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.  RESOLUTIONS   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. DECK PROJECT

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.




Corps of Resiliency on September 19: WATER

The Corps of Resiliency will be gathering at the Grange Hall on September 19 at 7PM for a discussion about water, and some steps our island families can take to ensure a safe and plentiful supply in a uncertain future.

Climate change models predict drier summers and wetter winters for us. More families and more houses mean increased drawdown of groundwater supplies for wells. Higher risk of wild fire means increased need for an accessible water supply.

How can we change our gardening, farming and household practices to conserve this precious resource? How can we continue to draw water duing a  power outage?  Can we pool our purchasing power to get good discounts on a truckload of water storage tanks? These are some of the questions on the agenda.

The Corps of Resiliency gatherings are informal roundtable discussions where attendees share questions, knowledge and advice. And we share dessert. So please bring something sweet and come talk! 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the San Juan Island Grange Hall.

This event is offered as part of our mission: 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.

Free and open to all. Including children.



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Contra Dance with the Luddite Ramblers September 15

It is the Walz workshop taught by our caller Judy Zeidel that will make this coming dance extra special.

“You will not want to miss this one. Come to the dance, up your waltzing skills and/or start learning to waltz. Judy does a great job”, according to organizer Alice Deane.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

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Growers Circle Coffee Hour Every Wednesday

The mission of San Juan Island Grange starts, “To support a resilient community of growers, makers, and keepers…”

Come to the Coffee Hour
Wednesdays at 8AM

“Growers” are folks involved in producing food, fiber and other useful materials. If you have a farm, a garden, chickens, sheep, a willow patch for basketry, an orchard for cider, or honey bees, you are invited to the Grange Hall for a chat. Several growers (between 9 and 16 usually) have been meeting on a weekly basis to talk and drink coffee and tea.

The atmosphere is friendly, the talk is informal, a lot of questions are posed and some are answered. Here’s a chance for growers to talk among themselves for a bit.

Wednesday mornings 8-9AM at the San Juan Island Grange Hall. Open to all. Free.



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August 1, Earth Overshoot Day

Mike Cohen made a brief presentation on Earth Overshoot Day at our membership meeting last night. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2018, that day was August 1, the earliest it has ever been.

Mike was the main driver behind our 2015 resolution in which our Grange committed ourselves to “act as ambassadors of Earth to guide humanity away from its excesses which lead to an overshoot of Earth’s ability to meet our material and emotional needs”.

In that 2015 resolution, we quoted the Declaration of Purposes of the National Grange, adopted by the St. Louis session of the National Grange, February 11, 1874, which states, “We shall endeavor…to buy less and produce more, in order to make our farms self-sustaining; to diversify our crops and crop no more than we can cultivate; to condense the weight of our exports, selling less in the bushel and more on hoof and in fleece, less in lint and more in warp and woof;…; to discountenance the credit system, the mortgage system, the fashion system, and every other system tending to prodigality and bankruptcy.”

By the way, one of our members is the great grandson of the author of the 1874 Declaration of Purposes, and has has been doing a little research to present to our Grange, possible this fall. Look for a future post on that topic.





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Grange Meeting August 1

Our August meeting will be on Wednesday August 1 at 7PM, preceded by our traditional Grange potluck at 6PM.

The meeting will tackle a few important items:

  • We will be asked to endorse the San Juan County Housing Real Estate Excise Tax. While Granges are non-partisan and may not endorse candidates or parties, we are encouraged to weigh in on issues. A representative of the campaign for the excise tax will make a presentation to our membership at this meeting.
  • We have been asked to support a County Farmers Almanac project. A representative of that project will say a few words to us.
  • Anything else a member wants to bring up. Grange agendas are not set in advance, so if you have something you want us to discuss, bring it!

Please come. Bring your children. And bring some produce or books or usable clothing or what have you for our Share the Harvest table.

See you all there!


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Keith Keyser: Permaculture, or regenerative ecological agriculture and its promise for restoring a damaged planet

Part of the San Juan Island Grange Lecture Series, July 25, 6PM potluck meet&greet, 7PM program.

Islanders can produce an abundance of food for their families while restoring degraded lands and fighting climate change. Tall order, you say? Permaculture designer Keith Keyser will show how it has been done elsewhere and how it can be done here. Join Keyser on Wednesday July 25th at the San Juan Island Grange Hall for an informative talk on “Permaculture, or regenerative ecological agriculture and its promise for restoring a damaged planet”. The program starts at 7PM and is preceded by a 6PM traditional Grange meet-and-greet potluck.

Permaculture is an integrated approach to landscape design, aquaculture, water management, forestry, animal husbandry, nutrient cycling, architecture and more. It creates “consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fiber and energy for provision of local needs.”, according to Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren.

Keyser will present principles that govern Permaculture design, introduce the founding mothers and fathers of Permaculture, and look at some successful Pacific Northwest examples that show what can be done here in our islands.

This latest presentation in San Juan Island Grange’s Lecture Series is offered to advance its mission “to promote a resilient community of growers, makers and keepers” on San Juan Island. Founded in 1931, San Juan Island Grange is non-partisan, and so is this presentation. All are welcome, free of charge.

Here’s an excerpt from his presentation:

Hi, my name is Keith Keyser. I’ve been practicing organic gardening all my adult life, which you can see has been a long time. I got started at the Organic farm at the Evergreen State College in the mid 70’s and have since been gardening in a variety of micro climates in the greater northwest. This presentation on PC is about much more than gardening per se. As PC, also known as regenerative ecological agriculture, is an integrated approach to landscape design, aquaculture, water management, forestry, animal husbandry, nutrient cycling, architecture and more, and I find it very fitting that I should have attended a school that prided itself on an integrated curriculum where pieces of varied academic departments can be found in one program of study. In the next hour and a half I’ll be addressing the ten principles that govern PC design, introduce innovators who have contributed to what PC has become today, whom I call mothers and fathers of PC, look at some NW examples of what can be accomplished in the marriage of technology and biology and along the way identify some ways to implement PC practices in the San Juans. Following that I’ll entertain any questions you may have.”

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Dessert Potluck Resiliency Conversation June 20 7PM

The Ideal Grange Hall Potluck

There will be dessert!

The Corps of Resiliency is hosting a dessert potluck and informal discussion at the Grange Hall tonight, Wednesday June 20, at 7PM. The topics for discussion will center around these areas:

How do we increase the resiliency of our island community in the face of an uncertain future?
How can we work together to prepare for “natural” disasters like storms and earthquakes?
What has your family done to increase its food or energy security?
Are there things we can buy or make together that will help?

And of course the floor is open to other questions and ideas. The conversation will be based on the successful model of the Growers Circle Coffee Hour at the Grange (drinking coffee at a table, asking for guidance on a specific problem in food growing, getting a lot of suggestions, advice, wisdom and humor from the others at the table, and then hearing another person ask the next question).

So, please come, bring some dessert to share, whatever show-n-tell item you want to present, your questions, ideas, attitude, humor…

Free and open to all.

Did I mention there will be dessert?

Roger Ellison, Corps of Resiliency member

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