Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Day at the Common Ground Country Fair

On September 23rd Lauren and I took a bus trip with our friends from the Western Mountains Senior College http://www.maineseniorcollege.org and went to the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine.  The fair is put on by The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association www.mofga.org  and they have been doing it now for 35 years.  There were twenty one of us on the bus that day and once we entered the fairgrounds I only saw one of them until it was time to return.  It seemed all of us had a different interest and with so many things to choose from we went our separate ways to enjoy. 

My favorite event of the day was to watch the Border Collie Demonstration which was put on by David Kennard of Wellcroft Farm in New Hampshire http://www.wellscroft.com/farm/farmHome.html  These Border Collies were truly amazing to watch as they directed the sheep to go exactly where David told them to.  The sheep were mixed in with a bunch of goats and the collies could separate them into different groups with apparent ease.  David said the sheep graze on the grass of a number of different fields around the town where his farm is located in Chesham and instead of trying to load and unload all of these sheep on a truck it just makes a whole lot of economic sense to have the dogs direct them to their next field. It must be an interesting sight if you are driving through town when this is happening.  

I found my way through the poultry barn, the goat/sheep barn, the rabbits, the horses and donkeys, oxen, and draft horse areas.  Because I’m thinking about getting chickens sometime I spent more time there admiring all the breeds that are available.  After that I walked across The Common to the exhibition hall where they were judging the fruits, vegetables, and wheat. The variety and beauty was very cool.  Later I caught up with Lauren and we had some food to eat while we listened to some fiddle and folk music played by Sassafras Stomp.  We saw a few more of the sights before it was time to head back home.  It seems we left the fair with one more body on the bus than we had arrived with. That’s because senior college member Scott Hynek bought a buck rabbit to bring back to assist in breeding his rabbits.  If you like organic gardening and farming you will love this fair.  

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