Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Fair News – Winter 2010-2011

Fair News Archive \ Fair – Winter 20-11

A Successful Fair, Thanks to All
Fleece Tent Has Another Banner Year
2010 Awards
2010 CGCF Common Kitchen Donors List
2010 Common Ground Fair 5k Results

A Successful Fair, Thanks to All

Under skies that ranged from fall wet to summer hot, cool and overcast to clear and blue, close to 60,000 people gathered at the 34th Common Ground Country Fair to celebrate, share, learn and experience the abundance of rural Maine. It's an event like none other, and MOFGA is proud to bring together so many people from so many walks of life, all in the spirit of celebrating the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine.

If you were able to join us this year, foremost, I hope you had a great time. Hundreds of participants and thousands of volunteers put in countless hours of work to bring their best to the Fair. It's quite the experience when it all comes together, and perhaps in the mix of fairgoers, farmers, exhibitors, vendors, speakers and demonstrators you made new friends or reunited with some old ones. We hope you will seek out and stay in touch with those you met at the Fair, particularly the participating farmers, artisans and businesses. To help you do so, we publish a directory of Fair participants (speakers, exhibitors, etc.) at under the Fair header (look for the page named “Participants”). If you would like a printed directory, please contact the office and we will mail you a copy.

In addition to staying in touch with those you met at the Fair, I invite you to share your ideas, suggestions and, better still, to get involved in helping to organize the Fair. Please contact me at the MOFGA office or at if you have feedback on this year's Fair, ideas for future Fairs, or interest in joining the Fair planning team.

Finally, thank you to all who joined us this year at Common Ground and thank you to all of MOFGA's members and volunteers. You make this remarkable gathering and celebration possible. See you next year!

– Jim Ahearne, Fair director

Fleece Tent
Inside the Fleece Tent. English photo.

Fleece Tent Has Another Banner Year

Sales for the Fleece Tent at the 2010 Common Ground Fair were most gratifying: Sales totaled $11,000, with 305 “units” sold, representing more than 1,000 pounds of Maine fiber. Despite the rainy weather, Friday was (as always) our busiest day, with sales topping $6,200.

This is once again great news for both the Fleece Tent committee and the 54 growers (up from 47 in 2008 and 2009) with fiber in the sale this year. It confirms for us that the Fleece Tent is a top destination for fiber lovers from Maine and beyond seeking the best of Maine fiber. The increased participation of growers is a guarantee that fairgoers will have a wonderful and varied selection from which to choose.

We had another excellent fleece show on Saturday. Rae Reimer of Arundel served as our judge, fielding questions from observers and sharing her in-depth knowledge about fiber with all. Of the total of 34 show entries, the following received ribbons and premiums: Wool, First – Edith Allard, Pam Child, Wanatha Garner and Joe Miller; Wool, Second – Elaine Cloutier, Heidi Daly, Susan Faunce, Joe Miller (2) and Alfred Wakeman; Wool, Third – Heidi Daly, Joe Miller, Wayne Myers and Allison Thompson. In addition, Edith Allard received the judge’s award for Best-in-Show for her lovely Icelandic fleece. Awards for Specialty Fibers were as follows: Alpaca, First – Stacey Munroe; Alpaca, Second – Cindy Lavan (2); Alpaca, Third – Stacey Munroe; Llama, First – Karen Klein; Angora, First – Anna Barber; Jenny Smith (3). All show participants received their judging forms with scores and judge’s comments.
Wednesday Spinners
Working with wool while singing, at the Wednesday Spinners’ area. English photo.

“Across the way” at the Wednesday Spinners tent, it was another busy, activity-filled weekend for all involved. The Maine Stoneworkers Guild’s “pocket parket,” which is home to the Wednesday Spinners new dye-plant garden, was a great draw for fairgoers seeking a beautiful place to sit. At the center of the park is a Garden LoomTM – a gift from Susan Barrett Merrill and Richard Merrill of Weaving a Life, Brooksville, Maine – that attracted many fairgoers. Participants wove a new tapestry every day; and the last one, woven from unspun wool and seed heads, was left for the birds and other friends for nesting materials and food over the coming months. We welcomed everyone’s creative additions to this year’s tapestries.

Add to these events a full schedule of well-attended talks, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and informal discussions at both the Fleece Tent and the Wednesday Spinners Tent, and we can say that the Wednesday Spinners celebrated our 33rd year at the Fair in grand style.

The 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.
Pocket Park
The Maine Stoneworkers’ Guild created this pocket parket, where the Wednesday Spinners planted dye plants, and a Garden Loom provided an opportunity for fairgoers to weave plants, fibers, messages and more (see close-up). English photos.
Garden Loom

We encourage all Maine fiber growers to consider taking part in the fleece sale and show next year. To join our growers email group or for information about the 2011 sale and show, please contact Penelope Olson (in Appleton), 785-2784,