The inland Waldo County town of Unity, population 2,099 by the 2010 census, was originally settled by Quakers and incorporated in 1804.

Unity exhibits the best in rural traditions, but with a twist: from hiking trails to topnotch performances at the Center for Performing Arts, The Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm and the Common Ground Fair.

Plus, Unity College is a central part of the community, while billing itself as America’s foremost environment college.

And there is an Amish community, an active farmer’s market, an auto raceway and a rail depot.

 

Common Ground Country Fair

A Unity highlight each year is the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, known as MOFGA, Agricultural Trades Show.

The 43rd annual Common Ground Country Fair takes place this year Sept. 20, 21 and 22 and will welcome some 60,000 visitors to the three-day event at 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity. Perhaps it is time to extend the length of the fair because its popularity contributes to crowded exhibits and traffic backed up for miles keeping some locals away from a once-beloved event.

Beloved for its diversity, the fair includes speakers family farms selling products and supplies to children’s activities, crafts, compost and recycling of over 3,500 pounds of discards, energy and shelter, environmental concerns, fiber, fleece, food, folk arts, health and healing, herbs, livestock, forestry, Indian basket making, spinners, social and political action. Not to mention live entertainment and presentations and workshops on physical, mental and spiritual health. No wonder people flock to the fair.

The mission of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is to educate about and advocate for organic agriculture, and its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production and thriving communities. For more information, call 568-4142 or email: [email protected]

Dozens of kids and adults took part in a garden parade through the fairgrounds dressed as vegetables at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity on Sept. 23, 2017. Morning Sentinel file photo by David Leaming

 

Unity Historical Society

Located at 8 Depot Street; open by appointment, call 948-5610 or visit unityhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com The building is surrounded by life-size bronze animal sculptures including bear, moose and deer by Forest Hart of Monroe.

 

Unity College

Located at 90 Quaker Hill Road, the programs prepare environmental professionals with sixteen environmental- focused majors with a liberal arts curriculum built on sustainability science – a first in the nation. The campus of 225 acres overlooks Unity Pond.

For more information visit www.unity.edu.

 

Unity College Center for the Performing Arts 

Located at 42 Depot St. Since opening in 2000, the performing arts center has seen many events including world-renowned musicians, award winning speakers, and memorable community gatherings.

Check Facebook for schedule or visit uccpa.unity.edu

A 100-year-old barn and attached farmhouse make the downtown Unity College Center for the Arts, a vibrant cultural and arts center that offers an eclectic mix of music, films, art, lectures, and more. Photo by Susan Varney

 

Unity College Field of Dreams

There are public walking and jogging paths, a playground, picnic area, tennis court and three ball fields here. The area is adjacent to picturesque Unity Pond, where visitors can canoe, kayak, swim and fish.

 

Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm

Located at 141 Crosby Brook Road, Unity. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Owners Robin and Corry Pratt offer Alpacas for sale and boarding, farm tours, seminars and Alpaca fiber and apparel at the retail store in Unity. For more information call 356-4146 or visit northernsolsticealpaca.com.

Moose and other bronze sculptures are seen at the Unity Performing arts center by artist Forest Hart of Monroe. Photo by Susan Varney

 

Unity Farmer’s Market

Since 1999, the market have been offering veggies, melons, meats, cheeses, baked goods and fruits from the first Saturday of May until the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Located on School St. (Route 139) at the Community Center, the market is part of the greater Unity Market Day events which often include barbecues and children’s shows.

For more info: mainefarmersmarkets.org/market/unity-market-day.

 

Recreation trails

For locations see unitybarnraisers.org/trails.html. Open to the public. No motorized vehicles. Dogs must be under control and wastes must be picked up.