Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Fair News – Winter 2014-2015

Fair News Archive \ Fair News - Winter 2014-2015

April Boucher at the Common Ground Country Fair. English photo.

A Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!
Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground!
Fleece Tent Seeks Coordinator(s)
Common Ground Country Fair Ribbons and Awards 2014

Poultry Exhibit Highlights
Thanks to the 2014 Common Kitchen Food Donors!

A Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!

The Common Ground Country Fair was a success. A true celebration in every sense, the Fair featured bountiful farmers’ markets, delicious organic food, entertainment with Maine roots, talented artisans and knowledge sharing. With a strong attendance of more than 54,000 participants, the vibrancy of rural communities was in full bloom.

This would not have been possible without the help and generosity of 2,300 volunteers. These volunteers contributed in myriad ways, and their support of the community, the Common Ground Country Fair and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association cannot be overstated. Thank you!

Interested in getting involved? The Fair is continually evolving and changing for the better, and your input and dedication are needed. Please contact Anna Libby, MOFGA’s volunteer coordinator, at to discuss possibilities.

I hope the Fair left you with a full heart and an excitement for the upcoming 2015 Fair. Planning is well underway, and I look forward to seeing and working with you for many years to come. Thank you for making the 2014 Common Ground Country Fair an event of peace, hope and meaningful work.

– April Boucher
Director, Common Ground Country Fair


Susan Barrett Merrill with two of her hand-woven mask sculptures, displayed at the Wednesday Spinners Tent. English photo.

Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground!

Sales for the Fleece Tent at MOFGA’s 38th Common Ground Country Fair were again very gratifying. Sales topped $12,100 over three days, with 234 units sold, representing nearly 980 pounds of Maine fiber. As always, Friday was our busiest day with sales topping $6,000.

This is great news for the Fleece Tent committee and the 50 growers who had fiber in the sale this year. It confirms that the Fleece Tent is 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, Arundel, served as our judge this year, fielding questions from observers and sharing her in-depth knowledge with all. Of the 19 entries, the following received ribbons and premiums: Wool, First – Pam Child (Hatchtown Farm, Bristol) and Jon Starr (Ellis River Farm, Rumford); Wool, Second – Elaine Cloutier (Shepherd’s Purse, Abbot), Wanatha Garner (2 fleeces; Long Cove Farm, Vinalhaven) and Margot Simonds (Rumsey Farm, York).

Awards for Specialty Fibers were as follows: Angora, First – Beth Acker (Acker’s Acres Angora, New Gloucester) and Anna Barber (The Barbers’ Bunnies, Bremen); Second – Beth Acker; Third – Sarah Granquist (Shear Pleasure Farm, Windsor).

Our heartiest congratulations to Pam Child for the Best-in-Class award for her beautiful 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 many volunteers who join us each year. Thanks to all who helped with setup, with the sale and show, and with break-down. Your enthusiasm for fiber is contagious and your willingness to participate is greatly appreciated.

Of course the sale wouldn’t exist without the hundreds of new and returning customers who flock to the tent. The Fleece Tent committee and the growers can’t thank you enough for your continuing support of fiber in Maine.

The Wednesday Spinners tent also had another busy, activity-filled weekend. The Maine Stoneworkers Guild’s pocket parket, home to the Wednesday Spinners’ dye-plant garden, was, in its fifth year, a great draw for fairgoers seeking a beautiful place to sit. Although a heavy frost Thursday night brought a sudden end to the plants, Susanne Grosjean carried on with tours of the garden and talked about the wonderful world of natural dyes. The Earthloom™, a gift from Susan Barrett Merrill and Richard Merrill of Weaving a Life in Brooksville, Maine, attracted many fairgoers. We welcomed everyone’s creative additions to this year’s tapestries. And we were delighted to have spinners from around Maine 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 say that the Wednesday Spinners celebrated our 37th consecutive year at the Fair in grand style.

Vendors in the Fiber Marketplace adjacent to the Fleece Tent reported brisk sales. 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 in 2015. To be added to our growers email group and/or to obtain information about the 2015 sale and show, please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 (Appleton) or Please read the notice that we are seeking a new coordinator for the Fleece Tent in 2015.


Fleece Tent Seeks Coordinator(s)

A small group from the Wednesday Spinners has been running the Fleece Tent since 2006. We have decided that it is time to pass the torch. Managing the Fleece Tent is a big, sometimes stressful job that goes on all year for some. We have all valued our involvement over these nine years, but it's time for another person or persons to run the area.

The Wednesday Spinners will always be connected to the Fleece Tent, but those of us who have worked hard to make it what it is today need to focus on spinning with our pals. We will advise the new coordinator(s) over the next year. Penelope Olson, in particular, has many files and ideas to share, to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

If you are interested or know someone who might be – a shepherd, a long-time or new volunteer (or both) or someone in the greater fiber world – please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 or


Sunweaver won the "Best Fresh and Simple" Award in the Best of Food contest. English photo.
This crazy quilt, by Nancy Turner of Mt. Desert, won an Exhibition Hall Judges' Award. English photo.

Common Ground Country Fair Ribbons and Awards 2014

Awards: Best of Food

Best beverage – Taste of India (lassi)
That’s Some Different! – Heiwa Tofu
Most Maine Ingredients – Raw Food Mobile
Best Bite for the Buck – Flatbread
Tradition! – Paks Farm (strawberry shortcake)
Best Farm to Table – Abners
First Impression (Best new food or drink) – Raw Food Mobile
Taste, Not trash – Good Earth Pie Company
Where’s the Beef? (Vegetarian) – Lemongrass & Jasmine
Where’s the Cheese? (Dessert) – Mediterranean Eggplant
Better than Chocolate (Dessert) – Maple’s Organic Desserts
Best Fresh and Simple – Sunweaver
Best Booth Presentation – KCH Enterprise
Best in Show – Chai Wallas of Maine
Best Service – Noon Family Sheep Farm
Here’s the Meat – Alex Gourmet Cheeseburger

Thanks to all vendors who participated!


Harry S. Truman Manure Toss


Male 18+
1. Aaron O’Brien 8 lbs.
2. Greg Johnson 6.75 lbs.
3. Cecil Linscott 6 lbs.

Female 18+
1. Pat Timbury 7.5 lbs.
2. Hannah Magneson 3.75 lbs.
3. Lee Lakin 3 lbs.

Age 12-17
1. Solomon Bixby 5 lbs.
2. Oliver Lachlke 4.5 lbs.
3. Adam Terry 3.75 lbs.

Male 18+
1. Evan Kendall 70 ft.
2. Scott The Overlord 67.7 ft.
3. Jason Inglis 65.9 ft.

Female 18+
1. Ammy Johnson 33.2 ft.
2. Jessica Balker 23.8 ft.
3. Sandy King 21.8 ft.

Age 12-17
1. Nick Childs 42.4 ft.
2. Solomon Bixby 30.9 ft.
3. Adam Terry 21.1 ft.


Male 18+
1. Mark Durbin 8.5 lbs.
2. Christian Vogt 6 lbs.

Female 18+
1. Deb Newman

Age 12-17
1. Max Roberts

1. Dave Roberts 6.5 lbs.


Donkey and Mule Show
Judge – Lisa Reilich

The Donkey and Mule Show had seven participants:
1. Pepe le Mule, owned and shown by Donna Runnels of Burnham who also brought
2. Jimmy Jack, a Mammoth Jack
3. Chocolate Moose, a Mammoth Jenny, owned and shown by Amanda Gillig of Bowdoin
4. Lily, a Mammoth Jenny owned and shown by Ramona Stinson of Bowdoin
5. Molasses, a mule, owned by Claire Wallace of Ellsworth, shown by Marissa Giroux
6. Brown Sugar, a mule owned by Claire Wallace of Ellsworth, shown by Hilary Buntrock
7. John O, a draft mule owned by Claire Wallace, shown by Madeline Weyer

Class 1 – Model Donkey Class
1. Jimmy
2. Chocolate Moose
3. Lily

Class 2 – Model Mule Class
1. John O
2. Pepe Le Mule
3. Brown Sugar
4. Molasses

Class 3 – Donkey Jumping Class
1. Lily
2. Jimmy
3. Chocolate Moose

Class 4 – Mule Jumping Class
1. Molasses
2. Brown Sugar
3. John O
4. Pepe Le Mule

Class 5 – Donkey Obstacle Class
1. Lily – 1:13.95, 0 faults
2. Chocolate Moose – 1:10.36, 1 fault
3. Jimmy – 1:08.24, 2 faults

Class 6 – Mule Obstacle Class
1. Brown Sugar – 0:43, 1 fault
2. Pepe Le Mule – 0:55, 0 faults
3. Molasses – 0:49, 1 fault
4. John O – 1:14, 2 faults

Class 7 – Egg 2 Spoon Class (Open to both donkeys and mules. Run with plastic utensils and eggs.)
1. Pepe Le Mule
2. Jimmy
3. John O
4. Brown Sugar
5. Molasses


Ted Conrad with his team of oxen. English photo.

Oxen Scoot

Teamster of the Year: Lauren Robinson
Youth Demo: Nicolas Winter and Jami Bubier

1. Dwain Chase (Amos/Andy)
2. Becky Bubier (Rocky/Rambo)
3. Loran Robinson (Mossy/Oak)
4. Morgan Chadwick (Timber/Jack)

1. Mikayle Chadwick (Bruin/Bear)
2. Gil Whitehead (Red/Star)
3. Jami Bubier (Smokey/Bandit)
4. Wes Daniel (Pat/Mike)
5. Nick Winter (Rock/Bull)

1. Pat Shea (Tom/Dave)
2. Zack Kemp (Rip/Tear)
3. Mark Larrabee (Matt/Doc)
4. Ted Conrad (Bright/Lion)
5. Jonathan Daniel (Scott/Ben)

1. Dwaine Chase (Amos/Andy)
2. Morgan Chadwick (Timber/Jack)
3. Jami Bubier (Rocky/Rambo)
4. Loren Robinson (Mossy/Oak)

1. Nick Winter (Rock/Bull)
2. Jami Bubier (Smokey/Bandit)
3. Gil Whitehead (Red/Star)
4. Wes Daniel (Pat/Mike)
5. Mikayle Chadwick (Bruin/Bear)

1. Jonathan Daniel (Scott/Ben)
2. Zack Kemp (Rip/Tear)
3. Ted Conrad (Bright/Lion)
4. Pat Shea (Tom/Dave)
5. Mark Larrabee (Matt/Doc)

1. Morgan Chadwick (Timber/Jack)
2. Loren Robinson (Mossy/Oak)
3. Dwaine Chase (Amos/Andy)
4. Jami Bubier (Rocky/Rambo)

1. Jami Bubier (Smokey/Bandit)
2. Gil Whitehead (Red/Star)
3. Nick Winter (Rock/Bull)
4. Wes Daniel (Pat/Mike)
5. Mikayle Chadwick (Bruin/Bear)

1. Ted Conrad (Bright/Lion)
2. Jonathan Daniel (Scott/Ben)
3. Mark Larrabee (Matt/Doc)
4. Pat Shea (Tom/Dave)
5. Zack Kemp (Rip/Tear)


Field Teamster of the Day

Pheonix O’Brien, Sandy Meadow Farm

Don Webb, Webb Family Farm

Bill Thayer, Darthia Farm

Forest Teamster of the Day

Gil Whitehead, Winter Berry Farm
Oxen: Star/Red

Jami Bubier, Jami’s Dream Farm
Oxen: Smokey/Bandit

Megan Phillips, Chewonki
Draft Horse: Sal


Wellscroft Farm (and Dave Kennard) won the "Very Popular" award for the sheep dog demonstrations in the Livestock Area. English photo.

Livestock Awards

Very Nice Photo Display – S&S Carriage Rides, Darthia Farm, Haffas Farm
Very Nice Sign – Mandala Farm, Faithful Venture Farm, Old Yoke Farm, Peace Fleece
Very Educational Demo – Back Forty Fjords (Equine Dentistry), Mini Mtn. Estate
(Goat Health), Waldoview Farm (Sheep Parasites)
Very Educational Display – Webb Farm, Royal Haven Farm, Orchard Hill Farm
Very Educational Youth Display – Jami's Dream Farm
Very Educational Youth Demo – Faithful Venture Farm
Very Nice Youth Demo – Robinson Farm (Logan, potato transport)
Very Nice Display – Beechwood Farm, Gould Academy Farm, Tramp's Rest Farm
Very Educational Exhibit – Widdershins Farm, Oak Hill Farm, Rivercroft Farm
Very Popular – Wellscroft Farm (Sheep Dog Demos), Bean's Corner Farm (Pigs), Dogpatch Farm (Pigs)
Congratulations to all Rare Breed, MOFGA Member and 4-H ribbon recipients this year!


Draft Horse and Pony Show

Junior Showmanship

1. Elisabeth Simmons
2. Ashley Connor
3. Kolin Fraser
4. Kysland Fraser
5. Enna Faull
6. Caine 

Gelding under 1,700 lbs.

1. Rivercroft Farm
2. Pete Stratton
3. Kris Fraser
4. Jessie Seavey
5. Mark Carlow

Gelding over 1,700 lbs.

1. Mary Philbrick
2. Scott Mellow
3. Kris Fraser
4. Kris Fraser
5. Mark Carlow

Mares 2 Years and Younger
1. Joe and Judy Miller
2. Tyler Norris

Mares 3 Years and Older
1. David Stevens
2. Joe and Judy Miller
3. Tyler Norris
4. Pete Stratton
5. Jesse Seavey
6. Tracy Wilkerson

Bred, Raised and Owned by Exhibitor
1. Joe and Judy Miller
2. David Stevens
3. Joe and Judy Miller
4. Pete Stratton
5. Tyler Norris
6. Cathy Simmons

Grand Champion Mare
Joe and Judy Miller

Bareback Riding
1. Tracy Wilkerson
2. Ashley Connor
3. Elisabeth Simmons
4. Cathy Simmons
5. George Carter
6. Tyler Norris

Cart Class
1. Pete Stratton
2. Mary Philbrick
3. Cathy Simmons
4. Kris Fraser

Junor Twitch
1. Elisabeth Simmons
2. Trevor Carlow
3. Kysland Fraser
4. Kolin Fraser
5. Ashley Connor
6. Maddy Johnson

Single Twitch
1. Mark Carlow
2. Pete Stratton
3. Kris Fraser
4. Cathy Simmons
5. Mary Philbrick
6. Dave Fish

Pair Scoot
1. Pete Stratton
2. Mark Carlow
3. Cathy Simmons
4. Jesse Seavey
5. Brad Johnson
6. Dave Fish

Thanks to all the volunteers who help at the show and the Fair.


Those Troy Howard Middle School students know beans about beans! They won a Judges' Award for their 'Marfax' beans - a great baked bean bean. English photo.
Sharon Turner's 'German Orange Strawberry' tomatoes won a Judges' Award. English photo.

Exhibition Hall Judges’ Awards

‘Marfax’ dried beans – Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
‘Ailsa Craig’ onions – Green Earth Gardens, Unity
Mixed fresh herbs – Robert and Carol Niles, Dayton
Photo – "Gene Boiling Sap- 2014" – Steven Larochella, Searsport
Group of four rice varieties – Geoffrey Nosash and Lizzy Hayes, Mercer
‘Honey Select’ sweet corn – Jill and Peter deBethume, St. Albans
‘Long Island Cheese’ pumpkin – Courtney Ross and Scott Harriman, Brunswick
Shitake mushroom log – Toshio Hashimoto, Rumford
‘Poncho’ leeks – Peter Curra, Knox
‘German Orange Strawberry’ tomatoes – Sharon Turner, Washington
Flower arrangement – Becka Gagne, Franklin
Rosemary Plant – Sharon Turner, Washington
Entrelac panel knit hat with freim hand paint fibre – Emily Murray, Matinicus
‘Papa Cacho’ potatoes – Rosey Guest, Jefferson
Crazy quilt – Nancy Turner, Mt. Desert
Dried leeks (‘King Richard’) – Jon Hawley, Old Town
Birchbark child's chair – Eli Berry, Washington
Blueberry kefir – Lauren Pignatello, N. Whitefield
Maple sugar walnut crescents – Alfreda Mouland, Levant
Peach jam – the Maines' family, Abbott
Chive blossom infused vinegar – Amy LeBlanc, Wilton
"Hannah" acrylic on birchwood panel – Maxwell Nolin, Freedom

Agricultural Products Area

Most Educational – Fedco
Best Family Farm – Blessed Maine Herbs
Most Fairgoer Friendly – Odds & Herbs
Best Agricultural Business – Kinney Maple Products

Poultry Exhibit Highlights

Mopsie (the White Crested Polish) was very popular and had his picture taken with tons of fairgoers. He even had his photo snapped for Down East magazine.  (He is currently hanging out in his winter digs with the rest of his poultry show friends.) And it was fun to see children, now grown, return to the Poultry Exhibit.


5K Foot Race

This year at the Common Ground Fair we enjoyed mild temperatures as we gathered on Sunday morning for the 38th annual 5,000-meter footrace. The event kicks off the final day of the Fair with its best foot forward. Many early risers toed the line to participate and compete through the outskirts of the fairgrounds.

This year's male champion is Thomas Abello with a time of 18:18. He tempered his effort well throughout the preliminary stages of the race as he let others go out hard into the early lead, only to see them succumb midway. Kendra Emery is our female champion with a time of 20:57. She navigated the roads and fields course well and was uncontested as she kicked for the finish line in the final stages of the race. 

We hope to see you all next year along with some new faces to keep this event a fun and energetic experience. 

Overall winners
1st Male – Thomas Abello, 40, 18:18
1st Female – Kendra Emery, 35, 20:57
2nd Male – Nick Citriglis, 35, 19:00
2nd Female – Myrilla Hartkopf, 19, 22:36
3rd Male – Lani Palm, 20, 19:32
3rd Female – Theresa Withee, 47, 23:21

Complete results are posted at