Even though we aren't gathering together for an in-person Common Ground Country Fair this year, we're still going to offer some of our most popular educational talks, including all three keynote addresses. Videos will be posted at mofga.org and audio will be streamed courtesy of our media partners and friends at WERU FM Community Radio beginning at 11 am on Sunday, September 26.
Schedule of Events:
September 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. Apple Afternoon with MOFGA's Orchard Team
To celebrate our newly-opened store, The Maine Organic Marketplace at 55 Main Street in Freeport, we’ll be hosting MOFGA’s orcharding crew right outside the store! There will be educational displays about Maine apples, free samples of many tasty varieties and bags of MOFGA-grown apples for sale, and Orchard Coordinator Laura Sieger will be available to answer questions about your fruit trees.
September 25 beginning at noon
Gardening Q+A with Caleb Goossen, Eric Sideman and Mark Hutton
Each year at the Common Ground Country Fair, folks gather on Saturday for a Q&A with some of our favorite garden and crop specialists to ask questions about their growing season and start planning for next year. We are glad to be able to offer this beloved annual talk as a webinar this year. Join us at noon on Saturday, September 25 on Facebook (we’ll go live!) with your gardening questions. Please also send your questions to us ahead of time — bonus points for pictures! — to help get the talk started. You can email them to [email protected]
We’re thrilled to share the 2021 Common Ground Country Fair Keynote speakers! Each day the Fair will feature a keynote address at 11am.
“Food Justice is More than Growing Food and Feeding People”
People in poor urban and rural communities are told that if they want food security, all they have to do is grow their own vegetables, give up soda, exercise and, as if by magic, eating vegetables and drinking water will solve the food system’s problems, without looking at the institutional, environmental and structural determinants that reinforce racism in today’s society. So does the food system need to be fixed or does it need to change?
“Food Insecurity and its Interconnectedness to the Climate Crisis”
Amara Ifeji is a 19-year-old systems thinker and climate justice activist committed to advancing equitable access to the outdoors for all youth. Her barriers to access to environmental learning drove her to lead community science learning efforts for youth like herself and conduct internationally awarded climate change research. Through her role with the Maine Environmental Education Association, she strives to empower a network of over 400 youth environmental activists in the Maine Environmental Changemakers and JustME for a JustUS networks. Ifeji also pushes for both state and federal environmental education policy reform through her roles with the Nature Based Education Consortium and the Equity Subcommittee of the Maine Climate Council. In recognition of her work, she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer in 2021 — one of only 24 youth in the world.
“Farm Viability through Land Justice and Farmworker Rights”
As a farmer and mother, Sen. Stacy Brenner knows the importance of preserving our lands for future generations. Her keynote will focus on her work as a farmer and policymaker to address the effects of climate change, which threaten our ability to grow the food we need and live healthy lives. She’ll also discuss her advocacy work for land preservation, social justice, farm viability, farmworker rights, and green energy solutions that provide good-paying jobs in our community.