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Thread: The California State Grange

  1. #1

    The California State Grange

    The California State Grange
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    The CSG (formerly California State Grange) is not affiliated with the National Grange {see Granger Danger, National Grance is said to be a GMO-pusher} or the Grange of the State of California’s Patrons of Husbandry Chartered.

    The CSG is the oldest agricultural organization in California, started in 1870.

    Cities and townships have grown up around our rural halls and the CSG has evolved into a community service organization with 10,000 members and 206 chapters across California. CSG community halls are often the center of their community, providing opportunities, culture and education, entertainment, emergency shelter, and a meeting place where new friends are made and old friends are cherished.

    The CSG supports and advocates for healthy communities, family farms, local economies, cultural diversity, public schools and education, the arts, and a variety of charitable causes.

    The CSG has lobbyists in Sacramento and boasts a long history of successful legislative advocacy. Important issues discussed and decided at the community chapter level may become CSG policy, and even legislation.

    The CSG is family-friendly and has special programs for juniors, youth, young adults and women.

    (The point is to highlight and inform about the positive side of revival of agricultural and gardening "Granges".)

    Links:
    Last edited by allodial; 10-23-15 at 07:55 AM.
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    "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2
    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Thess. 5:21.

  2. #2
    Perhaps West will meet East...

    Polyface Guiding Principles

    TRANSPARENCY: Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime. No trade secrets, no locked doors, every corner is camera-accessible.

    GRASS-BASED: Pastured livestock and poultry, moved frequently to new “salad bars,” offer landscape healing and nutritional superiority.

    INDIVIDUALITY: Plants and animals should be provided a habitat that allows them to express their physiological distinctiveness. Respecting and honoring the pigness of the pig is a foundation for societal health.

    COMMUNITY: We do not ship food. We should all seek food closer to home, in our foodshed, our own bioregion. This means enjoying seasonality and reacquainting ourselves with our home kitchens.

    NATURE’S TEMPLATE: Mimicking natural patterns on a commercial domestic scale insures moral and ethical boundaries to human cleverness. Cows are herbivores, not omnivores; that is why we’ve never fed them dead cows like the United States Department of Agriculture encouraged (the alleged cause of mad cows).

    EARTHWORMS: We’re really in the earthworm enhancement business. Stimulating soil biota is our first priority. Soil health creates healthy food.

    Message from Joel and all of us here at Polyface:

    Scaling up without Selling your Soul

    Many successful entrepreneurial start-ups morph into Wall-Streetified empires that lose their distinctives. And in the process, the business chews up and spits out its workers and founders in a mad scramble to dominate something. Does middle ground exist between the calm talking-stick consensus circle of indigenous eastern tribal cultures and the mad scramble frenzy of western capitalism? Or perhaps more to the point in light of recent Wall Street and economic developments, what values are more important than growth? Especially since cancer is growth. At this juncture of our culture’s reality, I would like us to immerse ourselves for a few minutes in an alternative innovative business philosophy.

    BACKGROUND OF OUR BUSINESS

    I am first and foremost a farmer, but not a very ordinary farmer. In fact, I’m known as a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic. Our family farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley now has four generations living on it. I’m second generation, but the day-to-day operations are handled by my son. Polyface Farm is a diversified, grass-based, beyond organic, direct marketing farm.

    We produce salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry and eggs, forage based rabbits, and forestry products. Purchased by my mom and dad in 1961, the farm has gone from a worn out, gullied weedpatch that couldn’t even pay a salary to one that employs 10 people with more than a million dollars in sales. And it’s still experiencing exponential growth. Lush pastures supported by ecstatic copulating earthworms testify to the healing.

    While many business folks would consider this a tiny business—and it is—it is considered quite a large farm by USDA sales criteria, which calls any farm with sales above $400,000 annually a large farm. Polyface direct markets everything it produces to a customer base that numbers 2,000 families, 25 restaurants, and 10 retail outlets.

    For context, please understand that we don’t do anything conventionally. We haven’t bought a bag of chemical fertilizer in half a century, never planted a seed, own no plow or disk or silo—we call those bankruptcy tubes. We practice mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization with the cattle. The Eggmobiles follow them, mimicking egrets on the rhinos’ nose. The laying hens scratch through the dung, eat out the fly larvae, scatter the nutrients into the soil, and give thousands of dollars worth of eggs as a byproduct of pasture sanitation. Pastured broilers in floorless pasture schooners move every day to a fresh paddock salad bar. Pigs aerate compost and finish on acorns in forest glens. It’s all a symbiotic, multi-speciated synergistic relationship-dense production model that yields far more per acre than industrial models. And it’s all aromatically and aesthetically romantic.

    As we’ve gone from a single-salary, cute artisanal operation to a multi-family, beyond family, multi-farm business, we’ve struggled to maintain our quality of life and the distinctives that drive sales. And we haven’t always done it well. I’ve seen way too many successful small businesses gobbled up by deep pockets with shallow values. As a result of wanting to stay with the soul of our business story, we’ve developed a list of directives. These would be different for every business, but let’s look at them and at least appreciate that they represent innovative thinking in a western capitalistic business climate. I call these ethics-based contrarian business ideas.


    1.No Sales Targets
    2.No Trademarks or Patents
    3.Clearly Defined Market Boundary
    4.Incentivised Work Force
    5.No Initial Public Offerings
    6.No Advertising
    7.Stay Within the Ecological Carrying Capacity
    8.People Answer the Phone
    9.Stay Seasonal
    10.Quality Must Always Go Up


    Polyface Farms

    Embracing "free market" principles, individualism and bible-based morals combined with the non-compromising practice of "organic" farming, environmental husbandry and shunning the "Big Food" industrial complex, creates enemies for him on both sides of the mainstream "dog and pony show" (political spectrum).

    I imagine he is called a "lunatic" by both Leftist Socialists and Right-Wing Capitalists... sounds like the perfect place to be.

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