May 27, 2018
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The Good Life: The movement that changed Maine

By Anthony Ronzio, BDN Staff

Update: Click here for The Good Life.

Sixty years ago, two rebellious homesteaders in Brooksville published their story of living closer to the land. Their notions of a more purposeful life inspired thousands to visit them at their Forest Farm, and a generation of idealists to move to Maine to make a better life.

The back-to-the-land movement, as it’s now known, has no clear beginning or end. What’s certain is how it changed Maine socially, politically and culturally. The newcomers were young, educated and civic-minded. They espoused new ideas and founded new institutions.

This movement created farm-to-table by fostering local agricultural practices that defied Maine’s farming conventions. It evolved into farm-to-gavel, as those in the movement became active in their communities and influenced decades of our public policy.

Today, some back-to-the-landers are still tinkering with their homesteads off the grid. Others are representing us in Congress. Their legacy has become Maine’s, and it continues through their children and the young people still drawn here in search of “The Good Life.”


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