Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Planting Common Ground Country Fair in New Earth

Publications \ The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener \ Winter 1997-1998 \ Unity

Planting Common Ground Country Fair in New Earth


Were YOU there at the beginning, in Litchfield, when Scott and Helen Nearing, alongside Fairgoers, built a cordwood structure, when Marshall Dodge provided the humor and Pinch of Love provided the food? Here’s your chance to say, once again, that “I remember when–”

We’re still finalizing details, but the Board wants to be in Unity for an event in 1998 – and that means the Common Ground Country Fair will be held in Unity next year, on our own site. Our dates next fall are September 25, 26, and 27, 1998.

Crews have been working throughout the fall, putting in the road network and utilities, beginning work on a main­tenance building and pouring a slab for the “Education Center,” which will be the Exhibition Hall during the Fair. The year ahead has plenty of work scheduled as well, including barns for live­stock, ticket buildings, an entertainment area, and lots of planting.

You can help!

We’re still raising the money needed to meet a $500,000 challenge grant on January 1 – your gift is worth double the money between now and the end of the year.

Committees are meeting through the winter to deal with: barn design and building plans; plans for a “Modern Homestead,” an example of what an affordable, small farmhouse might look like now; landscaping of the site; woodlot management plans; demonstration field crops and gardens; and more. Your ideas are always welcome.

Work weekends will be happening throughout the spring and summer, probably on the first and third weekends of the month with others added as needed. We’ll be looking for skilled and unskilled volunteers to help.

More Than a Fairground – Education All Year!

Although we’ve all wanted a place for the Common Ground Country Fair to grow, that alone isn’t enough reason to invest time and energy in developing our own site.

In the year ahead, we’ll have opportunities for people who want to learn:

• Building efficient livestock buildings;

• Placing roads through woods in the least damaging way;

• Using wood from your own woodlot;

• Soil-building on a large scale.

We plan to do workshops regularly, starting in late winter, so that we can learn while we build. This is the first stage in our expanding education program, targeting people who want to be farmers and gardeners. Half the farmers in Maine are over 60; big changes are occurring in the conventional agricultural world; the time to build our base of support, and the next generation of farmers, is now.

MOF&G Cover Winter 1997