|Common Ground Tees|
The Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine is put on annually by MOFGA, "Maine Organic Farmer's and Gardener's Association." It's a 2-1/2 hour drive for us, a ways off the highway, and into the countryside of mid-Maine. The drive for us is well worth it and we try to get there every year. Most of the topics we are interested in are represented: gardening, fiber arts, homesteading, livestock, timber harvesting (the low impact variety), and green technology. There is a farmer's market with organic produce, candles, chutneys, herbs. American Indian culture has a huge tent, and there are arts and crafts booths galore. Fedco Seeds always has an apple display of heirlooms grown in Maine, one of my favorite things to look at. The fair goes for three days but we make it a day trip and take in all we can. One day is not enough to take in a few lectures AND see all the exhibits, so we always save some stuff for next year.
This year we attended talks on Permaculture, “Poop de Jour,” and Keeping Chickens.
“Poop de Jour” sold us once and for all time on human-ure. We’d been pondering that rather magnificent conglomeration of underground architecture commonly called a septic system, and coming up with a lot of reasons to not have one. We’ll be blogging our “green” house ideas as they materialize (a project that is a few years in front of us yet).
The lecture on chickens didn’t really apply to us so we left early. We’ve been putting our research more towards ducks anyway.
Here are some photo highlights of the fair:
|A drumming circle|
|The political action tent|
|Plowing with horses|
|Timber framing demo|
|Tomato hoop tent, marigolds and chard|
|The fleece tent|
|Parade: "We all Live in the Garden"|
We did our shopping on the way out buying cabbages for sauerkraut (we'll blog sauerkraut making next), a pair of stainless steel wine glasses (good for traveling), admiring many fabulous-looking cucurbit varieties (squashes and pumpkins), marveling at the twelve different varieties of garlic at one booth, and sampling some wonderful chutneys at another. And now we're looking forward to next year's fair... -jmm