Sights at the Common Ground Fair
It’s not just animals and a farmer’s market. There are produce growing contests (which I’ve always wanted to enter! Maybe next year, with my artichokes??), a garden parade with people on stilts and little kids dressed up like carrots and flowers and butterflies, men trying to show off their strength, and artisans. Pack that all under a bright fall sun and add amazing food, and you start to get a sense of what the Common Ground Fair is like.
Farmer’s Market at the Common Ground Fair
Prices were a little above average but it is nice to support local farmers, especially at the end of their growing season. Everything was so fresh and vibrant. It’s usually the last place I visit at the end of the day. Everyone is walking around with sweet annie and it smells a little bit divine (and a little bit like dirty hippie).
Animals at the Common Ground Fair
I think the ability to be up close with these animals is a highlight of the fair. It is a great place to check them out if you’re thinking of having farm animals, and some of the farmers have some for sale.
This morning I was out in the pouring rain running my miles in shoes that got heavier with each drop of water. Everything around me was dirt road and turning leaf and yellow and green and the first few brilliant reds. The wind was all a bluster and the ducks were in the overflowing marsh. No matter how many Autumns I live through, I am always breathless at the beauty, even in a soaking rain.
If you grew up or live near Unity, Maine, it is best to go to the Common Ground Fair every few years, rather than every year. It doesn’t change much over time. I hadn’t been in three years and enjoyed it thoroughly on Saturday. The Common Ground Fair (or “common ground”) is a country fair, centered around organic produce and goods, craftsmanship, farming, livestock, agriculture, forestry, and sustainability in all of its forms. It is a special event that brings not only the community together, but people from far and wide. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing photos I took at the fair, before returning to your regularly scheduled OPT programming.
Forestry at the Common Ground Fair
Sometimes I wonder if not having done one of these posts in a while means I haven’t been grateful? Either way it’s good to switch gears.
- shallots and sherry vinegar
- opportunities. Whether it’s something you love, something you’ve dreamed of, or something new you’ve wanted to try, new possibilities have a way of giving everyone (me included) a little confidence boost.
- Maine in Autumn*. Winter can be cold and depressing, spring can be cool and wet, summer can be hot and oppressive (at least we’ve got the ocean and a heck of a lot less pavement). But Fall? Fall is just plain perfection.
- A good night’s sleep. While a regular night’s sleep hasn’t been quite enough these days, with my mileage right around 50, I’ve been sleeping like a rock, which is kind of magical (despite my tendency to have the weirdest dreams…)
- Hanging out with friends. This week I met a friend at the new Empire. The space is just beautiful - such a difference than before (although I’ll always have a soft spot for that place). This weekend I’m headed up to Waldo County with friends to see more friends (breakfast better be good, Todd) and attend the Common Ground Fair.
- Hot tubs and woodfires
- My mother’s apple dumplings and the cucumbers my dad grew.
- That big ol Harvest Moon
- These legs, which have carried me through my fourth training season, and hopefully injury free to my second marathon (one of the hilliest in the country. oh boy).
- Finishing a song I’ve been working on for a year. and loving it.
- And oh ya! My Bensimon shoes came this week! Those things are a bitch to get in the States.
What are you grateful for today?
*Maine all the time
half sour pickles
After reading an article in Runner’s World about how fermented foods can help your body ward off colds, I realized I hadn’t fermented anything in a while. Last night I started a batch of fermented half sour pickles, following this recipe. This afternoon they were already bubbling.
This weekend Sandor Katz, the fermentation god, will be at the Common Ground Fair. Looking forward to it.
Last weekend I went apple picking with a friend at Snell Family Farm. Snell is the same farm I went to last year. The apples are plentiful this year, but I would recommend waiting another week to let them get good and red and ripe. I also picked up a big round pumpkin for the kitchen table and some apple cider that is particularly good. They have a farm stand too, if you’re hankering for some squash or potatoes.
I already made baked apples and butternut squash, and of course the apples are good for snacking, but I’m thinking it might be time to make a crisp.
Cool nights warm oven
The fall baking season has begun
Tonight I’ll visit with girlfriends I’ve had since middle school, hang out on the sectional with their young kids tucked between us. You can’t replace the kind of familiarity you build with people when you’re 13 and still have at almost 30.
Then I’ll go to my folks house for dinner, to soak in the hot tub, and sit by the fire. It will get down to the 30s tonight and I will burrow until I’m lost between sheets, blanket, pillow.
The winter will be cold and it will be hard, and by the end it will probably have become depressing. I’ve been thinking about embracing the beauty rather than the bitter. Fall is giving me moments to practice.