G-LOG * G-Logging * Gould Logging

September 25, 2007

You may think it’s Tuesday, but it’s MOON-Day! Happy Moon Day! Ch’usok! Zhong Qiu Jie! Moon Day is a celebration of family, of harvest, and of thanks-giving in several Asian countries. At midnight families gather outside to look at the full harvest moon and to offer thanks to their ancestors. Happy Moon Day.

It feels like I’ve been away from my Gould home for almost the entire week. My weeks are no longer measured Monday to Sunday, it’s GLOG Tuesday to GLOG Tuesday. Last GLOG Tuesday I had Trapper Keepers on my mind, and this GLOG Tuesday I have the Common Ground Fair on my mind. A warning- most of this entry is centered around the fair (we were there Thursday through Sunday). Gould and its Farm and Forest program were well represented at the fair.

This weekend was the 30th annual Common Ground Country Fair. The fair is a celebration of local and organic products and foods, all created in the state of Maine. Just about everything you can buy at the fair was produced entirely in the state using organic and sustainable methods of production. If you buy a hot Italian sausage, you can count on the fact that it’s organic sausage, made from local pigs, and that the peppers and onions on top were grown organically in the state of Maine. Even the ketchup is made from local and organic tomatoes. The food is outstanding and, unlike other fair-food, I feel like it’s healthy (I know, fried dough is still fried dough, and local organic whipped cream has just as much fat as other whipped cream… but it doesn’t have partially hydrogenated palm oil and other things that I can’t pronounce and won’t attempt to spell). I could go on about the incredible food, but that’s not why we were there.

A few years ago, after doing a horselogging workshop with MOFGA, I joined a group of people who are developing and maintaining programs that educate people and support low impact forestry (LIF) practices (or it can be thought of as positive impact forestry). Much of the focus has been on long-term forest health and on the use of horses and oxen in woodlot management.

I spent much of the 3 days of the fair in the woods pulling logs with the horses. We also offered informational sessions about horse training, draft work with horses, harness fitting, and basic horse anatomy as it relates to work.

We spoke with many Gould alums, current and past parents, current and past faculty (Ms Fries and Mr Davis!) and prospective students at our Gould booth (the stall). Some of the most recent alums were former Farm Proctors, Renzo and Fitz. Both seem to be doing very well.

Sunday Beccah and Rosemary, current Farm Proctors came by to help. Beccah helped in the wood lot by hitching and unhitching wood as our horses moved it from a portable mill to a new bridge site. Beccah and Rosemary also fielded hundreds, perhaps thousands, of questions from fair visitors!

Current student and accomplished musician, Jeff L. came and made music. I didn’t hear him play at the fair, but you can check out his band, Free Seedlings. Jeff is the one with the mandolin. We also saw recent graduate and Dartmouth sophomore, George N. and his sisters, current students Frances and Lydia. Their family is very involved with the Native American Basketmakers Alliance. They are a Passamaquoddy family from northern Maine. The tradition of basket making has been passed to Molly’s grandchildren and also to the Gould community through their involvement with the Sophomore 4 point program.

So here I am, back in Gehring and back at our farm, back on the West Side of campus. Although the weather is warm today, fall is on its way. The tips of our sugar maples are turning color and our apples are crisp and juicy. Check out the view from the barn driveway this morning.

Until next week… keep reading GLOGGERS!

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