Common Ground Country Fair is unique. And believe me I use that word advisedly. There really is nothing else like it. There are sights, sounds and smells you will not experience at any other agricultural fair in the world. Or at least none that I know of. Perhaps in some far, far land where fairies rule and sugar plums grow on trees there is another event that can compare to this wonderful weekend. But I have my doubts.
I am going to share some of these sights with you now. Maybe I can get the sounds and smells out to you next year. Or even better come to the fair next year and experience them for yourself.
Here they are in no particular order:
My friend Mandy, the Roller Derby Queen, with the shiner she acquired in the rink.
Apple ladders walking by.
The Sewall Orchard booth, with none of their usual, delicious cider; but a very informative sign about why the apple harvest is way down this year. Hint: it’s climate change.
The beautiful, huge bus that brought one of the food vendors to the fair. I heard it was all custom wood paneling inside and very, very nice!
The train that brings the fair-goers in.
Or the tractors, one driven by my friend Ron, that bring the fair-goers in from the parking lots (you are encouraged to carpool!)
Hobbit Holes for chickens.
Two farmers markets. One at each gate. So as you leave you can stock up on all the wonderful organic produce these farmer/members grow on their organically certified land.
The Harry S Truman Manure Pitching Contest. Great for this Presidential election cycle but it happens every year.
The raw materials and their producers.
Trees dedicated to much-missed, long-time activists like Tom Sturtevant.
Speaker podiums made of driftwood.
All sorts of alternative transportation devices.
And the next generation of transport.
But these are the only “rides” at the fair. Cardboard sleds down the amphitheater’s berm.
Farmers in residence. Who live at the fairground year round and farm it. Here’s Angela giving a talk about growing medicinal herbs.
Volunteers everywhere. This fair is volunteer-powered.
An Occupy Encampment.
People taking pictures of people taking pictures. That’s my pal, Roger, the Maine Paparazzi.
Very tall people.
Stone arches created at the fair by the Stone Workers Guild, right there at the fair grounds, over the last several years.
Pet pigs named Peanut.
Some of the best food you will ever eat. Bean-hole beans at the Wilderness Encampment.
Juice made with solar energy to give you energy.
Here’s the winning food booth. Local Sprouts Co-op. The best butternut squash sandwich you will ever eat. Know any other fair that offers butternut squash sandwiches?
Booths to sort your compost and recyclable. Keeping them out of the waste stream.
And the team that does the final sorting.
And Music, Music, Music.
It’s a big place and you really do need three days to see it all. Just follow the sign posts.