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Benjamin Wilcox, interviewed by Anu Dudley


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This collection contains interviews with people associated with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Themes include the process of beginning to farm organically, the early development of MOFGA and its growth; the Common Ground Fair and its expansion; marketing organic food; farming strategies; raising livestock; and MOFGA’s interactions with conventional farmers and the wider community.


  • Creation: 2000-2004


Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (


From the Collection: 52 items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


3075 Benjamin Wilcox, interviewed by Anu Dudley, September 21, 2003, at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Wilcox talks about his ownership with Tom Roberts of Part and Parcel Farm; being a baby boomer; changes in economics over the last thirty years; higher education via the G.I. Bill; getting his degree in architecture; moving to Maine from California; the Deerings’ “Living the Good Life” and Elliott Porter’s “Summer Islands;” building boats in Wiscasset; settling in Dixmont as a homesteader and opening Piecemeal Farm; subsistence as an organic farmer; wage rates in Maine versus those in California; living in relative poverty; Rob Johnson of Johnny’s Selected Seeds; problems with cash flow; Farmer’s Markets in Newport, Skowhegan, Brewer, Belfast, and Camden, Maine; transporting Maine goods to Chelsea Market in Boston, Massachusetts; support for growers; coordinating the Atlantic Co-op Supply; Tom Roberts of Moose Produce and Fed Co; phosphate as a fertilizer; experiences with the Common Ground Fair; difficulties as an organic farmer; opening the Farmer’s Market at the Common Ground Fair in 1988; fair expansion; wholesaling; serving as the middle man; supply and demand in organic farming; retailing; marketing strategies for organic farmers; being self-sufficient as an organic farmer; economization; farm development; training employees; MOFA and MOFGA conferences; colleague Ellie Coleman; obstacles to organic farming; MOFGA’s expansion; the future of organic farming; reasons for growing his own food; and the evolution of MOFGA. Text: no transcript. Recording: C 2119 1 hour. mfc_na3075_c2119_01, mfc_na3075_c2119_02

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States