Fiber and Fleece Area
The Fleece Tent and Its 2005 Guest, Maine Fiberarts
Don't miss the Fleece Tent! Why? First, the Tent will have more displays and handouts than ever, providing the basics of how to work with that raw fleece you just purchased. To add to the excitement, the Tent has invited Maine Fiberarts as its special guest. Maine Fiberarts and its volunteers will host demonstrations and displays and will be networking for Maine's fiber community. The group will also have information announcing its
2006 Tour Map and Open Studio & Farm Weekend. Third, and with great anticipation,
The Fleece Tent is starting a new series called "Fleece Notes"--informal sessions where you can talk to growers and other "fleece fanatics" about the basics-selecting, skirting, processing and beyond. Please join us in the Fleece Tent this weekend. See the Schedule of Events for times of specific talks.
March 8, 2005
Dear Fiber Grower:
This year is the 29th Common Ground Country Fair and Fleece Show and Sale. Scheduled for
September 23, 24, and 25, it is also the year when the torch is being passed from the long time, hard working Fleece Tent supervisors, Judy Kirk and Jeanne Young to a .new crew.. This letter would be remiss, if we didn.t take the opportunity to warmly thank Judy and Jeanne both for their years of service and thoughtfulness in how they have tried to break in the new kids on the block. Our hope is to build on their success.
With a new crew, there is always change. We have tried to keep the changes to a minimum for this
year.s event, while picking up on some of the suggestions based on Judy and Jeanne.s experiences. So here goes:
- Fleece Registration can be done ahead of time by printing off the on-line form available at
www.mofga.org (Download a Fiber Sale Registration Form - PDF format, 47Kb size)or on site beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. You are welcome to
register your fleeces throughout the weekend.
- If you plan to pre-register, please return the forms prior to Sept. 11. Pre-registration will not only
limit the time you have to stand in line at the Tent, it will help us immensely. If you pre-register, you
will receive all return paperwork in the mail and prior to the Fair including Tag nummbers and labels.
All you will need to do at registration is to show up with your labeled bags and the registration form.
- The following type of Maine grown fleeces can be sold . wool, llama, mohair, alpaca, cashmere and
angora. All fiber must be from this year.s clip and unprocessed. If you have some other type of
fleece you would like us to consider for sale, please call us ahead of time to discuss.
- Please do not put fleeces in grain bags or boxes. We understand that your best opportunity to sell is
with packaging in clear plastic bags. We will have bags available at the Tent for a small charge.
- The Fleece Show will be on Saturday, the time to be determined. Please note that all show fleeces
will be registered on site and at check-in. The show was a major area of discussion by the new team
and we are extremely interested in increasing participation and .showcasing. the highest and best
products that Maine has to offer. To encourage a broader range of participation, we are asking each
farm to limit their number of fleeces for competition to three. We are also increasing slightly the cost
per submission to $3.00 a fleece. We hope the additional revenue will support an educational event
around fleece judging and/or increased promotion. Next year, it is our intent to expand the fleece
competition from just sheep.s wool to include other types of fleeces. We will also be asking those of
you who have been around for awhile to give us some ideas about how this aspect of the Fleece Tent
activities could grow.
- Competition fleeces can be purchased prior to judging, but the fleece must be available throughout
the competition. We will keep track of the purchases asking Sellers to work out pick up details if
The *new crew* is very excited, naïve enough to think this is going to be fun and looking forward to
working with everyone. Please call or e-mail with questions.
Coordinators: John Belding & Mary Burke
Purpose: The purpose of the Farmers' Market is to provide an outlet for organic growers in Maine to sell their produce and to educate fairgoers about the quality, variety and feasibility of organic farming in Maine.
- Farmers' Market vendors are required to follow the general guidelines of the Common Ground Country Fair.
- Produce, prepared food, and value-added food items sold in the Farmers' Market Area are subject to the same standards as food sold in the Food Area of the CGCF.
- Farmers' Market vendors whose produce or plants are not MOFGA-certified organic must submit with their applications an affidavit stating that they are growing organically and thus that their produce or plants are certifiable. During the growing season, a member of MOFGA's Staff may pay random visits to non-certified Farmers' Market vendors for verification of organic growing practices.
- The CGCF will provide "MOFGA-Certified Organic" signs to certified organic vendors in the Farmers' Market. Vendors should post them on the booths. The CGCF will collect the signs on Sunday at the close of the Fair.
- A vendor may sell value-added items provided the primary ingredients are grown, raised and processed on the farm. All non-farm ingredients must be third party Certified Organic. Acceptable sweeteners include Maine Honey and Maple Syrup. Certified vinegar is currently available from a couple of Maine sources. SEE FOOD AREA GUIDELINES AND BE SURE TO FILL OUT A FOOD INGREDIENT FORM IF YOU ARE SELLING VALUE ADDED ITEMS. RECEIPTS OR PROOF OF PURCHASE FOR ALL PURCHASED INGREDIENTS WILL BE CHECKED AT THE FAIR.
- In light of the increasing ecological concerns about genetic engineering and agriculture, the CGCF strongly encourages Farmers' Market vendors to raise fiber producing animals on grain that is free of genetically modified organisms.
- All vendors providing fresh produce, food, or processed food products must show proof of insurance covering general liability. The Fair office will accept a photocopy of the vendor's policy. The Common Ground Country Fair Food Vendors' Association offers a group rate for vendors who need insurance only for Common Ground. Vendors may contact Pauline Baker at Keyes/Philbrick/Finley/Mullen Insurance, PO Box 100, Skowhegan, ME 04976. Phone: 474-9576.
- The Farmers' Market Area Coordinator assigns to each vendor space that is large enough for the vendor's vehicle and display table (approximately 14' X 20').
- The CGCF does not provide shelter to Farmers' Market vendors.
- The CGCF does supply a limited amount of electricity for Farmers' Market Vendors, for perishable food safety. Electrical hookups are only available in a limited area of the Market, near the Information Booth and are subject to availability. An electrical supply form will need to be requested from the MOFGA office and a fee will apply.
- Prepared foods sold at the Farmers' Market must be intended for off-site consumption. However, vendors may offer samples of their products for promotional purposes.
- Vendors contract for space on a daily basis, paying $40.00 per day. All accepted vendors may reserve booth space for $10.00 per day until a designated date in July when the contract balance is due.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Common Ground Country Fair
PO Box 170
Unity, ME 04988