Submitted by Jodie Snapp for Lopez Island Grange
Have you been to Lopez Grange lately? March is Agriculture Month and you may have noticed spring has sprung early this year. Our membership is growing, events are gaining island wide interest and our movie nights are about to display a little more pizazz.
Since January, the Grange has been the host venue of a monthly Little Winter Market; with the final market for the season on April 21. Folks looking for local Lopez foods have found their favorites in one location. Additionally, they have been greeted with many local musical talents providing entertainment. The monthly potluck and square dances have found islanders young and old sharing a meal and dancing away the evening. Outdoor movie nights last summer were a big hit and moved indoors until the warmer weather this June.
The Grange was recently awarded funding from lodging tax, “A Reflection of Island Community Life: Farming, Food and Entertainment.” The grange was awarded $13,445, to be used to support our event schedule for 2018. The recent Mardi Gras Fundraising Dance and our indoor markets were featured in the grant application. Grant monies will help with marketing and outreach, utility bills, year-round porta-john rental and service, musician stipends for our scheduled concerts, dances and winter markets and rentals for tables and chairs. Last but not least, we get a movie screen and a popcorn machine! We are grateful for our growing membership and community support.
To show off our new movie screen we are pleased to present a first-run film screening of Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell’s new documentary film: “Evolution of Organic” on Friday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. It’s the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters reject chemical farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It’s a heartfelt journey of change; from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream, split into an industry-oriented toward bringing organic to all people and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture. It’s the most popular and successful outgrowth of the environmental impulse of the last fifty years.
Prior to the movie, to honor the island’s rich organic agricultural history, we will have a Speakers Panel: “Origins of Organic Farming on Lopez Island” with Brent Charnley, Christine Langley, Susan Bill, Alberta Plate, and Becky Johnson. Join us to hear tales from the fields, from some of the pioneers of the early days of organic farming on Lopez Island from the 1980’s to the present. The panel will run about an hour, followed by the movie. Enjoy popcorn served from our new machine! The suggested $5 – $10 donation will benefit the Granges building maintenance fund. This past year, money raised through an online fundraiser, donations, and event admissions, have been earmarked for exterior repair and repainting of the Grange building in summer of 2018.
Visit the Lopez Library throughout March, for our display on Grange history. The next monthly membership meeting will be held on April 5 at 7 p.m. New members welcome! For further info, check out our Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.