Connie Madden, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The article, “Sonoma County’s Granges status in question” on Oct. 2 left out the character and work of the California State Grange, now called CSG, after a court order obtained by the National Grange made it unable to use the common word grange.
Living at Oasis Community Farm just outside Petaluma, we’ve learned farming is tough and isolating. To keep small and organic farms alive and kicking takes support, and our grange village has stretched to Sacramento and San Luis Obispo and beyond.
But now the National Grange has disavowed the California State Grange with a court ruling that the CSG can no longer call itself a grange and must relinquish properties.
We’ve learned while attempting to label genetically modified foods and such that Monsanto Corp. and others have so invaded our land as to threaten the integrity of organic farming altogether. So we stand against that. The National Grange does not.
The Petaluma Grange has been a great alternative to doing nothing about climate change and associated tragedies. We’ve hosted speakers from Marin Slow Food and Rafael Gardens at Rudolf Steiner Institute, from Transition US and California Farm Link. We’ve learned how to build soil and build a farm business and have carpooled to demonstrations to ban fracking because we have a right to know what is injected into our water supply. We should label GMOs because we have a right to know what is in our food. We should support legalization of industrial hemp crops, which can become car parts, building material or clothing that lasts three times longer than cotton. This is all good stuff we can help do.
We were instrumental in getting the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to withdraw its attempt to raise farmers market fees that would have sent more farmers home.
The CSG has worked hard on these issues and other causes focused on regenerating a healthier, happier world to pass along to our children and grandchildren. We’ve addressed these onslaughts by working with a lobbyist and state legislators to get industrial hemp legalized, to label GMOs and to help make regulations around small farming workable for small farmers.
But with the latest challenge to the integrity of the CSG by the National Grange, much of this may be lost; I sincerely hope not.
I’ve never heard of the National Grange backing any of the causes we hold dear. Yes, it has the fraternal organization format that originally helped small farmers, but this current National Grange seems focused only on shutting down the good works of CSG.
Read more at: Close to Home: Home on the grange not | The Press Democrat