The Common Ground Country Fair, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s annual three-day festival of all things organic, sustainable and Maine-made magic, starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

Please don’t be embarrassed if your reasons for visiting the fair have more to do with eating smoky lamb kebabs and wood-oven fired pizza than they do sitting in on a talk about tillage or watching a demonstration of gymnastic dance in harmony with your horse. (The latter is a real activity at the fair, although the online event listing says “hose” instead of “horse,” which baffled us, briefly.)

We, too, are motivated by food, as well as watching the cute dogs herd sheep and geese and such and picking up our annual stash of seed garlic. Shopping is also fun, as is milling about in a beautiful place. There’s no judging at the fair, unless you are a prize bunny or strapping heifer.

Some of this year’s featured speakers include organic farming legend Eliot Coleman; Tristan Noyes, the executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance and co-founder of Gromaine Organic Farm; and Hanne Tierney, who is the chair of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets and also oversees the Portland and Waterville farmers’ markets (when she’s not busy running her own farm, Cornerstone in Palmyra). You can find the full schedule at See you there.


WHAT: Common Ground Country Fair

WHEN: Doors open at 9 a.m. Friday to Sunday and close at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity

HOW: Free admission for MOFGA members, people with disabilities and children 12 and under. Tickets are available in advance – but only until today – at various outlets and online ($10 adults and children 13 and over, $8 for 65-plus). In Portland, you can get them at Whole Foods, Lois’ Natural Marketplace and the Portland Food Coop. Tickets at the gates are $15 for ages 13 and up and $10 for seniors. For complete fair schedules, visit

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