By Russell Libby
Wow. After two years of going full steam ahead to get ready for the first Common Ground Country Fair, I finally had a chance to sit and think for a while about what we’ve just done.
At the October board meeting, we looked out the window and realized that, with one year of planning, and eleven months of actual work on site, we had: put in an internal road network, a connector through the woods to the south parking lot, and prepared two fields for parking; drilled a well, built a pump house, erected an above ground water tower, and put in close to a mile of underground water lines; installed nearly a mile of underground electric supply, along with nine transformers; designed and coordinated the building of a major facility, housing an exhibition hall/meeting space, a kitchen, bathrooms, and year-round office space for MOFGA; built a shop/maintenance building; worked with a job-training program, Women Unlimited, to build a comfort station/bathroom building; and, using volunteers, built four livestock barns from the ground up.Add on an extra building to house the water tanks and pumps for the sprinkler systems (unexpected), and two donated ticket booths to be erected (expected, and most welcome), seeding of 30 acres of ground, septic systems (large), an amphitheater underway, and initial cover crop plantings for two orchards, and you’ve got a busy year! Then we relocated the Common Ground Country Fair, and had to do layout and setup for all the areas on a new site.
All of MOFGA is grateful for the patience shown by the many who found themselves waiting to get to the Fair in September, but the reactions once people were inside were great.I didn’t get to stay there for long, but I loved standing inside the doorway of the Exhibition Hall and watching people’s eyes go up, and up, as they looked at the timber framing.We didn’t plan it that way, but the straw covering on the berm around the music area turned into a great kids’ playground, one we’ll probably have to repeat even after the sod is better established.
We’re working hard now to turn Unity into a year-round home for MOFGA. Many of our meetings in the months ahead are scheduled for there, along with some special new events (see the calendar for details).Your support and patience have helped to make this all happen, far faster than we ever thought possible.