Sunday, September 22, 2013

Common Ground Fair

Ellen and I went over to Maine this past weekend. We stayed with Jim and Mary in Hope and then on Saturday we all went to the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine - sponsored by the Maine Organic Growers Association. What a great fair! We went to several presentations, including Will Bonsall on What Forests and Prairies Can Teach Us, Sandor Katz on Fermentation, and Jim Bahoosh on Small Houses and Vaughn Woodruff on Navigating Renewable Energy Sources. These were all very interesting, but I found the one on fermentation especially so. 

Here's a little taste of fermentation, so to speak: 

Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious. Microscopic organisms – our ancestors and allies – transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy. Many of your favorite foods and drinks are probably fermented. For instance: Bread, Cheese, Wine, Beer, Mead, Cider, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Salami, Miso, Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha.

There were several other presentations I would have liked to go to, including Home Burial How-To, but  there was no time. I was able to collect helpful information instead. I also watched demos on making doughnuts over an open campfire and woodsplitting, caught a little bit of the Women With Wings a cappella group singing, and of course had some yummy food from some of the many food vendors. Ellen visited the yarn tent, of course. The weather was perfect and we had a great time.

Will Bonsall

One of Jim Bahoosh's small houses

Sandor Katz
We came home from Maine today (Sunday); I went to Chorale rehearsal this evening, and right now Ellen and I are doing a night vigil with our friend, John Nissen, who is terminally ill with cancer and is in the Center for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington, VT.  John wakes up and calls out in the night and it's good to be here so we can answer and get him what he wants. Having Ellen and me here for a night gives his wife Mary and son Mark a little break. We've helped set up a Caring Bridge site for John. Just go to and put in the name "John Nissen", and you'll get some background.

Sleep well, John!

John with his grandson, Julian

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