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"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
- Aldo Leopold
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 Fair News – Spring 2001 Minimize


Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Praises Common Ground
Opportunities for Experienced Cooks, Chefs and Food Processors at Fair


Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Praises Common Ground

Once again, the Common Ground Country Fair received highest praise in its annual evaluation by the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs. Deb Nisbett, who serves on the Association’s team of Fair Evaluators and helps coordinate the Houlton Fair, conducted our evaluation and expressed great enthusiasm and admiration for what our volunteers have accomplished in just three years. This was Deb’s first visit to our new home in Unity.

“The outstanding layout of grounds makes it so easy to enjoy all venues of the Fair,” said Ms. Nisbett. “The maps and schedules are very well done and give the Fairgoer loads of information and directions to maneuver around the grounds. The pennants are a nice touch...”

One of the Areas of the Fair that always makes a great impression on Fair Evaluators is the Children’s Area. Each year, families with children of all ages pack themselves into this corner of the fairgrounds and soak in all the wonderful activities that the area has to offer. Kids can hammer nails, weave tapestries, paint faces, make recycled art sculptures, dig in gardens, turn compost, sing, dance, watch puppet shows, learn to juggle, walk on stilts, march in the Garden Parade, and participate in many more group activities. We often hear from parents that their kids would be perfectly content to spend their entire day in the Children’s Area! Deb Nisbett was no less complimentary.

“The Children’s Area was terrific and extremely well-used by fairgoers. Great idea!! The public was very enthusiastic and the children had a fabulous time. What a unique opportunity for kids to experience all the agriculturally related activities and displays and have such fun!”

Ms. Nisbett praised the grandeur of our “lovely Exhibit Hall and office building.” While she was impressed by the diversity of produce on display in the Hall, she did express some surprise at the limited number of arts and crafts items available for fairgoer viewing. We hope to increase the number of submissions in this category for the 2001 Fair.

The dedication and hard work of all of the Common Ground volunteers never ceases to amaze and impress fairgoers, and it certainly paid off once again this year when the Fair association came to visit. Ms. Nisbett concluded her evaluation with special praise for our volunteer community.

“Things seem to really be shaping up very nicely for Common Ground. Many good ideas [are] coming to fruition with their own space and the cooperation of many supporters and volunteers. The volunteers and staff were very helpful and friendly and we appreciated their time with us.”

We thank the Fair Association too for all of the support that it gives us each year, and look forward to celebrating many good times in the coming Fair season. We hope that our 25th Fair in 2001 will prove even more rewarding to all Fair participants.

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Opportunities for Experienced Cooks, Chefs and Food Processors at Fair

For many years when the Common Ground Country Fair took place in Windsor, we had a popular program called Country Kitchen Demonstrations. People with experience in gathering, storing, drying, cooking and otherwise “putting by” food of all kinds shared their expertise with fairgoers in an informal classroom-like setting.

We want to revive this popular offering, but we need some folks to coordinate it. Teachers don’t need to be of the Julia Child or Galloping Gourmet ilk to host a class. We welcome input from anyone who has developed a successful technique for preparing or storing a Maine harvest delicacy. If you would like to pass along your know-how in drying fruit, for example, or canning dilly beans, or cooking with wild mushrooms, or any other culinary skill, just give us a call in the Fair office – 568-4142. We hope to hear from you soon.

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