Archives: Stories

Buffie Whittaker

Here’s a memory from Buffie Whittaker: “I am writing to you on behalf of my father, Francis ‘Eli’ Whittaker. MOFGA meant a lot to my father. He passed away in July 2020. As far back as I can remember my father always had a passion for the outdoors and especially gardening. From growing his plants

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Beedy Parker

Here’s a memory from Beedy Parker: “I thought the Social Action [area] was really important to have at the Fair – that that was partly what the “Common Ground” was about. And so, I sort of wanted a parade that would unite the Fair in some way, and that could be for the children and

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Jim Gerritsen

Here’s a memory from Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Family Farm in Bridgewater, Maine: “Wendell Berry was keynote speaker at the Common Ground Country Fair at the fairgrounds in the small central Maine town of Litchfield in 1978. This was the second Common Ground Fair ever, the first occurring just one year prior. Wendell gave

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Ararat Farms

By Holli Cederholm Like many small- to mid-scale certified-organic vegetable farms, Ararat Farms in Lincolnville, Maine, aims to provide quality, healthy products to the surrounding community. Farm managers Emilia Carbone and Jed Beach have an additional goal: They want their produce to outshine the standard grocery store vegetables in terms of flavor, nutrient density and

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Marcus Terentius Varro Wrote The Old, Old Farmers’ Almanac

The beginning of De Re Rustica by Varro. Text from http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Varro/de_Re_Rustica/1*.html By John Koster Marcus Terentius Varro wrote some 620 books, but only the nearest and dearest to his heart – Rerum Rusticarum Libri Tres, Three Books on Farming – survived in complete form. That’s probably because enough people had one copied out to increase the odds of its survival

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Grassland Farm

Sarah and Garin Smith, shown here with their children, Cedar and Reed, own and operate Grassland Farm in Skowhegan. Photo courtesy of Red Door Media. By Holli Cederholm Grassland Farm spans roughly 300 acres in Skowhegan, Maine, and as its name implies, more than half the land is open acreage used for rotational grazing and

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Andrew Birdsall

Here’s a memory from Andrew Birdsall of Horsepower Farm in Penobscot, Maine: “My grandparents, Paul and Mollie Birdsall, would have been so happy to see MOFGA’s 50th anniversary, and so proud that my family and I are carrying on their work and vision today on Horsepower Farm in Penobscot. Taking a team of horses to

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Ron Poitras

Here’s a memory from Ron Poitras: “MOFGA has been a presence in my life for almost 50 years. As a homesteader in Wayne, Maine, beginning in the early 70’s, advice and camaraderie were important to me as I started out on a steep, wooded and very rocky piece of land. At the time, my paid

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Brittany Hopkins

Here’s a memory from Brittany Hopkins of Wise Acres Farm in Kenduskeag, Maine. “In addition to being a MOFGA apprentice and a MOFGA Journeyperson, I also consider myself to be a little bit of a ‘MOFGA kid.’ I grew up going to the Common Ground Country Fair. My school, New Country School, had a food

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Tim Nason

Here’s a memory from Tim Nason, who retired in December 2020 after working with MOFGA for 47 years(!). Tim designed, among other things, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener – which he named after the first agricultural newspaper in the U.S. “Called The Maine Farmer, it was edited and produced by Ezekiel Holmes, who was

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