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Common Ground Fair events

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UNITY - The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has announced the schedule of events for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair to be held on Sept. 21, 22 and 23 in Unity, Maine.

Maine's signature celebration of organic farming and food, rural living, sustainability and Maine's artisans and enterprise, the Common Ground Country Fair blends the traditions of an agricultural harvest celebration with modern innovations that embrace and support vibrant and sustainable rural living and communities. Events include livestock shows, exhibition hall judging, live music and contra dances, but also a host of workshops, talks and demonstrations on topics in farming, organic gardening and lawn care, seed saving, cooking with local foods, energy efficient building technologies and environmental, health and social issues.

MOFGA is featuring as keynote speakers at this year's Common Ground the author of 'Radical Homemakers' and 'The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook,' Shannon Hayes of Sap Bush Hollow Farm in New York; Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides; and Sarah Smith of Grassland Farm in Skowhegan, Maine.

Other noted speakers include Harvey Ussery, bestselling author of 'The Small Scale Poultry Flock;' renowned author and organic farming innovator Eliot Coleman; organic orchardist Michael Phillips; film maker Deborah Koons Garcia; Greg Marley, mycologist and author of 'Mushrooms for Health;' chef David Levi; Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals; Paul Tukey of SafeLawns.com; Dr. Chip Teel; Will Bonsall; and Mark Fulford.

2012 represents the 50th anniversary since the publication of Rachel Carson's 'A Silent Spring.' In honor of Rachel Carson's work, Common Ground is hosting a forum discussion and teach-in titled Where Have All the Bees Gone? A panel of two beekeepers Theresa Gaffney of Highland Blueberry Farm in Stockton Springs, Maine and David Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and two scientists Dr. Frank Drummond of the University of Maine and Dr. Kimberly Stoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station will discuss the importance of pollinators and explore possible explanations for the colony collapse disorder mystery.

Additional Fair highlights include the Maine premier of the film 'Symphony of the Soil,' directed by filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, and a screening of the film about Rachel Carson, 'A Sense of Wonder,' featuring actress Kaiulani Lee. Garcia and Lee will introduce their respective film and follow with a Q&A session.

The complete schedule for the Common Ground Country Fair is now available online at www.commongroundcountryfair.com. With over 750 events on the schedule, MOFGA has published the schedule online using an interactive event-publishing platform. Fairgoers can search the event schedule by topic, presenter, date or venue, save a personal itinerary of events and even share their favorite events via their Facebook page with their friends.

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