Saturday, September 25, 2010

Common Ground Fair 2010


Each year we always try to make it to a very special fair.  One that exists in a hay field in the small town of Unity, Maine.  Even in the few years we have been going the fair has grown.  The Common Ground Country Fair is now 34 years old. Each year it grows and visitors come from far and wide.  This isn’t your run of the mill fair. It is centered around a natural, organic, farming way of life. The events are geared towards education.  There is so much information available.  Parking is au natural in a hayfield.  Common Ground Fair 2010 001

As you enter the fair there is are so many varieties of veggies, flowers and plants to shop your way through.  We brought home leeks and made Leek and Potato Soup last night. 

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Eating is always one of the most important activities at any fair. How about fresh Maine potatoes sliced and fried on the spot into crisp potato chips.

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I enjoyed Lamb Curry and Pumpkin soup.  MMMMM……

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There were stoneworkers, Indian Basket Makers, Folk Arts, Ironworkers.  Skills treasured and still in use today.

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Hey, it’s a make your own fall decoration table. 

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How about building a post and beam house right on the spot?  Look at this fellows arms. 

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Exhibits and displays abounded. Below is a demonstration of a gentleman using Australian Sheep dogs to work both  sheep and goat herds. They had a serious “eye” on those animals and the goats and sheep knew it.

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There was really one “ride” at this fair.  Anyone game for a draft horse drawn wagon ride?

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We even met someone we knew!  This is Janice and Ken Spaulding from St. Albans, Maine.  They teach a goat school twice a year from their farm,  Stony Knolls Farm.  They were featured in Hobby Farm Magazine last year in an article describing care and maintenance of goats.    We bought Isabella and Carina from them.  Their purpose at the fair was answering questions relating to goats and they are a wealth of information to both prospective goat owners and seasoned owners.

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These huge characters are Oxen.  I have always been fascinated with these larger than life animals.  This team weighs 4,283 lbs. 

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what can I say…..BIG

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This team was hand raised from the age of two days old by this young woman. They are gentle and have very good manners.  Oxen are still used in many countries to move heavy material.  In Maine they were used by the logging industry to move felled trees out of the forest.  They are still used today by many families on working farms.

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Now that is a grand perch to view the fair from.  This young man was right at home on top of this draft horse.

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I think this pair of Mules has acquired a ribbon or two in their careers.

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Need directions?

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No trip to the Common Ground Fair would be complete without bringing home a bunch of Sweet Annie.  I love to hang the bunch from the beams in the kitchen.  It has a wonderful scent, sweet but not an overpowering floral, and lingers for up to a year.  Other names for Sweet Annie are Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Sagewort and Annual Wormwood.  It is used as a medicinal treatment for fevers and even cancer. 

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We have been working non stop in the house.  I have so many pictures to share.  It was spectacular getting away for a day at the fair.  Now back to work. Where is that whip?

Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


doglady said...

The CGF is a right of passage to fall. Went yesterday in what could have been less than pleasant weather but it was ok. As always, I ate plenty starting with Steve's French Fries for breakfast. For mid morning snack came a crabmeat roll and lunch was Thai Red Curry veggies. This year I came home without anything alive. Next year maybe I'll be an exhibitor.

Peggy said...

what a perfect fair to go to. Lucky you! Can't wait to see and hear all you have been doing to that beautiful farm house.

Fearless Nester said...

Still have never made it to that fair and I've always heard it was one of the best. I really enjoyed seeing some of what I've been missing. That was a great tour! ~Lili

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

You're right...the food's the best part! I think next yr I'm coming to Maine for your fair, we don't have any good food like yours...YUM lamb curry!!! Sounds so good!

Our fair has turned into such commercialism and the act of farming and farm skills has been lost here to the big cities. Oy, it's time to get our of Dodge!!!