The Common Ground Fair has been in existence since 1977. Founded by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) which is also the oldest and largest state organic organization in the United States, this yearly harvest event draws many from all over Maine and from across the United States as well. MOFGA’s mission statement is as follows:
The purpose of the Association is to help farmers and gardeners: grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.
And the best way to fulfill their mission statement is by hosting this amazing fair.
For a child seeing honey bees and getting to taste the honey, petting goats and rabbits, getting faces painted and seeing the giant vegetables with their winning blue ribbons, and getting to march in the children’s parade, are memories for a lifetime. For the accompanying adult, the fair offers amazing talks on fermentation and canning, sustainable living (any many many other talks), a chance to peruse the tents of local crafters and artisan, engage in conversation with my like-minded rural neighbors, and a place to become acquainted with and participate in local and international social causes. Oh and of course the music and organic food carts are one of the main attractions (the music is free but the food—just be ready to pay quite a bit!) Every year one can expect to find something familiar and something new to see and learn about. It is a chance for collaboration and discussion of agricultural experimentation plots that had been in the making since the previous year. To promote earth healthy transportation, those who trek to the fair on bike or foot are given front row parking and free admission. No one is turned away, volunteers line up to participate no matter the job required, and come rain or snow, this four day event brings smiles to all who attend. It truly is a celebration and an amazing education of the harvest, sustainable living, community and giving back to the earth.
Do you have such an event in your home country and state? To learn more about the Common Ground Fair and find ways to perhaps start a similar event go to: http://www.mofga.org/theFair