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The History Of The Grange And How We Are Reimagining It

the Urban Grange Logo with beet

The original grange is an organization in the United States which encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture. Farmers would exchange ideas on how to deal with issues like pests, irrigation etc, exchange seed and share tools

The Grange, founded after the Civil War in 1867, is the oldest American agricultural advocacy group with a national scope. Major accomplishments credited to Grange advocacy include the establishment of rural free mail delivery and women's suffrage. (Susan B. Anthony's last public appearance was at the National Grange Convention in 1903). In 2005, the Grange had a membership of 160,000, with organizations in 2,100 communities in 36 states. Many rural communities in the United States still have a Grange Hall and local Granges still serve as a centre of rural life for many farming communities. In many ways granges were a precursor to today’s community centre. In fact many older grange halls have been repurposed as community centres.

It is our vision to reimagine the grange as a community based resource that enables city dwellers to grow and access healthy local food. Our primary focus will be on enabling food access and equality to everyone. This means we will be looking at growing home gardens using efficient and cost effective techniques. Originally we had a plan with an urban farm to set up in downtown Vancouver but life had different plans for us. So we will be establishing The Urban Grange on our small homestead in the Fraser Valley.

In the short term we will be posting informative blogs but in the long term we hope to be able to invite people to experience our gardens in person. This will include creating garden applications for urban spaces as well as homesteads. We have already started an apple tree hedge and chicken proof garden beds with a twist.

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