WILTON — It’s been a “blue ribbon” year for the Cannon Grange.

The CT State Grange has honored Cannon Grange No. 152 for achieving a first-place tie in welcoming nine new members for the 2019-20 year.

In addition, Cannon Grange was recognized for having the highest net gain in membership for the 2019-20 year.

Based at 25 Cannon Road in Wilton in Grange Hall, Cannon Grange is a community-based organization focused on agriculture, farming, and animal husbandry.

The Grange has more than 60 members who live in Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding, New Canaan, Norwalk and as far as Canada.

Each August, the Grange holds a popular agricultural fair along with a holiday market in December.

The fair is a big draw attracting new members to the Grange.

“Some new residents to the area come to the fair and decide to join us,” according to Grange secretary Michele Clark. “Quite a few new members over the years entered items at the fair for several years and then decided to become members,” she added.

This year, the Grange attracted two new members via Bil Mikulewicz's Tai Chi class that was held in Grange Hall pre-COVID, Clark said.

To keep more in touch with the community, Cannon Grange has been more active on its Facebook page, has updated its website, and started its own YouTube channel this spring.

“We’ve seen an increase in people keeping backyard chickens,” Clark said. “There’s also been a lot more interest in gardening and growing your own vegetables.”

Cannon Grange is reaching out to the community with its annual Holiday Market scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5. “We will have eight local vendors participating,” Clark said.

In 2021, the Grange plans to host community pasta dinner fundraisers from January through April, along with the fair again in August.

“We’ve been limited due to COVID restrictions with our programs, but hope to have some online programs up and running in the winter and into the spring that we can stream on Facebook or record and make available on our website and YouTube channel,” Clark said.

For those interested in joining Cannon Grange No. 152, visit cannongrange.org and click on Membership.