The Green Tours for the Family Nature Summits are coming together now, although I’m still trying to fit everything together like a puzzle, and as usual, I have too many places I want to see. Here’s a sneak peek of the likely tour locations for this year’s tours.
Bar Harbor Green Building Tour – July 7
The Bar Harbor half-day tour visits Susan Turner’s rammed earth home. You can learn more about Rammed Earth Homes at the website of David Easton. While these are more common in hot dry climates of the southwest, this is your big chance to see such a home in the northeast! We’ll also visit the home of Robert Harris, who teaches sustainable building at Princeton University. You can read about one of Robert’s sustainable building projects where he and students renovated an old textile factory.
Blue Hill / Ellsworth Green Tour – July 10
The Blue Hill / Ellsworth communities are filled with innovators focusing on local, organic food and green building. Blue Hill was the third town in Maine to pass a “local food ordinance” which allows local farmers to sell their products to their neighbors without governmental involvement. The exact tour locations are being finalized, but likely locations will be:
- Sustainable Harvest International will tell us about their Smaller World tours where volunteers travel internationally to help with development projects
- Food Drop, an online farmer’s market where farmers post what is growing well and buyers tell the farmers what to bring to market
- Jonathan Fisher House, a historic house – Among other talents, Fisher is known for his wood block prints of 110 “Scriptured Animals” made with dyes from local vegetation and minerals
- a home built from recycled shipping containers in Ellsworth (The Arkhaus) – this stop depends on their progress with their current build
- Lucy’s Granola will take us into her granola room and tell us about the challenges of sourcing ingredients locally. She sent me this photo of the view from her home.
From a Trashmagination perspective, the stop that I’m most excited to see is The Arkhaus, so fingers crossed their renovations will be progressed enough to the point where we can visit. The idea of building a comfortable, happy home from shipping containers sounds wonderful.
I have my fingers crossed that we might also be able to visit with a farmer from Quill’s End Farm who can tell us about the food ordinance that Blue Hill and some other nearby communities have adopted. It says that local farmers can sell their products to their neighbors without governmental involvement. This is particularly important for those who want to sell products such as raw milk.
I’m also hoping to squeeze in a visit with the Magic Food Bus, an initiative by local farmers to take their surplus product to communities in need. They don’t usually come as far north as Blue Hill, so we’ll see if our tour heads far enough south.
If We Had More Time, I Wish We Could Visit Harborside
I wish we had just a little bit more time because there is a community about 1.5 hours from Bar Harbor called Harborside that has two stops I would LOVE to see. One is the farm called Four Season Farm run by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, pioneers in organic farming. If you have read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, you are familiar with Joel Salatin from Polyface Farm in Virginia, and the Four Seasons Farm runs on similar systems. Chickens and other animals are managed from one part of the farm to the other in a way that best enriches the soil and creates delicious meat.
Also in Harborside in the Good Life Center, which was the home of Helen and Scott Nearing. They came to this part of the world as part of the “back to the land movement” and their homestead is a museum to that movement.
Thank You For Your Help!
Thank you to my friend Amy Grant for her advice on tour stops, and to my friend Laura Cunningham for putting me in touch with her cousin Peter D’Entremont, an architect in the area.