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Common Ground Country Fair in Maine is an Incredibly Special Event

For quite a while, I had been hearing all about the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine and decided to finally make the trip up north last week to see what the enthusiasm was all about.

Needless to say, the event exceeded all of my expectations, and it proved to be a truly special weekend. Not only is it rare that you can go to an event of this size and be able to eat organic food all day (there are no organic meal options at Expo West or Expo East), but you are surrounded by thousands of people who are also deeply committed to this way of life.

In its 40th year, the Common Ground Country Fair is an annual event put on by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and is a celebration of rural living. There are speakers, seminars, demonstrations, food and craft vendors, and a large farmers market.

Here are some photos from the weekend.

 

The farmers market had some of the most gorgeous organic fruits and vegetables I have ever seen.

 

By far, the coolest thing at the Common Ground Country Fair was an exhibit that had a few hundred varieties of apples and pears, with the places and dates from where they originated. There were also seminars where we discussed these many different varieties, with sampling included.

 

All throughout the fair, there were demonstrations, such as metalsmithing and seeing border collies. Horses, pigs, bunnies, turkeys and cows were all there as well.

 

Ax-cutting tutorials. I loved splitting the wood.

 

Apparently, cooking beans underground is part of some Maine tradition. Here, they are lifting the pot of beans out of the ground, to a big audience.

 

While there were many organic food vendors, these were a few of my favorites.

Not only is the founder of Bixby & Co., Kat McAleer (below), a long-time reader of Living Maxwell but out of 500 applicants, her fantastic organic chocolate company won a $100,000 grant from the Tory Burch Foundation. Amazing!

 

Super-high quality organic sea vegetables from VitaminSea. I had long conversations with founder Tom Roth, who invited me to go harvesting for sea vegetables one day.

 

Founder Katheryn Langelier is putting out some excellent herbal tonics and elixirs with Herbal Revolution. Organic certification is in process.

 

This delicious tofu seaweed salad by Heiwa Tofu founder Jeff Wolovitz kept me well-fed each day of the fair.

 

Gracie’s Garden had some truly spectacular fermented foods.

 

Just looking at these pictures brings me back to a few of the best days that I have had all year. I met some great people, learned many interesting things, and experienced Maine at its finest.

I cannot recommend the Common Ground Country Fair highly enough and am looking forward to returning in 2018.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Seeking a Delicious, Low Sugar Indulgence? Thankfully, Foodstirs has Launched an Organic Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

The reality is that the older we get, the more responsible we become about decreasing our sugar intake.

And while reducing the amount of sugar we consume may be the smart thing to do for our health, it is not always the easiest habit to embrace.

Luckily, there are companies such as Foodstirs — a brand that completely understands the needs of the modern consumer. We want super-clean, organic ingredients that are sustainably-sourced but a product that does not force us to sacrifice taste.

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Organic Insider

Company Stories

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dewayne “Lee” Johnson Sued Monsanto and Won $289M from a California Jury

Last weekend, I had the special opportunity to interview Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the groundskeeper who sued Monsanto for giving him cancer and was awarded $289M from a California jury.

Dewayne Johnson was in town to attend the premiere of the documentary Ground War — a filmmaker’s investigation into the death of his father takes him deep into the world of golf, chemical lobbying, and citizen activism, where he learns that the rampant use of pesticides around the world may be far more damaging than he thought.

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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Whole Planet Foundation is Transforming Lives in Costa Rica

Last week in Costa Rica, I visited with some women entrepreneurs who are receiving microloans from the Whole Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization of Whole Foods.

I have written about the Whole Planet Foundation before and the amazing job that it is doing around the world but meeting the loan recipients in-person gave me a much greater appreciation for the impact that this program is having.

Women entrepreneurs from impoverished communities receive loans, starting at a few hundred dollars, to start businesses – baking, sewing, buying animals, running a small store, etc. With a 98% success rate (only 2% of the loans default), this incremental revenue plays an essential role in improving the well-being and welfare of thousands of families.

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