About MOFGA and The Common Ground Country Fair
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. MOFGA 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.
We accomplish that education and advocacy through several programs:
- Education: including farm apprenticeships, journeyperson training, farm and garden tours, low-impact forestry events, scholarships and more
- Farmer Programs: with specialists in organic crops, livestock and marketing
- The Common Ground Country Fair: our annual celebration of rural living, held the third weekend after Labor Day
- Organic Certification: MOFGA Certification Services LLC, the USDA-accredited organic certifier in Maine
- Policy: including our Public Policy Committee and our MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee
- Publications: including our quarterly newspaper, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener; our weekly emailed Bulletin Board; fact sheets; pest reports; and more
- Our organization website, www.mofga.org
MOFGA is located at our Common Ground Education Center in Unity and Thorndike.
Why Organic? MOFGA believes that local, organic production supports our health, environment and economy. These benefits are described here.
About the Common Ground Country Fair
MOFGA held its first Common Ground Country Fair at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in 1977. Fair organizers conceived the Fair as a harvest celebration. Roughly 10,000 people came from Maine and beyond.
By 1981, the Fair had outgrown Litchfield, so MOFGA began renting the Windsor Fairgrounds, where the fair going crowd eventually grew to more than 50,000.
Since the earliest days of the Fair, MOFGA had envisioned a home of its own – not only for the three days of Common Ground, but also for a year-round agricultural education center. A vision committee searched tirelessly for the perfect place, taking long looks in Wayne, Livermore Falls and elsewhere around the state.
The search ended in Unity in 1996 with the purchase of more than 200 acres of fields and forest. We opened our doors to the public on September 25, 1998 – opening day of the Common Ground Country Fair.