Life at The Good Life Center

With limited gardening experience but strong spirit, a young couple confronts the challenges of running Forest Farm, the final homestead of back-to-the-land pioneers Helen and Scott Nearing. In the process, the pair learns as much about life and community as they do about working the land.


| September/October 2001


From March 2000 to March 2001, we were the resident stewards of Forest Farm, the last homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing in Harborside, Maine. Forest Farm is maintained by The Good Life Center, created in 1995 when Helen passed away. This nonprofit organization dedicates itself to “perpetuating the philosophies and lifeways exemplified by Helen and Scott Nearing, two of America’s most inspirational practitioners of simple, frugal, and purposeful living.’’

As the resident stewards, our primary duties included caring for the organic gardens and buildings, and engaging with the many seekers, pilgrims, and curious folks who found their way out here. We learned so much and were profoundly inspired by the Nearings and the communities that both physically and spiritually surround Forest Farm. The following passages are excerpts from the journal that we kept during our stay.

March

Neha writes: We arrived at Forest Farm late last night, plowing our overloaded van through snowdrifts. The late winter storm has passed, and we wake up in sunlight, enveloped in a history that we know little about but that feels as palpable as the stones that hold up this house.

Our early morning exploration of the house and garden reveal the bounty of food generously left for us by Jake and Jen, our predecessors, who left just a few days ago. Jars of tomatoes, sweet pickles, grape juice, rosehip sauce, and dilly beans fill a couple of shelves in the cellar. Farther back in the darker part of the cellar, we find boxes of potatoes (more than we could possibly eat), beets, carrots, parsnips, garlic, and an incredible basketball-size kohlrabi gigante. This alone will supply us quite a few meals.



What we find outdoors amazes us even more. We shovel our way into the quickly warming greenhouse and find brilliant salad greens under row cover. It’s an oasis of color: lettuces, spinach, mache, clay­tonia, tatsoi, kale, arugula, scallions, and generous bunches of parsley. Attached to the greenhouse is a fifty-by-fifty-foot stone wall enclosing the main garden, where we can see the tops of overwintered leeks and kale. After digging out the cold frames, we find rows of small jewel-like greens awaiting the coming thaw. Jen and Jake have left us sustenance and inspiration.

We imagine our summer garden as we look out over this place nestled between forest and salt water, rising from the low tide of winter. For now, with snow blanketing the garden and a frozen row of well-tended compost piles, we know that we have a bit of time to get to know our surroundings, to learn more about Helen and Scott, and—for the first time for both of us—to plan a garden.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

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!

LEARN 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