Petersham Grange 95 celebrated a year of growth with a December pot luck and a “pound auction.” The auction will continue at our January meeting. The first one-pound item auctioned proved to be a pound of fresh, local garlic grown by Bob Hayward.
Lecturer Ellen Anderson helped organize (and won) our Big Pumpkin contest and led the year-long effort to offer soil testing to local gardeners. Members of the Worcester County 4-H were invited to visit and explain their teen ambassador program. Member Barbara Hanno is collecting seeds for the Library seed lending program.
Barbara Hardaker was elected Grange Master in November. Secretary Ruth Robinson continues to send letters and cards to home-bound members. The Grange sponsored our local community garden and several of our gardeners contributed produce to our booth at the Friday Market. We helped organize the agricultural fair portion of our local Old Home Day and a Big Pumpkin contest. Sale of produce and pumpkins helped bolster our treasury.
Petersham Grange No. 95 teamed up with the local Lions Club on Aug. 23 to co-sponsor the community’s 2014 Old Home Day . The Grange returned to its traditional role of coordinating the Ag Fair this year after a 19-year hiatus during which Lions’ Club member Ken Simmons managed the event.
Grange members planned and organized the traditional Agricultural Fair part of the day’s events. Area residents are encouraged to bring produce, craft items, baked and canned items and floral arrangements for judging and an auction. This year, the fair included an update on the Grange Big Pumpkin contest and a chance to “guess the weight” of one of the pumpkins. About 20 families are still in the running in the Big Pumpkin Contest which will have a final event and announce a winner on Labor Day weekend. More than 60 families signed up for the contest last spring when the Grange provided giant pumpkin seeds to those who joined in by signing up at the Memorial Library. Lecturer Ellen Anderson is keeping a database of the contestants, soil and growing conditions and pictures of the pumpkins.
The winner of the pumpkin guessing contest was second grader Alex Armstrong with the closest guess. Alex guessed 138 pounds and the pumpkin came in at 136 pounds when it was weighed. Some 96 people each chipped in a quarter for their guess and the Grange raised $24 for the treasury.
Simmons oversaw the auction, which drew about 50 participants and raised a total of $667 for Grange programs. Other sales of member-donated produce, including local garlic from member Bob Hayward and members at our Grange-sponsored community garden, have produced about $200 over the past three weeks at the Grange pop-up tent at the local Friday Market.
Old Home Day wound up with a Lions’ Club chicken bar-b-que for more than 60 people. The Petersham Brass Band played its 801st concert on the town bandstand on the common.
Petersham Grange No. 95 will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the Congregational Church Hall and will welcome four more new members at that meeting.
It is a busy summer at Petersham Grange. We are sponsoring a community garden and many of our gardeners are contributing produce for sale at our vendor tent at the town’s Friday Market. Bob Hayward’s new, fresh garlic has been a big hit and Nancy and Roy have been contributing lots of summer squash and cukes.
Our tent at the farmers’ market gives us a good chance to display our Grange banner and talk to folks about joining our Grange. We always set up our tent next to neighbor Jean Day who tempts us every week with delicious baked goodies and right near Sun Kim’s Korean food truck.
On July 4, we took part in our local July 4 parade with a float — and a goat. Later this month, we are organizing the Agricultural Fair portion of our local Old Home Day with judging of flowers, veggies and crafts and a chili contest that is open to all.
We will also be sending judges out to track the progress of nearly 65 gardeners who signed up for our Big Pumpkin contest. Final results will be determined on Columbus Day.
At our September meeting we will be inducting at least seven new members who have joined our Grange in the last several weeks.
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