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.