Fair Exhibit/Vendor Area Details
Poultry Barn: Roman Emperors and RoostersPoultry were domesticated at the dawn of civilization and have been integral to our history since. When you see the shimmering amber hackle feathers of an Old English Game Cock as he struts and dances in his cage, you see why Roman emperors used the rooster's behavior as prophesy. The turkey is unique to the history of the American Continent. Come to the Poultry Barn to see some of the results of 12,000 years of husbandry. You'll be mesmerized!
Check the schedule posted in front of the Poultry Barn for additional speakers and demonstrations.
Welcome to the Common Kitchen, where seasoned cooks (pun intended) as well as motivated, inexperienced volunteers rub elbows and make magic together. We enjoy serving 3000+ meals to volunteers throughout the Fair. The kitchen can be hectic, especially during mealtimes, but the camaraderie and opportunities to learn about natural foods bring many volunteers back.
So, sign up to volunteer in the kitchen, and make sure you wear covered shoes, as sandals are not allowed. We always need volunteers, both during and after the Fair (when it's quieter). Take away some memorable experiences and some recipes for your next grange meeting or family reunion.
We can always use more volunteers in the Children's Area, especially in the early mornings and evenings. Anyone age 12 or older is invited to call the MOFGA office to sign up for volunteering. We greatly appreciate our trustworthy, hardworking, wonderful volunteers. We welcome groups interested in community service projects. Call 207-568-4142 or e-mail Melissa at email@example.com and say that you want to be part of the Children's Area Fun Team.
Parents please note: The Children's Area is a fun place for all ages, but it requires your participation and presence to be successful. Please plan to remain in the area with your child(ren). We are providing additional seating as well as a special stroller/wagon parking area for your convenience this year.
The Folk Arts Area presents demonstrations and classes in traditional Maine arts in its tents and open areas. Folk Arts Tent #1 (FA I) has woods crafts, such as canoe building and porcupine quill work, while Folk Arts Tent #2 (FA II) offers domestic arts, such as quilting and basket making. The Herb Tent (HT) holds talks on herbal medicines and cultivation. The Maine Folklife Center Tent (MFC) features exhibits, music, oral history interviews and the ever-popular bean hole beans. Sunday's family contradance showcases music of the Franklin County Fiddlers (a group of Mt. Blue High School students); and the Shape Note Singers share their music on Saturday and Sunday. This year, our blacksmith shop has become a permanent building under the direction of blacksmith John Phelan and hand-hewing expert Michael Beaudry.
Folk Artist in Residence
This program features an in-depth look at one of Maine's master craftsmen. This year, Steven Thomas Bunn, a furniture maker with over 23 years of experience, will take center stage in the Maine Folklife Center Tent. He makes Windsor chairs in his shop in Bowdoinham, using tools and traditional skills little changed from Colonial times. He is listed in Early American Life magazine's Directory of Traditional Craftsmen. His oral history interview at 11:30 on Saturday is open to the public and will explore his experience and work. A photo exhibit on Maine Windsor chairs from the historic collection at the Maine State Museum will accompany his demonstration. On Sunday at 11 a.m., Edwin Churchill, Ph.D., head curator at the Maine State Museum, with Steve Bunn and furniture makers Marc Blanchette, Jon Brandon, Linda Coit and Andy Abello, will discuss the Maine Windsor chair tradition.
"Old Time Music" Performances
The Bound to Have a Little Fun String Band will present "Old Time" Southern Appalachian string band music in the Maine Folklife Center Tent (see schedule for times). Originally from Appalachia, this music became known as 'hillbilly music' in the 1920s, and was very popular in Maine, especially on that newfangled invention, the radio. Derived from dance tunes brought from England, Scotland and Ireland in the 18th century, it evolved into a uniquely American form when combined with the syncopated rhythms of African Americans and their banjo, filtered through the experiences of farmers, river roustabouts, dancing masters, traveling showmen and slaves who made it their own. Jeff Titon and fellow musicians Art Bryan, Nathan Rutenbeck and Marta Daniels will perform on fiddle, banjo and guitar.
Woman in Agriculture Oral History Project
The Women's Agricultural Network (WAgN) and the Maine Folklife Center are collaborating on a new oral history project to collect experiences of Maine's women farmers. Through education, technical assistance and networking opportunities, WAgN works to increase the number of women owning and operating profitable farms and ag-related businesses. This project will explore the unique experiences, challenges and motivations of Maine's women farmers. See the schedule for interview times. Names of the women being interviewed will be posted in the Maine Folklife Center Tent. These interviews are open to the public, and Fairgoers are encouraged to attend.
--Anu Dudley, Folk Arts Coordinator
Once again, the 25-pound accuracy pitch and the one-toss distance events for the Harry S. Truman Manure Pitch Off will both be held on Saturday, in the new Harry S. Truman Games Area (HST on the Fair map, near Composting and Recycling and the road), with the distance toss in the morning and the accuracy pitch in the afternoon.
The events will feature a mixed competition with three age classes: 12 and under; 13 to 17; and 18 and over. Contestants in each class will receive ribbons for first, second or third place. The first place winner in each class will also receive a T-shirt.
Both contests are limited to 12 contestants per class and are. Sign up for the distance toss at 9:30 a.m. and for the 25-pound accuracy pitch is 1:30 p.m.
The Second Annual Common Ground Country Fair Open Horseshoe Pitch Off will take place on Sunday in the new Harry S. Truman Games Area (HST on the Fair map, near Composting and Recycling and the road) at 11:30 a.m., with sign up and practice at 11 a.m. This event is limited to 16 contestants over 18 years old. Ribbons will be awarded for the first four places, and the overall winner will receive a T-shirt.
Take your pick, shoes or sh-manure, but sign up and take part in this year's Pitch Offs.
MOFGA Oral History ProjectAll Fairgoers Encouraged to Participate
For the fourth year in a row, people involved in MOFGA and the Common Ground Country Fair over the past 30+ years will participate in interactive, tape-recorded, oral history interviews at the Maine Folklife Center tent in the Folk Arts Area. The interviews explore why people decided to create MOFGA and the Fair, what their early experiences and challenges were, who their mentors were, how they built community, what their vision was of the future of MOFGA and the Fair, and how they would advise the next directors and area coordinators.
Fairgoers are encouraged to attend the interviews and to participate -- by listening while interviewees answer questions from Maine Folklife Center staff and by asking their own questions. A schedule of interviews is posted at the Maine Folklife Center tent; interviews are conducted throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The mobile seed cleaning and processing unit includes belt threshers, tomato seed processors, air columns and other seed cleaners. At the Fair, seed saving enthusiasts can see the equipment in action and ask about proper seed saving techniques. Growers are encouraged to bring seed to clean (reasonable quantities please). Demonstrations will take place at 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday only. The equipment will be set up on Friday and Saturday in a small tent adjacent to the Agricultural Demonstrations Exhibit Tent.
Spinning and Weaving with the Wednesday Spinners
The Wednesday Spinners have been spinning as a group at the Common Ground Fair since 1977. This group of gutsy, Down East women spins every Wednesday at each other's homes, enjoying a pot of soup and fascinating discussion. Last year they produced a calendar called "Wearing Wool," which was sold internationally and enabled them to contribute over $10,000 to INFORM to use in its research to eliminate toxins that contribute to breast cancer. (INFORM is a nonprofit watchdog agency in New York City that monitors big business and researches carcinogens in the environment. Two years ago, a founding member of the Wednesday Spinners, Gail Disney, succumbed to cancer.)
This group of over 20 women ranging in age from 8 to 80 will demonstrate wool preparation, carding, spinning on wheels and drop spindles, knitting, dyeing and waulking (stretching). They will be on hand all three days of the Fair, with various equipment. Please refer to the Fair schedule for times of demonstrations of dyeing with onion skins, indigo and madder, and traditional Celtic clothwaulking.
On Sunday, all spinners -- young and old, experienced and novice -- are invited to spin at the Wednesday Spinners Tent. Bring your wheel and join in the centuries-old art of spinning together.
An Invitation from Coordinators Barbara Balkin, Herb Brewer, Crystal Ashland and Jack Cole
As always, we strive to offer programs that enhance out relationship with body, mind and spirit. We've been fine tuning our presentations over the years. Many of our presenters have been with us a long time. This is not laziness on our part: We really value what they have to say.
We need to address a point of etiquette: Noise can interfere with the unique presentations offered in Whole Life. Our presenters follow on each other's heels. If you'd like to chat with presenters after their programs, please wait until AFTER they've left the tent to approach them and please STEP AWAY from the tent so that your conversation doesn't interfere with the following program; and please modulate your voice accordingly.
At 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, we are inviting anyone who is Reiki-trained to join us in a Reiki presentation. Saving Reiki for last endows us with enough energy to close the Tent for the year. If you stick around long enough to help us fold chairs and take down the tent's sidewalls, you are a blessing indeed, because by now we are well and truly fried. Happy, yes, but also very ready to go home.
Please refer to the Schedule of Events for presentation titles and brief descriptions.
Download Health and Healing Area Application (PDF format, 90Kb)
Mission Statement: The MOFGA-Sponsored CGCF serves to encourage the revival of agriculturally-based rural communities. The Health and Healing Area seeks to support the objectives of the Fair by presenting a broad spectrum of subjects pertaining to soundness of body and mind and soul, healing, well-being, and other health-related issues throughout the life span.
Goal: The Health and Healing Area supports a sustainable system of accessible and affordable health and healing options for people everywhere. During the Fair, the emphasis is on agriculturally-based, rural communities and providing people access to information regarding their choices.
1. Promoting a comfortable atmosphere that is accessible to all people.
1. Applicants must read and abide by the general guidelines for the Common Ground Country Fair.
March 6, 2005
It's time to apply for booth space in the Health & Healing Area of the Common Ground Country Fair. The dates for this year's fair are September 23, 24, & 25, 2005.
Enclosed is an application and guidelines for the area. Applications must be postmarked by March 25th, and must be accompanied by a $5.00 processing fee. The processing fee for applications postmarked after March 25th is $50.00. Here are the important dates for participation in the Health & Healing Area:
March 25th Applications Must be Postmarked by This Date
April 15th Applicants Will Be Notified Of Their Status: accepted, wait-listed, or rejected
May 6th Contracts and Booth Fees Must be Postmarked by This Date
Mid-August Fair Office Sends Out Confirmation Packs
September 23, 24, & 25th The Fair!
The Health & Healing Area of the Fair represents a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to soundness of body and mind, healing, well-being, and other interests relating to health throughout the lifespan. Health & Healing exhibits will be located in a tent near the Pine Gate. Please remember that booths are to be staffed all three days.
Looking forward to hearing from you, and wishing you Peace and Wellness,
Mary Chamberlin & Peggy Connell
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)