Prepared and Approved by the Atascadero Grange, #563 on the 12th Day of January 2013. This resolution was adopted and approved by the Atascadero Grange and the California State Grange, based on the resolution of the same name, “Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance” adopted by El Dorado County on the 18th Day of December 2012.
By Shepherd BlissLast Updated ( Tuesday, 05 November 2013 05:13 ) Read more...
(photos provided by CA State Grange Master Bob McFarland)
The 141st annual California State Grange Convention assembled at the newly-painted, spruced-up Sebastopol Grange Oct. 9-13. The hall was nearly full to its capacity of around 150 people at many times. Next year’s Grange is scheduled for San Luis Obispo.
The Grange was founded as a grass-roots, fraternal organization around 1870 to support farmers and ranchers, especially in their struggles against railroad monopolies. Its members then mainly people worked the land; though still focused on agriculture, many of its current members no longer farm and the Grange addresses a wide range of issues.
After a period of decline, in recent year’s Granges throughout California have experienced a resurgence in membership and activities. The Sebastopol Grange, for example, now has around 150 members, most of whom have joined in the last two years. Around 187 Grange chapters exist in California, some more active than others.
Founded some 150 years ago, the Grange is the oldest farm organization in the United States. The name Grange comes from old English farm-estates, which together make a community, and are called Granges. We could use more community in our fast-moving, hi tech society.
The Grange was started by ranchers and farmers protesting railroad monopolies, when many people farmed. Now less than 2% of Americans farm. Most Grange members no longer farm. Membership is open to all who agree with our principles. Nearly 10,000 people are members in nearly 200 California Granges.
I was raised partly on an Iowa farm in the middle of the 20th century. We had a windmill, out house, gas lanterns, cellar full of preserves, wood stove, and ice box.
No electricity, so no TV. Rural electrification didn’t arrive to the Mid-West until the late 40’s. So we had stories every night, on the couch, which usually began, “Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…”
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