Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), April 20, 2020
COVID-19 and the food system: immigrants, local food and resilience
Given the current circumstances, we are not holding the full Grange meeting, using the ritual, the sashes for officers, and the rousing sing-alongs. Instead….
Our 2nd “Virtual Program”, at 5:00 PM on May 2nd will feature VT organic farmer and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, discussing the future of food. The pandemic has shown us weaknesses in our current system: U.S. farms are having difficulties getting the immigrant workers they need. Large food facilities like meat-packing plants are shutting down amidst spikes of COVID-19. Long distance supply chains seem more fragile than ever. What are sensible policy responses to building a more resilient, self-sufficient food system? As individuals, what are some of the best things for us to be planting to feed ourselves and help our neighbors?
David Zuckerman has thought about food resilience for decades. He’ll share his thoughts on these issues, and other questions people bring up in this hour-long Zoom meeting.
To join this Zoom Meeting from your computer, follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81592514215 (If you have not been involved in a Zoom meeting before, you will need to allow a few minutes to download & install the Zoom connection. Once you have done this, a window will pop up, offering a choice of “Phone Call” or “Computer Audio” for hearing the meeting.)
With your computer and an attached webcam you will be able to see any video presented, plus the faces of others with webcams activated.
To join this Zoom meeting from your phone, call this phone #: 646-558-8656. When prompted enter this “Meeting ID”: 815 9251 4215, followed by the # sign.
It’s fine to try out these links before the meeting, you will just hear nothing before the meeting starts! We will get to see how we like this program compared to the “GoToMeeting” set-up we used last time. Zoom has made security enhancements since the problems experienced soon after many users started using it in the earlier days of the Coronavirus.
Spread the word: please share this invitation with your friends, with your family, with the many people we hope you are staying in touch with! These subjects are important to everyone! This Program is completely free and open to the public!
Grange Lecturer Carl Etnier has set up this meeting with Dave Zuckerman, and will be the moderator for it.
1/2 hour Grange meeting before the programFrom 4:30 to 5:00:
We will have a non-ritual Grange meeting, to discuss what is going on with finances and the Grange Hall, and to check in on how we are all doing. GrangeMusician Matt Nunnelly will play and sing an opening song for us; we learned at the last meeting that we can’t sing along through the meeting app, but feel free to join in at home!
Treasurer Merry Shernock will present a Treasurer’s Report, and will discuss our minimal cash-flow; she’ll also be wearing her Rental Agent hat, and will report on our tenant relations.
I will report on the Grange Hall; Patty Giavara will report on the final grant report that she has been writing up.
Carl Etnier has set up a separate Zoom meeting for the Grange, separate from the Program meeting, to reduce confusion for people tuning in just for the David Zuckerman presentation. Here’s how to connect: To join this Zoom Meeting from your computer, follow this link: https://zoom.us/j/93075767470?pwd=OUZPS3N2VmUrUEJ5dXJzcCs5Mkpjdz09 (As noted above, if you have not been involved in a Zoom meeting before, you will need to allow a few minutes to download & install the Zoom connection. Once you have done this, a window will pop up, offering a choice of “Phone Call” or “Computer Audio” for hearing the meeting.
With your computer and an attached webcam you will be able to see the video
To join this Zoom meeting from your phone, call this phone #: 646-558-8656. When prompted enter this “Meeting ID”: 930 7576 7470, followed by the # sign. You will then be asked to enter your “participant ID”–use the password: 508853. When I tried this out, a couple of times the “meeting ID” number I entered correctly was not received–extra digits were “heard” according to the little voice in my ear, so be prepared to re-enter it a couple of times.
Send us feedback on this idea! We will also be considering best ways to share this meeting and to moderate the discussion. Please send us other suggestions for program ideas; Merry’s & the Grange Notes contact info is above, Carl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the longer term: The Grange Hall is staying empty, and we can’t yet advertise our wonderful new lower-level for public use. We can afford to stay closed, but we’ll be gradually depleting the savings that we have. In that way, we are in the same boat as other organizations and individuals.
Since we finished the basement renovations just before the shut-down, we have not been able to publicize our excellent “new” space. While we have time, I would like to hear from people who can help us create a marketing campaign that we can use when the very necessary restrictions are loosened, to advertise our facilities, including the lower-level with its new insulated walls, new carpet, new electrical outlets–and no more mildew!
I would also like to publicize needs for volunteers for the work of other organizations, that people know about. I believe we have a lot of readers of the Grange Notes who want to do community service work–and most have more time on their hands! Let me know if you have a need our readers might be able to fill!
You can also post this sort of info on the Capital City Grange Facebook page! The link for this is also at the top of these Notes.
On behalf of the Grange–Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!
Wi-fi is free at the Grange Hall!
Since 2014, we’ve offered Free Wi-fi there, and it’s available without a password outside the Hall as well as inside. I found the best signal on the driveway on the West side of the Hall, that is the side closer to Rt. 12.
For Grange Notes readers in other parts of the state, the State Dept. of Public Service has posted a map of public Wi-fi hotspots all over Vermont. You can get to it via this link: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/public-wifi-hotspots-vermont. We are listed there, along with hundreds of other locations.
If you have kids who need broadband access, or you need it for working “from home”, these are all resources that will help.
A little history: We got our Wi-fi router installed for free, as part of the “Vermont Digital Economy Project”. The VDEP arranged for hotspots like ours and Wi-fi zones to be installed for public use all around the state. The intent was to help communities stay connected, especially in cases of emergencies–like our current one!–which require good communications and strong community institutions.
The VDEP was funded by federal grants through the VT Council on Rural Development, in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. That statewide disaster revealed which communities recovered fastest–it was those with strong connections, strong communications and strong community institutions. The Grange’s mission fits very well with these criteria, and the help we got through the VDEP made us a stronger community partner. Besides the Wi-fi, we got help rebuilding our website, and were introduced to MailChimp as a tool to send these Grange Notes!
We greatly appreciate the help we got, and are eager to do our part to help those who need it in our current crisis.
To learn more about the VDEP, visit https://www.vtrural.org/programs/digital-economy