Homesteading in Maine - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-15-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

We're interested in moving to Maine and homesteading on a scale appropriate for sustaining our own family. We really like the Belfast area (and some of the mid-coast towns more south of there). But, we do have to be frugal in our choices, and yet find land that is good for grazing animals and growing food. I'd like to find an old Maine farmhouse that is either updated or at least partially (while keeping the old world charm as much as possible). It doesn't need to be a big house, just comfortable and good for homesteading. We'd like to have a good community with like-minded homeschooling families, natural minded folks, and plenty of natural farmers around (as well as arts, music and culture). Funky is definitely a plus.

Anyone want to suggest an area for me to check out? We are also toying with the idea of building our own place - anyone have a clue what the building laws are in Maine (as far as alternative building methods go)?

Thanks in advance!

Sarah

Sarah, wife to dh, mama to dd 1/07/03 and ds 3/30/05
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#2 of 12 Old 06-15-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Blue Hill, Belfast or outside Portland

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#3 of 12 Old 06-25-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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I live in western ME. It is a great place for homesteading as far as land and prices on land goes but it probably lacks the culture and socializing that you may be looking for. There are however, many old-time farmers and understanding neighbors that have been invaluable to us in our efforts and learning process.

I am also on the planning board for my town. We approved building permits (in some towns, the code enforcement officer does the approval of permits). Generally speaking, the more rural, less populated and less focused on tourism (or seasonal residents - skiing, beach goers) the town is, the less stringent the building requirements are for residential homes. Someone wanting to build a home with alternative methods would not have any trouble doing so in my town. Not all towns are like this but I am sure we are not the only one.

Good luck.

Catholic wife to S and mama to my two loveys V dd1 10/04 and G dd2 11/10 - #3 due in August 2013.  Here we go again.  homebirth.jpgwinner.jpg selectivevax.gifcd.gif

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#4 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I, too am looking to move back to Maine next summer after living in Ca for 8 years. What communities in Western Maine are good for hippie-groovie families? Near Sunday River?
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#5 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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Skadi,

Near Sunday River is a pretty good choice for the "hippie-groovy" lifestyle - Bethel or Newry. I live in a much smaller town near there. Bethel/Newry has a good mix of crunchy, natural, eclectic and hard-working Mainers plus a mixture of seasonal folks "from away". But it is rural (not a lot of jobs) and land/housing prices in the two cities mentioned above are higher than in the other nearby towns due to the ski resort. You may also want to concider the Bridgton area and even Norway/West Paris area. Good luck in your search!

Catholic wife to S and mama to my two loveys V dd1 10/04 and G dd2 11/10 - #3 due in August 2013.  Here we go again.  homebirth.jpgwinner.jpg selectivevax.gifcd.gif

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#6 of 12 Old 06-28-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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What is your price range? There are some really great properties on the market right now in the $250k range. I'm always browsing the real estate sites just to keep up with it. Try http://camdenre.com and put in Searsmont, Union, Appleton, Warren, Waldoboro. Thats where you'll find quite a few old homes with lots of land, or even some newer ones that are very eco friendly (solar panels, etc...)

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#7 of 12 Old 06-28-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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Here's a nice blog I came across on this subject....
http://homesteadinginmaine.blogspot.com/.

I loved living in Maine- such good people and good land- best of luck to you and your family!

Michelle L'Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife ~ Warm Welcome Birth Services

Homebirth Midwife, Birth Doula, Postnatal Doula, Night Doula, and Doula Trainer

Northampton, Massachusetts

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#8 of 12 Old 07-03-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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Belfast is awesome! I'm living in Pennsylvania right now, but I grew up in Maine and my parents live about 30 minutes from Belfast. If I could live anywhere in the US - it would be Belfast. Unfortunately, My husband's job is here and there is nothing in his line of work in or near Belfast.

Why I like Belfast:
Huge Natural foods Cooperative
Right on the coast with a beautiful bay
Natural living store downtown
A downtown Restaurant that is Vegan, Organic, only uses their own farm grown vegetables
Awesome, thriving downtown
Hippie-funky vibe
Great Dance Studio w/African dancing taught
Great little bookstore and other great shops downtown
A historic movie theater
An awesome chiropractor in nearby Searsport - I'm sure there are awesome chiropractors in Belfast too, but I went to one who was just over the Belfast line in Searsport
Perry's Nut House
Lots of culture for such a little town
Still a small town - ?~2000, and you can get rural very quickly

I have a friend who is homesteading near Belfast. There's a bunch of tiny tiny towns near Belfast (in Waldo County - within 30 minutes) where you probably could find some land and old farmhouses. Freedom, Unity, Thorndike, Montville, Liberty, Knox, Monroe and Brooks are all little towns in Waldo County. I knew someone in Montville who had 20 acres and a yurt. They lived in the yurt for 20 years, and then built something for themselves. So, I would think that area would be open to alternative buildings.
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#9 of 12 Old 07-04-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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Ohhh.. thanks for all the great feedback!! I have actually been looking online at property around Belfast, Knox, Unity, area... I can't seem to find much on the school systems, though... This area would put us a lot closer to family in Hampden and Monroe, though I have always loved the mountains. We are coming home (to Me) to visit family this summer and will be driving around and checking out communities... thanks for helping me narrow my search
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#10 of 12 Old 12-29-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Anywhere near Portland (Falmouth, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Windham, Westbrook) would be great as there is a lot of culture to be found despite the relatively small population. Buxton is only about 15 minutes outside of Portland, but is relatively cheap and primarily made up of farmland. All of Western Maine is beautiful and fairly cheap, especially the Oxford Hills region (South Paris, Oxford, Norway, North Norway, West Paris, Harrison, Hebron) and only about an hour from Portland.

 

Tara Laverdiere

Portland, Maine

(from Western Maine)

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#11 of 12 Old 01-06-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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We actually just bought a lovely little piece of property with an old farmhouse about 15 minutes outside Belfast and I have to say I am super excited about this area.  This poster is totally on target.  We managed to buy really low but then, we have A LOT of work to do on our house.  I'm talking 200 year old cape with more rot than I care to discuss.  Fortunately my husband is Macgyver and we can both do 90% of the work ourselves.  Depending on how much work you are willing to put into a property you can find yourself a really lovely parcel in the midcoast/downeast region.  For us it was between the Deer Isle/Blue Hill area (because we had lived there before and loved it) and Belfast (because we spent time there while living in Deer Isle and felt like Belfast was less isolated and more populated in the winter).

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Degas View Post

Belfast is awesome! I'm living in Pennsylvania right now, but I grew up in Maine and my parents live about 30 minutes from Belfast. If I could live anywhere in the US - it would be Belfast. Unfortunately, My husband's job is here and there is nothing in his line of work in or near Belfast.

Why I like Belfast:
Huge Natural foods Cooperative
Right on the coast with a beautiful bay
Natural living store downtown
A downtown Restaurant that is Vegan, Organic, only uses their own farm grown vegetables
Awesome, thriving downtown
Hippie-funky vibe
Great Dance Studio w/African dancing taught
Great little bookstore and other great shops downtown
A historic movie theater
An awesome chiropractor in nearby Searsport - I'm sure there are awesome chiropractors in Belfast too, but I went to one who was just over the Belfast line in Searsport
Perry's Nut House
Lots of culture for such a little town
Still a small town - ?~2000, and you can get rural very quickly

I have a friend who is homesteading near Belfast. There's a bunch of tiny tiny towns near Belfast (in Waldo County - within 30 minutes) where you probably could find some land and old farmhouses. Freedom, Unity, Thorndike, Montville, Liberty, Knox, Monroe and Brooks are all little towns in Waldo County. I knew someone in Montville who had 20 acres and a yurt. They lived in the yurt for 20 years, and then built something for themselves. So, I would think that area would be open to alternative buildings.



mama to two little men...3/25/2010 and 10/3/2013
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#12 of 12 Old 01-27-2014, 05:28 AM
 
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None is the answer. Real Downeaster's were never hippie's. I was a police officer in Maine.

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