Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Fair News - Winter 2013-2014

Fair News Archive \ Fair News - Winter 2013-2014

Fair director Jim Ahearne, coordinator April Boucher (right) and volunteer coordinator Anna Libby in July, two months before the Fair. English photo.

Fair Director Leaving To Pursue Other Interests
A Big Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!
Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground!
2013 Fair Awards
Thanks to 2013 Common Kitchen Donors!

Fair Director Leaving To Pursue Other Interests

Our Common Ground Country Fair director, Jim Ahearne, let us know in late October that he would be leaving his position to pursue other interests. He’ll be wrapping up his work in mid-December. Jim did a tremendous job directing the Fair since his 2008 hiring. His warm smile and welcoming demeanor will be missed, as will the high level of professionalism he brought to the post and instilled in his staff. Thanks, Jim, for your years of service to MOFGA and the Common Ground Country Fair.

On the administrative side, we have formed a search committee of four members of the Fair steering committee as well as members of the board and staff. We hope to move quickly to bring in a new Fair director, as planning for next year’s Common Ground Country Fair has already begun.


A Big Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!

MOFGA celebrated another extraordinary Fair thanks to YOU - MOFGA's members, Fair volunteers and staff, and the truly unique and generous farmers, exhibitors, artists and presenters of the Common Ground community. We had record-breaking attendance on Friday and Saturday, and despite the rains of Sunday morning, an exquisitely sunny fall Sunday afternoon to wrap up the Fair.

Thank you especially to all the fairgoers who came to support and kindle the organic farming and food movement in Maine and beyond. Common Ground is but three days a year, but the positive impact of the Fair and fairgoers on a growing organic food system, our health, environment, economy and communities continues year round.

All of us at MOFGA – the staff, board and Fair volunteer leadership – are truly grateful for your authentic support of this remarkable harvest celebration and all the creativity, work and kindness that make it possible.

We hope you can join with us again next year for Common Ground on September 19, 20 and 21, 2014 – always the third weekend after Labor Day!

– Jim Ahearne


Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground!

Sales for the Fleece Tent at MOFGA’s 37th Common Ground Country Fair were once again very gratifying. Sales topped $10,500 over three days, with 263 “units” sold, representing approximately 875 pounds of Maine fiber. As always, Friday was our busiest day, with sales topping $6,200. This is great news for both the Fleece Tent committee and the 54 growers who had fiber in the sale this year. It confirms again that the Fleece Tent is truly a top destination for fiber lovers from Maine and beyond seeking the best of Maine fiber.

We had another fine fleece show on Saturday. Rae Reimer of Bittersweet Farm in Arundel served as our judge for all categories this year, fielding questions from observers and sharing her in-depth knowledge with all. Although a smaller show than usual in recent years, of the 18 entries the following received ribbons and premiums: Wool, First – Pam Child (Hatchtown Farm, Bristol), Wanatha Garner (Long Cove Farm, Vinalhaven), Joe Miller (Rivercroft Farm, Starks) and Jon Starr (Ellis River Farm, Rumford); Wool, Second – Elaine Frost (Frostfire Farm, Union), Joe Miller, and Margot Simonds (Rumsey Farm, York); Wool, Third – Edith Allard (Crummett Mountain Farm, Somerville). Awards for Specialty Fibers were as follows: Angora, First – Anna Barber (The Barbers’ Bunnies, Bremen) and Jenny Smith (Underhill Farm, Gorham); Second – Anna Barber and Jenny Smith; Third – Anna Barber and Jenny Smith; Llama, Second – Karen Klein (Baya Cumbre Farm, Union). Finally, our heartiest congratulations to Jon Starr for the Best-in-Class award for his colored Icelandic fleece and to Wanatha Garner for the Best-in-Show award for her colored Coopworth fleece. All show participants received their judging forms with scores and judge’s comments. 

We couldn’t put this sale and show together without the invaluable help from the many volunteers who join us each year. Thanks to all who helped with set-up, with the sale and show, and with break-down on Sunday afternoon. It’s always a huge job. Your enthusiasm for fiber is wonderfully contagious and your willingness to be part of it all is greatly appreciated.

“Across the way,” the Wednesday Spinners tent had another busy, activity-filled weekend for all involved. The Maine Stoneworkers Guild’s “pocket parket,” home to the Wednesday Spinners’ dye-plant garden, was – in its fourth year – a great draw for fairgoers seeking a beautiful place to sit. Cynthia Thayer used fresh indigo harvested from the garden for her indigo-dyeing demonstration on Saturday. The Garden Loom – a gift from Susan Barrett Merrill and Richard Merrill of Weaving a Life, Brooksville, Maine – attracted many fairgoers throughout the weekend. We welcomed everyone’s creative additions to this year’s tapestries. And we were delighted to have spinners from around the state join us throughout the weekend.

Add to these events a full schedule of well-attended talks, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and informal discussions at the Fleece Tent and the Wednesday Spinners Tent, and we can happily say that the Wednesday Spinners celebrated our 36th consecutive year at the Fair in grand style.

Vendors in the Fiber Marketplace adjacent to the Fleece Tent reported brisk sales for the weekend. And as always, Dave Kennard and his border collies attracted large, enthusiastic crowds all three days of the Fair.

We encourage all Maine fiber growers to consider being a part of the fleece sale and show next year. To be added to our growers’ email group and/or to obtain information about the 2014 sale and show, please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 (Appleton) or

“Where’s the Beef?” food vendor award winner Local Sprout. English photo.
This mixed shallot braid by Adelaida Gavivia won a judges’ award. English photo.
Mike Patnaude’s ‘Dill’s Atlantic Giant’ also won a judges’ award. English photo.
And these feather dusters made from molting chicken feathers by Jillian also won a judges’ award. English photo.
The Amend-o-Matic stamp machine won the Most Educational Award in the Social and Political Action Area at the Fair. Shown here with Ben Cohen, who co-founded Ben & Jerry’s, the Amend-o-Matic promotes a constitutional amendment to overturn Supreme Court rulings that say money is free speech and corporations are people. See English photo.
Nick Winter of Olde Yoke Farm in Lincolnville won the Newt Cochran Teamster Award this year. English photo.


2013 Common Ground Country Fair Awards

Food Vendor Awards
Agricultural Products Awards
Exhibition Hall Judges’ Awards
Exhibition Hall Awards
Social and Political Action Awards
Friends of the Fair
Livestock Awards
Oxen Scoot Contest
Donkey and Mule Show
Harry S. Truman Games – Manure Toss
5k Foot Race Results

Food Vendor Awards

Best Beverage – Fiddlesticks
That’s Some Different! – Shiitake Farm
Most Maine Ingredients – Cornerstone/Fail Better Farms
Best Bite for the Buck – Newcastle Public House
Tradition! - Finest Fried Maine Seafood
Best Farm to Table – Tide Mill Organic Farm
First Impression (Best new food or drink) – Fiddlesticks
Taste, Not Trash – Pie Cones
Where’s the Beef? (Vegetarian) – Local Sprouts
Where’s the Cheese? (Vegan) – Maple’s Sorbet
Better than Chocolate (Dessert) – Maple’s Organic Deserts
Best Fresh and Simple – Sunweaver
Best Booth Presentation – Good Earth Pie Co.
Best in Show –Busy Beehive Bakeshop
Best Service – Three Leaf Farm
Here’s the Meat – Newcastle Public House

Agricultural Products Awards

Most Educational – Kinney’s Sugarhouse
Best Family Farm – Blessed Maine Herb Farm
Most Fairgoer Friendly – Gourdaments
Best Agricultural Business – Entwood Bonsai

Exhibition Hall Judges’ Awards

‘Rossa di Milano’ onions, Kristen Salvatore, Richmond
Mixed shallot braid, Adelaida Gavivia, Bowdoinham
‘Brown Trout’ beans, Herbert “Sam” Birch, Coopers Mills
‘Inchelium Red’ garlic braid, Sharon Turner, Washington
‘Red Knight’ peppers, Happy Hill Garden, Brooks
‘Orange Russian 117’ tomato, Janet Winslow, Union
Cherry tomato collection, Ann Warner, Dixmont
‘Sherwood’ leeks, Petter Curra, Knox
Hummingbird painting, Elizabeth Martelle, Bangor
Indian Girl Drum painting, Pat Manning, West Gardiner
‘Dill’s Atlantic Giant’, Mike Patnaude, China
Fall bouquet, Rose Fisher, Winterport
Alpaca wool and felt mom and baby crow, Kristen Oberhauser Bishop, Palermo
Carpenter wheel quilt, Nancy Hinds, Windsor
Owl photo, Respah Mitchell, Exeter
Herbal skinned knee patch, Martha Gottlieb, Whitefield
Gardening with Grandpa photo, Jessica Garrett, Winslow
Molting chicken feather duster, Jillian, Cherryfield

Exhibition Hall Awards

Most Educational Display: Heritage Wheat Conservancy, Elisheva Rogosa
Very Educational Display: Common Ground Compost and Recycling Team
Honorable Mention: Exhibition Hall Seed Savers and Amy LeBlanc

Social and Political Action Awards

Most Educational – Amend-o-Matic
Most Attractive – Maine Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Friends of the Fair

Radio Free Maine
Maine Green Party
Direct Care Maine


Livestock Awards

Teamster of the Day
Genio Bertin, Mandala Farm
Ken Lamson, New Beat Farm
Drew Birdsall, Horse Power Farm

Educational Demo of the Day
Nathaniel Trauger, Oak Hill Farm
Wendy and Chris Russell, Widdershins
Steve Akeley, Back Forty Farms

Team Player of the Day
Thomas Hodgman, Waldoview Farm
Tracey Wilkerson, Gould Academy
Peter Hagerty, Peace Fleece Farm

Very Educational Youth Demonstration
Elise Brown, Haystack Mountain Farm
Nathaniel Trauger, Oak Hill Farm
Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt Estate
Cathleen Simmons, S&S Carriage Rides

Special Friend
Robert Crichton, Pine Hill Mules
Cynthia Thayer, Darthia Farm

Very Educational
Charles Hopkins, Tramps Rest
Elise Brown, Haystack Mountain Farm
Thomas Hodgman, Waldoview Farm
Amanda Stinson, Mini Mt. Estate
Stan Maynard, Orchard Hill Farm
Tammy Chase, Royal Haven Farm

Very Popular
David Kennard and Joe Grady, Wellscroft Farm
Mary Thompson, Bean’s Corner Farm
Ted Conrad, Ted Conrad Farm


Oxen Scoot Contest

The Newt Cochran Teamster Award: Nick Winter of Olde Yoke Farm, Lincolnville


Donkey and Mule Show

Jenny Donkeys Class
1. Daisy, Janet Perry of Masardis
2. Ellie May, Claire Wallace of Haffas Farm, Ellsworth
3. Allsum, Claire Wallace
4. Lily, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin
5. Lucky Star, Claire Wallace
6. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson of  Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin

Gelding Donkey Class
1. Okie Dokey, Janet Perry of Masardis

Mules over 48" Class
1. Molasses, Claire Wallace
2. Brown Sugar, Claire Wallace

Donkey Jumping Class
1. Lily, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin
2. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin
3. Ellie Mae, Claire Wallace
4. Allsum, Claire Wallace
5. Lucky Star, Claire Wallace

Mule Jumping Class
1. Molasses, Claire Wallace
2. Brown Sugar, Claire Wallace

Obstacle Course
1. Lily, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin
2. Brown Sugar, Claire Wallace
3. Okie Dokey, Janet Perry of Masardis
4. Allsum, Claire Wallace
5. Ellie Mae, Claire Wallace
6. Daisy, Janet Perry of Masardis
7. Lucky Star, Claire Wallace
8. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin

Egg and Spoon Challenge
1. Allsum, Claire Wallace
2. Ellie Mae, Claire Wallace
3. Okie Dokey, Janet Perry of Masardis
4. Chocolate Moose, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin
5. Lucky Star, Claire Wallace
6. Daisy, Janet Perry of Masardis
7. Lily, Amanda Stinson of Mini Mt. Estate, Bowdoin

Costume Class
All winners. Allsum, Ellie Mae, Daisy and Okie Dokey
Costumes included hunters, going to bed, and donkeys with hats


Draft Horse Show

Junior Showmanship
1. Elisabeth Simmons
2. Kolin Fraser

Gelding Class
1. Pete Stratton
2. Kris Fraser
3. Kolin Fraser
4. Carl Fraser

Brood Mare with Foal
1. Tyler Norris
Mares 2 years and under
1. Tyler Norris
Mares 3 years and older
1. Pete Stratton
2. Tyler Norris
3. Cathy Simmons
4. Tyler Norris
5. Mark Carlow
6. Elisabeth Simmons

Bred, Raised and Owned
1. Tyler Norris
2. Cathy Simmons
3. Pete Stratton
Bareback Riding
1. Cathy Simmons
2. Pete Stratton
3. Tracey Wilkerson
4. Elisabeth Simmons
5. Justin Plowden
6. Jessica Carlow

Cart Class
1. Pete Stratton
2. Cathy Simmons
1. Pete Stratton
2. Kris Fraser
3. Cathy Simmons
4. Mark Carlow
5. Brad Johnson
6. Carl Fraser
7. Tyler Norris
Single Twitch
1. Mark Carlow
2. Pete Stratton
3. Cathy Simmons
4. Brad Johnson
5. Carl Fraser
6. Kris Fraser
7. Dylan Carrol
8. Tyler Norris

Junior Single Twitch
1. Elisabeth Simmons
2. Trevor Carlow
3. Kolin Fraser
4. Justin Plowden

Ground Drive
1. Tyler Norris
2. Kris Fraser
3. Pete Stratton
4. Kolin Fraser
5. Cathy Simmons
6. Trevor Carlow


Harry S. Truman Games – Manure Toss


Distance Toss

Little Kids – 1st: Henry, 32’ 7”; 2nd: Zander, 25’.
Teenagers – 1st: Willy, 65’; 2nd: Ferris,  52’; 3rd: Timmy, 37’.
Adults – 1st: Ken, 91’ 6”; 2nd: Kack, 73’ 6” ; 3rd: Jeff, 72’.

Accuracy Toss

Teenagers – 1st: Solomon Bixby; 2nd: Patty Andersons; 3rd: Anton Anderson
Adults – 1st: Erin Reed; 2nd: Kenny Ivory; 3rd: Jon Turninko


Accuracy Toss

Little Kids – 1st: Everett Johnson; 2nd: Sam
Teenagers – 1st: Patty Anderson; 2nd: Jared Bernier
Adults – 1st: Cecil; 2nd: Justin; 3rd: Peter


Common Ground Fair 5k Foot Race Results
September 22, 2013

1    Denicola, Michael    20-29    M    18:44.00
2    Frost, Leah    30-39    F    18:55.00
3    Keenan, Patrick    30-39    M    19:25.89
4    Petley, Eric    40-49    M    20:14.64
5    Vernan, Palm    19 and under    M    20:24.25
6    Liudvinaits, Justin    30-39    M    20:29.69
7    Broughton, Oliver    19 and under    M    20:44.42
8    Augustine, Nathan    30-39    M    20:45.21
9    Haney, Ron    50-59    M    21:44.23
10     Stevenson, Ronald    40-49    M    21:53.80
11     Oathoat, Meghan    30-39    F    22:51.70
12     Schweizer, Frank    19 and under    M    23:05.30
13     Barrows, Abby    20-29    F    23:06.60
14     Pond, Cassidy    19 and under    M    23:31.10
15     Manley, Carol    50-59    F    23:35.60
16     Daggett, Barb    40-49    F    23:36.70
17     Desfosses, Rachel    19 and under    F    24:00.80
18     Goldberg, Rachel    19 and under    F    24:14.80
19     Jacobs, Rebecca    30-39    F    24:17.60
20     Evans, Lindsey    20-29    F    24:17.80
21     Ensworth, Sarah    30-39    F    24:39.80
22     Hewett, Gloria    50-59    F    24:44.50
23     Shannon, Martha    20-29    F    24:44.80
24     Yates, Paul    60-69    M    25:23.10
25     Couture, Aspen    20-29    F    25:33.30
26     Spigel, Kevin    30-39    M    26:18.60
27     Vara, Alex    20-29    F    26:41.40
28     Desfosses, Dylan    19 and under    M    26:58.50
29     Warren, Art    70-79    M    27:49.40
30     Clews, Charlotte    30-39    F    27:52.70
31     Pitcher, Kaolin    20-29    F    27:53.60
32     Scull, Julianna    20-29    F    27:57.80
33     Keenan, Jessica    30-39    F    28:17.70
34     Hawkins, Beverly    50-59    F    28:18.70
35     Cox, Alissa    20-29    F    28:34.30
36     Norcott, Kathie    50-59    F    29:40.70
37     Rau, Tesse    20-29    F    30:09.40
38     Albee, Lisa    30-39    F    30:14.54
39     York, Cheryl    40-49    F    30:16.40
40     McKenney, Ashlie    20-29    F    31:21.30
41     McKenney, Chelsie    20-29    F    31:26.60
42     Destefan, Joe    40-49    M    33:38.60
43     Chiaroll, Jenn    30-39    F    34:13.90
44     Tisher, Sharon    60-69    F    37:13.60