Jun 152017

By Terry Lee LaCombe-Stevens

It is hard to believe but the Northeast Youth Conference is less than a month away! We have room for a couple of young people and old!

If you are interested in going to U Mass Amherst, this July 7th, 8th and home on the 9th, please call or email me! We have scholarships available if you are between the ages of 14 and 35 ! We welcome/need all ages, but we apologize, we do not have scholarships available if you are over 35!

Remember we are hosting the 2018 Northeast Youth Conference and “Many hands make light work” consider attending this year to train for next year!

We only need 8-20 people  (75 percent Youth) to have a Drill Team! Contact me if you are interested!

Last but not least I would like Cristina Colson, Immediate Past Maine Youth Director for her hard work and enthusiasm! She has become a full-time student and needs to focus on her school work! We look forward to seeing Christina and her hard working Sister in Grange Youth and attending Grange Programs!

Jun 152017

Christine Hebert1by Christine Hebert, Junior Director

We had seven Juniors attend camp this year. It started out with a friendly game of Frisbee where everyone got to meet each other. We worked on several of our crafts throughout the day and many more. I think the pictures on the website speak for themselves. One of the crafts we made was the Bread Dough Ornament where it starts out with tearing up two slices of bread and adding glue to it. We set it out to dry and a dog got into it and ate a couple of them, so we had the juniors (that had been eating) make theirs over.

We were joined by our Maine State Grange Master: Rick Grotton—who got to see us make and enjoy our S’mores Bars. The winners of this contest were: Carter Pike and Jillian Frechette, Congratulations!

Our guided tour started out with candle making, then proceeded with a scavenger hunt in the barn where we learned how to strip corn from the cob, then off to the mill we went where we got to see how they put together a dry barrow. It was a hands-on event making the cover, everyone had to sign the cover and we got to keep it. Then off to the shingle shed we went and learned how to make shingles. We finished up at the homestead where we took a tour of and learned how to churn butter and make corn muffins. We finished the tour by eating the muffins we made. Sister Sherry Harriman joined us near the end of the tour and got to enjoy a corn muffin we had made.

We finished up with going to Norway Grange #45 where we put on a supper for the members. Each junior got a chance to memorize the junior’s pledge and did some creative writing. We set the tables, served the members, and enjoyed a nice dinner. After cleaning up we returned to Scribner’s Mill for some free time.

On Sunday, we woke up to find that a raccoon had gotten into the tent and helped himself to all of the ornaments and other items. We have decided that we will be changing the due date of this contest to October at the State session.

New friends were made, lots of laughter shared and a great time was had by all.

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Jun 142017

Annisby Jim Annis, Legislative Director

The last resolution submitted to the Legislative Committee to eventually be sent to the Maine State Legislature to be sent out as a bill currently resides in limbo.

The resolution, submitted by Cumberland Pomona, requests that automobile inspections for automobiles younger than five years of age be inspected by the state once every two years.

The Legislative bill, LD 623 and titled An Act To Require Biennial State Motor Vehicle Inspections, has been tabled twice. It currently is listed as “unfinished business” as of April 20, 2017.

What its chances are for being made law are pretty remote at this point in time. But I will maintain contact with the bill’s sponsor.

Unfortunately, Grange bills haven’t had much luck this year. But this bill isn’t really dead yet. There’s still hope for it. I’ll keep you informed.


Jun 132017

HeatherBy Heather Retberg

This week, late spring gave us day after cloudy day perfect for working in the garden to transplant all that potential food when the bright sun and the wind wouldn’t stress out tiny seedlings.  The whole family had descended on the garden last week, five of us working for hours together to wage our annual witchgrass battle, free the asparagus, liberate the garlic, prepare for squashes and strawberries, potatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes.  Ahhh…tomatoes!    This week holds promise for hotter, sunnier days better suited to placing seeds in the warming soil, tiny packages of dormant life just waiting for activation.

Last Monday, just after evening milking–strangely, this is often when babies tend to arrive on the farm–Dewdrop kidded.  Phil and Ben called Carolyn and me up to our neighbor’s fields above our farm to ‘help them with the goats.’  With no signal from Phil of urgency or emergency, Carolyn and I headed north, strolling, really, up to the field, and…wondering.  With what could they possibly need our help?  Then, we saw.  Dewdrop’s tail was bright red, flagging in the waning light of day. And beside her lay two small, wet dark goatlings.  Dark, save for white markings on their heads–both have some sign of Dewdrop herself, with white patches on top or just below their foreheads.  Dewdrop had one doe and one buckling, both so tiny and soft as only newborns are.  Almost a week old, they are beginning to bounce that vertical kid bounce, running sideways just as often as forward, nursing, sleeping, nestled in grasses taller than they are, dwarfed by the growing blueberry plants in the fields.  Remarkably, though they have been Quill’s Endians for almost one full week already, neither has yet been named.  The doe seems quite intrepid, lowering her head to challenge the older goats within the first hour of being born.  The wee buck seems happiest when napping, is cuddlier, and all around slower to rise and follow than his sister.  They make a sweet pair.

While we tend the farm, I am also attuned to carefully tending food sovereignty over the finish line in Augusta.  Last week held a unanimous 35-0 enactment vote by the Senate, a curious development, as there isn’t usually a ‘roll-call vote’ on enacting a bill that has already been voted on (engrossed) earlier.  But, we certainly wouldn’t have expected a UNANIMOUS vote at this point.  Yet, there it was.  The bill is NOW on the governor’s desk awaiting action.  He can do 3 things: sign the bill, veto the bill, or allow it to become law without his signature after a period of 10 days.  He has indicated that he would veto the bill, has indicated later that he would sign it, and, after a meeting with our closest legislative ally, Rep. Hickman, that he would reconsider his intent to veto.  The governor also said he has only heard from a few of us about LD 725 An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems.  This is the week when taking the easiest step may also prove the most effective.  Flooding the governor’s phone line with calls encouraging him simply to sign LD 725 are just what’s needed now.  Dozens of calls will produce dozens of slips of paper on his desk at JUST the moment in time when he is considering what to do with the bill.    You can call his office at 287-3531 and leave a brief message with your name, your town and that you’d like him to sign LD 725 ( http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/citizen_services/index.shtml). If you have more words to share on why local control is essential to the vibrancy and health of our local food systems, you can also email him a brief letter this week at governoratmainedotgov  (governoratmainedotgov)   and copy his agricultural senior policy advisor: Lancedotlibbyatmainedotgov  (Lancedotlibbyatmainedotgov)   .  At this point, the more of us he hears from, the better!


Heather and Phil Retberg together with their three children run Quill’s End Farm, a 105-acre property in Penobscot that they bought in 2004. They use rotational grazing on their fifteen open acres and are renovating thirty more acres from woods to pasture to increase grazing for their pigs, grass-fed cattle, lambs, laying hens, and goats. Heather is Master of Halcyon Grange #345 and writes a newsletter for their farm’s buying clubs for farmers in her area and has generously given us permission to share some of her columns with Grangers throughout the state.

Grange members are invited to submit guest columns to Views from the Farm for consideration by emailing the webmaster. Please note that the views and opinions expressed in contributed articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Grange.

Jun 122017

Jefferson firefighter Don Hastings was presented with a Spirit of America Award on Thursday, June 8 at Willow Grange in Jefferson. Hastings was recognized for his service to the town of Jefferson.

Hastings grew up in Tallman, N.Y., where he was a junior fireman until he moved to Spring Valley, N.Y., where he served as deputy chief from 1960-1962 and chief from 1962-1964.
Then he was hired as the Rockland County fire coordinator and managed the fire mutual aid system, the fire dispatch system, and operations at the Rockland County Fire Training Center.

He retired in 1991 and moved to Jefferson, Maine. He immediately signed on with Jefferson Fire and Rescue. After discovering that firefighters in Lincoln County did not have advanced training available to them, Hastings began to arrange training at Rockland County’s large training facility. He worked with the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association and Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Director Gerry Silva to arrange bus transportation to New York so hundreds of Lincoln County firefighters could receive training.

Lincoln County firefighters formed a bond with firefighters from Rockland County, which led to the donation of used fire equipment, including trucks, to departments in Lincoln County.
Hastings was a “very vivid supporter of the formation” of the Lincoln County Fire Academy, Lincoln County Fire Academy President Dave Pratt said. The first class to graduate from the Lincoln County Fire Academy was in 2007, and the Academy recognized Hastings’ work by presenting an award in his name to one of the graduates, John Roberts, a member of Willow Grange.
Hastings thoroughly enjoyed the evening, often interrupting to tell a story or recognize a fellow firefighter. Roll call was by fire department: Jefferson, 17; Waldoboro, 2; Damariscotta, 2; Bremen, 2; and Thomaston, 1. There were also 14 Grangers from Willow (3 are firefighters), one member of Chelsea Grange and ten guests.

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Jun 102017

Nine Grangers and friends spent two days recently at Maple Grove #148 meeting hall preparing 12 quilts for Project Linus. They will be donated to Center for Grieving Children in Portland.
Pictured here are Pauline Spencer, White Rock Grange, Norma Haines, Mount Etna Grange, Jackie Morgan, Lyn Carter and Ann Burns, Maple Grove Grange. Back row: Sue Farrington, Edie Maynard, and Holly Welch all of Maple Grove. Absent when photo was taken, Pat Smart, of Bridgton.

Jun 052017

margaretBy Margaret Morse,
MSG Lecturer

It’s hard to believe that it is time for elections; some of you may be reelected lecturer, whereas some of you may be elected for the first time. Once you have been elected it’s time to plan your program for the year. Did you know that almost every day is a holiday or celebration of something? If you’re not sure what is being celebrated there are at least a couple of websites that will tell you what unusual holiday or food is being celebrated. If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, these lists may give you a good place for your imagination to take off. Remember if you use any material that is not original or considered “general knowledge” always cite your sources.

The deadline for sending in entries for the Poetry, Skit and Writing contests are looming. All entries must be received by July 1, 2017. These may be submitted by email or snail mail. If you email your entry please put “contest entry” on the subject line. If you send it snail mail please write, “contest entry” on the bottom left corner of the envelope. Also, if you entered these contests last year and have a copy of your entry you may send them in and they will be judged as new entries. Rules for these contests should be available from your Grange Lecturer or can be found in the lecturer’s section under the Program Books & Information tab on the MSG Website.

For those who will be attending the Northeast Lecturers’ Conference in Vermont, parts for the program will be assigned and sent to each participant after June 30, 2017. There will not be a rehearsal prior to the conference but there is time set aside to rehearse during the conference.

Jun 052017


By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

Community Service Corner

Summer is just around the corner and hopefully with it the warmer weather. I hope everyone’s gardens are planted and everyone planted a few extra for donating to a local food pantry or neighbor who you know is not able to plant. We are getting closer and closer to another State Session and contest deadlines.  Remember Community Service Books are due to me by August 15, 2017. The easiest way for me to receive them is to mail them directly to me: Christine Corliss, 162 Center Road, Lebanon, ME 04027. If you do not do a Community Service Book at least send in the Activity Sheet a copy can be printed from the Maine State Grange Website or you can email me directly at Christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (Christinecorlissatymaildotcom)   and I will forward one over to you.

Family, Health & Hearing

August is World Humanitarian Awareness Month, National Immunization Month, National Goat Cheese Month and Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month, just to name a few.  Have a local farmer bring in Goat Cheese and discuss how it is made and its benefits vs processed cheese.  Bring in a local person and open your Grange Hall to discuss the importance of immunizations in regards to the spread of diseases who have long since become almost dormant due to vaccinations.

No matter what you do bring awareness to your Grange, promote education to your community, and always have fun.

Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!