A Simple Life at a Farm in Maine

Inspired by legendary back-to-the-landers Scott and Helen Nearing, Kate NaDeau lives simply and seasonally in a handbuilt stone house on a twenty-six-acre Maine hillside.

| May/June 2001

When Kate NaDeau’s former husband, Phil, suggested they leave Northern California for Maine, she had a typical West Coast reaction. “Maine!? That’s the North Pole. I couldn’t live there!’” she laughs. But Kate, Phil, and their eleven-year-old son, Justin, craved a simple farming life, and they couldn’t afford the kind of acreage they wanted in the already-escalating California market. In his campaign to move his family east, Phil introduced Kate to Scott and Helen Nearing, pioneers of the back-to-the-land movement. As Kate read the Nearings’s simple living manuals, “I was totally blown away not only by the integrity the Nearings brought to the garden, but the fact that they could garden that much in Maine,” she says.

So Kate’s family traveled to Maine’s central coast in early December, a time when Kate figured she could taste the worst of what the region might offer. “It was raw and open and stark,” she recalls. And in Monroe, Maine, the family found its paradise: twenty-six acres on a south-facing slope bordering a stream.

STONE SOUP FARM, 156 Red Barn Road in Monroe, Maine, is open to the public daily, May 1 to August 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, call (207) 525-4463.

“I live a strongly seasonal lifestyle,” says Kate, “The weather is ever changing, and farm-related activities are so different.”

Hand-Built Home

Kate and Phil had been especially taken with their property’s southern exposure because they wanted to build a passive solar home. Influenced by the Nearings, they planned to build a stone house using a slip-form method of construction and, influenced by their time on the West Coast, to incorporate elements of Japanese architecture. “I wanted to build a building that was connected to the land and fit in with what was already there,” Kate says.

So they designed a simple home, bermed into the hillside to the north and open to the south, that meanders down the hill to the west. “The idea was to weave together beauty and utility,” Kate explains. “Passive solar is so wonderful— working with the climate instead of trying to fight it—bringing in some kind of harmony, working with the elements.”

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265