Our family is considering a possible move to western Maine (Rangeley area), and we would love to know a little more about what to expect before we actually make the plunge. I already know it would be vastly different in climate than where we are currently (High Desert in NM), with colder and much wetter winters. What can you all tell me about it otherwise?
What are the Homeschool laws like (in NM it is VERY easy to HS, but I know our state is not necessarily typical)? We are looking at transporting our small family farm there, so any information in that aspect would be helpful too, like the organic farming/permaculture scene, access to farmers markets, price of feed (we currently have dairy goats, pigs, turkeys and a bunch of chickens), etc.
Are there many HS or Mom's groups around the area? Or is it pretty scattered because towns are so scattered? Anything you could tell me would be awesome, especially what you hate about living there. We would rather be prepared for the worst if we decide to move there. So, what is wrong with living in Maine?
But we would also like to know what you love about it. We are basically looking for a place that we can become involved in the community and be more self-sustaining.
Any info would be great! Thanks!
Here is a link to my post that answered a similar question:
I live in Western Maine about an hour from Rangely area - although the driving distance is long, it is actually in the same vicinity as my location.
The Rangley area is very rural and seasonal - you may find that several of your neighbors are only there in the summer (there are also the winter visitors for snowmobiling, skiing ,etc.) Thus, various estabilshments may also be open only during the appropriate season. Like me, if you live in Rangely, you will have to drive farther to get things. Although there are services for your standard needs (groceries, animal feed, etc.)
We are not homeschoolers (yet) but I know many homeschoolers. It seems that it is fairly common and most people do not have much trouble with the minimal state regulations. I don't know all the requirments (if any) - I suppose you can look up the most current ones a homeschhol legal defense. I know Maine used to have more stringent laws on homeschool but they changed those laws perhaps 5-7 years ago and I have not heard of anyone of my homeschool friends having trouble with the state regarding their choices. I don't know of a hs group in Rangely (but there might be one up that way) but there is one in Peru that meets once/month.
The organic farmming scene is good - I know several organic farmers. The farmers markets are more difficult - there are a few in the area but they are not huge compared to others that I have experienced in New Hampshire and Vermont. They are also seasonal. However, there are some great natural foods stores and local grocers that would love to sell your products. Some of the local farms are using this as a marketing tool to sell product: http://harvesttomarket.com/farmers-market/Western-Maine-Market
Of course, for meat and dairy, you would have to get licensed. I don't know about other feed prices but I am currently buying organic layer feed for about $18/bag. You should also know, that it is difficult to pasture animals in this region until between December-April due to mud, lack of grass, heavy snow/ice.
The one thing that is hard about moving to rural Maine is that you will always be seen as someone "from away" and it will take a bit of time for folks to get used to you. But in time they do warm up to you and you can be an integral part of the community. What I love the most - beautiful green summers, all my neighbors know me and my kids, breathtaking views, a true small-town atmosphere, safety, and outdoor lifestyle. What I dislike the most - driving a lot, snow removal, ice and the taxes.
Feel free to PM me with more specific questions or ask them here and I will try to respond :)
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.
If you like to read, pick up We Took To The Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich. She writes about going to live in the woods in the Rangely lakes region in the 1940's. Obviously a lot has changed in the last 70 years but I still love reading this book. (Part of it is sentimental; I found a copy of this book in my grandmother's house when she passed away and the author reminds me a lot of my grandmother.) Anyway I saw this post and it made me think of the book :)
Mumma to DS July 2010 and expecting another baby boy late July 2012
I grew up about an hour from Rangely just a bit south and more west of it. If you aren't prepared to be surrounded by nothing in the off season my only suggestion would be to try a bit more south...Then again I am very partial to where I grew up (the fryeburg area)
Great to know! Thanks for the responses. We are still considering it, and being surrounded by few people sounds quite appealing right now :)
I will definitely look up that book, LittleBirdy, it sounds fascinating!
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