Another Common Ground Fair comes and goes leaving me smiling, dreaming and planning already for the next growing season. Here's what I know from just a few hours in paradise (a/k/a Unity, Maine):
Tamarack balm heals. Ray Reitze – author, teacher, naturalist, Master Maine guide – passed some around at his talk "Plants & Trees for Herbal Medicine". A few hours later my sore cracked finger was cured. Really. His balm recipe was shared but requires waiting until the sap rises in February. Anyone know where I can get some now?
Good Karma Farm's Hippy Hippy Shake is a very good soap but Citrus Clove Clay is certainly THE BEST. Ran out of cash before I saw their gorgeous yarn.
Bette Davis Eyes (worst song of the 80s?) now might just be the greatest song ever...but ONLY if the Toughcats are covering it.
Compost is garden gold. Raised beds deliver more food in less space with less work. This from the master, Ed Smith. After Smith's talk I purchased his Vegetable Gardener's Bible (LOVE IT) and scored a free copy of MaryJanesFarm (thanks, Lyman's Farm Store!). Santa, I want a broad fork and some manure for Christmas, pleeeeeeeeeease.
Apparently I'm growing a medicine chest in my backyard. Berry trend du jour: Elderberry. There are claims that even Dr. Oz (of Oprah fame) is recommending it for warding off colds and flu.
Toki Cards are my kryptonite. Every year I buy more and every year people ask me where I got their cute birthday card. How could anyone resist "Squirrel Tea Party"?
Composting toilets are a great old idea. I want one and I want a root cellar. Not necessarily in that order, or near each other. Talks on how to construct both were offered.
If you need an old reliable for your seed garlic Harry Brown's Pink Musical Garlic is the one.
I probably shouldn't raise livestock, although I threaten it every spring – the garden needs the manure. Visiting the animal fairgrounds fed that yen enough for now.
Better festival food than this does not exist. Fried shiitake mushrooms...NOT greasy, just crispy. Umami mia, they were tasty! Onto a Maple's Cardamom Ginger Milkshake – even better than I remembered, like drinking a chai cloud. Heaping platters of fresh potato crisps doused in Sewall's organic cider vinegar. (In a spray bottle. Neat!) Tried to hit Maple's one last time – Spiced Pumpkin was calling to me – but the line was about 30 deep ALL AFTERNOON LONG. No worries, my true favorite was waiting just beyond the Pine Gate – Woody, I.M.H.O., outshines all ice cream makers anywhere else in Maine. Tiger Tongues all around please! (If you have to ask then you better try him next year.)
Not enough time in the day or in the weekend. There's always next year.