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Collections - MF 121 MOFGA Collection

MF 121 Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association (MOFGA)

Number of accessions: 51
Dates when interviews were conducted: 2000-2004
Time period covered: mid-to-late late 20th century
Principal interviewers: Pauleena MacDougall, Pamela Dean, James Moreira, Anu Dudley
Finding aides: some transcripts
Access restrictions: none
Description: This collection consists of interviews with individuals associated with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Common Ground Fair. Themes include the process of beginning to farm organically, the early development of MOFGA and its growth; the Common Ground Fair and its expansion; marketing organic food; farming strategies; raising livestock; and MOFGA’s interactions with conventional farmers and the wider community.

 

2628 Will Bonsell, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 23, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Bonsell discusses getting started as an organic farmer; how his expectations have changed due to his experiences; economic aspects of farm life; food storage and other strategies for self-sufficient living; living a vegan lifestyle as an individual and as a farmer; relationship with local people and other organic farmers; involvement in MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair; changes in the fair over time; Scatterseed Project, to conserve genetic diversity of agricultural plants by saving heirloom varieties; and veganic farming. Text: 35 pp. (incomplete?) transcript. Recording: C 1911 1 hour.

2629 Donna Kausen, interviewed by Pamela Dean, September 22, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Kausen discusses moving to Maine; lobster fishing; raising sheep with Jenny Cirone on islands off the Maine coast; fleece for hand spinners; organic gardening; relationship with community in Addison, Maine; early involvement in MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair, changes in MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair; problems and rewards of her lifestyle. Text: 17 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1912 45 minutes.

2630 Jean Hay, interviewed by James Moreira, September 24, 2000 at the Common Ground Fair. Hay talks about her farm in Dixmont where they grow organic pick-your-own raspberries; her previous farm in Blue Hill; what inspired her to move to Maine in 1971; farm years in Maine during the 1970s without electricity or plumbing; her emergence into the organic farming market in the 1980s; her friendship with Scott and Helen Nearing; preparing her Dixmont farm to grow organic produce; deciding cycles of crop rotation; mixed reactions of locals to the back-to-the-land crowd; and her history of involvement with MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair. Text: 32 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1913 / CD 2222 60 minutes.

2631 Tom Roberts, interviewed by James Moreira, September 24, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Roberts talks about moving to Maine; reasons they would have preferred Vermont; back-to-the-land movement; move to organic farming; early years of MOFGA; building a stone house inspired by the Nearings; farm life as a hippie commune; marketing and buying natural and organic food in Boston; organizing cooperative marketing with other Maine farmers; marketing strategies; challenges of producing blueberries organically; relationships with local community and other organic farmers; pest control for organic farmers; interaction with consumers at farmer’s markets; marketing strategies; economics of chemical vs. organic agriculture; involvement with MOFGA; and benefits of third party certification. Text: 31 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1914, CD 2175 1 hour.

2632 Will Brinton, interviewed by Pamela Dean, September 23, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Brinton talks about his family’s garden when he was growing upper; his father’s bread; moving to Maine; social, agricultural, and environmental activism in the 1960s and 1970s; studying agriculture at the University of Maine; his mentors, including the Nearings, Benjamin and Marjory Spock, and Rachel Carson; early involvement with MOFGA; his soil testing laboratory; involvement in the Common Ground Fair; introduction of large-scale composting; school composting programs; biotechnology; and conflicts between technological culture and natural living. Text: 26 pages (incomplete?) transcript. Recording: C 1915, CD 2216 1 hour.

2633 Sue Sergeant, interviewed by James Moreira, September 24, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Sergeant discusses moving to Maine; sources of involvement in organic farming; growth of her organic farm; pest control; involvement with MOFGA and her local chapter; MOFGA organic certification; involvement with the Common Ground Fair; and growing for a farmer’s market. Text: 26 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1916 1 hour.

2634 Mort Mather, interviewed by Pamela Dean, September 22, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Mather talks about his career as a stage manager in New York and Ogunquit, Maine; moving to Maine and becoming a subsistence farmer; relationship with local community; harvesting wheat with a combine vs. a scythe; involvement in MOFGA; spreading manure from a pickup truck and the manure pitch at the Common Ground Fair; market gardening; and his feelings about the Common Ground Fair. Text: 22 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1917 1 hour.

2635 Cynthia Thayer, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 22, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Thayer discusses moving to Maine to become a farmer; her organic farm; composting; relationship with local community; involvement with MOFGA; farm apprentices; certification; involvement with the Wednesday Spinners at the Common Ground Fair; and changes in her farming lifestyle over time. Text: 21 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1918 1 hour.

2636 Deb Soule, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 23, 2000 at the Common Ground Fair in Thorndike, Maine. Topics covered include how she started gardening in her youth; how she educated herself in the use of herbs; meeting Helen and Scott Nearing; how Adele Dawson influenced her life; her meeting with Juliette de Bairacli Levy; working with Doug Elliot in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina; working with Ed Smith and Sarah Katz of Herb Pharm in Oregon; beginning to make tinctures, salves and oils and selling at the Common Ground Fair; starting up Avena Botanicals; some of the organic herbs she grew; wild-crafting or collecting wild herbs and lichens; biodynamic farming; how she manages her business; teaching and writing; her relationship with MOFGA; Tilth; and what she sees for her future. Text: 24 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1919 / CD 2173 1 hour.

2637 Roberta Bailey, interviewed by Elizabeth Hedler, September 23, 2000, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Topics discussed include Bailey’s move to Maine; how she began gardening and preserving garden produce; becoming involved with the Maine Organic Farmer’s and Gardener’s Association; activities of her chapter in the 1970s and 1980s; grafting and growing fruit trees; seed saving; running a food concession at the Common Ground Fair (Better Hummus and Gardens); relationship with local people; writing on cooking and gardening for MOFGA publications; experience of the fair; plant breeding for Fedco seed company; propagating fruit trees; genetically modified organisms and organic agriculture; growing seeds for Fedco. Text: 15 pp. partial transcript. Recording: C 1920 1 hour.

2674 Martha Gottleib, interviewed by James Moreira, September 22, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Gottleib talks about moving to Maine for a better education for her children; joining MOFGA out of a shared identity with its members; the Summerhill system style school her children attended when they came to Maine; meeting the Nearings; tensions between native Mainers and back-to-the-land people; early work with MOFGA; growing and selling garlic; her involvement in a worldwide seed exchange program; the changes at the Common Ground Fair in recent years and some people’s dissatisfaction with them; her views on the Common Ground Fair’s sociopolitical importance; and the direction MOFGA should take in the future. Text: 55 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1967, CD 2174 90 minutes.

2675 Susan Belding, interviewed by James Moreira, September 23, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Belding talks about her farm; her father as a gardener and a physician; how she got into organic farming in Maine; growing flowers for market; seed saving; genetically modified seeds for flowers and ornamental plants; economic development of the farm, including the shift to a farm stand; involvement with MOFGA; pest and weed control and crop rotation in organically grown ornamentals; issues surrounding non-native plants taking over, and poisonous plants and seeds; flower arrangements for weddings; selling seeds by mail order; children and the farm; being a vendor at the Common Ground Fair farmer’s market; genetically modified organisms as an issue for organic agriculture; relationships between organic farmer and “regular” farmers; and specific problems of genetically modified organisms in the ornamental market. Text: 36 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1968 1 hour.

2676 John Belding, interviewed by Pamela Dean, September 23, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Belding talks about his interest in Forestry which led him to study it in college and move to Maine; how he went from surveyor to also being a farmer; raising farm animals such as goats, cattle, pigs and chickens; selling organic produce at his farm stand starting at 1990; preparing his land in Lovell from overgrown to farm-ready; involvement in MOFGA and the Common Ground fair; growth of the organic farming movement; his work as farmer’s market coordinator; the MOFGA apprenticeship program; division of labor amongst his family; and government subsidies and other problems farmers face. Text: 33 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1969 50 minutes.

2677 Bonnie Rukin Miller, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 22, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Miller discusses moving to Maine; her organic farm; running a farm school; creating a farm community; development of her farm; Sandhill Farms Day Camp; farm apprentices and farm managers; crops grown; pick-your-own organic strawberries; selling vegetables, flour made from their organically grown grain, and other products at farmer’s markets and the Common Ground Fair; her husband’s background and work in forestry; raising sheep for wool and meat; involvement in MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair; MOFGA as a community; financial aspects of farm life; and the future of MOFGA. Text: 28 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1970 1 hour.

2682 C. R. Lawn, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 22, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Lawn discusses the history of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; moving to Maine in the early 1970s as part of the back-to-the-land movement; selling produce in the late 1970s; participating in co-ops; beginning FEDCO seed co-op; growth of FEDCO; bringing FEDCO to the Common Ground Fair; agricultural vendors’ dispute with MOFGA in the early 90s; becoming MOFGA treasurer; changes he instituted; challenges facing MOFGA in 2001; need for an alternative food system; concerns about MOFGA’s financial self-reliance; difficulties with organic certification; and seed trials for FEDCO. Text: 47 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1976.

2683 Russell Libby, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 23, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Libby discusses the history of MOFGA; how he got involved in organic farming; starting his farm in 1984; serving on the MOFGA board beginning in 1983; growth of organic farming; role of agriculture in local communities; MOFGA’s role building networks; building credibility over time; and managing growth. Text: 25 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1977.

2684 Rosey Guest, interviewed by Pamela Dean, September 21, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine, about the history of MOFGA. Recording: C 1978.

2685 Chaitanya York, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. York talks about growing up in the Androscoggin River Valley on her grandparent’s farm; her grandfather teaching her sustainable and organic farming practices back in the early 1950s; his college years in New York City and Portland; organizing chapters in Knox and Lincoln counties in the early days of MOFGA, circa 1970, later moving up to other positions that decade; his role in the creation of the Common Ground Fair; fundraising the $10,000 for the first fair; organizing and finding a location for that first fair; some stories about how that first fair went; and how he’s been involved since stepping down as fair director. Text: 54 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1979 / CD 2223 (2 CD set) 90 minutes.

2686 Bill Whitman, interviewed by Elizabeth Hedler, September 21, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Whitman talks about his family history and their Maine farm; involvement in MOFGA; organic farming as outgrowth of traditional farm life; the beginnings of the Maine Festival and the Common Ground Fair; volunteering for the Common Ground Fair; first fair in 1977; security for the early years of the fair; Windsor fairgrounds; advantages of owning the fairground; coordinating the Common Kitchen that feeds fair volunteers; getting the food for the Common Kitchen; Litchfield fair grounds; changes in the fair; changes in kitchen equipment for the Common Kitchen; influence of Common Ground on other Maine fairs; and the manure pitch. Text: 41 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1980 1 hour.

2687 Photographs from MOFGA, 1999-2004. Photos: P08904 – P08921, P08930- P08944, P08946 – P08952.

2688 Rob Johnston, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 22, 2001, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine, about Johnny’s Selected Seeds, the company he founded in 1973. Topics discussed include his move to Maine in 1974; buying his farm in Albion, Me. in 1975; looking for heirloom, short season seeds and other rare and imported seeds; the growth of the business; the development of various seed lines such as Baby Bear pumpkins and Lipstick red peppers; adding tools to the list of products they sell; the importance of customer feedback; comparison of Johnny’s with Burpees; social and cultural changes in the 1980s that undercut the organic, back-to-the-land ethos; hiring a manager; involvement with MOFGA and views on its future. Text: 48 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1981 1 hour.

3062 Cathy Reynolds, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Reynolds talks about growing up in the Gorham and Orono, Maine areas, and New Jersey after being born in Morocco, Africa (her father was stationed there in Navy); moving to Bowdoinham once she got married; getting involved in farming and raising animals, esp. sheep; people’s misconceptions about animals, esp. farm animals; how she became involved in MOFGA by attending one of the fairs; her responsibilities as the Livestock Coordinator; how the Steering Committee and coordinators prepare for the yearly fair; insurance problems both the fair and those wishing to participate face; problems faced with coordinating and running the fair; livestock shows and people who demonstrate them at the fair; rare breeds she hopes to bring to the fair in the future and other long-term goals. Text: 18 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2106 50 minutes.

3063 Jean English, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2002, Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. English talks about moving to Lincolnville, Maine in 1985; looking for and buying tillable land; farm budgets based on the Nearings model; having children; growing nursery crops for FEDCO; the specifics of growing bayberries; moving from farming to writing as a primary source of income; volunteering with MOFGA; becoming editor of the MOFGA newspaper; how the MOFGA newspaper has changed over the years; hopes for the newspaper’s future; the effects of genetic engineering on food and the environment; pest control; the purpose of MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair; the possibility of book publication; the connection MOFGA cultivates with the University of Maine; and the Maine State Grange. Text: 22 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2107 45 minutes.

3064 Richard Dickey, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 20, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Dickey discusses the Common Ground Fair; getting involved ca. 1980; changes when the fair moved from Litchfield to Windsor; attitude of the citizens of Windsor; the importance of the fair for consumers; the fair as an institution; and his favorite memories of the fair. Text: 14 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2108.

3065 William “Bill” Thayer and Amanda Caron, interviewed by James Moreira, September 20, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Thayer talks about early life in Massachusetts; being in the insurance business in Boston; moving to Gouldsboro, Maine in 1977 and into a 10-room farmhouse on 33 acres; getting into farming; his farming practices with livestock, which included sheep, pigs, cows, turkeys and chickens; vegetable gardening; selling and buying straw from Canada; MOFGA farm apprenticeship program and his role as coordinator with Cynthia Thayer in the 1980s; spinning and weaving wool; sheep quality; Wednesdays Spinners group; Cynthia Thayer’s novel 10 Great Writers; working pony demonstrations; organic farmers and farming; marketing organic products; soil testing; obstacles of organic farming; mail-order business and catalog; the farm store they opened ca. 1995; Caron describes being an apprentice for Darthia Farm; attending the Putney School in Vermont, which is on a working farm and how she got interested in the apprenticeship program through the Darthia Farm web page; what impact it had on her and its benefits; a brief description of her seasonal duties including logging and harvesting and wood, splitting firewood, carding and spinning wool; gaining a broad foundation of skills, self-sufficiency and alternative living; Bennington College in Vermont. Text: 33 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2109.

3066 Jill Breen, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 22, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Breen talks about the choice to move to Troy, Maine, instead of Vermont in 1972; the attraction of organic farming as a way of life; apprenticing on a vegetable farm; moving to St. Albans, Maine; becoming a midwife; financial hardship; apprenticing as a means of learning a trade; the “Birth Tent” at the Common Ground Fair; isolation from the local community in Central Maine; raising children; meeting people in a rural community; operating a booth at the Common Ground Fair; and growing and selling organic melons with husband Peter DeBethune. Text: 15 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2110, CD 2174 30 minutes.

3067 Theresa Hoffman, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 20, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Hoffman talks about being a Maine native and member of the Penobscot Tribe; becoming staff geologist for the Penobscot Nation at Indian Island; formation of the corporation of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA) in 1993; an invitation from the folk arts area at the Common Ground Fair to do demonstrations of basketmaking and Native Arts; the Native American Festival at College of the Atlantic; she talks briefly about baskets and traditional arts; MIBA association with the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine; the tools used to make the baskets; some history of basketmaking and signature style of baskets; Hoffman talks about her perspective of MOFGA and its mission; the economic development of basketmaking; the education of the general public about the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes; the association with Folk Arts; the Wabanaki Arts Center Gallery in Old Town, Maine; development of an online website; her favorite memory of the fair being the young drummers. Text: 11 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2111.

3068 Marie Hickey, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 20, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Hickey begins by outlining her current role at MOFGA; why she came to Maine and how she got connected to MOFGA; her involvement with the children’s area of the fair and being coordinator for 20 years; her perspective of the purpose of the Common Ground Fair; educational aspects of the fair; activities for children at the fair; future plans in the children’s area; recruiting volunteers; sustainable lifestyles definition; making stilts for children; impact of the fair on the state; and the importance of childhood education. Text: 10 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2112.

3069 Glenn Dewitt, interviewed by James Moreira, September 22, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Dewitt speaks about his involvement with MOFGA; moving from West Pennsylvania to Dresden, Maine; his career in the Navy; his uncle’s pig farm in Pennsylvania; working at the Bath shipyard; raising rare breed and meat chickens naturally; naturally versus unnaturally raised livestock; free-ranging versus caging practices; his involvement with the Common Ground Fair; working as an associate livestock director for Kathy Reynolds; his interest in antique tractors; operating the antique tractor shuttle at the Common Ground Fair; antique tractors he owns, including John Deeres, McCormicks, and Olivers; using biodiesel versus regular diesel; differences in machine operation when using biodiesel; new technologies; old lead lubricant fuel; NOS; repair parts; recovering old tractors; restoration of antique tractors; the Old Windsor Fair; mule and donkey teams versus horse teams; mule farmers Bob Crichton of Berwick and Neils Sabatine of Whitefield; the value of the MOFGA fair; future changes Dewitt would like to see to the fair; his participation in the Farmington summer festival featuring antique tractors and machines; the dangers involved with antique machinery operation; and old versus new technologies. Text: 16 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2113.

3070 Susan Pierce, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 22, 2002, at the Commom Ground Fair, Unity, Maine. Pierce recounts her experiences as fair director; reasons for moving to Maine; her education at the University of Maine at Farmington in Early Childhood Education; working in agriculture in California in the 1970s; reasons for accepting the MOFGA fair director position; her early years as director; establishing a steering committee and planning team; early issues with the Common Ground Fair; negotiations with the Windsor Fairgrounds; stable cash flow concerns; the evolution of the Common Ground Fair; committee member Ham Robbins; site surveyor Jan Salibee; choosing and maintaining the site; budgeting; planning; acclimating herself to MOFGA goals; promoting MOFGA; fair expansion; fair guidelines and criteria; the move to serving organic food at the fair; the connection between local growers and vendors; parking; management; Dave Kenard’s sheepdog demonstration; livestock director Kathy Reynolds; problem solving; cooperation; social connections; Obi Bule, handler of the recycling area; and fair goers Julia and Tristan Plum. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2114 / CD 2224.

3071 Peggy Heigold Strong, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 19, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Strong speaks about moving from Connecticut to Maine; attending Bates College; MOFGA and the Common Ground Fair; working for future husband Matthew Strong at his egg roll stand; food vendors Steve Aucoin and Tom St. John; food guidelines; her experiences as craft area coordinator; past coordinator Wendy Dumont; craft area concerns, including security, parking, electricity, and stock; craft jurors and their appointment process; craft judging; new criteria she would like implemented; vendors Susan Sherman and Tom Opper; changes over time; her experiences as a member of and chairman of the steering committee; the Maine Business Area offshoot of the craft area at the Common Ground Fair; problems in the crafts area with vendors; anti-institutionalism; personal craft projects; sign painting with Sara Brandon and Joan Sheldon; sign painting workshops; making banners for the different areas; the feasibility of acquiring new buildings either through construction or donation of preexisting ones; worker Nancy Rache; permanent sites for film, folk arts, and the blacksmith shop; volunteerism. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2115 1 hour.

3072 Matthew Strong, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 19, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Strong speaks about his experiences as an egg roll vendor at the Common Ground and Blue Hill Fairs; his history of making leather clothing and furniture; food preparation guidelines; joining the steering committee as food co-coordinator; MOFGA’s goals; fair expansion; common vendor complaints; selling his business; food vendor applications; his MOFGA involvement; MOFGA and politics; changes in MOFGA; attendance numbers for the Common Ground Fair; continuous homestead, orchard, gardens, and compost exhibits; and his favorite memories of the Common Ground Fair and his involvement with MOFGA. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2116 1 hour.

3073 Tim Nason, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 20, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Nason speaks about moving to Maine from Massachusetts; returning to a more traditional way of life; growing their own food and raising their own livestock; learning organic farming from his neighbors and books; opening and operating a natural foods store in Kennebunkport, Maine; MOFGA and the Maine Extension Service; becoming editor of the MOFGA newsletter; rural skills; MOFGA as an activist organization; MOFGA’s future; the Food Co-op Movement; becoming involved in democratic politics; Chellie Pingree and Common Cause; genetic engineering; the Conservation Commission; expanding MOFGA to new audiences; and the need for aggressive marketing. Text: 12 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2117 1 hour.

3074 Richard Silliboy, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Silliboy speaks about moving from Gouldsboro, Maine, to Aroostook County; his mother Mary; tribal affiliation with the Presque Isle Micmacs; working at the Basket Bank Store in Presque Isle, Maine; making and selling Native American baskets; serving as the Economic Development Coordinator for the Basket Bank; problems finding wood and supplies for basketry; basketmakers Marlene, Robina, Donald and Mary Senapass, and Abe and Sarah Lunn; costs of baskets; difficulties with exposure and marketing; shows at the malls in New Hampshire and Maine, the Common Ground Fair, and festivals; joining the Basket Alliance; opening a store in Houlton, Maine, after applying for a loan from Finance Authority; purchasing baskets from Nova Scotia and Quebec; basketmakers Steven Aize, Peter Baldwin, Ruby Skillinger, Jeremy Fray, Peter Neptune, and Molly Nepture Parker; selling baskets at the Common Ground Fair; the development of the Native Arts tent; colleagues Betsy Hart and Martha Motley; serving as co-coordinator of the steering committee; his mother, Mary Silliboy, selling baskets to Fog’s Hardware Store; exposure for artists; earning money doing traditional Native American crafts; bringing workshops to Maine’s Native communities; the dying off of basketmaking elders; increases in the number of young basketmakers; starting language workshops on Native reservations in Maine; moving baskets; baskets as conversation pieces in the home; participation in the Common Ground Fair; and cultural continuance of Native Americans. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2118 45 minutes.

3075 Benjamin Wilcox, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Wilcox talks about his ownership with Tom Roberts of Part and Parcel Farm; being a baby boomer; changes in economics over the last thirty years; higher education via the G.I. Bill; getting his degree in architecture; moving to Maine from California; the Deerings’ “Living the Good Life” and Elliott Porter’s “Summer Islands;” building boats in Wiscasset; settling in Dixmont as a homesteader and opening Piecemeal Farm; subsistence as an organic farmer; wage rates in Maine versus those in California; living in relative poverty; Rob Johnson of Johnny’s Selected Seeds; problems with cash flow; Farmer’s Markets in Newport, Skowhegan, Brewer, Belfast, and Camden, Maine; transporting Maine goods to Chelsea Market in Boston, Massachusetts; support for growers; coordinating the Atlantic Co-op Supply; Tom Roberts of Moose Produce and Fed Co; phosphate as a fertilizer; experiences with the Common Ground Fair; difficulties as an organic farmer; opening the Farmer’s Market at the Common Ground Fair in 1988; fair expansion; wholesaling; serving as the middle man; supply and demand in organic farming; retailing; marketing strategies for organic farmers; being self-sufficient as an organic farmer; economization; farm development; training employees; MOFA and MOFGA conferences; colleague Ellie Coleman; obstacles to organic farming; MOFGA’s expansion; the future of organic farming; reasons for growing his own food; and the evolution of MOFGA. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2119 1 hour.

3076 Wes Daniel, interviewed by Jamie Moreira, September 19, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Recording: C 2120.

3077 Anu Dudley, interviewed by Jamie Moreira, September 19, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. The interview focuses on her 25 years as coordinator for the traditional arts section of the Fair. Text: 24 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2121 45 minutes.

3078 Frank Heller, interviewed by Jamie Moreira, September 20, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Heller speaks about his birth on June 20, 1939, in Queens, New York City; serving as a director of public policy, alcohol and drug education, and Headstart; moving to Maine; consulting; opening an organic bakery; employees Patty Dyera, Bruce, and Peter Lynn; bread recipes; medieval black bread; Milwaukee rye; Parkview nutritionist Helga Bloomquist; Jacques Gallila of Hushahar Bakery; wheat mills; growing up in an organic family; watering fruit trees with blood; organic lecturer Roy Dale; Christina’s Bakery; experiences with the Common Ground Fair; cooking as an art form; the Sprout Wizard; the French technique of ‘serfing’ bread; handmade cookie cutters; marketing via word of mouth; colleagues Albey Barden, Mike Castell, and Dave Berry; problems with gardening; Nick Burnett of the Old Port Bakehouse; contamination and organic produce; criteria for organic production; entrepreneurship; ‘washing’ baked goods; entrepreneur and billionaire Pritham Singh; serving on the development and food committees at the Common Ground Fair; running a business; Maine organic produce; creating a market; and vendors at the Common Ground Fair. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2122 1 hour.

3079 Ken Horn, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 20, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Horn speaks about how he came to live in Maine; serving as a combat crew member of B-52s in Limestone; organic farming; how he was affected by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring; the lack of information available from the Extension Service; becoming an information provider for organic farming; contacts Bob Johnson of Johnny’s Seeds and Ben Wilcox; Charlie Gould of the Knox County Extension Office; forming the Maine Organic Farmer’s and Gardener’s Association; crop successes and disappointments; the influence of Rodale; conference members Chaitanya York and Jim Ruthy; the Rodale Conference in Pennsylvania; meeting vegetable specialist Willy Earhart; his wife, Bobbie Horn; putting together Natural Gardening with Willy Earhart and Lyle Littlefield in the 1970s; owning and operating the first certified organic farm in Plymouth, Maine; local chapters of MOFGA; reasons for deciding to sell his farm; a student internship program with Antioch College of Yellow Springs, Ohio; restarting the Farmer’s Market of Bangor, Maine; promoting MOFGA; their neighbors’ reactions to organic farming; his opposition to genetically modified plants and GMOs; sustainable agriculture; the Federal Government’s involvement in organic agriculture; the credibility of MOFGA; raising awareness of MOFGA. Text: 21 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2123 45 minutes.

3089 Beedy Parker, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Parker discusses Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; joining MOFGA in the late 1970s; pesticide control in the state legislature in the 80s; starting the Common Ground Fair parade; the Public Policy Committee; MOFGA calling attention to how food is produced; the importance of marketing and staying small-scale; tension between the MOFGA office and the Common Ground Fair; and her favorite memories of the fair. Text: 31 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2133 1 hour.

3090 Bob Martin, interviewed by Jamie Moreira, September 21, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Martin talks about his involvement with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; his interest in organic gardening in the early 1970s; his trial garden experiences; country kitchen demos at the fair; local reception of back-to-the-landers; growing melons in Maine; information booth at the fair; why the Common Ground Fair is unique; how the fair has changed in its relationship to MOFGA; growing gladiolas; and his favorite memories of the fair. Text: 34 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2134 1 hour.

3091 Ham Robbins, interviewed by Jamie Moriera, September 22, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Robbins discusses his involvement with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; evolution of MOFGA’s decision to take on a mortgage for land; issues with vendors who misrepresented themselves for access to the fair; development of the fair committee; his work with the fair’s medical tent; common medical issues at the fair; the value of the Common Ground Fair; becoming litigation-aware; safety issues that must be watched for; an incident with panicked sheep; and the first aid system at the fair. Text: 8 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2132 45 minutes.

3098 Allen Ray Powell, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, September 22, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Powell discusses Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Common Ground Fair; how he got involved with MOFGA in 1975; planning the first fair; his interest in organic farming; his business enterprises in the 1970s; Common Ground Fair as a fundraiser; selling his food at the fair; Maine Healing Arts Festival; and being kicked out of the Common Ground Fair. Text: 36 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2136.

3256 Donald E. Lipfert, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 24th, 2004, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Lipfert discusses moving to Maine from Connecticut; buying a farm with an interest in organic farming; joining a local chapter of MOFGA in Woolwich; how the Common Ground Fair was initiated as a fund-raiser to pay the wages of MOFGA staff members; his insight as MOFGA president for 2 years in the ‘80s, including the financial considerations that led to the movement of the fair from Litchfield to Windsor to Unity; stories about changes in MOFGA over the years, including a policy change allowing the Executive Director to hire his/her own staff members, and the addition of a Technical Director of the fair; MOFGA’s failed attempts to advocate for the Maine Food Policy in the Maine Legislature; MOFGA’s continuing influence on conventional Maine farmers by means of education about sustainable agriculture. Text: 26 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2367 1 1/2 hours.

3257 Richard Kipp, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 25th, 2004, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Kipp discusses being transferred by the Navy from his home in Wisconsin to the Brunswick Naval Air Station; his interest energy efficiency and machines at the Common Ground Fair that lead him to volunteer every year from 1980-1988; joining the Grounds Committee to plan for the move from Windsor to Unity; taking over the official Grounds Maintenance job and his vision for the fairgrounds to focus in on outreach and educating young people about the importance of independent/organic agriculture; changes MOFGA has made to become more inclusive of the general public; stories about grounds maintenance changes over the 20 year time span he was there; his future ideas for the fairgrounds to bring in year-round income such as camping and an indoor horse rink; several of his fondest fair memories; his childhood memories of Wisconsin agriculture. Text: 15 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2368 40 minutes.

3258 Joan Lipfert, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 24, 2004, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Lipfert discusses moving to Maine 40 years ago with her husband and getting started organic farming; joining the Sagadahoc chapter of MOFGA; volunteering at the Common Ground Fair by managing the craft tent; perceived changes in MOFGA and the fair such as better education about organic farming and the hazards of pesticides; an internal MOFGA Board conflict and its resolution; the importance of the Agriculture in the Classroom Program; MOFGA’s apprentice program; her favorite memories of the fair. Text: 16 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2369 50 minutes approx.

3259 Joanna Lindeu, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 24, 2004, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Lindeu discusses moving to Maine and the years she spent working with food cooperatives; how she helped initiate the Fedco Seed Company; her years working for Fedco; her work for MOFGA as one of the Food Coordinators at the Common Ground Fair for 10 years, including the fair’s use of organic foods & the organic food movement; being on the Board of MOFGA for 7 years as the liaison for the fair’s Steering Committee; she talks about internal decisions of the MOFGA board, including the decision to move the fair grounds from Windsor to Unity; her how her interest in Chinese medicine led her to become licensed in acupuncture and herbal medicine. Text: 24 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2370.

3260 Ralph “Porcupine” Bishop, interviewed by Anu Dudley on September 24, 2004, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Porcupine discusses how he discovered & learned the Native American art-form of the insertion of porcupine quills upon birch bark objects; his life’s work of practicing of the art and its nationwide popularity; his years of instruction, encouragement, and public demonstration at the fair and various other places; experimenting with natural and chemical color dyes; the complexities and intricacies of quill and bark design; how he finds and fashions his materials: bark, quills, and spruce root; various notable works that he has done for people; his 23 years coming to the fair and his perceptions of the changes that have taken place. Text: 31 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2371 1 hour.

3261 Amos Alley, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 20, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Alley talks about the Common Ground Fair; his involvement with the fair’s parking beginning in 1984; parking coordination at the Windsor location; problems with people bringing pets; parking capacity at Unity fairgrounds; working with volunteers; effects of the fair; his hopes for the future of the fairgrounds; and what he likes about the fair. Text: 28 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2137.

3262 Ellis Percy, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 20, 2002, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Percy discusses Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Common Ground Fair; moving to Maine as part of the back-to-the-land movement in the mid 1970s; getting involved in MOFGA through being a vendor at the fair; his leadership roles; criteria used during the search for a new fairground; finding and purchasing the Unity property; his hopes for the future of the fairgrounds; and the importance of MOFGA. Text: 23 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2138 45 minutes.

3263 Flo Drake, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2002. Drake talks about the beginnings of the Common Ground Fair. Text: 2 pp. transcript. Recording: C 2139 10 minutes.

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Maine Folklife Center
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