(These speeches were recorderd and can be listened to here.)
Friday: Long-Time MOFGA Farmer on the Goodness of Local Food
For 28 years, the highly diversified Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro has been MOFGA-certified, and during that time owners Bill and Cynthia Thayer have trained dozens of MOFGA apprentices. The Thayers are well-known figures at the Common Ground Country Fair, as well, where Bill gives horse-drawn wagon rides and Cynthia spends the weekend with the Wednesday Spinners, demonstrating her skill at spinning, dyeing and other fiber arts. Curl up with a good novel, and it might be one Cynthia wrote—such as Strong for Potatoes. Check MOFGA’s history, and you’ll find Cynthia listed as a former board member.
Cynthia Thayer will be the keynote farmer-speaker at the 2006 Common Ground Country Fair on Friday, Sept. 22. She will talk about eating locally grown food in season. “We haven't bought vegetables in 30 years,” Thayer told The MOF&G, “and have a wide variety of food available to us. The trend to have anything you want available any time you want it relies very heavily on petroleum-based products for shipping.”
Tired of petro-rations? Come hear Thayer talk about another way to eat, a better way—for the earth and for your palate.
Saturday: Exciting Alternatives to Hazardous Technologies
Our Saturday speaker will be Ken Geiser, Director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. He will talk about viable and clean alternatives to hazardous industrial technologies, exciting initiatives that are taking place around the world to promote these alternatives, and efforts to phase out the long-lived toxic chemicals that accumulate in the food web and in our bodies. Geiser is the author of Materials Matter: Toward a Sustainable Materials Policy, which explains the economic, ecological and health benefits of using clean materials from the beginning of any industrial production process. Geiser serves on the Board of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, which coordinates the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. He is a long-time MOFGA member and fairgoer as well! After the Keynote Address on Saturday, Geiser will participate in the Public Policy Teach-in in the Youth Enterprise Zone tent.
Sunday: First Lady Karen Baldacci Connects Maine Foods and Maine People
On Sunday, Maine’s First Lady Karen Baldacci will talk to fairgoers about her interests in organic farming and gardening, local foods, and the work she is doing to promote effective nutrition programs for the people of Maine. An educator and nutritionist, Mrs. Baldacci describes herself as an avid gardener and supporter of local farmers. Maine's new Commissioner of Agriculture, Seth Bradstreet, said of her, "She understands that profitable farms are the cornerstones for building healthy and vibrant rural communities, [and that] the key to improving the nutritional health of our citizens, and to achieving healthy rural communities, is to support local
agriculture by purchasing locally-grown food."
The First Lady films an educational series called Focus on the Farm, which airs on Adelphia channel 9. The monthly series highlights Maine foods from Maine farms and connects the people of Maine with their rich agricultural heritage.
The Baldacci family has prioritized the restoration of the many gardens surrounding the Blaine House in Augusta. They enjoy the rewards of a kitchen garden and a Victorian greenhouse, which provide fresh vegetables during an extended growing season. The Baldaccis' chef, Heather Hopkins, makes an effort to buy fresh, local foods whenever possible. Restoration of the Governor's Garden on the north side of the Blaine House is underway with the help of schools and universities, Master Gardeners, local garden clubs, the state of Maine, greenhouses, nurseries and private individuals.
Come to the keynote speech on Sunday to hear how Mrs. Baldacci's many farm-, garden- and nutrition-related initiatives are going.
Join us with your families and friends on the Common each day of the Fair at 11:00 to hear these wonderful speakers.