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Don Eggleston
Posts: 43
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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I've been thinking about Paul's goal of world domination, aka civilization's best hope for survival, and how to get folks organized more quickly and spread the word. I'm here in the shadow of the University of California, Santa Cruz and its incredible world famous organic farming center. And yet, within fifty miles there are probably twenty Grange halls that are almost all empty, and only occasionally used for square dancing, bingo, etc. As you probably know, the grange was created to support the family farm and local community. Has Paul thought about a campaign to infiltrate the Granges nationally to return them to their original purposes? All men old enough to work a plough and adult women are eligible to join. Once you get a majority, a simple coup (election) can change the direction of the Grange.

The ag extension program of the land grant colleges, such as UC Davis here in CA do an excellent job of promoting agribusiness, but the resurgent family farm is of little interest to them. Family farmers need places to meet, organize and ultimately express political power, and that is why the Grange was created.

Don Eggleston
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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That sounds like a great idea. Do you have any tips or ideas on where something like that might start? Is there some sort of Grange registry or something, or maybe a central office to help locate where one might be, meeting time etc. I do think this is a worth while idea, just looking for someplace to start.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The Grange no longer has the following that it once had.
Most of the members are getting older, and their kids want nothing to do with farming.
Heck, their "Youth" program is for 14-30 year olds !

Might be a perfect time to infiltrate their numbers.
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Try this -

http://www.nationalgrange.org/join/

 
Don Eggleston
Posts: 43
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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I've been thinking about this for a long time. Many years ago, raising my kids, we joined 4H and I became a rabbit project leader, got involved in the fair, etc. Being a retired hippie, it was obvious to me that the UC Ag Extension Service, which sponsors 4H is the handmaiden of agribusiness. The Grange, on the other hand was created as a lobby for the family farm against the big businesses.

I read a little history on the internet and there's really nothing about the family farm in its charter--just local community. All you have to do is join and the majority decides the direction. If you don't like bridge, try permaculture demonstrations. As John says, most memberships are tiny and looking for members. Small farmers' kids are mostly ashamed of being hicks and move to the city, but there's a new generation of WOOFERS, and I see them here at UCSC training and going out all over the world. The Grange could be a big support for them. It is a grassroots-to-national organization with enormous potential lobbying power. I understand it had a lot to do with getting the land grant universities funded and also pressed hard for suffrage.

Don
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Don Eggleston wrote:Has Paul thought about a campaign to infiltrate the Granges nationally to return them to their original purposes? All men old enough to work a plough and adult women are eligible to join. Once you get a majority, a simple coup (election) can change the direction of the Grange.

I don't think joining the Grange is Paul's kind of thing. He's mentioned several times that being in front of a group of say, 10, 20 or even 50 or 60 people in person, has a FAR less impact than if he can reach thousands through his online empire(s).

In my former hometown of Woodinville, Washington, the local Grange was kind enough to sponsor our Transition Woodinville group (based on permaculture). The TW group kind of petered out though, and unfortunately, for whatever reason, lost its sponsorship from the Grange. From that anecdotal experience, I do know Granges are hungry for new members, new projects, new ideas.

(By the way, since this isn't so much a wheaton labs kind of thing, and since it seems to overlap a few areas, I'm moving it to the city repair, urban, small farm and large farms forums.)

 
jacque greenleaf
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Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Some Oregon folks have been working on this - http://blog.greengranges.org/http://blog.greengranges.org/
http://silvertongrange.wordpress.com/

If you get enough people in an area interested, you can do some cool things! The idea is to rejuvenate what is a stale organization with some new ideas. There can be political issues here, it would be bad karma to be disrespectful to long-term grange members.
 
Amos Burkey
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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I had never heard of The Grange and I have lived in a family farm area most of my life. Its interesting what a person can find on the internet! It appears that there are a few groups around me that I may have to contact.

Thanks for bringing this up, Don. Definitely a great idea.
 
Matt Grantham
Posts: 78
Location: Napa CA
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Don Eggleston wrote:Has Paul thought about a campaign to infiltrate the Granges nationally to return them to their original purposes? All men old enough to work a plough and adult women are eligible to join. Once you get a majority, a simple coup (election) can change the direction of the Grange.

I don't think joining the Grange is Paul's kind of thing. He's mentioned several times that being in front of a group of say, 10, 20 or even 50 or 60 people in person, has a FAR less impact than if he can reach thousands through his online empire(s).

)




I understand the point, but am not clear if the example is supposed to serve mostly for experts, or for everyone. To put it another way the statement is in some ways the antithesis to the idea that one actually exhibits more influence in small groups rather than large ones. The implication requires a give and take of discussion within the group however and not a one way communication of lecture alone In some ways this is one of the key features in acting locally. I am not trying to suggest one way of thinking is right and the other wrong, but just hope we are seeing both sides of this issue
 
wayne fajkus
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I would say it fits Paul's methodology but by no means prohibits someone else from succeeding if choosing to go that rout. He cant be everything for everybody. Gotta pick and choose the battles. He has picked his battlefield. Moving to other platforms may take away from his core.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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This is not so much about whether this fits Paul's agenda or not. It's about us at a local level.
I am looking at property around a town of approximately 2,000 people. That doesn't include the farmers who live outside city limits. But the city has three Grange Halls. These Granges are comprised mostly of the 'older generation'. Most of the younger generation have seen the folly of incurring debt each spring so that you can put in long hours all season to hopefully turn a nice profit at season's end.

I believe that this younger audience is ripe to see examples of how 'it can be done' without incurring debt each year, with diminishing labor and cash inputs each year, and not having the entire family's future dependent on a single crop.

With several successful permacultural members in each of these Granges, we have a good chance to steer an entire generation into a new direction. If we can make changes at the local level, at enough locations, then this gets more attention at the National Grange. A snowballing effect.

I have an in-law who leases out a 40 acre field to an alfalfa grower. My in-law has a Water Right for this property. But they will not turn on his water until they have received his check for $17,000. He makes about $10,000 profit on the deal each year. He is typical of the region. In a region with very limited water, most farmers are growing animal fodder for export. I do not see this as a sustainable use of the land (and water). If we could sway dozens (or hundreds?) of such farmers to convert to food forests, we would be improving the region, the quantity/quality of human food, and the sustainability.

These farmers are not going to listen to 'purple' permaculture, but if they can see that the 'brown' permaculture will actually improve their lot in life, I believe that many will take the leap.
 
Don Eggleston
Posts: 43
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Thanks for the interest, John. I was just suggesting that Paul mention this idea for others to take up. Kind of like "WOOFERS unite!" The Grange's original intention was to allow a bunch of small family farmers to band together for more power. Political and economic, especially. They are a well respected national organization that provides (for example) inexpensive insurance for small folks, and I believe they even have a bank or credit union. It could be a great meeting place for the lonely permaculturists in many towns in the midwest especially. Power in numbers.

Don Eggleston
 
Deshe Benjamin
Posts: 39
Location: Savannah GA
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Bump,

A good topic. I'd be all for this kind of thing if I lived out yalls way😊. Maybe there are things like this down east in geogia? I just moved back.
 
C. Kelley
Posts: 31
Location: zone 4b/5a Midcoast Maine
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Steven, I'd bet my last dollar there are (or something very much like it). There were -and are - Grange halls where I grew up in NW WA, where my husband grew up in Central Illinois, where we live now in Maine, and everywhere else I've been in the US that has or had a farming community within the last hundred years or so. Try a search on the Grange homepage for your home town or county and I'll bet you find several. A little more digging should net you the meeting place and time. An example - the small Maine town I live in has pop. 1800 in the height of tourist season. Historically, most were employed in fishing, shipbuilding, sailing, and serving the needs of shipbuilders and sailors - not farming. pOpulation now is higher than it has every been (where is *that* not the case...) yet we have no less than four active (or recently semi-active) grange halls, as well as Rotarians, lions, toastmasters, and masons. There is much strength and resilience to these sorts of democratic community institutions, not least of which is their long and robust history as the social safety net for millions of Americans for many many years before years the government assumed that role with the dissolution of family, village, church, and community ties that had historically filled the needs currently "served" by Federal programs like Medicaid, Social Security, etc. Also, who among us couldn't use some on-the-ground hours connecting to vast sources of wisdom (elderly farmers and lifelong community members) and practicing communication, democracy, and community engagement?

Also, lots of Grange halls have commercial kitchens, or access to them. They are often only available to rent to members, and are a great way to launch a food business on a shoetstring budget.

Tl;dr - joi. The Grange. They're everywhere.
 
Randi Embree
Posts: 2
Location: Silverton, OR
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Everyone, yes, please join you local Grange! I've been a member of Silverton Grange in Oregon for a dozen years and have recently joined the Keizer Grange to help revitalize it. The new OSG AG Director is a Green Granger...the times they are a changin...

If you want to see what some of us are up to you are cordially invited to this event:

For Immediate Release

Progressive Grange Sustainable Food Conference

November 7-9, Leedy Grange Hall, 835 NW Saltzman Road, Portland, OR 97229

A group of enthusiastic Grangers is planning a conference to promote the Grange as an organization

for people who want to learn more about, and support, sustainable food practices—from ending hunger

through Community Food Security programs, to finding ways to eat healthier, to supporting the small

farmers in our communities who produce local sustainable food.

The conference is open to all Grange members, and parts of it will be open to the public. We encourage

all Grangers to find out more and invite your friends and associates to attend. Our goal is to build

Grange membership by offering information of interest to many groups, including urban farmers,

locavores (folks who prefer to eat locally-produced food), those interested in permaculture and organic

growing practices, and anyone who loves to eat!

The conference kicks off with a Grangers-only potluck on Friday, November 7, at 5 pm (we can’t have a

public potluck because of Washington County health rules). A public event will follow—a speaker and/

or a movie (details TBA).

Saturday morning and afternoon will include speakers and workshops on a variety of topics, including

Grange 101, Community Food Security (programs to end hunger), and more.

There will be a catered local/seasonal lunch on Saturday. Tickets will be available for the lunch, more

information will be available at http://www.teamweb.com/food

Sunday morning will begin with a local/seasonal breakfast, followed by summit sessions designed for

Grange members who want to become more active in their own Granges, in the State and National

Grange, and in their communities through promoting healthy eating, food security, sustainable growing

practices and more. One session will school us on Parliamentary Procedure as it applies to Grange

Resolutions.

Please plan to join us for all or part of the conference. Arrangements for lodging may be available

through local Grange members if you don’t want to get a hotel/motel room. Find updates, and ticket

information at http://www.teamweb.com/food

Questions, please contact Virginia Bruce by email: vrb@teamweb.com or by phone at 503-803-1813.

But please remember I’m deaf so email is best!!
 
Violet Heart
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Our grange in chico, ca has had a resurgence in the past some years and is fairly regularly used for gatherings of farmers and organic gardeners for class series, meetings, action forums and more. Definitely bringing your local grange back to life is a terrific idea! We also have african dance classes at the grange and music events.
 
Ann Torrence
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Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Peculiarly, there is not a single Grange in the state of Utah, near as I can tell from their website. Historically, the fraternal orders did not get much of a foothold here except in the mining towns. And there wouldn't have been much call for a Grange in a mining town.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Hey, I just found this article about the history of Essex Farm in New York State.... (Kristen's book 'The Dirty Life' is great, also).... how the young folks are coming back to farming; the local dying Grange is hopping now, etc. They also mention Greenhorns... a great organization and book. Stuff is happening... the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented, apparently ;)

http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/how_one_farm_saved_essex_new_york

 
Lee Du
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I really like this idea. A couple of years ago I read a suggestion from John Michael Greer about moving to a town or village as an alternative to trying to form an intentional community. He also recommended joining the fraternal orders to network, build community, and build safety nets.

I looked into the Grange online and thought that I saw only agribusiness people involved and that turned me off. I'm a little more mature now and will take another look.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm currently living on the edge of a big city, but I'm looking for a village to move to nearby.
 
Andrew Parker
pollinator
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Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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Ann,

I did not read your post until the recent bump. I think that there was no real need for an organization like The Grange in Utah because of the near all encompassing influence of the LDS Church. Farmers' Cooperatives already existed as remnants of the United Order practiced in Mormon communities throughout the West in the Mid to Late 1800's. I believe there was an affinity in Utah with the basic tenets of the Grange movement and there may have been informal political cooperation at a national level. Agriculture was still a major influence on the culture of the Church and the community well into the '70's. (The Granite High Farmers are no more but the Jordan High Beet Diggers live on, though I am pretty sure that the studentbody and most of the faculty and staff have never seen a sugar beet.)

It was considered so important in my local Stake (an administrative group of 5 to 10 congregations) in Bountiful, by then a suburb with little agriculture left, that they experimented with asking that all families have a vegetable garden and fruit trees and integrate them into the Church's welfare system. My father was called to be a teacher and we had to put in a Mittleider grow bed. (There was so much demand for Mittleider's system here in Utah that he relocated to Salt Lake from Loma Linda.) It never amounted to anything, as there were too many naysayers, though Mittleider's system (definitely NOT permaculture, but a pretty good system, nonetheless) is still fairly popular among gardeners. Folk preferred to donate money rather than get their hands dirty and, perish the thought, sweat. When asked to startup and maintain a welfare farm, the local leaders bought a turf and heifer farm near Gandy, Utah, about 5 hours away (7 hours back then, at 55). That just about guaranteed that no one would be able to go out and do work on the farm.

Sadly, even fruit trees are now seen as a nuisance. Most families just let the fruit drop and rot, as very few households retain the knowledge or inclination to preserve it. We need to get back to our agricultural roots. The Grange may now gain a foothold, at least in the Salt Lake area, as urban gardening and cooperatives are gaining in popularity among some of the younger generation and the Church is no longer all encompassing (though it still may appear to be, by some).
 
Valerie Collins
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I looked for a grange in tn and couldn't find one. Loved the idea.
 
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