Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Fiddlers, 2012 fair
Planning your day at the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine September 20,21, and 22, 2013.
The gates open at 9:00 a.m. each day. Vendors are open until 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices: Free for children 12 and under, $10 general admission, $8 elders, and free for MOFGA members (you can buy memberships at the fair).
Going to the fair. Save $2 on admission if you arrive by bike or train. Wondering what to do with you bike? Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Fair volunteers will hook you up with first-class bike valet parking. For more information on pedaling to the Fair go here. Courtesy of the Brooks Preservation Society and the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad, there is a train that runs regularly from Thorndike and Unity to the fairgrounds. For more information on riding the rails go here.
The fair has two gate entrances: north or Rose Gate (by the amphitheatre) and the south or Pine Gate (this is where you come out of the woods by the Low Impact Forestry tent). There is a farmers’ market by each entrance.
Bring a reusable water bottle. No bottled water is sold at the fair. There are drinking water stations located around the fairgrounds.
Leave your pet(s) at home, they are prohibited from the fairgrounds, parking lots, and camping areas.
Hotels are likely sold out within a two-hour radius of the fairgrounds, but you can always go camping! For a list of campsites within a few miles of the fairgrounds go here.
Bean Hole Beans, 2012 fair
A few of the activities and events I’m most looking forward to at this year’s fair include:
Honey Apple Bun, 2012 fair
What other folks love about the fair:
I love the excitement and anticipation I feel while driving past the farmlands on the way to the fair. I love merging with the crowd of kindred spirits celebrating Maine's unique heritage. The trek along the wooded path leading to the Pine Gate entrance is peacefully enchanting, and highly recommended. I love to see what the young entrepreneurs are hawking in the Youth Enterprise Zone tent. Oh, and the chicken and goat barns... I could go on and on...
Lori Gingras, Owner Roots, Coops, & More
My favorites at the Common Ground Fair are: The Border Collie Demo--it's something I always show to friends I'm bringing to the fair for the first time. The Craft Tent--always interesting, and a good place to shop for Christmas presents Skills Areas--it's fascinating to walk through the areas demonstrating traditional skills like weaving, smithing and stonework.
Anestes Fotiades - Editor, Portland Food Map
I like being assaulted by all the smells at the Common Ground Fair -- roasted corn or red peppers, hay, fermenting this or that, sausage, apples.
I also like how at the entire fair you cannot buy any bottled water. It is a quiet demonstration of how this wasteful, trash-creating, oil-dependent product is not something we need. Water, yes. In disposable bottles, no. If more events were this way, people would learn to bring their own refillable bottles. Or they would ask for tap water. I found many vendors happy to oblige at Common Ground.
Nancy Heiser, Independent writer and editor.
Everyone's going to say this, so I might as well be one of the first, but the border collie demos. Watching those year after year, seeing the old dogs training newcomers, watching how brilliant they are and how well they understand their relationship with the shepherd... I could watch them herd all day.
I also love walking through the farm animal exhibits, running into friends from all walks — from lobstermen to lawyers — and sometimes picking out some local wool for a knitting project request (I got a nice red scarf out of my last visit).
Sean Wilkinson Principal, Might & Main
At the Fair, I like to go on Friday to see the youth entrepreneur tent and what the kids have created and talk with them.
Ronald Adams, Director of Food Services
Eliot Coleman and his daughter Clara giving a demo, 2012 fairTweet
Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.
When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.
In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.