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  #1  
Old 04/02/09, 01:59 PM
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Can you homestead in Maine?

Hubby and I found some land up in Maine that's reasonable and we were curious if it would be possible to homestead there. I figure we can build a greenhouse for our garden and be okay raising our goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits with a good heat source. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 04/02/09, 02:13 PM
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Beautiful country up in Maine. I love living in this area but sometimes the winters can be very long.

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  #3  
Old 04/02/09, 02:49 PM
 
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If you can homestead in Alaska, you can homestead in Maine. Homesteading is basically a state of mind anyway.

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  #4  
Old 04/02/09, 04:23 PM
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There are farms in Maine, even in the northernmost part of the state. Mostly potatoes, hay, and dairy farms, but also apple orchards. Yes, you can homestead in Maine -- you can homestead just about any place if you know how. IMO, Maine is a good place to homestead; it's probably where I'd be right now if my Grandmother hadn't asked me to return to Oregon to stay with her.

Kathleen

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  #5  
Old 04/02/09, 06:05 PM
 
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Anywhere you can put a roof over your head, you can homestead. Just don't confuse homesteading with making a living. It's really rare that anyone can make a living without some type of outside income. For the average homesteader, that means having a JOB. A problem with trying to homestead where you can afford the property is the lack of jobs in the area. Plentiful jobs (in ordinary times) drives up the cost of properties within driving distance. I don't mean to sound negative, but I hate to see people get less than they had antisipated. <> UNK

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  #6  
Old 04/02/09, 06:17 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maine
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Maine is, in my opinion, a great place to homestead. And there are a lot of us homesteaders here. Our winters are long, cold and often snowy but are not really any worse than most of the other northern states.

Raising animals and gardening are really no more difficult than in other northern areas. Greenhouses are great but lots (probably most) do fine without them. In western Maine, where I live, our frost free growing season is generally from late May to late September. Most things grow well most years and on the years that are not so good for one thing, it's usually a great year for other things. For example if we have an unusually cool, wet summer, it might not be a great year for tomatoes but things like lettuce and broccoli might produce bumper crops.

What part of the state are you and your husband looking at? There are HT members from several parts of the state. Maybe we could give you some more specific info if we knew what part of the state you were interested in. In general though, Maine is a great place to live.

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  #7  
Old 04/02/09, 07:40 PM
 
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What part of Maine? We were trying to get started in Fort Fairfield ( Near Caribou) but Dh's job has brought us to Arkansas. We hope to go back up that was soon.

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  #8  
Old 04/03/09, 08:27 AM
 
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What Part of Maine are you looking at? We are in Franklin county. Yes you can homestead here.

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  #9  
Old 04/03/09, 08:33 AM
 
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Come on... Don't lie.

We all know that it's just too darn cold in Maine. So cold & damp that years ago they attached the barns to the houses so they wouldn't freeze doing chores. Well maybe you can stead if your a snowman..



P.S. It is a very nice state up there and yes it is possible if you can get by on the low wages. The cold also keeps out the riff raff.

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  #10  
Old 04/03/09, 10:03 AM
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Walter Jeffries and his family homestead in Maine and post here, as well as others. Just search or google for his name at Sugar Mountain Farm, West Topsham, Maine. ldc

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  #11  
Old 04/03/09, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ldc View Post
Walter Jeffries and his family homestead in Maine and post here, as well as others. Just search or google for his name at Sugar Mountain Farm, West Topsham, Maine. ldc

I thought he was in VT?

Regardless, we're moving to the Bangor area this summer and will hopefully be giving it a go up there.
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  #12  
Old 04/03/09, 10:54 AM
 
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I recommend you reading any and all of Helen and Scott Nearing's books on homesteading. They lived in Maine for many years and are considered the homesteading teachers are our time..at least in my opinion. Good Luck !!

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  #13  
Old 04/03/09, 11:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Helena View Post
I recommend you reading any and all of Helen and Scott Nearing's books on homesteading. They lived in Maine for many years and are considered the homesteading teachers are our time..at least in my opinion. Good Luck !!
Isn't Elliot Coleman from Maine too?

And Johnny's Selected Seeds is in Maine.

And this might be of interest to the original poster as well.

http://www.mofga.org/TheFair/tabid/135/Default.aspx
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  #14  
Old 04/03/09, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemysMama07 View Post
Hubby and I found some land up in Maine that's reasonable and we were curious if it would be possible to homestead there. I figure we can build a greenhouse for our garden and be okay raising our goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits with a good heat source. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Nearly all land in Maine is private owned. Very little state owned land. So 'NO' you can not file a homestead in Maine.

You can however buy land. I have bought forest land for $300/acre and $900/acre. I have 42 acres of forest land that is river frontage. And 105 acres of forest that has no river access.

Our property taxes have been running around $1.05 per acre.

There are many people here in Maine, who farm and market their farm produce.

Behind our house:


A bit further:


At the river looking left:


looking straight:


looking right:




We have an apple orchard, this year I am planting nut trees.

We have raised beds with garlic and onions, strawberries, beans, tomatoes and various veggies.

We have two small greenhouses, and plan to build more.

We have goats, sheep, hogs, chickens, beehives.

We have 5 acres that produce fiddleheads.

We are currently collecting maple sap, cooking down syrup.

I have been a vendor at a local Organic Farmer's Market.

We also have a lot of CSAs.



MOFGA
http://www.mofga.org/

Is a huge resource, and a great fair each fall. Dozens of workshops teach all of the skills needed for farming.



FEDCO
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/

Is a great seed, tree, and tuber supplier. Many of the local organic farms Co-Op with them as suppliers of their seed and bareroots.



Come on up and look around
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  #15  
Old 04/03/09, 11:53 AM
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Fedco is in Maine, too, and so are many of their growers.

Kathleen

ETA: you beat me to it, ET1. Your place sure is beautiful!

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Last edited by Freeholder; 04/03/09 at 12:00 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04/03/09, 12:00 PM
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RemysMama07-

Quote:
...I figure we can build a greenhouse for our garden and
Only some crops need a greenhouse. Many folks do corn, tomatoes, and such fine outside.

We only use a greenhouse for early sprouting.



Quote:
... be okay raising our goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits with a good heat source. Any advice is greatly appreciated![/COLOR][/B]
"A good heat source" for livestock?

Livestock are their own heat source.

Our goats and sheep are mostly outside. We have pens, built from loading pallets. 3 pallets form 3 sides, another pallet makes the roof. Very strong able to support 4 foot of snow load easily.

We live mostly beneath a thick forest canopy, so our goats and sheep are back within the forest. They get no wind that way.



What region of Maine are you looking at?
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  #17  
Old 04/03/09, 12:19 PM
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We're looking in Northern Maine, just south of Edmundston. My husband is wanting to build a log cabin once we move there, do the laws up there allow that? Are there a lot of permits needed? I've gotten spoiled here, there are no permits and you can do whatever you want as long as you pay your taxes. I'm getting excited, Maine sounds really nice.
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  #18  
Old 04/03/09, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemysMama07 View Post
I'm getting excited, Maine sounds really nice.
My observations, it's culturally a world of difference from the South, which is one of the reasons we are leaving where we are in eastern NC and moving up there.
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  #19  
Old 04/03/09, 01:04 PM
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zone 5 - riverfrontage
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemysMama07 View Post
We're looking in Northern Maine, just south of Edmundston. My husband is wanting to build a log cabin once we move there, do the laws up there allow that? Are there a lot of permits needed? I've gotten spoiled here, there are no permits and you can do whatever you want as long as you pay your taxes. I'm getting excited, Maine sounds really nice.
Log cabins have a very low R value. They require annual maintenance as the logs shrink and the chinking falls out.

Our new home has an R of 60, at 2400 Sq Ft we use 3+ cords of wood a year for heat.

I would advise that you re-think the log cabin idea.

Would not do something cheaper?

Most of Maine [52%] is 'Unorganized Townships' {UT]. I live in a UT.

In UTs you only pay state property taxes. the state has one tax assessor.

Building permits are easy to get from the state. $75 gets a 5 year permit. that one permit can be used to build dozens of structures. So plan ahead of time.

Organized Towns have a mayor, selectmen, clerks, building inspectors, PDs, FDs, lots of folk on salary. All those salaries make taxes higher.

UTs have much lower taxes.
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  #20  
Old 04/03/09, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
Isn't Elliot Coleman from Maine too?

And Johnny's Selected Seeds is in Maine.

And this might be of interest to the original poster as well.

http://www.mofga.org/TheFair/tabid/135/Default.aspx

Yes, he is. In addition to companies already mentioned, Pinetree Garden Seeds is also here in Maine.
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