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Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities

Raised beds built and filled by Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities in South Paris. Photo by Anne Stuer By Joyce White On a sunny Thursday afternoon in mid-September, about 15 volunteers are engrossed in a variety of garden-related activities – harvesting kale and cabbage, dividing a big bowl of ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes into separate baggies, weighing

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Balfour Farm

Doug and Heather Donahue of Balfour Farm at their booth at the Common Ground Country Fair. Photo courtesy of Balfour Farm By Sonja Heyck-Merlin In Gaelic, Balfour means “from the grazing or pasture land.” Maine organic farmstead cheesemakers Heather and Doug Donahue settled on the name in honor of Doug’s Irish ancestry. The name also

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Growing Community at Natures Circle Farm

Dick York’s love of agriculture inspired him to start Nature’s Circle Farm. Three of Nature’s Circle managers: left to right, Lowell Matthews, Meg York and Nicholas Fitzpatrick. Elliott Mooers (right), Matthews’ best friend since childhood, manages the H-2A workers. By Jean English; photos by the author Nature’s Circle Farm is a 390-acre MOFGA-certified organic vegetable

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Farmers Off the Farm

Geoff and Gina Hancock make guitar pedals and straps, respectively. Photo by Holly Hancock Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell travel the country as the two-piece band Sassafras Stomp during the off-season. Photo by Rab Cummings Heather Selin of Earth Dharma works off-farm as a policy expert for tobacco use reduction. Photo by Stowell Watters Abby

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North Branch Farm

The North Branch family, left to right: Ada, Anna, Seth, Elwyn, Tyler and Misha Some of the horse-drawn equipment used on the farm, with the fenced (from deer) fruit tree and shrub nursery in the background. A closer look at the irrigated nursery North Branch specializes in vegetable crops grown for its winter CSA Seth

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The Joy of Tasting at the Hayloft Tent

Apple varieties displayed at the Fair. English photo Voice your opinion about apple varieties in the Hayloft Tent at the Fair. English photo By John Bunker In 1993, needing something to spruce up the brand new Fedco Seeds tent at the Common Ground Country Fair, we assembled three modest displays. One featured assorted potatoes; the

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Memories of Fairs Past

Will Bonsall has been sharing his homesteading and seed saving wisdom with fairgoers since the second Common Ground Country Fair. English photo Common Ground favorites Will Bonsall with Martha Gottlieb, co-coordinator of the Exhibition Hall. Nancy Bowker photo Common Ground and the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad – a wonderful symbiosis. English photo By Will

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Look Whos Been Talking

Toki Oshima drawing By Teresa L. Johnson Just like those creepy talking trees in “The Wizard of Oz,” the plants in your garden are talking to each other. Scientists have now identified ways that plants communicate with each other and with other species. “Plants have sensory systems. They perceive a lot of things, they process

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Vern Grubinger

Vern Grubinger of the University of Vermont said that the principles of organic agriculture can help improve our food system, our environment and our society. Photo courtesy of University of Vermont Review: Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems By Lisa Chase and Vern Grubinger Vern Grubinger, keynote speaker at MOFGA’s 2016 Farmer to Farmer

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Growing a Good Life

Wendy Green outside the house she built and next to the mullein plant that just appeared. Photo courtesy of Wendy Green Live simply that others may simply live. – Gandhi By Joyce White Wendy Green, 61, has spent the years since adolescence creating her own life from an underlying philosophy of taking responsibility for herself

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