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Page added on April 28, 2007

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The ‘greening’ of the Grange

Over the past three years, an influx of middle-aged and late middle-aged baby boomers, mostly from the Willits Economic Localization Group (WELL), has brought an infusion of relative youth and energy into the Little Lake Grange.


The Grange is a grass roots organization with roots going back to 1867, when it was founded in the United States. It arose as a grass roots organization of farmers and rural folk in opposition to the power of the railroads. As American rural society changed, so did the Grange, but it retained its emphasis on promoting agricultural concerns and in supporting agricultural life.

…In a recent interview, Jergensen explored some of the conditions that led him to form a link between the Grange and the WELL. “Based on the connectivity of agriculture the Grange’s history and mission, and the interests of Jason (Bradford) in relocalizing, especially in relocalizing agriculture in Willits, and then you throw in Peak Oil into the mix, I recognized that our food situation is so precariously unstable. And the fact that we are so dependent on fossil fuels.” Although he could not be made to specifically say it, Jergensen may have thought that the situation was dire enough to warrant massive and innovative cooperation between community groups. “I had been going by that building for 30 years. I just remember driving by one day, and a light went on in my head and I said to myself, ‘Of course,’” he said.

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