When living in Maine, what do you do on a beautiful fall day in September? Go to a fair, but of course. That is exactly what we did today. The morning started out wet and foggy but we were not going to turn back, instead we started out extremely early for our nearly 2 hour drive. We were on our way to the Common Ground Fair which is an organic farmers community fair. I have never been before but so I excited to go.
When we arrived the gates were just opening so we found a nice place to park and headed for the gate. The walk to the fair ground was like a nice Sunday morning hike in the woods. Along the way there were signs about low impact forestry, types of wood, how to detect dry wood, green wood, and other types. There were composting signs along this trail as well that 90% of everything at the fair was able to be put in compost. We walked along this trail in the woods waiting for the fair to appear. Once it did it was not your typical fair. We bought our tickets and immediately were ushered into the farmers market. I was like a little kid seeing all the stands, wondering what we should buy, discussing should we get it now or on our way out. The cattle farmers were there and the poultry farmers were there. We even saw organic, grass fed pork and couldn’t wait to taste the deliciousness of this fresh farmed meat.
After we got our program we decided we wanted to see the demonstrations and would consider our buying needs later. The first demonstration we attended was the goat milking. I might be from Nebraska but I have never seen any animal milked and yes I found this fascinating. The farmer was talking gently to the goat and she didn’t seem to mind that all these different hands were on her taking the milk that her body produces. She didn’t seem anxious but rather relieved. After spending some time there we were off to see the horse show. We had arrived for the working horses. These mammoth animals were beautiful and intimidating but were also very calm. Some were talking to each other and since neither my husband nor I speak horse we made up the stories we believed they were telling. The handlers ranged in ages of young teens to older much more experienced season men and women. The differences between the handlers was just as interesting as the differences in all the horses. We learned about Belgian work horses and Perchons work horses. We actually spent a lot of time with the horses. I think we enjoyed their energy.
Soon after the horse show we went over to the Border Collie demonstration and these experienced dogs were something to watch. The way they obeyed commands and herded the sheep and goats and yes even ducks. They like to work and it showed in the way they were entertaining the crowd as well as pleasing the farmer at the same time. We watched them with great glee. Moving on after the Borders we entered the beer brewing demonstration. This fair literally has something for everyone and as you walk from demonstration to demonstration you are on scenery overload with all the potential things you can buy and questions you can ask as you enter tents of your choice. We went into mushroom tents, and herbal tents and beer brewing tents. If this sounds like a hippy fair you would be absolutely correct but it was just what we were looking for.
So after already spending hours walking and looking and watching what do two Paleo wannabe dieters eat at the fair? We certainly weren’t interested in fried dough or anything that came in a wrap but since this is an organic fair we had wonderful pick of organic meats and chose skewers. We got a plate of skewers, found a little bench to share and eat our lunch. My husband looked at me and made reference to sharing a plate of food with our hands was certainly very primal. He could not have been more right. No need to sanitize it was time to eat and enjoy and that is exactly what we did.
Many more hours later we finally decide our feet have had enough and back to the farmers market we head to do our final shopping and climb back into the car for our 2 hour trip home feeling very satisfied, a little more educated, extremely exhausted, and ready to talk about all we did and saw for the day. If there was ever a fair for us to attend this was it and we are already planning our trip for next year and how we’ll lay out the day a little better and try to condense our walking to ensure we see what we want but not walk in circles looking for things. Every state has their fall fairs and it really is fun to head out for the day and just enjoy what the fairs have to offer.