Common Ground attracts thousands, even in iffy weather
by Gina Hamilton
UNITY -- The annual Common Ground Fair was held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association grounds here in Unity.
As always, the fair featured Maine grown produce and crafts, politics and social awareness booths, livestock and pickles, homesteading and natural health practitioners, energy and sustainability, music and dance, organic gardening, homespun yarns and fabrics, and a lot of organic, locally sourced, no-GMO food.
In short, it's like a family reunion for the like-minded, and it's always a pleasure to be there.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson’s "Silent Spring," which helped advance the worldwide environmental movement.
In her honor, many issues at the Common Ground Fair this year surrounded the use of pesticides in the environment. That's a normal theme of course, for a fair dedicated to organic farming and gardening, but this year the somber tone of what is happening in the ecosystem due to pesticides was highlighted. The Saturday keynote forum was a discussion and teach-in titled "Where Have All the Bees Gone?" A panel discussed the importance of pollinators to the food supply and explored possible explanations for the Colony Collapse Disorder mystery. Participating were beekeepers Theresa Gaffney of Highland Blueberry Farm in Stockton Springs, and David Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries in Lewisburg, PA.; and two scientists, including Frank Drummond of the University of Maine and Kimberly Stoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
But even with this year's slightly more serious message than usual, most of the Common Ground Fair was what it usually is ... a lot of fun for all involved.
Here are a few more photos from this year's fair: