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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 E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

How Sustainable Bananas are Produced at EARTH University in Costa Rica

When I was at EARTH University in Costa Rica, I got a chance to learn everything about sustainable banana production – from how they are grown in the fields to how they are shipped to the U.S.

In this video, I’ll take you onto the banana plantation of EARTH University and show you the issues that they have to deal with when growing bananas in such humid conditions.

What’s important to note is that it took EARTH University many, many years for its sustainable bananas to reach profitability and the school was told by consultants that the program wasn´t going to work.

EARTH University’s president refused to give up because he knew that this was the right way to do business – for the environment, for the farm workers, for consumers – even though his bananas were more expensive than conventionally-grown ones.

Whole Foods recognized the importance of what EARTH University was doing and the values that it stood for, and decided to distribute the school’s bananas throughout the U.S. Not only has this partnership been critical for the long-viability of EARTH University’s banana program, but the strong demand for the school’s bananas has proven that sustainability is good business.

Without question, EARTH University’s bananas are the best that I have ever eaten. If you have the chance to buy them, definitely do so.

You’ll be eating a fantastic product and also be supporting an incredibly important endeavor for sustainability.

Also, being such a huge fan of bananas, I can’t tell you how interesting this day was for me. Enjoy!

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.

Living Maxwell

Company Stories

EARTH University in Costa Rica – An Amazing Example of What Education Should Be

The reason for my trip to Costa Rica was to come learn about a place called EARTH University.

EARTH University in Costa Rica is a 4-year accredited school where students come from all over the world to learn about sustainability and entrepreneurship. The goal is to have these students take these skills and knowledge back to their home countries after graduation in order to positively impact their communities.

What is important to know about EARTH University is that almost all of the students come from Latin America and Africa, 71% of the students come from rural impoverished areas, and 60% of the students receive full scholarships.

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