The 2015 Common Ground Fair

Today was my ninth Common Ground Fair.  I logged four fairs as a student back in the day when it was held at the Windsor Fairgrounds and five at the site in Unity.  All were excellent and today did not disappoint. My seventh- and ninth-grade daughters decided to sit this one out.  Their loss was my gain.  I don’t think they could have stomached watching granite be dissected and split for hours on end anyway. Why can’t I get enough of the CGF? Well, I catalogued today’s fair and that answered the question easily:

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Biking to the CGF is a great option, especially on a day like today. $2 off the admission price, no lines, and they treat you like royalty when you arrive.

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I joined the Maine Stonecutters Guild and learned how to cut and grind granite.

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COA’s Peggy Rockefeller Farms Manager CJ Walke lectured on the ins and outs of using chipped hardwoods as mulch for apples.  I also saw our other pomologist, COA faculty member Todd Little-Seibold.  We know our apples.

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I let the dirt squish through my toes.

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I got to see Arika von Edler, COA alumna ’12: artist of this year’s CGF t-shirt and poster design.  They sold out of t-shirts.  I got the sense that that was rare and that Arika’s artwork was to blame.  I got a signed copy myself and I’m going to frame it and hang it in my office.

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I got to meet Ben and Jerry — yes, that Ben and Jerry.  They were selling ink stamps that read “Not to be used to bribe politicians” as part of their campaign finance reform work.  You’re meant to stamp the backs of US currency.  I cannot condone defacing US currency.  I may have bought one such stamp.

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Food.  Enough said. But I’ll say more: those fries and that ketchup!

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I ran into old friends.  Here’s Ryder Scott, class of 1997. I lead his OOPs trip.  Now he’s running the 4-H camp programs for the entire State of Maine.

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Yurts. More correctly, gers — the proper Mongolian terminology. I love everything about gers and think we need one on campus.  Today a group demonstrated a technique for bending the oak, maple, or birch trusses.

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More old friends: Genio Bertin ’97 and Sara Faull ’98. Genio, like Ryder, was also on that OOPs trip.  Clearly, I had a big impression on these guys.  I’m kidding. Genio and Sara are remarkable people and Mandala Farm is a CGF mainstay.

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I love hogs.

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I love dogs.

And there’s something in the air — something hard to capture in photographs or words — that makes the fair so special. Thank you MOFGA.  Next year I’ll drag my girls kicking and screaming if I have to. It’s just too good to miss.

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