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 Fair News – Winter 2012-2013 Minimize

 

Fair staff
Fair director Jim Ahearne with (left) Fair assistant Renata Christen, Fair coordinator April Boucher, and Fair volunteer coordinator Eleanor Salazar (right). English photo.

Thanks from the Fair Director

Fleece Tent Has Another Great Year
2012 Common Ground Country Fair Awards
2012 5K Footrace Winners

Feeding the Fair Volunteers - Common Kitchen Donations


Thanks from the Fair Director

Many of the questions I get about the Common Ground Country Fair begin with, “How many.”

“How many people were at the Fair this year?” 59,067.

“How many vendors and exhibitors were there?” 726.

“How many people rode the train?” 2,670.

And so on. I suppose numbers can be clean and compact, easy to hold and store. Waypoints in a story.

Even from my vantage point, I get to take in but a sliver of all the Fair has to offer and of all that’s created by those involved. I say created because the Fair doesn’t so much happen but is renewed each year by the vision and industry of coordinators who volunteer their time and dedication, by exhibitors and vendors who bring their work and passion to share, and by volunteers who help in immeasurable ways.

One of my favorite images from this year’s Fair was the sight of kids playing chess in the new Farm & Homestead Kids Activity Area. In the midst of 20,000 people was a chessboard on a table, tucked quietly off the busy thoroughfare, seemingly under the watch of apple trees. Time and again throughout the weekend, a changing cast of young fairgoers sat there in quiet concentration.

The Fair can be a whirlwind of activity that leaves us spinning, but in its core is a touchstone that reminds and affirms. I like the way our Fair office assistant Renata Christen put it: “Having neighbors and friends and familiar faces to connect with is the whole point.”

“Neighbors.” “Friends.” “Familiar faces.” “Connect.” Words to celebrate and live by as we strive to create, in the words of Russell Libby, “a more local and more organic agriculture.”

Thank you to all the neighbors, friends and faces familiar and new who infused the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair with their vision and talents, aspirations and work, support and joy.

With gratitude,

– Jim Ahearne
Fair Director

P.S. – I pulled Renata’s quote from a short film created by Vashon Island filmmaker Andrew Plotsky who was at Common Ground with the Greenhorns. He produced a terrific piece on the Weed Dating event at the Fair. Here’s the link to the video: http://mofga.me/weeddatingatcommonground

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Fleece Tent
The Fleece Tent. English photo.

Fleece Tent Has Another Great Year

Sales for the Fleece Tent at MOFGA’s 36th Common Ground Country Fair were once again very gratifying: Sales totaled just under $10,000, with 270 “units” sold, representing almost 1,000 pounds of Maine fiber. Friday was (as always) our busiest day, with sales topping $5,200.

This is great news for both the Fleece Tent committee and the record 54 growers who had fiber in the sale this year. It confirms that the Fleece Tent is truly a top destination for fiber lovers from Maine and beyond seeking the best of Maine fiber.

We had another fine fleece show on Saturday. Louise Hessert of Pleasant Valley Farm, Cumberland, judged all categories this year, fielding questions from observers and sharing her in-depth knowledge with all. Of the 36 show entries, the following received ribbons and premiums: Wool, First – Elaine Cloutier, Heidi Woolever Daly, Sue Faunce, Wanatha Garner, Joe Miller (2), Margot Simonds and Susan Wilson; Wool, Second – Edith Allard, Elaine Clark, Sue Faunce, Rebecca Jude, Nancy Webster and Susan Wilson. Given the number of entries in the “primitive/dual-coat” class, the judge elected to recognize Sue Faunce with a “best-in-class” award for her Icelandic fleece. Awards for specialty fibers were as follows: Angora, First – Beth Acker, Anna Barber, Jenny Smith; Second – Jenny Smith (2); Third – Jenny Smith; Llama, Second – Karen Klein; Mohair, First – Pogo Pogorelc (2); Pygora, First – Jenny Smith (2). Anna Barber also received the award for Best Specialty Fiber. Finally, our heartiest congratulations to Elaine Cloutier, Shepherd’s Purse, Abbott, for the Best-in-Show award for her beautiful colored Coopworth fleece. All show participants received their judging forms with scores and judge’s comments.

“Across the way,” the Wednesday Spinners tent had another busy, activity-filled weekend for all involved. The Maine Stoneworkers Guild’s “pocket parket,” home to the Wednesday Spinners dye-plant garden, was – in its third year – a great draw for fairgoers seeking a beautiful place to sit. Cynthia Thayer used fresh indigo harvested from the garden for her indigo-dyeing demonstration on Saturday. The Garden LoomTM , a gift from Susan Barrett Merrill and Richard Merrill of Weaving a Life in Brooksville, Maine, attracted many fairgoers throughout the weekend. The first weaving was presented to Russell Libby, MOFGA’s long-time executive director. We welcomed everyone’s creative additions to this year’s tapestries.

Add to these events a full schedule of well-attended talks, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and informal discussions at both the Fleece Tent and the Wednesday Spinners Tent, and we can happily say that the Wednesday Spinners celebrated our 35th consecutive year at the Fair in grand style.

The vendors in the Fiber Marketplace adjacent to the Fleece Tent reported brisk sales for the weekend. And as always, Dave Kennard and his border collies attracted large, enthusiastic crowds all three days of the Fair.

We encourage all Maine fiber growers to consider being a part of the fleece sale and show next year. To be added to our growers email group and/or to obtain information about the 2013 sale and show, please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 (Appleton) or mizoly@midcoast.com.

– Penelope Olson

'Jack Phat' pumpkin
This 'Phat Jack' pumpkin grown by Mary Yurlina of Hampden won a Judges' Award at the Common Ground Country Fair. English photo.

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2012 Common Ground Country Fair Awards

Food Vendors

Best Beverage – Cornerstone and Fail Better Farms, Maine soda
That’s Some Different! – Local Sprouts Cooperative, butternut squash sandwich
Tradition! (Best interpretation of a traditional Maine recipe) – Sagadahoc MOFGA Chapter, baked beans
Best Bite for the Buck – KCH Enterprise, popcorn
Best Farm to Table – Tide Mill Organic Farm
First Impression (Best new food or drink) – Busy Beehive Bakeshop
Taste, Not Trash – Maine Falafel Company
Where’s the Beef? (Vegetarian) – Three Leaf Foods, veggie wrap
Where’s the Cheese? (Vegan) – Local Sprouts Cooperative, butternut squash soup
Better than Chocolate (Dessert) – Busy Beehive Bakeshop
Best Gluten Free – Island Cow ice cream
Best Fresh and Simple – Chaiwallah of Maine, carrot salad
Best in Show – Maple's Organic Desserts

Agricultural Products

Most Educational – Organic Valley
Best Family Farm – Gramp’s Farm
Most Fairgoer Friendly – Sewall Orchard
Best Agricultural Business – Delightful Odds & Herbs

Exhibition Hall

Best Chapter Exhibit Booth – Waldo Organic Growers

Most Educational Display – Heritage Wheat Conservancy, Elisheva Rogosa

'Ailsa Craig' onions
‘Ailsa Craig’ onions grown by Ben Whatley of Topsham also won a Judges' Award. English photo.

Exhibition Hall Judges’ Awards

‘Blooming Prairie’ dry bean, Herbert "Sam" Birch, Coopers Mills
Dill pickles, Maines Family, Abbot
Crabapple jelly, George and Ann Jackson, Kate Healy, Fairfield
’Phat Jack’ pumpkin, Mary Yurlina, Hampden

Drosera collection, carnivorous plants, Eva Writt and Aaron Parker, Falmouth
’Ailsa Craig’ onions, Ben Whately, Topsham

Dill pickles, Amy LeBlanc, E. Wilton

Maple Cannery photograph, Steve Larochelle, Searsport
’Red Noodle’ yard long beans, Pedro Little-Siebold, Ellsworth
’Gardener's Sweetheart’ tomato, Will Bonsall, Industry
Becca's Dance, painting, Rebecca Hamilton, Whitefield
Dried rhubarb, Jon Hawley, Old Town
’Nootka Rose’ garlic braid, Jim Kanzler, Newburg

Wall hanging, "Log Cabin Variation" quilt, Robin Maraggio, Sidney

Wall hanging, "What is Black & White & 'Read' All Over?" quilt, Robin Maraggio, Sidney
‘Pruden's Purple’ tomato, Jim Kovaleski, Robbinston


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Livestock

Teamster of the Day

Artichoke flower
A blue-ribbon artichoke flower grown by the Troy Howard Middle School students. English photo.

Bob Crichton, Pine Hill Mules - Friday
Donnie Webb, Webb Family Farms - Saturday
Tracey Wilkerson, Gould Academy - Sunday

Educational Demo of the Day

Thomas Hodgman, Waldoview Farm
Joe Miller, Rivercroft Farm
Bill Thayer, Darthia Farm

Youth Demonstration of the Day

Tammy Chase, Royal Haven Farm
Chuddy Joslyn, Warren Joslyn Farm
Nathaniel Trauger, Oak Hill Farm

Team Player of the Day

Tracey Wilkerson, Gould Academy - Friday
Charles Hopkins, Tramps Rest – Saturday
Peter Hagerty, Peace Fleece Farm – Sunday

Very Educational Youth Demonstration

Nick Winter, Faithful Venture Farm
Cathy Simmons, S&S Carriage Rides
Glendon Meheuren, Faithful Venture Farm

Special Friend

Claire Wallace
Steve Norton

Tammy Chase
Tammy Chase, shown here with Steel and Iron, of Royal Haven Farm in Wilton, was the Youth Demonstrator of the Day and a top oxen-scoot demonstrator at the Fair. English photo.
Nicholas Winter
Nicholas Winter of Lincolnville and his team of young oxen in the oxen scoot contest. English photo.
Wes Daniels
Wes Daniels with his Devon oxen, Pete and Mike, at the oxen scoot contest. English photo.

Very Educational

Pogo Pogorelc, Friends’ Folly Farm
Wendy Russell, Widdershins
Janice Spaulding, Stony Knolls Farm
Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate
Greg Wilson, Beechwood Farm
Stan Maynard, Orchard Hill Farm

Very Popular

David Kennard & Joe Grady, Wellscroft Farm
Mary Thompson, Bean’s Corner Farm
Nancy Wines-DeWan, Maine Icelandic Horse Association

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Oxen Scoot Contest

The Newt Cochran Teamster Award: Morgan Chadwick

Friday
Small Class:
Wes Daniel
Tammy Chase
Nicholas Winter
Chuddy Joslyn
Rodney Jennings

Medium Class:
Zack Kemp
Mike Sproul
Tanya Chadwick

Large Class:
Gary Wilson
Johnathan Daniel
Pat Shea
Morgan Chadwick
Dwain Chase

Saturday
Small Class:
Tammy Chase
Nicholas Winter
Chuddy Joslyn
Wes Daniel
Rodney Jennings

Medium Class:
Zack Kemp
Mike Sproul
Pat Chadwick

Large Class:
Pat Shea
Johnathan Daniel
Gary Wilson
Dwain Chase
Morgan Chadwick

Sunday
Small Class:
Wes Daniel
Tammy Chase
Nicholas Winter
Chuddy Joslyn
Rodney Jennings

Medium Class:
Zack Kemp
Mike Sproul
Pat Chadwick

Large Class:
Johnathan Daniel
Pat Shea
Gary Wilson
Dwain Chase
Morgan Chadwick

Madeline Johnson
Madeline Johnson with friend Allsum. English photo.

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Donkey and Mule Show

Jenny Donkey Class

1. Daisy, Janet Perry, Masardis
2. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
3. Lily, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
4. Ellie May, Shown by Madeline, Claire Wallace of Haffas Farm, Ellsworth
5. Brandy, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
6. Allsum, Sherrie Dyer

Gelding Donkey Class

1. Jimmy Jack, Donna Runnels, Burnham
2. EE ORR, Sue Slate, Exeter
3. Okie Dokie, Janet Perry, Masardis

Mules over 48" Class

1. Ellie, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
2. Pepe Le Mule, Donna Runnels, Burnham
3. Sally, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori

Donkey Jumping Class

1. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
2. Lilly, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
3. EE ORR, Sue Slate, Exeter
4. Brandy, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori

Mule Jumping Class

1. Sally, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
2. Ellie, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
3. Pepe Le Mule, Donna Runnels, Burnham

Obstacle Course

1. Sally, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
2. Pepe Le Mule, Donna Runnels, Burnham
3. Ellie, Jan and Pete Shepard with Molly, Haley and Lori
4. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
5. Lily, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
6. Ellie May, shown by Madeline, Claire Wallace of Haffas Farm, Ellsworth

Egg and Spoon Challenge

1. Lucky Star, shown by Emily, Claire Wallace of Haffas Farm, Ellsworth
2. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate, Bowdoin
3. Allsum, Sherrie Dyer
4. Lucky Star, Claire Wallace, Haffas Farm, Ellsworth

Driving, Open Class

1. Okie Dokie, Janet Perry, Masardis

Costume Class

All winners. Ellie, Sally, Brandy, Ellie May
Costumes included Dan'l Boone, a Flower Girl, a Hunter and a Gypsy

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Harry S. Truman Games - Manure Toss

Saturday
Distance Toss

Little kids – 1st: A TIE – Zander, 3.5 ft.; Salomon Bixby, 3.5 ft.
Teenagers – 1st: Rich, 15.5 ft.
Adults – 1st: Alex Miller, 84 ft.; 2nd: Jake Hutchins, 78.5 ft; 3rd: Chris B., 66 ft.

Accuracy Toss

Little kids –1st: Soloman Bixby; 2nd: Patty Anderson; 3rd: Oliver Aichele – honorary award to Arden Teary
Teenagers – 1st: Kidayer; 2nd: Caldwell Howell; 3rd: Jared Bermer
Adults – 1st: Chad; 2nd: Alex; 3rd: Peter

Sunday
Distance Toss

Little kids – 1st: Zander
Teenagers – n/a
Adults – 1st: Ken; 2nd: Matt; 3rd: Patrick

Accuracy Toss

Adults – 1st: Chuck Murphy; 2nd: Nate

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Draft Horse Show

Junior Showmanship: Class – Participants 8 years old and younger

1st – Reiley Wilkerson, 6 yr.
2nd – Maddie Johnson 8 yr.
3rd – Osie Wilkerson 2 yr.
 
Junior Showmanship: Class – Participants older than 8 years old

1st – Courtney Lancaster
2nd – Elisabeth Simmons
3rd – Rikki Babcock
4th – Becca Lawler
 
Gelding Class

1st – Pete Stratton
2nd – David Fish
3rd – Jesse Seavey
4th – Kris Fraser
5th – Casey Seavey
6th – Courtney Lancaster
 
Stallion Class

Joe and Judy Miller
Brood Mare with Foal

1st – Joe & Judy Miller
 
Mares 2 years and under

1st – Joe and Judy Miller
2nd – Joe and Judy Miller
 
Mares 3 years and older

1st – David Stevens
2nd – Bruse Pierce
3rd – Jessica Carlow
4th – Casey Seavey
5th – Cathy Simmons
6th – Tracey Wilkerson

Grand Champion Mare

Joe and Judy Miller
 
Bred, Raised and Owned

1st – Joe and Judy Miller
2nd – Joe and Judy Miller
3rd – David Stevens
4th – Joe and Judy Miller
5th – Pete Stratton
6th – Elisabeth Simmons
 
Bareback Riding

1st – Cathy Simmons
2nd – Jesse Seavey
3rd – Casey Seavey
4th – Dana Seavey
5th – Tracey Wilkerson
6th – Eric Towle

Cart Class

1st – Mary Philbrick
2nd – Kris Fraser
3rd – Cathy Simmons
4th – Bruce Pierce
5th – Pete Stratton
 
Pair Scooting

1st – Pete Stratton
2nd – Brad Johnson
3rd – Courtney Lancaster
4th – Cathy Simmons
5th – Kris Fraser
6th – Mark Carlow
 
Single Twitch

1st – Pete Stratton
2nd – Jesse Seavey
3rd – Mark Carlow
4th – Courtney Lancaster
5th – Kris Fraser
6th – Eric Towle

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2012 5K Footrace Winners

Overall Winners
Men – A. Goode
Women – B. Smith-Franey

Men 19 and under
1. L. Mauser
2. C. Clemetson

Men 20 - 29
1. A. Goode
2. S. Cohen

Men 30 - 39
1. N. Maximus
2. P. Keenan

Men 40 - 49
1. M. Tilbury
2. R. Coombs

Men 50 – 59
1. S. Keenan
2. D. Desfosses

Men 60 and over
1. M. Lansky
2. D. Johnston

Women 19 and under
1. L. Lewis

Women 20 - 29
1. E. Emery

Women 30 - 39
1. L. Coombs
2. M. Oathout

Women 40 - 49
1. B. Smith-Franey
2. M. Murphy

Women 50 – 59
1. C. Manley
2. B. Hawkins

Women 60 and over
1. A. Edwards
2. P. Duncan

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