Common Ground

I made it to the Common Ground Country Fair this year, a haven for agricultural producers and creative makers, animal lovers and foodies, and just plain regular people like me. I’ve always wanted to check out this fair since reading about it on soulemama, yet something inevitably came up during the notoriously busy month of September, and I was never able to make it. This year though it happened! Here are some highlights from the wonderful event.img_0656

We entered through the Rose Gate, which brought us right into the farmer’s market section. I didn’t realize how gorgeous a farmer’s market could be. Instantly, I was in love with this fair! Every booth was thoughtfully and artfully set up, and there were dried flowers hanging everywhere and beautiful produce of all shapes and sizes. It was magical. We even managed to stumble upon a greenhouse just full of snapdragons in bright shades. There were fruit trees planted in grassy fields, with winding paths throughout. Children ran around happily and slid down a hill on cardboard boxes (summer sledding! that brought me back to my own childhood!). Within the first 15 minutes, I was smitten.img_0693

img_0671We wandered along to the fiber section, and I was blown away by Mindful Folk Farm‘s booth- they matched their flower bouquets to their hand dyed yarn and it was just gorgeous!! We then watched a sheepdog demonstration, which is always amazing to watch. What obedient dogs! (and sheep!) My friend and I had planned to line up our day with all sorts of fun and practical workshops, but instead we just wandered. I wasn’t disappointed at all in that approach, I was happy to get the lay of the land this year, and the next time I return, I will be ready to dive in to some workshops.img_0702-1img_0663img_0706-1

In summary, here is  what I loved and didn’t love about the fair.

What I loved:

  • healthy food vendors! (I had fresh fish tacos on a homemade gluten free tortilla with homemade sauce and cabbage – yum!)
  • no litter! (it just didn’t have that “trashy fair vibe” you sometimes find at fairs)
  • beautiful gardens and displays.
  • agricultural and environmental focus. (people who care about this planet!!)

What I didn’t love:

  • the traffic (we waited in stopped traffic for nearly an hour to park)
  • the crowds (they expected over 65,000 visitors in one weekend, I guess that shows how awesome it is!)
  • the price of the food (but isn’t that all fairs??)
  • the heat- record breaking for that time of year in Maine- but that’s not the fair’s fault!

Getting there: The fair’s physical address is 294 Crosby Brook Road in Unity, Maine. There is parking all around, and it’s well marked (just follow the traffic!) We ended up parking over a mile away to avoid sitting in more traffic, and opted to walk in on a lovely dirt road with beautiful country views. We took a golf cart shuttle to get back to our car at the end of the day however, as we had done enough walking for one day 🙂

For 2018’s fair date, check out the Maine Organic Farmer’s Association, and mark your calendars for next year! I sure would like to return to the Common Ground Country Fair.