Thank You!

The members of the Silverton Grange would like to extend a warm thank you to all those folks who helped make our Fifty Mile Breakfast a success, either by attending, buying a raffle ticket or by providing materials for us to serve.

We would especially like to thank our sponsors, whose donations made the breakfast and raffle basket possible. Between the breakfast itself and the Raffle Basket, we are now well on our way to getting our community kitchen upgrade plans. And Mayor Rasmussen’s last-minute $200.00 donation from the Mayor’s Ball was likewise greatly appreciated!

Sherry Pollock
President Silverton Grange

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100-Mile Breakfast Shrinks…

50 Mile BreakfastOnce again, the Silverton Grange is hosting our “localvore” Breakfast on Saturday, August 28, 2010, from 8 am to 11 am at the Silverton Grange Hall. Originally our breakfast featured foods made from scratch with ingredients grown or produced within 100 miles of Silverton.

This year we have decided to shrink our reach and to focus on those items within a 50 mile radius. The event is intended to encourage people to consume foods from their local area. There is a $7 suggested donation. Everyone is welcome.

The menu will include buckwheat pancakes, SortaSausage®, vegetable frittata, fresh fruit, fruit compotes, sausage, and  beverages.

“Within even 50 miles of Silverton is a cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, grains, and seafood,” explains April Brenden-Locke, Silverton Grange member. “We want to provide a delicious meal to community members showcasing the incredible foods we have available in our local area.”

Information and resources will be available at the event to show people the benefits of eating local food and where they can buy local products.

“Produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches our supermarkets,” says Brenden-Locke. “Buying more local food decreases our dependency on foreign oil and supports local family farms.”

Founded in 1867, the Grange is the nation’s oldest farm organization and supports sustainable communities, local agriculture, and education. “The Silverton Grange is bringing these ideals into the 21st century by being relevant to today’s families and today’s issues. We believe local farmers and food producers are critical to that goal,” says Brenden-Locke.

Corporate Accounatability

Note: The following was written in response to a Legislative Alert sent by email from The National Grange Legislative Policy Committee. The opinions within are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Silverton Grange.

Molly Thompson; Legislative Program Assistant
Re: National Grange Legislative Action Alert 13

Madam:

I recently received an “Action Alert” urging all Grange Members to OPPOSE House Resolution 5175, designed to reign-in the alleged “constitutional rights” of corporate organizations.

I joined the Grange specifically for it’s early opposition to unbridled corporate power, monopolies and their “middle men.” For over a hundred years, our country has been ever increasingly under the thumb of these corporate interests, whose only goal is to increase profits for share holders.

This situation, fueled by dwindling supplies of non-renewable fossil fuels, has evolved into a massive centralized civilization that even the ancient Soviets would envy. The current fact that campaigns are judged by how much money is raised, is not only obscene, but un-patriotic.

And now the National Grange wants us to oppose the small measure of accountability that HR5175 would mandate. What does the National Grange have to fear from citizens knowing how much money was spent by them?

Maybe because the National Grange is actually more supportive of those same corporate interests? And perhaps fear that HR5175’s accountability would reveal to all this fact?

If the National Grange was truly concerned about family farms and the future of rural America, they might be wise to actually support same. Instead of the centralized corporate predators that feed off of us.

I will advise all my friends and neighbors to contact their Congress folks to SUPPORT HR5175.

Sincerely,

Gus Frederick; Lecturer
Silverton Grange No:748

Announcing the Agricultural Reclamation Act

Note: The following was forwarded from the Friends of Family Farmers, and we proudly pass it on here.

Today, we are happy to announce that the Agricultural Reclamation Act document is finished and ready to go out into the world. If you would like a copy of the document, you can contact me directly, or download it from the Friends of Family Farmers website.

We have an online endorsement form where you, your friends, family, neighbors and customers can sign on to show your support for the Agricultural Reclamation Act. We also have a new video up that Colin has put together from the Delegation. All of this can be found at the web address above!

Also, we recently presented the Agricultural Reclamation Act to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. While there were some glimmers of hope, it seemed clear that the current mindset of the ODA will remain unabated unless there are significant outside forces influencing the future of the agency.

The Agricultural Reclamation Act has real potential to be that positive outside influence. We must be unrelenting in our pursuit for agency education and the support systems that the socially responsible farming sector deserves.

With that said, the Department of Agriculture needs to continue to hear from all of you. If you have not done so already (and a big thanks to those who have), please take a minute or two to send us personal comments or anecdotes on any of the following topics:

  1. Specific examples on how the ODA has demonstrated inconsistent interpretation of rules and regulations,
  2. How the ODA could improve their service and further support you,
  3. Your experience with confusing local, state and federal jurisdiction issues,
  4. The need for something like the ARA and the process we have been through

We will continue to send these to the ODA on a weekly basis until they begin to understand what is actually happening on the ground.

Finally, as a community, we also need to continue to effectively organize, network with other farmers and ranchers, talk to our neighbors and customers, and provide a base of support for one another so that we can strengthen the economic and physical viability of agriculture in Oregon. The future of change lies in our hands.

Please help us spread the word as we build widespread public support for these ideas and work to create change that will positively effect our farms, ranches, economy and communities.

All of our best to you,

Megan and the rest of the FoFF crew

Megan Fehrman
Grassroots Coordinator
Friends of Family Farmers
P.O. Box 1286
Molalla, OR 97038
FriendsofFamilyFarmers.org
Office: 503.759.3276

Transition Granges

Over the week of June 20, the Oregon State Grange held it’s annual Convention in the Southwest Oregon community of Roseburg. Here, the Silverton Grange has decided to let itself be known to those involved in State and National Grange legislative policy. What follows is our letter, as a local Grange, in regards to current legislative policy trends.

Transition NetworkMany of us in the Silverton Grange became involved at the urging of several friends and neighbors. To be quite honest, most of us had no clue what the Grange as an organization represented. However, once we researched the roots of the Grange movement in the latter half of the nineteenth century, our interest was piqued. Everything the Grange stood for: Support of local agriculture and industry, community cooperatives, sustainability, are all principles that we have tried to live by. It is extremely refreshing to be a part of a greater community of folks interested in the same community goals.

However lately we have been receiving “legislative alerts” and similar communications from the State and National Grange organizations, urging us to move against many of the same principles many of us were attracted to in the first place. Whether it is siding with multinational chemical companies like Monsanto that force their patented seeds on the world, or “advising us” to contact our elected officials to oppose sensible legislation, geared to addressing renewable energy and climate change.

Frankly, we have taken the tact of advising our members to simply do the opposite of what the State or National “Legislative Policy” experts advise. Meanwhile, Grange memberships Nation-wide continue to dwindle, and more vacant Grange Halls are sold to land developers.

What happened to the support for local Farmers and the communities they serve? Are they not more important to the core Grange base than the likes of monopolistic multinational corporations? And is that not one of the initial sparks that ignited the Grange movement in the first place? The corporate monopolies and their middlemen?

The Grange as an organization, needs to focus on relocalization of the rural economy. The coming years will see increased energy costs, which will dramatically affect the cost of most of our commodities, as most goods are produced and shipped vast distances and their price depends on how much it costs to ship. This “centralized” approached to our daily needs is flawed and is already failing, as it is based on non-renewable resources, planned obsolescence and unsustainable growth.

However, society as a whole, is slowly moving towards a relocalization paradigm, even if many in industry fail to recognize it, or actively oppose it. We see this in our grocery stores with the ever-expanding range of local organic produce; Or in the increase in vibrant Farmer’s Markets and in the creative ingenuity of many of our rural citizens.

Our society has grown up around the paradigm of cheap energy and rapid mobility. This is changing no matter what anyone feels about it one way or the other. The Grange can either accept this changing paradigm, and indeed become a major player and even leader in rural communities. Or we can continue support the promise of a past that no longer has a future. Many of us plan the be a part of the change.

Gus Frederick, Lecturer
Silverton Grange No. 748
Silverton, Oregon

Grange to Host Candidates Forum

Marion County, OregonAs the first forum of the 2010 Election Season, The Silverton Grange is pleased to host a Candidates Forum featuring the two contenders for one of the Marion County Commissioner seats.  Incumbent Republican Commissioner Patti Milne and Democratic challenger Jason Freilinger will both be on hand to introduce themselves, their positions on the future of Marion County, and will take questions from the audience.

Since this is the primary election, and both Candidates are running unopposed. They will square off with one another next November during the general election. Come with your questions! Refreshments provided! All are welcome!

Doors open at 6:00 – Candidates Speak at 7:00.

The Silverton Grange Hall is located at 201 Division St., Silverton. From Main & Water, head south 1.7 miles on Water St. towards the Falls, and turn left on Division St. Web.

Grange to Host Salem Chicken Video

Urban HenOn Sunday, April 4, 2010, for our Monthly meeting, the Silverton Grange will host a showing of “The Chicken Revolution” the award-winning documentary, high-lighting the on-going “Urban Hen” debate in Salem.

We will be starting at 4:00, an hour early to accommodate the video. We plan to enjoy our usual monthly potluck dinner while watching the video. From the Website:

“This 75-minute film chronicles our efforts to join the Urban Chicken Movement in Salem, Oregon. There’s a lot to learn from our experiences. You will see a variety of backyard coops, including some featured in the Portland coop tour. Visit chicken-friendly cities throughout Oregon and Washington and hear what chicken-keepers have to say, as well as ‘outlaws’ in the Chicken Underground.”

All are welcome!

Date: April 4, 2010
Time: Doors open 4:00 / DVD starts shortly after with Potluck Dinner
Regular Business Meeting to Follow DVD

Location: Silverton Grange No. 748, 201 Division Street, Silverton
(From Main & Water, head south towards the Falls 1.7 miles on Water St., then turn left on Division St.)

Gus Frederick; Lecturer
Silverton Grange No.748