Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 2014: Plant and Seed Exchange, Square Dance, More Events on Calendar, Food Bank Gardens at Quimper Grange

April News and Events This blog is updated once a month
   1. Plant and Seed Exchange
   2. Square Dance
   3. More events on Quimper Grange Calendar
   4. Grange Garden/Food Bank Gardens

April 12th (Sat), 11am-3pm 

The Third Annual Plant and Seed Exchange will take place outdoors under canopies and in the Quimper Grange hall. Bring your extra seeds, plant divisions, spare potted plants, bare roots, bulbs, trees and whatever else needs a new garden to thrive in. There will be many books on hand to help answer plant and seed questions and Mountain Spirit Herbals will be providing hot tea.  To help support Quimper Grange and to help defray the costs of organizing this event donations will be greatly appreciated.

Pictures from last year's Plant and Seed Exchange

This event is organized by Ashley Kehl and his partner Jenniemae Hillyard who share a love of seed saving, trading with friends and preserving food. Ashley's father, Michael Pilarski hosted a plant and seed exchange in the Okanagan for many years and was a primary inspiration for starting  this one in Port Townsend.
Tip: bring something to carry your plants in. Hope to see you there!
For more information call: Ashley Kehl at 360-821-2092 .

On April 19th, Olympia caller Anne Marie Schaefer will be squaring the sets with the duo Cobbler (Jesse Partridge and Jay Finkelstein) rocking the tunes out. Jesse and Jay came last year in
April, and rocked the house with some mighty fine dance music. Jesse and Jay, also from Olympia, play for squares and contras all around western Washington.

Dancing starts at 7:30. All dances taught, experience is not necessary, all ages appreciated, and family friendly. 
Caller Anne Marie Schaefer
Dancers are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and snacks to share with other dancers. 1219 Corona, Port Townsend. Adults $5.00; 16 and under free. 
Come as you are. Partners are not necessary. See info at the right for admission costs. Dancers are encouraged to bring their own personal water bottle, and snacks to share. Hope to see you there.

QUIMPER GRANGE CALENDAR: MORE CLASSES, DANCES AND COMMUNITY EVENTS   To find out about them click on "Calendar of Events" at the top of the page. Click on the event for details. Also if you would like to rent the Grange hall this is where you can check for availability.

Quimper Grange has been growing vegetables for the Food Bank for the past five years and the amount of food donated has increased year by year. Starting as a community garden there are now two gardening efforts taking place simultaneously within the deer fenced area west of the Grange hall: the southern part is being managed by Jo Yount for Quimper Grange and the northern part is being managed by Emily Vagts for Port Townsend Food Bank Gardens, an organization that is in the process of getting its 501c3 status. 

First Food Bank Garden Work Party of the year
You may have read our March 5th appeal in Port Townsend Leader for contributions to help pay for the cost of garden needs and we wish to thank all who have so generously responded.  So far top soil has been brought in, new beds have been build and wood chips cover the walkways.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

March 2014, "Gardening With Less Water" Tinker Cavallaro, Gabe Strand calls March Square Dance, More Classes Dances and Community Events, GMO labeling Safeway Washpirg, GMO contamination, Washington State Grange Leadership Conference.

This blog is updated once a month. 

1. March 3rd, "Gardening With less Water" Tinker Cavallaro
2. March 15th, Square Dance and photos from last dance
3. More Dances, Classes and Community Events at Quimper Grange
4. GMO Issues: A Continuing Quimper Grange Concern
5.Washington State Grange Leadership Conference

March 3rd, 7:30
Gardening With Less Water 
Local gardening expert Tinker Cavallaro will give a talk on how to reduce water usage in the garden: how to create more water storage in the soil, which crops can thrive with less water, mulching techniques, plant spacing to increase water retention in the soil, and irrigation systems that conserve water.
Tinker has over 30 years of local gardening experience, from managing the Abundant Life Seed Foundation Garden to her current work managing the Rosewind Community Garden. She apprenticed at a bio-dynamic educational garden in California during one of their worst droughts and was involved in the Dryland Farming Project in Port Townsend. She says gardeners will be surprised at the improvement in flavor and storage qualities of crops grown with less water.

We live in an area with low rainfall and have a water system that depends on snowpack in the Olympics where our water supply originates, but we can’t always depend on rainfall to come at a time that also brings snow in the Olympics. This program will help people become aware of their water usage and learn to use only what is necessary.

Doors open at 7:00 Program starts at 7:30. Suggested donation $5-$10 helps maintain and improve the Quimper Grange hall.

The North meets South Ramblers are playing traditional tunes for
square dance caller Gabe Strand on March 15 at Quimper Grange. Gabe Strand hails from Seattle and has been a key player in the traditional music and dance revival in the northwest. This will be Gabe's third visit to Quimper Grange. Gabe has experience with
Caller Gabe Strand
dancers of all ages and experience levels.

The North meets South Ramblers hail from Haines, AK, San Diego, CA, and places in between. They play southern Appalachian square dance tunes; instrumentation includes fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass.

Dancing starts at 7:30. All dances taught, experience is not
necessary, all ages appreciated, and family friendly. Dancers are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and snacks to share with other dancers. 1219 Corona, Port Townsend. Adults $5.00; 16 and under free. For more information see or call Dave Thielk at 360-385-3308.

Photos from last dance :

To find out about them click on "Calendar of Events" at the top of the page.  Click on the event for details.

Quimper Grange has voted to support the consumer advocacy group, Washpirg in its effort to convince Safeway CEO Robert Edwards to commit to labeling GMO ingredients on all Safeway-brand products. Washpirg’s partnering mutual fund—Green Century Funds—filed a shareholder resolution in time for Safeway’s annual shareholders’ meeting in May.
If you would like to join us in supporting Washpirg’s campaign the link to sign the online petition is:

Besides labeling, another important GMO issue is responsibility for GMO contamination of organic farms and farms that grow non-GE (genetically engineered) crops. If you want to weigh in on this issue do so before March 4th.


Potluck at leadership conference
About 33 people from the Olympic Peninsula and beyond attended the Washington State Grange Leadership Conference at Chimacum Grange on February 1st President Marla Streator represented Quimper Grange. There was a potluck followed by a talk by State Grange President, Duane Hamp, and presentations by State Grange department and committee chairs. It was gratifying to find out that Quimper Grange is already doing much of what was suggested in the way of programs, from educating people about GMO issues to fire safety. As suggested we also donate a lot of produce to our local food bank.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

February 2014 - Square Dance, "Farmageddon", "In Organic We Trust", Moveable Feast of Films, Kitchen faucet replacement

February 24th (Monday), 7 PM "In Organic We Trust" movie and discussion 
Most people eat organic food because they think it is healthier. But is organic food really better for us or just a marketing scam?
When corporations got into the "organic" business the meaning of "organic" labeling changed.

To view the trailer click,  on the link:  
This thought provoking movie's post movie discussion will be attended by Lisa Barclay and Monica LeRoux, Food Co-op Board Members from the Member Engagement Committee, and by Brendon O'Shea, the Co-op's "Local Cultivator".

For a link to the entire "Moveable Feast of Films" on food, see:  
Once you open the PDF movie series poster, you can click on the link for each movie's trailer.  Attend as many as interest you, all over Jefferson County.  Each movie will have post-movie discussions for those who wish to stay.  Movie events, while all FREE, will gratefully accept donations at the door to defray costs. No one turned away!

UNEXPECTED SURPRISES@#*!!!..................................
The latest repair, a new faucet
Old buildings like Quimper Grange hall are full of surprises. A faulty breaker turns into replacing the whole breaker box, placing a vapor barrier under the hall leads to discovery of powder post beetle damage,  a dripping faucet turns into a faucet replacement. We are slowly eliminating the need for unanticipated repairs however we aren't out of the woods yet.
The handful of us tasked with maintaining the hall are doing so on a voluntary basis and we truly appreciate the community support that makes it possible to fix these unexpected surprises.  
In December we sent out a donor appeal in the mail and only 17 people have responded so far.  Thank you donors! If you haven't  done so you can send a check of any amount to:
   Quimper Grange
   PO Box 1844
   Port Townsend, WA 98368
If you donate $35 or more you can rent our hall at a 25% discount for private events that do not charge an admission.
Marla Streator


It's was great to see young families with grade school kids at our January dance. They will be the next generation of square dancers and keep the tradition alive.



"Farmaggedon"   To view the trailer click on the link:     

After the movie, Amy Rose Dubin from Chimacum Valley Dairy, will be present to share information about the Farm to Consumer Defense Fund, a fund that assists farmers with access to legal support when farms are challenged:

Caller Tim Jenkins

The February square dance features Minnesota caller Tim Jenkins. Music by "the From-ers" with Scott Marckx on fiddle, Jeanie Murphy on banjo, and Chris Cooper on Guitar.  All ages and experience levels are welcome.  Partners not necessary. Come alone, with a friend, a family, or a tribe.  $5.00 for adults, 16 and under free. Dancers encouraged to bring their own personal water bottle, and some simple snacks to share.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Fundraiser Dance, Thank You's, Property Survey, January Square Dance, donate

*************JANUARY 25th SQUARE DANCE*************

Put on your dancing shoes for the first square dance of 2014! The dance will feature music of the Skookumband, with Jack Dunton calling. Dance from  7:30-11


Swirling skirts, smiling faces, two bands and three callers...If you missed the party it’s still not to late to promenade over to your checkbook and send a donation to: Quimper Grange, PO Box 1844, Port Townsend Wa 98368.

Somewhere between seventy five and a hundred people danced away the last hours of 2013 at Quimper Grange. This fundraiser dance moves us a little closer to our goal of being able to remodel the Grange's antiquated bathrooms. 

Here is a big thanks to all the volunteers and attendees who made our New Year’s Eve event a big success!
Special thanks to:
The Rose Street Ramblers: Becky Burton, Carol Hardy, Lori Bernstein and Katya Kirsch.

Airstream Traveler: Roger Pick, Gary Pasco, Carol Hardy and Libby Reid.

Callers: David Thielk, Joanne Pontrello, and Jo Yount.

Providers of food, drink, and paper products:
Mt Townsend Creamery, Pan D'amore, QFC, Safeway, O"Neill Louchard, Jo Yount, Marla Streator.

Publicity: David Thielk, Marla Streator

Organizing: David Thielk

Food Prep: Jo Yount

Greeters: Dick Johnson, Jo Yount

Sound: David Thielk

Also thanks to everyone who helped set up the hall and clean up after the dance.


A big thank you goes out to Eric Olson who most kindly donated his time to survey Quimper Grange’s property and delineate a new boundary between us and an adjacent property.  The new line, created by a property swap, is straight and eliminates an unusable triangle of land that was that was awkward for ourselves and for our neighbor. The survey has been registered and we now have a legal document that clearly delineates Quimper Grange property.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2013 - Square Dance, New Year's Eve Fundraiser Dance, Message From the President, Onlies, Howard Sprouse, election results


In the past few years, Quimper Grange leadership has completed an upgrade on the main electrical box, a new roof, a floor refinishing, and repairs and maintenance in the crawl space. At times it seems as if our maintenance needs are endless. We need to upgrade bathrooms and the kitchen! Please help support hall maintenance and come dance at our Annual Fundraiser Square Dance on December 31. Drop in for one dance, or stay and dance all night. Squares and contras will be called from 8:00 till midnight. Live music will be provided by the Rose Street Ramblers with special guest Katya Kirsch from (8-10), and other local musicians (10-Midnight). Dave Thielk will be calling and he can't wait! For more info, contact Dave Thielk 360-385-3308.

December 21st Square Dance:

Caller Charmaine Slaven will host the December 21 Quimper Grange Square Dance and Social. This is Charmaine's second
Caller Charmaine Slaven
calling gig at Quimper Grange! Charmaine, the guitar player in the Tall Boys (of Seattle), is also a buckdancer, singer, and of course caller extraordinaire! And Charmaine is a founding member of the Seattle Subversive Square Dance Society and has been a driving force in the twice monthly square dance at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard. Live music will be played by local old time string band The Willow StWeet Women. The band includes fiddler Becky Evasick, banjo player Katya Kirsch, guitar player Carol Hardy, and upright bass player Lori Bernstein. Collectively, these players have over 60 years of playing for dances, from Colorado to Alaska. 

Dancing commences at 7:30. All dances taught, partners are optional. All experience levels and ages are welcome and encouraged. Dancers are encouraged to bring snacks to share and their own personal water bottle. Adults (still) are $5.00; 16 and under free. 1219 Corona Avenue, Port Townsend. For additional information, see or call Dave Thielk at 360-385-3308.


There were no butterfly ballots or vote recounts at our November elections. Our newly elected 2014 officers are:

President - Marla Streator
Vice President - Jenifer Taylor
Secretary - Deb Wiese
Treasurer - Francesco Tortorici
Executive Committee - Jacob Talamante

And a fine team it is!


    “Onward and upward!” has been the theme for Quimper Grange in 2013 and we have excelled both in moving upward and onward: we addressed deferred maintenance and safety issues at our hall; formed beneficial relationships with other organizations; improved the garden; and built community through dance and educational programs. You can scroll through the pages on this website to see what we’ve achieved this year.
    As 2013 draws to a close I would like to thank our program presenters, our renters, and our donors, as well as everyone who attends events at our hall for the parts you have played in giving vitality and financial stability to our local Grange. I would also like to thank the core members and officers who have shown up at our monthly meetings and contributed time, ideas and expertise to help us move toward a sustainable future.
     The new year is just around the corner so here is something to consider. Quimper Grange, like all Granges, is not run by a board of directors but by those members who show up at meetings. A quorum of eight people are required in order for us to conduct business and we often squeak by with just that bare minimum. For this reason we encourage you to join our Grange and help us make decisions related to policy and possibilities, to help create and publicize interesting programs, and to help to us maintain and improve our hall and grounds. Quimper Grange meets the second Monday of the month from 7:00 to 8:30. Hope to see you there,
Marla Streator


The Grange hall was buzzing with conversation before Howard Sprouse began his presentation about cleaning the environment using fungi and biochar; contact information was  exchanged and people talked about projects they were involved in that might benefit from using these techniques. Howard gave a power point presentation to illustrate how nature can help clean soil and water  followed by a Q and A. After the program ended conversations continued as the chairs were being moved and floor was being swept.



Monday, October 21, 2013

November 2013 - Mushrooms Biochar: Howard Sprouse, Elections, Square Dance: "Onlies" Tony Mates Calling, Labor of Love Event

Nov 16th 7:30 PM 
Quimper Grange Square Dance

Caller Tony Mates
Tony Mates, founding member of the Seattle Subversive Square Dance Society, will be calling squares at Quimper Grange on Saturday, November 16 from 7:30 to 11:00. Tony has been calling dances and teaching dance calling for at least 3 decades and has been calling in Port Townsend for at least twenty years. The Onlies are returning to Quimper Grange for the third time and are one of the rockin’est
The Onlies
dance bands in western Washington.

All dances are taught, all experience levels and ages are welcome. Partners not necessary. Dancing workshop for beginners at 7:30; dancing starts at 8:00. Dancers are encouraged to bring snacks to share with other dancers. Adults $5.00; youth under 16 free.

Nov 16-17th "Labor of Love" 
a Labor Leaders Event

This year Quimper Grange has established a mutually beneficial relationship with the local mentoring non profit "Labor Leaders". They have donated time and expertise helping our Grange Garden manager Jo Yount by building wood chip pathways, installing a new gate and lots of weeding. We have recently hired them to do work under the Grange hall which included clearing out debris and soon they will be installing a vapor barrier.

On November 16th and 17th  they will be having their first annual "Labor of Love" event. The event aims to provide services for those in need – free of charge. Labor Leaders crew will be organizing volunteers and be working at various locations in Port Townsend providing services such as trash clean up, dump runs, pruning, as well as many small odd jobs. The amount of interest shown will determine how many people  can be helped.
Volunteers will gather at the Labor Leaders Shop (1531 W. Sims Way) 8am.
 Contact labor Leaders for more information about how you can get involved, or if you know someone who may need help.

For more information contact:
Jacob Talamante
(360) 774-0469

Nov 4th, 7:30
 “Mushrooms, Biochar and Cleaning Our Environment: Wild Crafting Sustainable Natural Technologies on the Olympic Peninsula”

Marla Streator

NOV 11th, 7:00

Some of our active members: from the left: Dave Thielk, O'Neill Louchard, Deb Weise, Marla Streator, George Yount
Quimper Grange officers and members are what make our wonderful Grange hall a hub of community activity. Behind the scenes this small cadre of dedicated volunteers take care of Grange business like maintaining the hall and grounds and paying taxes and utility bills. They also think up and publicize the fun stuff: educational programs and workshops, growing vegetables for the food bank, and organizing our popular square dances. We encourage those of you who attend events at our hall to become active (voting) members of our Grange and help create the direction we take in 2014. 
Marla Streator
Quimper Grange President 

October's Square Dance Huge Hit!
It isn't often that dances get rave reviews like we got from this month's dance caller.  T-Claw travels the country calling square dances and says ours is one of the four best revival square dances in country and that the the Skookum band is one of the three best dance bands he has called for. A good time was had by all.
Congratulations Dave Thielk for doing such a great job organizing and promoting these dances.

Fire, But No Damage to the Grange Hall...
Those who attended our October 7th program watched a short DVD on fire extinguisher use then went outside and practiced putting out a fire under the supervision of Steve Brunette of Tarboo Ridge Extinguishers. People felt more confident that they would know what to do if there were need to put out a fire.