Common Ground Fair earns its name

Posted Sept. 21, 2009, at 5:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:25 a.m.

The “baa, baa black sheep, have you any wool?” question will be answered, as it is every September, at Common Ground Country Fair on Friday through Sunday, Sept. 25-27, at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association fairgrounds in Unity.

The fair is a celebration of all things organic, especially farming, and celebrates rural living. Hundreds of vendors, exhibitors and demonstrators, including those who raise fiber on the hoof (or paw, as the case may be), such as wool, alpaca, angora, llama, mohair and cashmere.

The haven for those interested in the answer to the “have you any wool?” question is the fair’s fleece tent where wool growers and growers of specialty fibers will have their products judged. Judging begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.

Those who want to have their fleeces and other fibers judged may preregister by calling Penelope Olson at 785-2784 or e-mail mizoly@midcoast.com. Fleeces may be submitted for judging 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

Visitors to the fair interested in all things fleecy will have much to see and learn. Some of fiber-related activities at the fair are:

Friday, Sept. 25

— All day — fleece sale and information, meet growers and spinners, sit and spin.

— 10 a.m. — Drop Spinning Demonstration and Workshop, Sue Bushman, Wednesday Spinners.

— 10 a.m. — “Choosing the Right Fleece,” Susanne Grosjean and Geri Valentine, Wednesday Spinners.

— 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. — Felting Class, Andree Bella; $12.

— 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Repairing Knitted Garments Workshop, Michele Goldman and Virginia Pelletier, Fiberphilia, Orono.

— 11 a.m. — “All About Alpaca,” Nancy Williams and Al Maloney, NEWAIM Farm.

— 2 p.m. — Spinning on a Rock, Susan Merrill, Wednesday Spinners.

Saturday, Sept, 26

— All day — fleece sale and information, meet the growers and spinners, sit and spin.

— 10 a.m. — Choosing the Right Fleece for Particular Projects, Susanne Grosjean and Geri Valentine.

— 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Fleece Show judging.

— 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. — Felting Class, Andree Bella; $12.

— 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Repairing Knitted Garments Workshop, Michele Goldman and Virginia Pelletier, Fiberphilia, Orono.

— 11 a.m. — Raising Wool on Maine Islands, Donna Kausen, Flat Island Wool; and Alf Wakeman, Nash Island Wool.

— 2 p.m. — Amazing Angora, Liz Grover, Maine Angora Producers.

— 2 p.m. — Wool Combing, Sara Christy, Wednesday Spinners.

— 3 p.m. — Fleece Dyeing with Mushrooms, Lichens and Bark, Donna Kausen.

Sunday, Sept. 27

— All day — fleece sale and information, meet the growers and spinners, sit and spin.

— All day — spinning demonstrations and information.

— 10 a.m. — Dyeing with Weeds, Susanne Grosjean, Wednesday Spinners.

— 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Open Spin, all spinners invited.

— 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. — Felting Class, Andree Bella; $12.

— 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. — Repairing Knitted Garments Workshop, Michele Goldman and Virginia Pelletier, Fiberphilia, Orono.

— 11 a.m. — All About Mohair, Stacy and Jim Beyer, Punkin Hill Farm.

— 2 p.m. — Using Earthues Natural Dyes, Jody McKenzie, Botanical Shades.

— 3 p.m. — Multicolor Carding and Spinning, Kate Henry.

Some of the craft classes and demonstrations scheduled include:

Friday, Sept. 25

— 11 a.m. — Penobscot Beadwork Demonstration, Jennifer Neptune, Ancestral Arts.

— Noon — Traditional Basketry, Stuart Toman, Beaded Quill Designs.

— 2 p.m. — Weave a Small Pouch Class, Susan Perrine; $15.

— 2 p.m. — Braid a Chair Pad from Socks Class, Nancy Young; $10.

Saturday, Sept. 26

— 11 a.m. — Passamaquoddy Beadwork and Jewelry, Frances Frey.

— Noon and 2 p.m. — Weave a Small Pouch Class, Susan Perrine; $15.

— 2 p.m. — Braid a Chair Pad from Socks Class, Nancy Young; $10.

— 3 p.m. — Passamaquoddy Basketry, Jeremy Frey.

Sunday, Sept. 27

— Noon and 2 p.m. — Weave a Small Pouch Class, Susan Perrine; $15.

— 11 a.m. — Sweet Grass Angels Workshop, Ruth Johnson.

— 2 p.m. — Braid a Chair Pad from Socks Class, Nancy Young; $10.

Fleece and fiber are only two of many components of the fair. Visitors will have the opportunity to attend lectures about organic gardening, eat organically grown food produced in Maine, see animal demonstrations and exhibits, spend time in the children’s area for a vegetable garden parade and other activities, shop at the Country Store, dance and enjoy roving entertainment, learn about woodlot management, and see the Maine Stone Workers’ Guild demonstrate stone cutting and carving.

Gates open at 9 a.m. each day, closing at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. The cost of admission is $10, $8 to anyone 65 and older, free to children under 12 and handicapped citizens. School groups admitted free on Friday. Fair volunteers are admitted free in return for a four-hour shift. Bike to the fair and get $2 off admission.

Advance tickets are available at local businesses throughout Maine. For more information and a list of towns and businesses where advance tickets may be purchased, visit www.mofga.org. Or purchase tickets at the gate at the fair.

Snippets

Come Spring Quilters of Union is starting its 19th year 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Union Methodist Church on Route 235 behind the post office. Bring a sandwich. The club will provide soup, dessert and beverages. After a short business meeting, members will start a learning program for beginning quilters. For more information, call Janet Staiano at 594-5304 or Anne Titus at 785-2218. The group welcomes beginners and those more advanced at quilting.

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