This story appeared in the 2020-2021 winter issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener in response to the theme, “The Fair.”
I’ve been farming in Maine since 1981. I actually moved back to the East Coast around that time and came to the 1981 Common Ground Fair, which was held in Windsor. It was MOFGA’s first year in Windsor. I have been so involved with MOFGA ever since: I was on the board of directors, part of the Fair and now I’m on the staff. The Fair has just grown incredibly. I remember the Unity site was a giant cornfield the year that we surveyed it. The year before we’d had immense rains and the fairgrounds were flooded at Windsor, where we were holding the Fair at the time. We were really concerned that we had a site that would drain well, and we were driving around in the back of the truck, kind of looking over the top of the corn, trying to get some idea of the lay of the land. And one thing we did notice is: it was dry, and that was the biggest thing we were looking at for at the time. It was a little hard to tell what the grounds were going to look like, but they’ve evolved dramatically since that period of time. The plantings that are here now – the trees, the various gardens and the Maine Heritage Orchard – show incredible growth here.