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The Common Ground Fair in Maine Celebrates Organic Food

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Organic Transitions page and our Maine News page.

 Organic food may not be feeding the world yet, but it was feeding thousands of people at the Common Ground Country Fair last weekend.

They lined up at 10 a.m. to pay $4 for Steve's Organic French Fries, made with organic potatoes fried in cold-pressed safflower oil for the vegetarian crowd. Although "beef tallow is better," said Steve Aucoin, 61, who has been selling fries here since the first fair, in 1977.

The aroma of grilled lamb drifted over the outdoor speakers' podium at 11 a.m. Shannon Hayes, 38, a second-generation farmer from Warnerville, N.Y., who is home schooling two daughters with her husband, Bob Hooper, cutting meat on her parents' grass-fed livestock farm, slaughtering chickens, weeding the vegetables and blogging and writing rallying treatises like "Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture," addressed a crowd of 100 or so perched on benches and picnic tables and sprawled on the lawn. "Responsible meat consumption need not be in violation of ecological principles," she told them.

But what if the $4 organic lamb sausages sizzling over hot coals at the Noon Family Sheep Farm's tent ran out?

The 36th Common Ground Country Fair organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association drew 59,000 people this year. And it netted $300,000 in ticket sales and booth fees, which pays for training programs for new farmers, workshops and operating expenses. 


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