Archives: Stories

Family Centered Farming

Toki Oshima drawing Family-Centered Farming By Polly Shyka When little pigtailed Flora started running laps around the slide projector while her parents were speaking, no one at the 2009 Farmer to Farmer session seemed even slightly miffed. Not only was the 3-1/2-year-old an important part of their conference presentation, she is an important part of

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Mountain Maple

Edwina and Steve Hardy, though “retired,” keep busy with their maple sugaring operation. Jane Lamb photo. By Jane Lamb Steve Hardy figures he began “sugaring” – as it’s called in his native Vermont; in Maine they call it “sapping” – when he was about eight years old. His mother told him he’d have to wait

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Volunteer Profile

Gail Taisey has volunteered at the Common Ground Country Fair since she was a teenager. One of her favorite areas in which to volunteer is the Livestock Area. English photo. By Marada Cook Six years, 18 shifts, and 11 different jobs. Those are the figures on Gail Taisey’s volunteer history. The cheerful 22-year-old has been

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Meadowsweet Farm

By Jean English Lee Humphreys’ and Ib Barfod’s Meadowsweet Farm on Finn­town Road in Warren could just as well be called Renaissance Farm, for they have excelled at music and environmental education (Lee); engineering (Ib); community activism, farming and parenting (both). Add woodworking to Lee’s list … and we can even talk about the ghost

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Volunteer Profile

Dennis Merrill is too modest for his own good. Although he has volunteered for six years in the Common Ground Country Store and has helped with countless other projects, Dennis insists, “I haven’t really done that much.” “Dennis is the kind of guy who never makes a big deal about his help,” says Roy Miller,

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Wood Prairie Farm

Jim with the Gerritsens’ orchard in the background. The Not-So-Common Potato Text and photos by Jane Lamb One of the most sophisticated operations in Aroostook County takes place in the most unpretentious of settings – the utilitarian potato-packing plant cum residence and its surrounding outbuildings, farming equipment and fields at Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater.

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Volunteer Profile

Rick Kipp By Marada Cook Do you ever wonder who’s behind getting the Common Ground Fair set up, and who’s in charge of cleaning up the Fair once the fun is over? Rick Kipp, 54, does all these things and more, has been a MOFGA volunteer for the past 20 years, and is now the

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A Year

By Rhonda Houston I woke up Monday morning with a hangover of questionable origin. It was the typical feeling of a semi-trailer truck running you down, but something was different this time. The truck wasn’t carrying pints of Guinness, but 50,000 organic folks and all the falafel you could eat. Yes, I was the rookie

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Meadowsweet Farm

Paula and Sumner of Meadowsweet Farm in Swanville. Lamb photo. By Jane Lamb Raising animals on fresh green grass is vital to Paula and Sumner Roberts at their Meadowsweet Farm in Swanville. Their philosophy is to “treat all animals with respect and allow them the fullest expression of their natures consistent with good husbandry… [This]

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Volunteer Profile

Mark Guzzi is an intense organic grower, dedicated MOFGA Board member and all-around cheerful guy. English photo. By Marada Cook As the old saying goes, “Enthusiasm is the leavening of success.” Luckily, Mark Guzzi possesses it by the spadeful. Though the energetic 28-year-old grew up outside of Boston, both his perspective and his way of

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