It’s like no fair most folks have experienced (unless they’ve time warped back a couple hundred years to agrarian fairs of old).
The Common Ground Country Fair grounds in Unity, Maine, are surrounded by forest, and when you walk from the parking area through an opening in the trees, you can’t believe your eyes. Taffy-colored draft horses clop by pulling wagons full of fair goers. Stunning hand crafted textiles, furniture, art and clothing adorn the booths. Donkeys, chickens and farm animals of all kinds add their voices to the crisp, fall air.
CROPP employee and events property mistress, Lisa Nudo, loves to represent CROPP at Common Ground. “There’s something for everyone,” she says. “I can wander from a demonstration of working border collies to someone making fire with a bow drill. Everything there is always top notch quality.”
Brainchild of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the Common Ground Country Fair first opened its arms in 1977. Attendance has grown to roughly 60,000 today over the course of the three-day event. Common Ground organizer, Jim Ahearne, says, “The Fair is a celebration of organic farming and food as a pathway to personal health and environmental health and economic health. That’s MOFGA’s mission and the fair grows out of that.” Maybe that’s why both MOFGA and Common Ground Country Fair are so close to CROPP’s heart.
This year, CROPP CEIEIO George Siemon was Sunday’s keynote speaker, presenting on “Cooperating with the Future,” and CROPP’s 2013 Regional Understanding Tour kicked off its northeast trek at the Fair that same day. We have worked cooperatively with MOFGA since 1997, when the organization certified the first Maine farmers and they came “on the truck” with (became a member-owner of) CROPP.
Thank you MOFGA! We can’t wait for Common Ground 2014 and all the years to come!
Organic Valley is committed to building a just and sustainable food system and is happy to support MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair in their effort to promote organic and sustainable farming now and into the future.