The Common Ground Country Fair, the premier educational event of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will be held online Friday through Sunday, Sept 25-27. This year, because of COVID-19, it has become especially apparent how important local farms, nonprofit organizations and other businesses are to Maine’s communities, according to news release from the Unity-based organic organization.

Additionally, for many businesses, the fair supplies an important source of revenue. Recognizing this, and understanding that it is not possible to host a typical in-person fair in 2020, MOFGA created an online marketplace to offer a space for vendors and fairgoers to connect.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity. It’s not the same as seeing all of our friends in person, but, especially because it is going to go into the holidays, we are looking forward to the potential to reach new audiences,” said Amy Grant from Good Karma Farm in Belfast, according to the release.

MOFGA’s Online Marketplace and Fair Directory will offer a one-stop shopping experience, providing access to vendors and organizations who would typically participate in MOFGA’s in-person fair. The Online Marketplace and Fair Directory will run from Sept. 25 through Jan. 8, 2021, at fair.mofga.org and will feature a wide range of Maine businesses and organizations. April Boucher, MOFGA’s fair director, said, “While we can’t gather together in person this year, we’re committed to supporting local businesses and organizations focused on sustainability,” according to the release.

Nearly 200 businesses and organizations will participate in the Online Marketplace and Fair Directory, including farmers, food producers, crafters, artisans, energy and shelter businesses and more. All of the participating vendors and exhibitors have been reviewed by the fair’s volunteer coordinators and MOFGA’s staff to ensure that they meet the fair’s current guidelines — which support local, organic and sustainable sourcing and practices.

The fair’s popular Youth Enterprise Zone, which annually provides an opportunity for 13- to 21-year-old entrepreneurs to sell products and services in alignment with the fair’s values, will continue to be featured this year. A wide variety of nonprofit organizations focused on topics related to the environment, agriculture, low-impact forestry and more will also take part.

A sneak peek of some vendors and products is available now.