New Life at Sonoma County’s Historic Granges
by Mary Callahan for The Press Democrat
A surge of interest in natural foods, local sourcing and environmental sustainability is bringing new life to the Civil War-era Grange movement, driving participation and restoring its relevance among modern folks yearning for connection to one another and to the food they consume.
The Sebastopol Grange — part of the nationwide farmers alliance that spans 147 years of agricultural development, economic expansion and vast social change — is among the groups that are thriving, its membership surpassing 200 people just a few years after its existence was threatened.
“It’s a process of revitalizing community,” President Jerry Allen said. “It’s going on all over, and it’s sure going on here.”
Kick off the holiday season with an evening of good music, local food, and the release of the brand new Farmers Guild Cookbook, a collection of recipes from our favorite young farmers and their own harvest, along with a collective exploration into our agrarian future.
We’re building the Grange Farm School to help aspiring farmers learn the skills they need to pursue their dreams as small farmers and to provide healthy local food to their communities. We can’t think of a more important task right now than training the next generation of farmers. Continue reading
Friday March 7th, 7pm at the Healdsburg Shed
PUNK YEOMAN: The Past and Future of the Grange
Join Greenhorns founder Severine Von Tscharner Fleming and evangelist Jen Griffith for a lively evening of learning as we focus on modern farming in their presentation “Grange Future”.
Grange Future is a community history project undertaken by The Greenhorns, a young farmers network, to help interpret both the past and future of the Grange movement, not in a nostalgic or abstract way, but as an appropriate institutional format for contemporary users who are concerned with rebuilding our food system. For today’s young farmers the Grange is a kind of syllabus in community-scale organizing, regional development, cooperative economics and kinship-based policy advocacy. Continue reading