"Great problems call for many small solutions."
- Wendell Berry
1999 Fair Poster


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Common Ground Gets Highest Praise In Fair Evaluation Report
Calling All Table and Bench Builders
Common Ground Dedicated Tree Planting

Common Ground Gets Highest Praise In Fair Evaluation Report

Each year, a representative of the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs (MAAF) visits Common Ground to see what kind of show we are putting on, and to make sure we are living up to certain standards. It certainly seems that we're doing lots of things right.

At the January 1999 MAAF Meeting, Common Ground Country Fair won an award for the "Most Improved Small Fair." MAAF presented that award to us in recognition of the tremendous strides we had made in opening the new Common Ground Education Center in Unity. After this past year's Fair, we earned more praise from MAAF, scoring a "Very Good" overall rating – the best a Fair can get.

Howard Chick, who carried out the MAAF evaluation this year, commended MOFGA on its well-planned buildings and outstanding grounds layout.

"Common Ground Fair projects an outstanding display of farming and rural living by the demonstrations offered," Mr. Chick reported. "During my visit, I heard comments from fairgoers who didn't have experience as organic farmers and gardeners. Many said, 'Hey, we need to try some gardening and food production.'"

Mr. Chick highlighted the Children's Area and general programming for young visitors to the Fair, and noted a great opportunity to spread the organic farming message statewide.

MOFGA will continue to strive for excellence in its educational programs at the Common Ground Country Fair, and at each of its events throughout the year.


Calling All Table and Bench Builders

We solved lots of big problems for our second Fair in Unity, but there still is room for improvement. One of the challenges that we have highlighted for this year is providing lots more seating and eating facilities. We would greatly appreciate your help in building picnic tables and benches. We plan to have a work weekend sometime in the summer to construct some of the tables and benches. Please call us at 568-4142 to let us know if you would like to join us. If you have some basic carpentry skills and would like to help but live too far from Unity to attend the work weekend, please consider building a simple bench that you could bring with you to the Fair next September. Thanks for any help that you can give!


Common Ground Dedicated Tree Planting

By Ernest Glabau

The Common Ground Dedicated Tree Planting program will continue its tree planting activities at the Second Annual Common Ground Spring Thing on May 20 & 21, 2000, at Common Ground in Unity. The Common Ground Landscape Committee sponsors this program.

The Common Ground Dedicated Tree Planting is an ongoing program. Any individual, group or Maine-based business wishing to have a tree planted at Common Ground in Unity is welcome. All donated trees will have a plaque near the tree with the tree name, its hardiness rating, date of planting and name of the person to whom the tree is dedicated. Multiple tree donations are greatly appreciated. Trees may be dedicated to someone other than the donor if so desired.

A $300 donation will purchase a 2- to 2-1/2-inch caliper (for most tree species, 10- to 15-foot-tall) tree, which will be planted at Common Ground. Trees will be supplied by Maine based nurseries.

This is an ongoing program. Dedicated tree donations will be planted at future Landscape Committee sponsored workdays during 2000 and beyond. Any surplus funds generated by this program will help fund additional Common Ground Landscape Committee planting and landscape maintenance activities.

Planting a Dedicated Tree is a great way to create a physical remembrance or just to plant a tree, which will provide shade and enjoyment for all those using Common Ground in the future. For more information and signup forms, contact Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, PO Box 170, Unity, Maine 04988; or call at 568-4142.



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