Sylvia Smith “The Fair”

This story appeared in the 2020-2021 winter issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener in response to the theme, “The Fair.”

I love working with the people at MOFGA and at the Common Ground Fair. I got connected with the Common Ground Country Store as a volunteer. I received the T-shirts and kept track of that. There’s so much involved with making sure everything arrives by the time the Fair begins. The new T-shirt design is picked before the Fair happens, so it really is a year-round process. It was interesting to be around and see that. Before I started volunteering, when I was attending the Fair, I just assumed the Fair happened and that people started getting ready a couple of weeks before. I realized how much work goes into it and how much it’s grown. MOFGA is so important to the state ­– especially at this time ­– because of the things it provides. MOFGA’s programs show how important it is to have local access to food and also encourage providing food for people in need. Right now, there are more and more people who need help with food security. I’m not online and I get some letters, but I haven’t been able to participate in the Fair this year. I miss seeing all the people, and I miss the vendors that I visit each year. It was very disorienting for it to be August and September and to not be helping out with MOFGA. The Fair is a chance for everybody to come together.

Sylvia Smith

Stockton Springs, Maine

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