Common Ground Fair Is An Organic Success In Unity 

It’s called a celebration of rural life of Maine. The Common Ground Country Fair wrapped up Sunday in Unity. It’s not the typical fair most people are accustomed to. You won’t find any rides here but that doesn’t mean you won’t find kids having fun.Every year the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) invites folks from all over to enjoy, what they say is, some of the best that rural Maine has to offer. This weekend was the 34th Common Ground Country Fair. Jim Ahearne is the fair’s director. “So it’s a place where you can come explore, you can learn and you can talk to people that are really good at what they’re doing,” he says.Folks came from all over to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in Unity which was a stark contrast to the life some are accustomed to. Lois Frank makes her home in New York City and she says this is a nice change of pace. “This is just the antidote for living in New York City,” she says. “The city is congested and intense and this is wide open, expansive, and life affirming in a very different kind of way.”One thing the Common Ground Fair has no shortage of is food. For the vendors it’s a chance to show off their creations, which feature only the fresh, organic, Maine ingredients. Arville Collins works for 4M Productions. They sell Maine potatoes in a variety of forms. Some of the most popular are their fresh french fries and made-to-order potato chips. “It’s been wonderful,” says Collins of the weekend in Unity. “It’s been a surprise for us. Friday was extremely busy, up from last year it was very nice. We had a steady stream coming up to the counter so we did very well we were pleased.” As usual the farmers market here was also packed all weekend. Nancy Ricker of Ricker Hill Orchard says it has been a busy weekend for them. “It’s been beautiful,” says Ricker. “We’ve had a great weekend. Friday we had all the school kids here and they had lots of questions for us about farming. Yesterday with the hot weather so cider sales were out the door. It was really good for us and today everybody’s getting their apples to cook with and make their juice with so been really good.” Jim Ahearne says promoting Maine’s homegrown products is the major emphasis for MOFGA. “If you look at how much money Mainers spend on food, a fraction of that comes from Maine,” he says. “We’re still spending most of our money on food that comes from out of state. Why do that? When we can provide right here in our own state and so that’s a lot of what we’re about.”Security here reported no incidents or arrests over the weekend but that doesn’t mean there were no unwanted guests over the weekend. Arville Collins said her booth had an unexpected visitor Sunday morning. “Yes we had a skunk that also liked our food this morning. We were very fortunate that people came to get him out of the booth. It was right behind here and he decided it was nice and warm by the fryers and he was a little cool last night.”