Mainers and others with an interest in agriculture, fine crafts, good food, entertainment, presentations and conversations and volunteerism have long marked their calendars for the end of September when the Common Ground Country Fair traditionally celebrates rural living on the 300-acre site of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity, according to a news release from the association.

In this different year, MOFGA will hold an alternative fair with free, live, online content Friday through Sunday, Sept. 25-27, and other content to be available online free and in print for a year after that. The fair will also feature a virtual marketplace selling many of the products fairgoers traditionally associate with the event.

Because the fair will be online this year, MOFGA is asking fairgoers and others to become part of the the event in a different way. As announced on May 5, the 2020 fair will include dozens of events and activities so that it can continue to connect the community by sharing knowledge, supporting local economies, creating access to organic food and extending MOFGA’s year round work.

In addition to tapping the large pool of past volunteers, MOFGA needs new volunteers with skills not normally associated with the fair to make these events and activities accessible to a wide community. Those who usually plan their participation around the start of fall will, this year, begin in early summer, shooting video and designing a range of activities. Instead of erecting tents, setting up chairs and painting signs, MOFGA needs volunteers to help create content and to manage post-production of that content.

The following areas are integral to the Common Ground Country Fair experience: education on rural skills, energy and shelter, growing and processing food and livestock rearing; activities for children; a marketplace for Maine-made items including crafts, food, agricultural products and others; social and political engagement, including voter information for the 2020 election; and entertainment.

MOFGA staff and the Fair Steering Committee seek volunteers interested in helping make the 2020 fair as fulfilling for participants as any in the past while providing archival content that will mark this moment in history and offer information that will remain valuable long into the future. Interested volunteers should contact Andrew Graham at [email protected] or 207-568-6046.

The association has held the Common Ground Country Fair each September since 1977, first in Litchfield, then Windsor and now at its permanent home in Unity. Recent fairs have attracted more than 60,000 visitors for the three-day event, a much-anticipated celebration of rural Maine life.

The association is a broad-based community that educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities. For more information, visit mofga.org.

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