August General Meeting Speaker: Taylor Bright on The Wonderful World of Fungi

Taylor Bright speaking about mushrooms

Taylor speaks as the voice of the fungi. She moved here 2-1/2 years ago and has enjoyed being in this location where there is a well-established mushroom community. Our August Potluck Meeting audience was fascinated with her display of items made from mushrooms and books about fungi and her talk about the vast array of uses and benefits of mushrooms. Here are some highlights:
General Information
  • 120,000 species of fungi have been described.
  • 5.1 million species of fungi exist on planet Earth and have not all been identified.
  • There are 3 main categories of fungi—yeasts which give rise to fermentation, molds which are decomposers and give us antibiotics, and mushrooms which have endless and fantastical forms and applications.
  • They are ancient life forms that eat dead and decaying things (saprophytes) and help break down minerals into the soil.
Mushroom information
  • Mycelium or the mycelial web is where the mushroom feeds and gets water.
  • The mushroom is the fruiting part of the fungal body.
  • They are delicious, nutritious, and sustainable as a source of antioxidants and contain the 8 essential amino acids.
  • Mushroom synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight and then pass that on to us.
  • They are abundant in nature, but before foraging in the wild, be sure to “know before you go” and go with someone who has knowledge.
Soil Building
  • Fungi help build soil by mining layers of bedrock and producing glomalin to keep soil together.
  • There is a symbiotic relationship with plant roots—fungi give nutrients and water and plants give photosynthetic sugars.
  • Because they are increasing the nutrients in soil, they are increasing the nutrients in the plants.
  • Current thinking about building good soil goes with the non-disturbance principle or “no till” theory. The idea is that if we leave this subterranean layer alone, then the mycelia can continue to do the work of breaking down nutrients and keep everything functioning in symbiosis.
Applications with environmental problems
  • Fungi are able to remove toxins and poisons from the environment and have been used to clean up PCB’s and petrochemicals.
  • They are able to bio-digest the petrochemicals and accumulate heavy metals.
  • Paul Stamets has been doing successful work with oil cleanup.
  • Plastic waste as a huge problem and there is a mushroom that can survive on polyurethane. This proves that there is potential for this problem.
  • Bee populations are declining because of pesticides and are affecting their immune systems and disease like deformed wing virus. Paul Stamets is putting medicinal mushrooms into beehives to help the colony with their immune systems and hopefully have some mitigating effects.
  • Mycelium forms can act as filters to digest pollutants.
  • Eco-innovators are using “waste” that can be grown with fungi into different products like furniture. MycoWorks is a company exploring this.
  • Myco art using myco pigmentation is available by making ink from shaggy mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus), and also paper and “leather” can be made from mushrooms.
  • Mushrooms have healed people for centuries throughout many cultures and can help our immune system.
  • Lion’s Mane helps promote the regeneration with neural functioning.
  • Entheogen literally means to generate the divine within.
  • Psychedelic mushrooms are starting to be used again in clinical settings for PTSD, OCD, and ADHD.
  •  It is time for us to learn from this amazing life form during this important time.
  • Mycelium Mass classes from Bay Area Applied Mycology (BAAM)
  • Wild about Mushrooms (WAM)

Notes by Carol Henderson

All about mushrooms by Taylor Bright.

What can you bring for a Sebastopol Grange Gift Basket?

gift basketFor the September Potluck please bring in items to fill our Raffle Basket at the California State Grange Convention.

Show off Sebastopol and Sonoma County’s abundance with Jams, pickles, dried garden goodies, cider, wine, soap, cheese.Anything you make, or think highlights our amazing Grangers and our area. (As nicely wrapped as you can!) The basket will be raffled during the convention to raise funds for State Scholarships.

For the past several years, our Grange has not had a basket to raffle, or it was last minute. Let us show our fellow Grangers what we are making here in Sebastopol. Bring your contributions to the business meeting or potluck in September. Vice President Laura will collect and present at the convention in Rincon Valley on Oct. 12.

Applications for West County Craft Fair due Sept. 4th

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West County Craft Fair

Saturday, November 23rd and Sunday, November 24th, 11am-4pm

The Sebastopol Grange is host to a local, favorite craft fair in Sonoma County. We have over 30 vendors each day who make all handmade items. Not only will you find wonderful creations, but you will also find a wealth of community who come out to support each other. Each year we have the pleasure of raising funds for a local non-profit. If you are interested in applying, please follow this link: and fill out the form there.

Applications are due by Wednesday, September 4th and acceptance will be announced by Monday, September 16th. Happy Crafting!

Flynn Creek Circus Comes to the Grange – Aug 22-25!

Flynn Creek Circus presents ‘Out of Hat’
Under the Big Top Tent  |  August 22-25, 2019

Flynn Creek Circus

Sponsored by the Sebastopol Grange

Flynn Creek Circus is an all-human spectacle!

Down the rabbit hole we go with Amelia Van Brunt as the magician’s rabbit…Join us for an original comic tale told from the rabbit’s perspective as she explores the physics of magic and the magic of physics. Revolutionist bunnies, a sinister magician, a two-headed girl and animal control agents collide in a hilarious quest to get the rabbit back in the hat.

Flynn Creek Circus’ 2019 show, ‘Out of Hat’ brings internationally award-winning performers to an intimate setting for a truly authentic theater experience. The show delivers explosively entertaining acrobatics, aerial stunts and feats of skill that require decades of passionate dedication . In true Flynn Creek Circus style, ‘Out of Hat’ is charmingly self-aware, raw, edgy, sometimes profound and yet, entirely family friendly (except that adult showing).

No host bar available at all showings. Proceeds benefit Circus Mentors Inc 501c3 and Grange scholarship funds.


Thursday, Aug 22 at 7pm- Opening night special price, all seats $11/child, $22/adult, NO FRONT ROW RESERVE!
Friday, Aug 23 at 7pm
Saturday, Aug 24 at 3pm
Saturday, Aug 24 at 7pm– Adult 21+ only version
Sunday, Aug 25 at 1pm– Family day special, 1/2 price children’s ticket with adult ticket purchase, *online purchase only * promotion ends Aug 23, 2019*
Sunday, Aug 25 at 4pm

Purchase tickets online. After Thursday, Aug. 22, door prices will apply.

Ticket prices (except as noted above):

Adult (13 years and over) $27.00
Senior (65+), Student or Military (with ID) discount ticket $20.00
Child (3 to 12 years old) $12.00
VIP ticket $50.00.
+ $3.00 fee for online ticket purchases

Please help us get the word out

about this exciting event that helps supports the work of the Grange. Download the flyer.

Screening of “Prairie Trilogy” Friday, July 12th

Prairie Trilogy filmMartinson and a young farmer in “Rebel Earth”

Friday, July 12th, 2019 at 7pm, doors open at 6:30pm.

Please join us at the Sebastopol Grange Hall for a screening of the black and white film series “Prairie Trilogy”, a collection of three short documentaries made between 1977 and 1981, including archival film from the early years.

This dramatic feature by filmmaker and innovator Rob Nilsson tells the stark and powerful story of North Dakota grain farmers in 1915 as they struggle against the banks, railroads and the grain trade. The trilogy starts with “Prairie Fire” as 97-year-old ex-organizer and state poet Henry Martinson recounts the 1916 birth of the Socialist Nonpartisan League. His narrative is accompanied by images shot by Nilsson’s own grandfather, Frithjof Holmboe. The second segment ”Rebel Earth” in the then present-day world of the late 1970s finds Martinson, accompanied by a young farmer, revisiting the scenes of his life, seeking out the spot of his Divide County homestead. The final segment “Survivor”, finished the year before Martinson’s death, reunites him with his contemporaries from the WWI era. The Trilogy remains as a great example of the convergence of film and politics, optimism and the power we have when we come together.

Nilsson, a Cannes award-winning pioneer in digital filmmaking with political and social justice themes, will be on hand for Q&A after the 95 minute screening.

Refreshments available for sale.
Ticket donations at the door: $5 – 20. No one turned away for lack of funds.
RSVPs to appreciated for planning purposes

Rob NilssonRob Nilsson is a filmmaker, poet, and painter. He is also an independent director, based in San Francisco. Nilsson and co-director John Hanson won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for Northern Lights (1978) and Nilsson won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for Heat and Sunlight (1987). He is the first American film director to have won both awards. In 2010, The Anthology Film Archive featured a retrospective of Nilsson’s work with Cine Manifest, a film collective he co-founded in San Francisco during the 1970’s. Works screened included Northern Lights (1978) and Signal 7 (1986).
Review Nilsson’s biography.


Morton’s Warm Springs Picnic July 27th

Morton's Warm Springs Picnic

Saturday, July 27, 10am – 5pm.

Enjoy a day of fun in the sun with fellow Grangers, families, and friends in the healing waters at our own Morton’s Warm Springs in Glenn Ellen!

Bring your swim gear, food to share, and be ready to have a good time! BBQs and showers are available.

RSVP discount: $10
Adults (ages 18-64): $12
Teens (ages 13-17) and elders (ages 65+): $10
Kids (ages 3-12): $6
Infants (2 and under): Free with a swim diaper

Rsvp to by July 21 to get a discount, but please feel free to join us at the last minute. 

June 17, 7pm: Story and Song: An Evening about Women’s Earth Alliance

Women's Earth Alliance

Hosted by the Social Prophet Choir
Monday, June 17th
Location: Sebastopol Grange Hall
Doors at 6:30, Program 7pm-9pm
Tea and Dessert

On this night, The Social Prophet Choir of Sebastopol, CA, welcomes Women’s Earth Alliance Founders, Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond, to share the work of WEA.

What happens in the world when you equip grassroots women leaders with the skills and tools they need to transform their communities from the inside out? We will hear stories shared from WEA co-founders about what is happening across the globe through the Women’s Earth Alliance.

Women's Earth Alliance

WEA believes that when women thrive, the Earth thrives. Since 2006, WEA has equipped grassroots women leaders with the skills and tools they need to protect our earth and strengthen communities from the inside out. In some of the most environmentally threatened regions, WEA leaders are saving indigenous seeds, selling clean cookstoves, launching sustainable farms, providing safe water, protecting land rights, and more. With local leadership guiding each project, WEA designs capacity-building trainings where women access skills and tools in appropriate technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership. They gain seed funding, mentorship, and a global alliance. With these resources in hand, participants go on to launch and grow their own environmental projects and teach others to do the same.

To date, more than 5,000 women have accessed WEA trainings, training an additional 1M+ people in 20 countries with their environmental and social innovations. Regardless of the unique conditions in each region, the efforts of WEA participants lead to a consistent set of cascading benefits that we call the “WEA Effect”: women are empowered, children are safer, communities are healthier, natural resources regenerate, local economies prosper, regions stabilize, and lasting transformation takes root.

Women's Earth AllianceIt is internationally recognized that women’s empowerment is an essential precursor to sustainable, democratic, and peaceful societies yet only .3% of philanthropic dollars are invested in women’s environmental solutions. WEA lights the grid of women’s environmental leadership. WEA identifies grassroots women working on the frontlines of climate change and they catalyze their environmental solutions, bridge their best practices, and energize their movements for change.

Amira Diamond is also the Social Prophet Choir’s Founder and Director and she will take us through a journey of voice and song throughout the evening’s presentation.

Be prepared to be inspired, to join in song, and to feel a call to action in your own life for this planet we share. Each time the Social Prophet Choir gathers, singers make a contribution of any amount towards a pool of funds that we contribute towards life-giving causes. On June 17th, we are celebrating the work made possible for WEA by Social Prophet Choir contributions. The Social prophet Choir will provide tea/coffee and dessert for your enjoyment. Please RSVP through the Sebastopol Grange Facebook Event or by email to so that we can provide enough treats and seats for all.

Information about the Social Prophet Choir:

Social Prophet Choir
Meets on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month 7:30-9
Gather, Remember, Listen, Offer, and Give

We gather in circle to remember the stories through song that came before us. We offer our voice to the song while we listen for the place to settle in alongside our fellow singers, to weave within. We listen for the place that is undeniably holy, for it is both ancient and new, it is sacred. The vibration of voice welcomes the stillness of mind and ripe opportunity of creation. There in that circle of sound it is potent, it is cleansing of all things good and bad that have happened.

We give all the work that is held in that circle of space back out into the world with high hopes that the power of song will ripple out in positive ways across the globe.

The Social Prophet Choir has been meeting now for 3 1/2 years on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at the Sebastopol Grange Hall. The choir is led by Amira Diamond, a Sebastopol resident who moved here from the Bay area, and grew up on the East Coast. Amira grew up learning from her Mom that music belongs to the commons, everyone is welcome, and everyone has a voice. Her choir encourages you to get in touch with your own unique voice in your own body and then to blend that with others. Using your voice while listening to how it weaves in with others.

The structure of the Social Prophet Choir begins with warm ups, a creative song circle, and is followed by learning a song taught by ear rather than sheet music. Songs are stories and we pass them on through time, one of the fun challenges in the Social Prophet Choir is to stretch your ancient story telling skills, to remember.

At the end of the night, we each put a money donation of our choice into the center of our circle which is then given to different non-profits locally and around the world doing the great work of keeping the best education, love, and community available to all in our future.

About Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond:

Melinda KramerMelinda Kramer, Founder, Executive Director

Melinda Kramer is a passionate advocate for social justice, the environment and women’s rights. An environmentalist by training, with a cultural anthropology background, Melinda has lived and worked around the world learning from grassroots leaders on the frontlines of environmental crises. Whether it was the Midwest United States where toxic lead smelters poisoned children, or rural Kenya where girls walked 4 hours to access water instead of an education, or the Arctic where indigenous lands, traditions, and rights were threatened daily by climate change, Melinda encountered the same phenomenon: Women were at the center– uniquely impacted, consistently marginalized, and leading the charge.

In 2005, she set out to bridge the resource gap for grassroots women tackling our world’s most critical environmental efforts. What began as a small convening of 30 women leaders rapidly grew into a thriving global organization of 12 years. WEA’s global team has developed and iterated a unique training framework, equipping 5,000 women with technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills, and they in turn have reached over a million people with safe water, energy access, regenerative farming, land rights, and climate protection initiatives.

AMIRA DIAMONDAmira Diamond, Co-Founder

Amira joined Melinda as WEA’s Co-Director in 2007 to expand WEA’s programs, build the WEA team and create a community of support for its work. Active within the NGO community for over 20 years, she has worked for community health, environmental and food justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights, directing organizations like Julia Butterfly Hill’s Circle of Life and Democracy Matters. She graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Women’s Studies, studied Women and Development at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, and attended Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She holds certification as a Holistic Health Counselor and brings a holistic approach to all aspects of WEA’s organizational design. Amira’s deepest inspiration comes from her two young sons, and her family of musicians, artists and dedicated community organizers. In her spare time she plays the violin and directs the Social Prophet Choir.

Home Gardener Produce Exchange/Donation at the Grange!

Vegetable exchange

What:  Join us in a pilot program geared towards redistributing homegrown produce and eliminating food waste.  The idea is for home gardeners (or food lovers) to come together to trade produce.  It is an opportunity to trade items you have in abundance for something you don’t have.  You may also bring produce that you have gleaned (with permission of course) from a neighbor’s yard.  At the end of the exchange period, all leftover produce will be boxed up and donated to one of our local organizations in need (for example, the Sebastopol Inter-church Food Pantry).

 Additionally:  The exchange table can also be a place to share garden and food information. Starts can be brought in to share /trade, especially our opening day May 28 and in early June!

Where:  The Sebastopol Grange  6000 Sebastopol Rd/Hwy 12

When:  5:00 – 5:45 pm on selected Tuesday dates (dates may be altered due to participation, changes will be reflected on poster in the Grange Lobby)

Dates:  May 28, June 4, June 18, June 25, July 2, July 16, July 30, Aug 6, Aug 20, Aug 27, Sept 17, Sept 24, Oct 15, Oct 29

Contact:  Dena at or 707-484-5703

Non-Gardener Participants:  Let’s talk- maybe volunteering your time rather than your produce is what works for you.


Here’s what happened at the April Grange Potluck Meeting!

Youth activiists
Eleanor Jaffe and Annabelle talked about their work with 350 Bay Area’s Youth vs. Apocalypse—a youth group which is dedicated to climate activism. They are demanding that politicians take action against fossil fuels. Their current work includes informing local groups about the Green New Deal and lobbying Gov. Newsom to put more money into the Healthy Soils Initiative.
California State Grange President: Kent Westwood
California State Grange President: Kent Westwood reported on the legislative arm of the state Grange. He wants our local Grange to continue to work on resolutions to bring to the State Convention in October.






New members
We welcomed new members Juan Herrera, Vilma Panameno Iris Panameno, and Paul Schwebel.
Analy Chrous
The Analy High School Choral Ensemble wowed the crowd with three tunes: “Who put the Bomp”,“ Homeward Bound ”, and “What about Us”.
Nancy Cadigan led us in a Maypole celebration.


Congratulations to the Sebastopol Grange Spring 2019 Scholarship recipients!


A Community Grant was awarded to the Non-Violent Communication Group that meets bi-monthly at the Grange. The money will be used for a trainer for the group. Grange members are welcome to join the group and after the trainings, a presentation will be made to Grange members at a monthly potluck.

Youth Granger Scholarships were awarded to Sakiko Pizzorno for her high school study abroad program in France, and both Iris Panameno (SRJC) and Ariel Scholten (Oklahoma State) for college studies next school year. Recipients will share about their studies at future potlucks.

Our Sebastopol Grange website has been updated with new details and dates, so please check it out. We have added a new scholarship, the Youth Extended Family Scholarship, to help students in our extended Grange family, those from groups who have regular interactions with our Grange or regular use of our Grange Hall. Read scholarship details and help spread the word to any possible applicants that you may know, deadline May 31, 2019.

–Dena Allen