlmeister. 

e-mail - barb@naturalchoicenutrition
phone - 813-495-2719

Need 1:  Folding tables. We need about 20 tables. 8' long are ideal but we will take anything you are willing to loan. 

Need 2: Folding chairs. We'll take whatever you have to loan. It's for the vendor booths as well as seating areas for people to eat. 

Need 3: Cookies. We have volunteers to meet 50% of our cookie needs. We need six dozen more made. 

Need 4: VOLUNTEERS. We are about 15 people short of our volunteer needs. If you have any friends or family members that would be willing to help we appreciate the support. None of the work is difficult - setting up tables / chairs, opening up the tailgate tents, manning the water stations, helping with the food, etc.  

THANK YOU for jumping in and helping us make this a great day for VISTA and the Greater Carrollwood community! 
Board of Director's Meeting Update

Yes, my fellow gardeners, another month has gone by and your hard-working Board of Directors has been busy.
 
Here are the Minutes from September (approved in October), along with the September Agenda so that you can follow what we did and said.

The November Board of Directors meeting has been cancelled due to workload with the Fall Festival. Our next meeting is in December and we will review / approve the October minutes at that time.

See you at the festival!  Jenn

Board of Directors Minutes      
Member Spotlight: Marty Kleiner

1.  What is your/family member name(s), your garden bed address the date you joined Vista Garden?

Hi, I am Marty Kleiner and my wife is Laurie.  We are in 6 Berry Boulevard.  Laurie and I joined Vista Gardens a little over two years ago.  Laurie and I have two daughters, Jodi and Jennifer.  Jodi is an electrical engineer and works on the wind turbines for Siemens in Orlando.   Jennifer is an occupational therapist specializing in pediatrics Lakeland.   Laurie is a National Board Certified teacher and teaches high school reading at DC Waters Career Center.  I am a retired engineer and cofounded several hi-tech companies in Tampa.
 
2. What interested you in starting your garden (ie. love of outdoors, organic gardening, great workout, etc?

Laurie and I were at the Community Market and saw the booth for VISTA Gardens.  I was recently retired and looking for something to stay active.  We lived in Carrollwood Village for about ten years and only knew a few neighbors.  At first, I had neither interest nor knowledge of gardening but thought it would be a great way to stay busy and meet new people.  Well, it worked.  The garden provides a great environment to stay busy, get exercise, meet new people, and grow our own food too.  Before I joined VISTA Gardens, I assumed vegetables were grown at Publix.
 
3. What do you like to grow? What are your "go to" plants?

We grow kale, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, peppers, radishes, onions, and Swiss chard.  This year we are trying something new.  We are continuously planting new seeds and always have new seedlings to plant.  If something is not growing, we take it out and put in a new plant. 
 
4. What's your favorite activity/time of day at the garden?

Since I don't work, I am usually at VISTA Gardens in the morning.  If I am not in a rush, I usually try to stop in when I drive by if I see someone there just to say hello. I don't know if you can call it a favorite activity, but I have become an expert at eradicating the beds of torpedo grass.
 
5. What is one thing you'd like us to know about you?

People ask me all the time why I spend so much time working at VISTA garden.  The answer is simple, it is because I can.
 
It wasn't long ago that my daughter came home from the University of Florida for the summer and encouraged me to go for a walk in the neighborhood.  I was afraid to go alone because I thought I wouldn't make it back home without passing out.  It took about a month to get up to a mile but I persevered and did it.  It wasn't too long afterwards that Laurie and I were walking about a mile and a half to Chili's.  Then we started riding our bicycles for longer and longer rides.
 
This all sounds fairly easy, but when you are carrying around about 300 pounds and have high blood pressure and high cholesterol it is a big deal.  It is hard to get up to do anything except to change the channel.  I had been on all the fad diets and even went to a dietitian.  I lost weight, tons of it.  Each time though I put on more than I lost.
 
A little over four years ago I started learning about things like sugar, unbleached white flour, and corn syrup.  The more I learned the more that I realized these were poison for me.   So, I cut them out of my diet.  I also realized that I very rarely ate vegetables except starchy ones.  I started to eat salads - lots of it.  I remember that when I first started eating huge salads my jaw muscles would actually be sore from chewing so much.  I couldn't understand what was on the ingredients label on fat-free dressings so I just used olive oil.  This seemed to work for me and the fat started melting away.  The more success I had the more that I learned about food and nutrition.  My whole attitude and life style began to change.   
 
VISTA Gardens was and is still instrumental in my mental transformation.  Being around the vegetables that we grow ourselves enhances the healthy attitude.  I lost 100 pounds and I am one of the very few people that have kept it off for over three years.  I no longer take medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol.   I can easily walk the mile now; some of you may have seen me on my four-mile run through the neighborhood or riding my bicycle.  Most important, I am a lot healthier for my wife and my children. 
 
Mowing the lawn at VISTA Gardens, digging up torpedo grass, weeding, installing the drainage ditch is all part of my exercise routine now.   Come join me at the garden for a work out!
Ongoing Activities

Saturday Work Parties
Fulfill your community volunteer requirement by joining fellow gardeners on Saturday mornings to tackle the maintenance needs of the garden at large. It's a fun time and you get some exercise and the garden stays looking great. Keeping the garden regularly maintained prevents us from major intermittent workload.  The party starts at 9 a.m. every weekend, weather permitting. 

Compost Thursdays
Committee members meet at the garden Thursday's at 8 a.m. to turn the compost. Please join the team if you would like to learn more about composting.

Compost Materials Needed 
General reminder: To produce high quality input the community needs to provide a steady supply of material. This includes vegetable waste (garden r kitchen), leaves, cardboard and shredded paper. Please bring your waste to the garden, don't let it go to the landfill!

Keep in touch with VISTA
We are working hard to streamline communications to ensure you receive the right content in the right place when you need it.
1. Facebook: Like "VISTA Gardens" to receive updates on key activities throughout the week
If you do NOT use Facebook please reply to this email and you will be added to a separate email distribution list. The team will do its best to email any time sensitive updates requiring community attention to this list when a post is made to Facebook.
2. Tuesday email: Summarizes key activity and news for the upcoming week
3. Monthly newsletter: More detail into topics of interest and education (see link above!)
4. Web site: Our address is vistagardentampa.org (note: no 's' in garden). A repository of membership information, detailed education, links to articles on shared topics of interest. Plus much, much more. 

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