Checking out the Grange

At lunch, I met with Robin, the president of the Pittsfield Grange. It was a very cool meeting! They are excited to partner with us on the as-yet unnamed community food venture. The kitchen is large, and if the workflow layout isn’t ideal, there is at least a lot of counter space, big sinks, and two stoves. Plus dishes, punch bowls, chafing racks, etc. It will be a fine space for most activities.

The hall rental deal is, if we have more than 6 events a year, we can rent it all day Sunday for $80 a pop (or, I think, the afternoon/evening for $40, but I’d need to check). But, if a few of us join the Grange and it becomes a Grange-sponsored event, there is no rental fee. I think he also alluded to being able to have a treasury for this project, specifically, as opposed to having any money we make go into the general Grange fund.

Next steps: attend a Grange meeting (end of January) and decide if our first event will be in January or February. I don’t want to join until I’ve been to at least one meeting, but I don’t want to wait until Feb to do an event, so I think I’ll schedule 6 events at the $80 rate, starting in January, and if I join in Feb or so, they can just waive the fee for those.



  1. TeacherPatti said,

    December 16, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I LOVE how you immediately took action, Emily! You rock!!
    Do you want anyone to go to the Grange meeting with you?

  2. Emily said,

    December 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    You wanna come, Patti, and protect me from the Grangers? 🙂

  3. Matriarchy said,

    December 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I can’t wait to hear how this all works out. We have a Grange here, too ( on Grange Rd, LOL) – but I am focuses on urban food connections. Maybe I can find a VFW or some other old fraternal organization with an aging kitchen.

  4. Suzie said,

    December 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Robin & Helen are great!

  5. TeacherPatti said,

    December 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I got your back, Emily…just let me know when the meeting is! 🙂

  6. Ken said,

    December 16, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    You don’t waste any time! I will be interested to see how this goes — and maybe try to join you for one of these events.

    *go you*

  7. Emily said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:37 am

    *laugh* Y’all think I’m so speedy, but *I* realize I’ve been thinking about this for over a year. And I started putting wheels in motion before I told anyone about it. But once you start something like this, why dawdle? I’m actually waiting for the hitch…it’s been almost too straightforward so far…

  8. Momster said,

    December 17, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Do they still dance??

  9. Emily said,

    December 17, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Mom- Oh yes! This is the dancingest Grange I’ve ever seen! In fact, theeir plan in the 1980s was to open the hall up to various dance groups: swing, contra, tango, Scottish country, etc. And apparently there was a big shift about 5 years ago where “dancers” took over many of the leadership positions from long-time “grangers.”

    I have, of course, danced at this Grange*, but I’ve not had an 80 year-old bachelor farmer offer to “take me for a spin” then “let his friend Hank have me for a whirl.” 🙂

    * For those of you who didn’t know me in high school, I would seek out Friday night Grange dances in my home county. Ah, the wild and crazy days of my youth!

  10. Diana Dyer said,

    December 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    ……I would seek out Friday night Grange dances in my home county…….
    I first thought this said “home country” and I wondered what I missed here! The I focused and realized my mistake. My husband blanched when I told him I had signed us up to teach pasta making for you but we’re in. Dick can handle anything (is rarely speechless!) and it will be a great time. Yes, I second those who have said “you rock!” and now I am inspired to come dance, too. 🙂

  11. Emily said,

    December 17, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Yay! Thank you, Diana! My mom (Momster) also had a great idea to do make-and-take entree nights – and I think your kale balls will make the list!

  12. TeacherPatti said,

    December 18, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I love dancing at the Grange!!

  13. MK said,

    December 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I think I mentioned it on MLFB, but I would be into teaching the home canning/food preservation stuff.

  14. Emily said,

    December 22, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Thanks, MK! I’m putting together a schedule over the break…I’ll be in touch!

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