One place where farmers still meet is the Grange Hall. Grange founders envisioned a fraternity of farmers who shared common values, a cooperative spirit and an interest in progressive agriculture.The Grange also served a much-needed social function, sponsoring dances, fairs, picnics, and bean suppers. Today’s farms are still small, family-owned, and diversified. Farmers here continually reinvent themselves to adapt to changing times. Faced with competition from corporate agriculture, many have turned to “niche” farming, raising special products for specific markets such as organic foods. Melding change with creativity and adaptation helps to ensure the region’s agricultural heritage will endure for generations to come.
How else to explain that odd, perfect supper—the burnished lasagna squares, thick clusters of baked beans, cole slaw pink with beet juice?