Jun 202017

by Heather Retberg

On last Friday morning, Governor Paul LePage signed the food sovereignty bill into law.

“In the year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen,” begins the bill,  “be it enacted by the people of the State of Maine as follows…”

The bill officially recognizes the authority of our towns to regulate our food systems by local ordinance when the sales are between individual farmers, food producers, and customers.  It also offers into state law the first definition of ‘local food system’.  What began in 2009 as an administrative language change that made our work illegal overnight, has now, at long last, been corrected.  The rule of law is behind our labors once again!  We have prevailed in defining ourselves and what we do in legal terms.  And, further, the state of Maine recognizes that each of us in our towns, has the authority under home rule at town meeting, to decide for ourselves how our food needs are met.  A very heartfelt thanks to all of you over this last session and over the years, for your words of encouragement and sustenance.  Thanks also for contacting representatives, senators and the governor to protect the food system and the relationships around it that we have cultivated together over the years.  It is a sweet time of celebration we are so pleased to share with all of you!

The full text of the soon to be chaptered law:


Please do the last thing, the best, most pleasant part of this whole process: write the governor one more time and express your thanks for his signature.  Also, please thank your senator and representative for their efforts and votes, and help them know just how important this is outside of the halls of the statehouse.

Apr 042017

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119, reprinted with permission. 

The Maine Senior FarmShare Program entitles eligible seniors to receive a FarmShare, $50 worth, of first-quality, fresh local produce from a Maine farm for a core eight-week period during the growing season.  Seniors sign up directly with a participating farmer each year in April.

Different farms participating in the Senior FarmShare Program offer different types of fruits and vegetables.  You should check with the farmer before signing up to be sure a farm’s offerings will meet your needs.  The fruits and vegetables will be available at different times during the growing season.

To learn more about this Program, please click here.  If you are uncertain about your eligibility to participate, you should contact your Area Agency on Aging by calling the ELDERS-1 toll-free number at 1-877-353-3771.

Nov 232016

There is much to wish for… and much to be thankful for this year. Visit The Thanksgiving Reader Website  — Grangers love readings and this will give you everything you need to make your holiday meal a little more special this year. Everything you need is there and it’s all free… it will only take a few minutes. (You’ll need to do some printing, so do this before dinner!) Not to be a spoiler, but I found the last suggested question worthy of serious consideration. “Have you lived a life that deserves gratitude from others?”


Sep 232016

Dictionary Project Logo

by Walter Boomsma, based on Dictionary Project Newsletter

Here’s an interesting idea… a fundraiser sponsored by the River Region Republican Women was recently held at the Jefferson Orleans South with 11 celebrity politicians participating in the competition. The proceeds will be used to buy English and Spanish dictionaries for third-grade students in Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John parishes. You really have to read the article, but a short description is that they created a “cook off” (sounds like a natural for a Grange!) with attendees acting as “voters” to determine the top dishes.

Read the whole story.

An interesting twist on this… A Pomona Grange sponsors a “cook off” between member Granges!

Jun 142016

fundraisingBy Steven Haycock, Chairman

As I write this column the Craft Fair & Yard Sale is only a week and a half away, I’m hoping it’s going to be a great success.  I want to thank Maynard & Gladys Chapman and Norm Smith of Danville Jct. Grange who are handling the light lunch that will be available, CWA Director Karen Flagg for running and organizing the bake sale, and Agricultural Directors Bob & Agnes Nelson who are going to sell our Agricultural Pride t-shirts.

We have designed an Agricultural Pride t-shirt which as I mentioned before.  These fun t-shirts will make their debut at the Yard Sale with a limited quantity, and we will take orders after that.

The original cookbook deadline of May 15 has come and gone.  We didn’t get enough recipes to create the four separate cookbooks I wanted to do, so we’ve extended the deadline until July 31. Please take the time as soon as you read this article to write down some recipes and send them to State Grange HQ.

DO YOU HAVE TALENT?  On September 24 at 7pm at Topsham Grange we will host a Variety Show.  There will also be a silent auction and refreshments as well.   I’m pleased to say that Mitch Thomas, Executive Director of the Franco-American Center will be our featured entertainment.  Those of you who attended the North East Lecturers Conference last year will remember Mitch as he was the entertainment on Spirit Night.  We are looking for acts to perform in the show.  They don’t need to be Grange members, but need to be appropriate for all ages.  This should a fun and wonderful evening, I hope that many of you will be able to attend and or perform.  If you would like to be in the show, please contact me a soon as possible at 998-2586 or Granger04071ataoldotcom  (Granger04071ataoldotcom)  .

Note: Did you the Maine State Grange has a Facebook page?  I’m the administrator, it contains mostly posts that can be found on the State Grange website with some posts from National Grange and other Granges around the country. I also throw in some fun and facts as well.  Find us and like us on Facebook by searching Maine State Grange.

Apr 182016

fundraisingBy Steven Haycock, Chairman

Here is a brief update on the fundraising committee activities and upcoming events:

  • Thank you to everyone who has bought candy bars from me.  We’ve raised over $100.00 just from candy bar sales!


  • Thank you to everyone who has sent recipes for the cookbooks.  They’re starting to come in now, but more are still needed.  Keep them coming in, the deadline is May 15.


  • The committee is working on designing two t-shirts to sell.   One will be a promotional Grange t-shirt and the other will be an agriculture pride t-shirt.   I hope to have these ready for the sale on June 25.

Craft Fair & Yard Sale:

  • We have rented three table spaces for the craft fair and there are still nine available for anyone who would like to rent one for $20.00.  The yard sale part will only be a success if members are willing to donate some “attic treasures.”  Please contact State Grange HQ to arrange a time to drop off your donations before June 20.  I want to give a quick shout our to CWA Director Karen Flagg for agreeing to manage and solicit for the bake sale and Gladys Chapman for being willing to organize and run the snack bar.  The “Ultimate Grange Craft Fair and Yard Sale”  will be at State Grange HQ on Saturday, June 25 from 9 am to 2 pm.

Car Magnets:

  • The Grange car magnets will be coming back soon!

Variety Show:

  • I happy to announce that we will be holding a variety show with a silent auction on September 24th at Topsham Grange.  We’re a looking for people to perform in the show, this should be a lot of fun.  I happy to say that noted performer and Grange member Mitch Thomas has agreed to perform at the show.  Much more information on this to come.

If you’re looking for more information about any of these events or are looking to rent a table for the Craft Fair, or volunteering to perform in the Variety show, please contact me at granger04071ataoldotcom  (granger04071ataoldotcom)   or at 998-2586.

Apr 032016

recipesBy Steven Haycock,
Fundraising Committee Chairman

The Maine State Grange is going to be doing a cookbook fundraiser later this year and we need your help.  We are seeking Grange members recipes for the cookbooks.  We’re going to try something new this time, instead of one large cookbook we’ll be having four smaller cookbooks:

  • Appetizers
  • Main Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Pickles & Preserving

Please send your recipes with your name, Grange name and number to Maine State Grange Headquarters 146 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04330.  Please note on the recipe if it’s gluten or sugar-free.  The deadline is May 15. We have had some recipes come in, but not nearly enough to make this project a success.

Please consider taking the lead in your Grange and volunteering to gather the recipes.  Be sure to ask those members who don’t come to meetings as often or who are no longer able to attend.

Thank you in advance for your support for this project.


Apr 032016
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

Here’s a quick tip gleaned from a recent “Legislative Update” published by National Grange:

Bus Stop Farmers Markets

Following in the footsteps of food trucks, those mobile fast food stands parked along city streets at noon, mobile farm stands are beginning to show up in so-called “food deserts.” These low-income neighborhoods have plenty of quickie marts and liquor stores but lack full-service grocery stores with fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods. These mobile markets show up at bus stops and transit stations in low-income neighborhoods with fresh goods typically at discounted prices.

Mar 212016

by Jim Annis, Legislative Director

Due to a lengthy debate on the minimum wage increase and the Maine State Grange Legislative Luncheon, the legislature adjourned last Thursday before voting on LD 783. Since this gives folks a second chance to contact their representatives with comments, another action alert has been issued. It contains both the text of the proposed referendum question and the proposed amendment and is available here: Call to action on LD 783 – II. The vote will likely happen this Tuesday.