SAN JUAN ISLAND GRANGE: A Community of Growers since 1931.

2013-09-25 16.59.15MISSION: To support a resilient community of growers, makers, and keepers, to foster social and political engagement, and to maintain our Hall as a home for celebrations and programs.

Resilient Community: Grange members grow food and fiber, make music and artifacts, keep house and livestock. Likewise do we grow in our skills and knowledge, make a meaningful life for our families, and keep this island in good health for future generations.  In our programs we learn and teach the skills of living in this special place, because we believe that a resilient community skilled in the arts of living can weather whatever  storms the future may bring.

Engagement: The Grange is political, but not partisan. We take stands on issues, not on candidates. For instance, in 2012 San Juan Island Grange #966 endorsed the initiative to ban the growing of GMO crops in our county. We also believe that a community that plays together stays together, so we make sure we have plenty of potlucks and other social events on our calendar.

Maintain our Hall: We are known to the public by the San Juan Island Grange Hall in Friday Harbor, a beautiful wooden building originally built as a church in the 1880′s. Recognizing its value to our island community, we vow to take care of it so that it can serve its function as a cultural venue for years to come.

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 at the Grange Hall at 152 First Street North in Friday Harbor. Visitors are welcome.





IslanderIsland Makers Guilds who have been following the progress of the Island Makers Guild and the Tool Lending Library have a new resource:  It’s great to see that the Makers have a public site now.

You can also check out the progress of the Tool Lending Library and talk to some of the movers and shakers (and Makers!) at the San Juan Island Grange Open House on Wednesday April 23, from 5 PM on.

And while you are there, have a look at the entries from the 2014 Arts and Crafts Contest on display, examine the plans for our new deck overlooking the harbor, and have a bite to eat.

And please consider joining the Grange: Growers, Makers and Keepers creating a resilient community.

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IMG_20130627_173014_330It’s time to finish your projects and bring them in to the Grange Hall for the 2014 Arts and Crafts Contest. State Grange Lecturer Tom Gwin will be on hand with his team to judge the entries and determine which ones go on to greater glory at the state Grange contest in June.

Last year several entries from San Juan Island Grange, Friday Harbor Grange, and from non-Grange residents of San Juan Island won ribbons at the state contest. You do not have to be a Granger to participate.

Bring in your entries from 10am-1pm on Wednesday, April 23rd to the San Juan Island Grange Hall. After entries have been judged, they will be displayed during our Open House later that afternoon and evening.

Contact Nina LeBaron at 378-9193 with any questions.

Art & Craft Contest Rules

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I recently received the second edition of a newsletter for Grangers that has impressed me greatly. Put together by fellow Grangers Lanny Cottler and Buzz Chernoff, the Independent Grange Communications Network newsletter is well on its way to filling a serious need in our community: an informal way to share with each other what it means to be Grangers.

IGCN Newsletter







It the newsletter we find articles on agrarianism and Grange history, how to plan events, a story on revitalization at a community Grange, and invitations to discuss deeper issues. The editors are asking for input for future issues, with organic farming a focus of the next edition.  They state their overriding goal is to “Grow the Grange”.

One highpoint for me is a review of the novel Prairie Fire by Dan Armstrong in which Granges all over the country work together in a crisis to cut out the middleman and keep more of the value of their labor. It’s a thrilling tale of CIA ops, international grain speculators, local militias, and a very impressive National Master of the Patrons of Husbandry.

This effort will pay off if you get involved. Read the newsletter, post a link to it on your website, pass it around at your next meeting. And send in your stories. We need to hear about successes at your Granges, how you motivate your members, serve your community, and how you conduct your business. All Granges will benefit from better communication. The work we do is so all-encompassing that no community Grange can do its best when it does it alone. It will be good to hear from you.

Roger Ellison, Master, San Juan Island Grange #966 (WA)


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Here’s a little project that illuminates how our Grange does things.

At the March 5timobrien_thomasedisontimecover_illustrationth regular meeting, Chair of the Building Committee Malcolm Suttles asked our members whether they would OK replacing the old light fixtures in the kitchen with new energy-efficient ones. Our local electrical co-op, OPALCO, was offering a rebate program to substantially lower our cost for the hardware. Malcolm said that we will save quite a bit of money on our electrical bill if we go for it. The kicker was that we had to have the project complete and inspected by the end of the month to qualify. Lecturer Boyd Pratt made a motion that we take them up on the offer, provided that we keep our costs below $500.

Member Brian Rader checked with the local electrical supply house to make sure we would be ordering the right lights, and as Master, I assembled the work party. Brian, Malcolm, Chair of the Finance Committee Steve Porten, and Chair of the Makers Guild Carter Fuehr and I put up the lights, assisted by Carter’s school chum (and fellow Maker) Christian. Well, almost put up the lights. Malcolm and Treasurer Val White returned to finish the job. Rental Agent Noreene Ignelzi got the place cleaned up in time for the first event in our Spring Lecture Series. Brian met with the OPALCO agent two days later to get the OK for the rebate.

Q: How many Grangers does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: It takes a village.

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Next regular meeting of the San Juan Island Grange will be at 7PM Wednesday April 2. Grange Preserve FarmlandAgenda items will include:

Design and Costs for the Deck Project

Launching a Capital Campaign for the Deck

Electing a New Executive Committee Member

Getting Ready for our Grange Hall Open House (and Art Contest) on April 23rd.

Potluck at 6, meeting at 7. All are welcome. Bring something for our Share the Harvest table!

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Wednesday, March 26, San Juan Island Grange Hall

Program begins at 7pm, preceded by a 6pm potluck!Community Gardening

San Juan Island Grange #966 begins its 2014 Spring Lecture Series with a program on Community Gardening on Wednesday March 26, 2014 at the Grange Hall.  The program begins at 7pm, preceded by a potluck at 6pm—all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Interested how people garden without having the space or owning the land?  Here’s your opportunity!  Marty Ahart will describe the San Juan Island Community Gardens and Alice Deane will discuss the Master Gardener of San Juan County Demonstration Garden.  Learn more about these shared efforts to garden in our community!

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sow the seeds of victory

A Happy Granger Sowing Her GMO-Free Victory Garden

Our cooperative seed order has been sent to Fedco, and in a couple weeks, we will gather to break down the bulk into packets for the participants. Grange members saved  30% of the cost of vegetable seed, and non-members saved 23%. Once again, we see that membership has its benefits!

Feeling a bit blue that you missed the deadline? The good news is that we will be offering many of the varieties from our bulk program in small packets as a fundraiser for our Grange.  By the end of February we will have them ready for purchase. Keep calm and keep your eyes on this spot. Details to follow!

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