The Common Ground Fair for beginners: 2018 edition

It’s my favorite time of year! I love when the leaves begin to turn, the temperatures finally cool, and the Common Ground Fair begins!

Last year, I wrote about how overwhelming the Common Ground Fair can be for beginners. It’s easy to see how someone just getting started with farming, gardening, or homesteading might feel a little overwhelmed at all the amazingness the Common Ground Fair has to offer. So I wrote with some tips and recommended some sessions that looked great for the beginner.

image of baby pig

Photo credit: Christopher Carson, Unsplash

This year, I’m back with my list, only I have great news! I’m presenting this year at the Fair as well. Read on to find my recommendations for beginners and to see what my session will offer. I hope you will join me!

Recommended Friday Sessions for Beginners

9:00 AM Goat Milking Demonstration

Because so many people consider goats for small farms and homesteads, it would be awesome to check out a demonstration and see how they are milked. I am hoping to be there in time for this one!

10:00 AM Answers to Your Organic Gardening Questions

Getting started with a good organic garden is a good way to get a homestead started. Being able to ask an expert some key questions about organic gardening will be helpful to anyone but especially beginners.

12:00 PM Sustainable Gardening for Beginners

This is my session! I’ll have an emphasis on gardening with chickens, but I’ll give you tips on saving money and being good to your soil. I’m covering everything from seed saving to chicken poop composting.

1:00 PM The Manageable Family Garden

This session will offer tips on keeping your garden manageable and setting goals for what you and your family need. This is a great session for beginners.

4:00 PM Intro to Vermicomposting

Because it’s really all about building your soil, this seems like a great session. The speaker will show how to build a worm bin for less than $15.

Recommended Saturday Sessions for Beginners

9:00 AM Getting Started with Bees

Because bees! I’m really wanting to get into bees, and after researching about the health benefits of raw honey, I’m ready to get our own bees. If you’ve been thinking about bees for your homestead, this one is a must.

10:00 AM Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener

Seed saving is so much fun and will save you money. This session looks like it would be a great help for beginners.

11:00 AM Goats for Beginners

Because if you’ve been thinking about goats (and we all are), this will be a helpful session.

1:00 PM Homesteading 101: What Not to Do

I think I really could have used this session a few years ago. It looks to be super helpful for beginning homesteaders.

2:00 PM Using Green Manures in the Garden or on the Farm

Again, because it’s all about the soil, this seems like a great session with some helpful information on using plants to enrich your soil.

Recommended Sunday Sessions for Beginners

9:30 AM Everything Is a Compost Pile

Composting is such an important part of our homesteading practices, so this should be a helpful session.

11:00 AM The Reality of Raising Your Own Meat

If you are considering raising animals for food, I highly recommend a session like this. There is so much to consider when raising animals for meat.

1:00 PM Backyard Grain Growing

I think it would be pretty awesome to grow our own grains. If you think so too, this seems like a helpful session.

2:00 PM Growing Grapes in Maine

Grapes seem to grow well around here and are a great addition to your backyard homestead.

3:00 PM Favorite Apples for the Home Orchard

Because apple trees grow well here too, this seems like a helpful session.

Of course, this is just a small sampling of the amazing sessions the Common Ground Fair is offering this weekend. For the full schedule, please check out this page.

And join me at the fair. Wear comfy shoes and clothes, bring a jacket in case it rains, and bring some cash for shopping, as there are some amazing food and handmade products at the fair. I’ve been saving my extra cash to buy some raw honey, since I don’t know when those bee hives are coming!