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.





img_20130627_173014_330[1]April is Grange Month, and the Granges of San Juan County are having a Grange Arts and Crafts Contest!  Come by the Grange Hall between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday, April 22nd to submit your entries.  Both Grange and non-Grange members are welcome; non-Grange members must be sponsored by a Grange member.  Categories include arts and crafts of all sorts, including paintings and drawings, sculpture, textiles, and wood and fiber work—how about duct tape, anyone?

Following submission of entries at the Arts and Crafts Contest from 11am-1pm, the Hall will be re-open at 4pm for viewing and a 5pm potluck—all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Arts and Crafts Contest Rules 2015

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Our April business meeting is on Wednesday the 1st (no fooling!) at 7pm, preceded by our customary potluck dinner at 6pm.  Please come and join in on a Spring Seed Planting Ceremony and pick up those packets of seeds that you’re missing!  In addition, the Legislative Committee has some resolutions to consider:

  • A Resolution Concerning Genetic Modification of Agricultural Organisms
  • A Resolution Concerning Climate Change
  • A Resolution Concerning Agricultural Crop Access to Transportation and Safety Issues in Regard to the Transport of Crude Oil by Rail

Looks to be an engaging evening–see you there!

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SJI Year of Living Dangerously

San Juan Island Grange #966 is co-sponsoring the film series “Years of Living Dangerously,” an Emmy Award winning 9 part series on Climate Change.  The showings will be at 7pm each Thursday night in April at the Grange Hall, followed by a community conversation.  You can find out more at

All are heartily encouraged to attend and engage in the conversation!

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2015 LABELSan Juan Seed Company, a project of San Juan Island Grange #966, will display and sell vegetable, herb and flower seeds at the Grange Hall on Wednesday the 18th before and after the Strong Coffee program.  Once again, our seeds are from Fedco Seeds of Maine, a cooperative seed house that is part of the fight against monopoly control of the seed industry. Come between 5 and 7 on Wednesday to check out our selection of non-gmo seeds chosen by local growers to do well in our climate. Proceeds will go toward building more cooperative programs at your Grange.

If you want to join us for our potluck at 6, bring a dish to share and stay for an enjoyable meal and good conversation. Perhaps about gardening. See you there!

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STRONG COFFEE, the Story of Cafe Femenino

CAFE FEMENINOSee the film Strong Coffee, the Story of Cafe Femenino at the Grange Hall on Wednesday, March 18th. Film and discussion will start at 7PM, proceeded by a potluck at 6PM.

Cafe Femenino  began in 2004 when women farmers from northern Peru wished to market their product separately from the men farmers’. They felt that the extra care they put into their coffee production resulted in a higher-quality product, and so a new cooperative was born.   Today the Café Femenino Program continues to have a huge impact in the daily lives of women around the world and creates greater gender equality in families, cooperatives, and communities.

The Grange started after the Civil War as a fair-trade movement of farmers working together to combat the exploitative freight rates charged by the railroad monopolies. Through political, economic and social organizing, including the establishment of cooperatives and the inclusion of women as equal partners from the onset, the Grange started a tradition of agrarian self-determination that continues to this day.

Come have a traditional Grange potluck with us, buy some seeds from our non-gmo vegetable seed project, and stay for the film and discussion.

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Our March business meeting is on Wednesday the 4th at 7pm, preceded by our customary potluck dinner at 6pm.  Please come to discuss the results of the seed order, marketing the Grange and the Hall, and some exciting programs planned for the next few months!  See you there soon!

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grange-movement-grangerAt its January 7th, 2015 business meeting San Juan Island Grange #966 resolved to oppose the Proposed Moratorium on Marijuana Production. Even though the San Juan County Council has withdrawn the proposal, San Juan Island Grange #966 would like to make clear its position towards the regulation of marijuana production in San Juan County.

The Grange Movement in the United States is rich with the traditions and struggles of farm families and rural farm communities. The local, state, and national Granges have always, and continue to, advocate politically on issues important to rural families, including the right to farm, good government, land use policy, rural access to new technologies and vital services, job development, and strong rural economies. Part of the mission of San Juan Island Grange #966 is “to support a resilient community of growers, makers, and keepers” and “to foster social and political engagement.”

In 2012 the voters of San Juan County overwhelmingly endorsed the passage of I-502 Legalization of Marijuana by the largest majority in Washington State. A small number of local farmers, entrepreneurs, and county residents have endeavored in good faith to comply with all existing local and state rules, laws, and regulations pertaining to developing their farms and farm products. The proposed San Juan County moratorium on marijuana production would have placed new and unnecessary restrictions on growers without substantiating an imminent emergency. The Agricultural Resources Committee (ARC) and the San Juan County Community Development and Planning Department (SJC CD&P) are already committed to a working group to study marijuana farming and other agricultural issues in 2015.

San Juan Island Grange #966 resolved at its January 7th, 2015 business meeting to oppose the Proposed Moratorium on Marijuana Production, because:

  • It is a core purpose of the county government to maintain such commons as air, water, topsoil, healthy ecosystems, fair economic systems, and just political systems;
  • The County should make preservation of farm land and support for local agriculture an economic and land use priority; and
  • Decisions concerning agriculture and protection of farm land should come from research and recommendations conducted and written by individuals and organizations made up of farmers, the ARC, SJC CD&P, and others qualified to study and analyze existing farm conditions and new farming strategies.

San Juan Island Grange #966 felt that regulations that come from a joint ARC/CP&D working group must recognize the following points:

  • The best agricultural soils in our county must be reserved in perpetuity for growing food and feed;
  • Greenhouses are an appropriate way to increase resilience by increasing the growing season for many food and feed crops;
  • Food production is so fundamental to the resilience of a community that it must at times take precedence over concerns over noise and light pollution; and
  • Marijuana is now a legal agricultural crop and should be recognized by the County and treated the same as the cultivation of food, feed, wine grapes, hops, spirits, food grade and medicinal herbs, and all other recognized agricultural crops with regard to policies, regulations, and all other governmental actions.

Fraternally Yours,

San Juan Island Grange #966 Executive Committee

Boyd C. Pratt, 2015 Master

Roger Ellison, 2015 Overseer

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