The Common Ground Country Fair Brings the Summer to a Colorful Close!

After the dazzle of summer, autumn arrives slowly, almost on tiptoe this year. With it comes the onset of crisp dews, the languor of plants and, above all, the time to celebrate Mother Nature’s bounty. This is what the Common Ground Country Fair has been offering since 1977. A veritable hymn to joy, this family-friendly annual event takes place on the third weekend after Labour Day. Bringing together more than 1,000 exhibitors and speakers, this agricultural fair focuses on dynamic market gardening communities, organic and sustainable agriculture, and the political and economic issues involved. From herbalism and livestock production to wool-spinning techniques and waste management, topics range from the neophyte to the experienced.

The Common Ground Country Fair

Organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, this fair is truly a feast of discovery and entertainment for all visitors. Something to celebrate!

The fair takes place in the small town of Unity in Waldo County, Maine. With a population of just over 2,000, Unity sees its population explode during this festive weekend. Yes, the Common Ground Country Fair welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year. The country roads leading to Unity are lined with deep lakes, colorful plains and forests, small garden centers and vegetable stands.

While the site can be explored in a single day, it’s important to plan ahead. If not, we suggest two days for a first experience.

The weekend calendar is available on the MOFGA website to help you plan your visit.

Here are a few must-sees from our souvenir albums of recent years.

A Few Not-to-Be-Missed Highlights!

The site is very large. Several marquees ensure that conferences can be held in case of rain.

Photo: Josh McPhail (taken from the event’s Facebook page)

Among the interesting booths were those of the seed companies, who took advantage of the opportunity to exhibit real specimens. All the more reason to buy!

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

Conferences are plentiful, and the list of topics covered is impressive. For example, green manure demonstration plots.

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

Suppliers of horticultural products take the opportunity to let visitors try out their equipment. Here, a representative of Johnny’s Selected Seed explains how a roller-marking machine works.

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

There are plenty of stalls selling local produce. This is your chance to stock up on fresh vegetables.

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

A competition where local growers can showcase their finest specimens and perhaps win the prize for the most beautiful chilli pepper or even the largest squash!

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

A stop at one of the many food trucks is a must: from smoothies and Indian dishes to fried onions and seasoned tofu dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Photo: Instagram

Activities… and Much More

Cardboard slides: for kids (and parents), it’s time to let off some steam!

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

The parade, in which the whole family is invited to dress up, entertains visitors several times a day.

The sheepdog agility demonstrations are impressive and draw crowds every time.

Photo: MOFGA

Still practised by some local producers, horse-drawn tillage is demonstrated several times during the day. Impressive!

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

And above all, the must-have t-shirt that now confirms your allegiance to this great fair! Each year, the artwork is created by a different artist and printed on clothing and reusable fabric bags.

Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault

Chantal Gauthier and Mathieu Gaudreault are both horticulturists and teachers at the Centre de formation Fierbourg in Quebec City, in the Horticultural Production and Horticulture and Garden Center programs. Passionate about the plant world, they enthusiastically scour botanical gardens, parks, forests and horticultural events, always on the lookout for inspiring finds. Their infectious passion is passed on not only to their students, but also to those around them, earning them the nickname Plant geeks.

1 comment on “The Common Ground Country Fair Brings the Summer to a Colorful Close!

  1. This is reminiscent of Harvest Festivals in England.

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