The Marys River Grange is holding its November monthly meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, November 2) with a potluck at 6:30 and business at 7:00. I tell you this because I really want you to come and be a part of this unusual and fun group.
- The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry was founded in the 1860s as an organization that advocated for the rights and opportunities of farmers and rural communities.
- The Marys River Grange in Philomath, Oregon was built in the 1930s and became a community hub for families and neighbors to gather and do charitable work while enjoying each others’ company.
- The popularity of fraternal organizations began to decline and members grew older or left the Grange.
- The Marys River Grange was on the verge of being demitted (dissolved) due to lack of members and activity.
- Neighbors and community members rallied to support the Grange and its founding principles. The Marys River Grange had a large upsurge of new participants including several farmers, farm workers, cheese makers, chefs, and enthusiastic eaters, many of whom were in their 20s (me and Henry included).
There was a big spread of food donated by local farms and food producers including soup (with ingredients from Gathering Together Farm), bread (from The Bread Board), butter and mozzarella (from my friend Lisa), homemade chevre (from me), jam (from Kings Valley Garden), and sausage (from Burnheimer Meat Company).
Brutal Bridges Backporch Band was the opening act.
The food was great. The decorations were great. The crowd was pretty hip and enthusiastic.
Sadly I had to bail to pick up my kids halfway through the movie, so I can’t offer much of a critique, and I missed the Gathering Together Farm crew’s debut performance as Alegria Musical. (So bummed that I couldn’t cheer for my friends on stage.)
There was a fair bit of head scratching, beard scratching, and chatting in general. It was the Grange at its best.
That’s Hank in the blue plaid. He’s the current Grange “Master”. Tomorrow night at the meeting, however, he’s stepping down, and unless someone else really wants to fill his shoes, Yours Truly will likely be elected Master of the Marys River Grange.
The Grange would love to host more farmer and farm-advocate filled parties, workshops, or conferences, but we’re in need of more members willing to offer up some time, energy, and/or ideas. That’s where YOU come in. If you’re a local and this kind of thing sounds interesting, please consider joining the Grange. (There is a membership fee to officially join, but we’d rather have your presence than your money, so don’t let that keep you from coming.)
Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 2, 201124707 Grange Hall Road Philomath, Oregon
Potluck at 6:30 (I’ll bring the goat cheese.) and business meeting (with elections) at 7:00
See you there!A note for all you grammar nerds: Back in high school, I learned that early settlers in this area actually named our local river the “Marys River” with no possessive apostrophe. I realize that’s incorrect punctuation, but it’s the official name. I’m carrying that on to “Marys River Grange”, so you’re just going to have to live with that.