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"The act of putting into your mouth what the earth has grown is perhaps your most direct interaction with the earth."
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 Fair News - Winter 2015-2016 Minimize

Arika von Edler flew back to Maine from California, where she is working on a master's degree in fine arts, to sign posters and enjoy the Fair. English photo

A Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!
Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground
Thanks to Jamie Pacheco
Fair Ribbons and Awards 2015

Best of Food
Exhibition Hall Judges' Awards
Agricultural Ribbons
Youth Enterprize Zone Awards
Manure Toss
Donkey and Mule Show
Oxen Scoot
Field Teamster of the Day
Forest Teamster of the Day
Livestock Awards
Poultry Ribbons Winners
Thanks to the 2015 Common Kitchen Food Donors!


A Common Ground Country Fair Thank You!

The beautiful weather and over 65,000 attendees made the Common Ground Country Fair a vibrant celebration with bountiful farmers' markets, delicious organic food, entertainment with Maine roots, talented artisans and knowledge sharing. The fairgrounds buzzed with activity.

This would not have been possible without the help and generosity of over 2,600 volunteers. These volunteers contributed in a myriad of ways, and their support of the community, the Common Ground Country Fair and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association cannot be overstated and appreciated. 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 alibby@mofga.org to discuss possibilities.

Join us next year to celebrate the Common Ground Country Fair's 40th anniversary. Planning is well underway, and I look forward to seeing you next year and for many years to come. Thank you for making the 2015 Common Ground Country Fair an event of peace, hope and meaningful work.

– April Boucher
Director, Common Ground Country Fair

Gail Chase in the Fleece Tent with a fleece from one Merino sheep from Wanatha Garner and Hugh Roth's Long Cove Farm on Vinalhaven. English photo
Samples of fine, medium and coarse wool in the Fleece Tent. English photo

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Another Great Year for Fiber at Common Ground

Sales for the Fleece Tent at MOFGA's 39th Common Ground Country Fair were again very gratifying. Sales amounted to just under $12,000 in three days, with 251 "units" sold, representing about 990 pounds of Maine fiber. As always, Friday was our busiest day, with sales topping $6,000. This is great news for both the Fleece Tent committee and the 47 growers who had fiber in the sale this year. It confirms once 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. Barbara Clorite-Ventura, a Massachusetts fiber expert, looking at an eventual move to Maine, served as our judge, fielding questions from observers and sharing her in-depth knowledge with all. Of the total of 29 entries, the following received ribbons and premiums: Wool, First – Jon Starr (Ellis River Farm, Rumford), Becky Bartovics (Cider Hill Farm, North Haven); and Wool, Second – Elaine Cloutier (Shepherd's Purse, Abbot) and Becky Bartovics (Cider Hill Farm, North Haven). In addition, we offer our heartiest congratulations to Jon Starr for the Best-in-Show award for his beautiful Icelandic fleece. Awards for Specialty Fibers were as follows:  Angora, First – clipped/white and clipped/colored, Beth Acker (Acker's Acres Angora, New Gloucester); clipped/white, Jenny Smith (Under Hill Fibers, Gorham); Angora, Second – plucked/colored, Jenny Smith (Under Hill Fibers, Gorham). Again, our heartiest congratulations to Beth Acker for the Best Specialty Fiber award. All show participants received their judging forms with scores and judge's comments. In addition, for the first time this year, the Maine Angora Producers presented its own special recognition and awards to several entries. The group awarded best white clipped and best white plucked to Jenny Smith and best colored clipped, best colored plucked and best angora to Beth Acker. Our thanks to the group for its involvement and for highlighting the hard work of Maine's angora breeders.

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 on Thursday, 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. And of course the sale wouldn't exist without the hundreds of new and returning customers who flock to the tent every year. The Fleece Tent committee and the growers can't thank you enough for your continuing support of fiber in Maine.

"Across the way," the Wednesday Spinners tent had another busy, activity-filled weekend for all involved. The Maine Stoneworkers Guild's "pocket parket," which is home to the Wednesday Spinners dye-plant garden, was – in its sixth 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 her tours of the garden and talked about the wonderful world of natural dyes. The EarthloomTM – a gift from Susan Barrett Merrill and Richard Merrill of Weaving a Life in 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 its 38th 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 part of the fleece sale and show next year. To be added to our growers email group and/or for information about the 2016 sale and show, please contact Penelope Olson, 785-2784 (Appleton) or email mizoly@midcoast.com. See you at Fair Forty!

– Penelope Olson

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Thanks to Jamie Pacheco

We want to extend a huge thank you to Jamie Pacheco, who filled the seasonal Common Ground Country Fair assistant position this year. Her positive attitude and work ethic were much appreciated. She was a great part of the Fair team and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

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Common Ground Country Fair Ribbons and Awards 2015

Below are the awards we knew about in early November.

Awards: Best of Food

Best Beverage – Cornerstone Farm
That's Some Different! – Heiwa Tofu
Most Maine Ingredients – Salad Cowboys
Best Bite for the Buck – Marble Family Farm
Tradition! – ORA (ployes)
Best Farm to Table – Aucoin Concessions with Sandy Meadow potatoes
First Impression (Best new food or drink) – Marble Family Farm
Taste, Not Trash – Pie Cones
Where's the Beef? (Vegetarian) – Bombay Mahal
Where's the Cheese? (Dessert) – Local Sprouts
Better than Chocolate (Dessert) – Tuva Bakery
Best Fresh and Simple – Tic Tac Taco
Best Booth Presentation – Good Earth Pie Co.
Best in Show – Salad Cowboys
Best Service – Three Leaf Farm
Here's the Meat – Cornerstone Farm

Thanks to all vendors who participated!

Exhibition Hall Judges' Awards

'Floriani Red' Flint Corn – Kristen Salvatore
Hot Pepper Jelly – Amy LeBlanc
'Graffiti' Cauliflower – Peter and Jill deBethune
'Big Dorris' Pumpkin – Ryan Parker
Perennials – Helianthus Maxim: Sharon Turner
Bay Tree – Sharon Turner
Pineapple Tomato – Siubhan Saal
Champion Pumpkin – Thomas Hodgman
Dried Greek Oregano – Christine Gavitt
'Purple Chandler' Garlic – Martha Gottlieb
'King Yai' Ginger – Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi
'Clear Dawn' Onion – Mark Grant and Adam Lambert
Lacto-fermented Fenneled Beets – Simon Frost
Opopeo Amaranth Bouquet – Adelaida Gaviria
Grape Colored Square Shawl – Kim Benham
Skunk Drawing – Kana Crow
Morning Photo – David Hilton
Hooked Rug Sheep Pillow – Eli Whittaker

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Agricultural Ribbons

Best Agricultural Business – Maine Balsam Fir
Most Agricultural Booth – Shaker Herb Dept., United Society of Shakers
Best Family Farm – Shepherds and Such Farm
Fairgoer Friendly – Gourdaments

Youth Enterprize Zone Awards

Sunday
First Place – Ezra Smith of Artch
Second Place – Sebastion and Theo Concetti of Rigadoo Creations
Third Place – Sienna Mazone of Busy Bee Apothecary

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Manure Toss

Saturday
Accuracy
12 and Under
• Josey 5.75 lbs.
• Sarah Terry 0.5 lb
Ages 13-17
• Amelie Crowe 2.25 lbs.
• Olivia Whitaker 2 lbs.
• Adam Terry 1.9 lbs.
18 and Older
• John P. 9.9 lbs.
• Ryan Anderson 8.25 lbs.
• Nathan Cronaler 7.3 lbs.

Distance
12 and Under
• Mirabelle 24'11"
• Simon 12'4"
18 and Older
1. Finn 70'6"
2. Skyler 69'10"
3. Brian Kevin 63'9"

Sunday
Accuracy
12 and Under
• Tom O'Meara
• Mirabelle Kutsy-Durbin
• Jim O'Meara
Ages 13-17
1. John O'Meara
2. Anya O'Meara
18 and Older
• Cecil Winscott
• Scott Wood
• Jim Hendrick

Distance
12 and Under
• Eloise Johnson 15'
18 and Older
• Scott Wood 84'9"
• Bill Garmon 54'4"
• Abigail Leavitt 37'

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Donkey and Mule Show
Judge: Chelsea Bean

The donkey and mule show had seven participants:
• Chocolate Moose; Mammoth Jenny, owned and shown by Ramona Stinson and Amanda Gillig of Bowdoin
• Lily; Mammoth Jenny, owned and shown by Ramona Stinson and Amanda Gillig of Bowdoin
• Tweetie; donkey, owned by Claire Wallace of Ellsworth, shown by Mila Long-Frost and Mackenzie Hallett
• Brown Sugar; mule owned by Claire Wallace of Ellsworth, shown by Mila Long-Frost and MacKenzie Hallett
• Eewee; donkey owned and shown by Jeremy Dube of Albion

Class 1 – Jenny Mules
• Brown Sugar and Mackenzie
Class 2 – Jack Standard Donkey
• Tweetie, Mila and Mackenzie
Class 3 – Jenny Standard Donkey
• Eewee and Jeremy
Class 4 – Jenny Mammouth Donkey
• Lily and Ramona
• Chocolate Moose and Amanda
Class 5 – Best of Show
• Lily and Ramona
• Chocolate Moose  and Amanda (reserve champion)
Class 6 – Mule Cone Jumping
• Brown Sugar and Mila
Class 7 – Standard Donkey Cone Jumping
• Eewee and Jeremy
• Tweetie and Mackenzie
Class 8 – Mammouth Donkey Cone Jumping
• Lily and Ramona
• Chocolate Moose and Amanda
Class 9 – Obstacle Course Mule
• Brown Sugar and Mila; 0:42
Class 10 – Obstacle Course Donkey
• Lily and Ramona; 1:08
• Tweetie and Mackenzie; 1:20
• Eewee and Jeremy; 1:33
• Chocolate Moose and Amanda; 1:35
Class 11 – Egg and Spoon Obstacle Course
• Chocolate Moose and Amanda
• Lily and Ramona
• Eewee and Jeremy
• Tweetie and Mackenzie
• Brown Sugar and Mila
Class 12 – Donkey Relay Race
• Chocolate Moose, Amanda and Ms. Bresnon
• Lily, Ramona and Nathan
• Eewee, Jeremy and Anthony
• Tweetie, Mackenzie and Mila
Class 13 – Costumes
• Eewee, Jeremy and Anothony: Prospectors and their Donkey
• Tweetie, Mackenzie and Mila: Indian Princess, Pinto Mount and a Friend

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Oxen Scoot

Teamster of the Year: Morgan Chadwick

Friday
Small
1. Mark Larrabee – Rock & Rusty
2. Rodney Jennings – Pat & Mike
3. Jamie Bubier – Jed & Jake
4. Lauren Robinson – Lucky & Seven
5. Samantha Leighton – Mack & Pete

Medium
1. Melinda Robinson – Ruff & Tuff
2. Jamie Bubier – Smoky & Bandit
3. Dwain Chase – Amos & Andy
4. Morgan Chadwick – Timber & Jack
5. Makayle Chadwick – Bruin & Bear
6. Wes Daniel – Pat & Mike

Large
1. Ted Conrad – Bright & Lion
2. Nicholas Winter – Rock & Jerry
3. Zack Kemp – Rip & Tear
4. Jon Daniel – Scott & Ben
5. Pat Shea – Tom & Dave

Saturday
Small
1. Jamie Bubier – Jed & Jake
2. Mark Larrabee – Rock & Rusty
3. Rodney Jennings – Pat & Mike
4. Lauren Robinson – Lucky & Seven
5. Samantha Leighton – Mack & Pete

Medium
1. Jamie Bubier – Smoky & Bandit
2. Dwain Chase – Amos & Andy
3. Melinda Robinson – Ruff & Tuff
4. Makayle Chadwick – Bruin & Bear
5. Morgan Chadwick – Timber & Jack
6. Wes Daniel – Pat & Mike

Large
1. Ted Conrad – Bright & Lion
2. Jon Daniel – Scott & Ben
3. Pat Shea – Tom & Dave
4. Gil Whitehead – Red & Star
5. Zack Kemp – Rip & Tear
6. Nicholas Winter – Rock & Jerry

Sunday
Small
1. Jamie Bubier – Jed & Jake
2. Samantha Leighton - Mack & Pete
3. Rodney Jennings – Pat & Mike

Medium
1. Morgan Chadwick – Timber & Jack
2. Dwain Chase – Amos & Andy
3. Wes Daniel – Pat & Mike
4. Makayle Chadwick – Bruin & Bear

Large
1. Jon Daniel – Scott & Ben
2. Pat Shea – Tom & Dave
3. Zack Kemp – Rip & Tear
4. Ted Conrad – Bright & Lion
5. Nicholas Winter – Rock & Jerry

Oxen Cart

Friday
1. Jamie Bubier – Smoky & Bandit
2. Mark Larrabee – Rock & Rusty
3. Lauren Robinson – Lucky & Seven
4. Melinda Robinson – Ruff & Tuff
5. Gil Whitehead – Red & Star

Sunday
1. Melinda Robinson – Ruff & Tuff
2. Jamie Bubier – Smoky & Bandit
3. Lauren Robinson – Lucky & Seven
4. Gil Whitehead – Red & Star
5. Mark Larrabee – Rock & Rusty

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Field Teamster of the Day

Friday
Logan Robinson, Robinson Farm

Saturday
Pheonix Obrien, Sandy Meadow Farm

Sunday
Peter Hagerty, Peace Fleece Farm

Forest Teamster of the Day

Friday
Brad Johnson, All Together Farm

Saturday
Logan Robinson, Robinson Farm

Sunday
Gil Whitehead, Winterberry Farm

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Livestock Awards

Very Nice Photo Display – Gould Academy, Hideaway Farm, Widdershins Farm
Very Nice Sign – Mandala Farm, Skyler Farm, Winterberry Farm
Very Educational Exhibit – Oak Hill Farm, Orchard Hill Farm, Mini Mountain Estate
Very Educational Display – Bean's Corner Farm, Peace Fleece Farm, Royal Haven Farm
Very Nice Display – Faithful Venture Farm, Jami's Dream Farm, Tramp's Rest Farm
Very Popular Demo – Darthia Farm (wagon rides), Wellscroft Farm (sheep dogs), Dogpatch Farm (mulefoot hogs with the 3-1/2-week-old piglets)
Very Educational Demo – Beechwood Farm (fitting beef cattle for showing/general cattle care), Waldoview Farm (parasite detection and control/general sheep care), 4 Wind Farm (rare breed preservation – how and why/general goat care)
Very Educational Youth Demo – Blu-Field Farm
Very Educational Youth Display – Blu-Field Farm
Very Nice Youth Demo – Blu-Field Farm
Note: Only one demo/display was put together solely by youths. According to Cathy Reynolds, the livestock coordinator, "They did a great job."

Poultry Ribbons Winners

Junior Large Fowl Champion – Lauren Kircheis

Sunday
Frist Place – Ezra Smith of Artch
Second Place – Sebastion and Theo Concetti of Rigadoo Creations
Third Place – Sienna Mazone of Busy Bee Apothecary

Junior Show Champion – Margaret Gleasner
Reserve Junior Champion – Frankie Bozzino
Junior Ribbon Holder – Brianna Kircheis
Junior Ribbon Holder – Tommy Bozzino
Junior Ribbon Holder – Matthew Scott
Junior Ribbon Holder – Sage Whitehead

Open Show Champion – Dana Manchester
Reserve Open Show Champion – Jean Rosborough
Ribbon Holder – Connie Tuller
Ribbon Holder – Natalia Abramova

Best Educational Display – Matthew Scott
Peoples' Choice Award  Matthew Scott

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