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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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Regenerative agriculture is a major trend in the organic food world these days, but for many people, it is a confusing and uncertain term.

Wanting people to understand just what ‘regenerative’ means and how the company is embracing this agricultural practice around the world, Dr. Bronner’s has just released an inspirational and compelling new documentary called Journey to Pavitramenthe.

This short film tells the story of fair trade, small-scale farmers in Bareilly, India – located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, 170 miles east of Delhi — who produce regenerative organic mint oil for Dr. Bronner’s products.

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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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SunOpta divests ingredient company Tradin Organic, a Win-Win for Everyone

In the organic ingredient world, a significant transaction was announced this morning.

SunOpta, a global company focused on plant-based foods and beverages, sold its organic ingredient sourcing and production business, Tradin Organic, to Amsterdam Commodities N.V. (Acomo) in a debt and cash-free transaction worth €330 million.

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Organic Insider

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Farmer Direct Organic is Raising the Bar When it Comes to Fair Wages for Growers and Traceability for Consumers

With more than 80% of U.S. consumers purchasing organic food on a regular basis, the industry continues to surge in popularity, and there are more organic brands – and choices – than ever.

Yet, when one takes a deeper look at what is happening behind the scenes, the picture is rather unsettling. Most notably, the farmers are suffering beyond imagination.

According to the USDA, projected 2019 median farm income was expected to be -$1,636, and a majority of farmers are forced to earn off-farm income to feed their families and keep their farms afloat.

Canada-based Farmer Direct Organic, a certified organic producer of grains, seeds and legumes, is acutely aware of this problem and is making it a cornerstone of the company’s operating philosophy.

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