Sept. 6 gathering examines landless farmers joining elder homesteaders

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DEXTER — Landless farmers joining with elder homesteaders. Here’s one interesting proposal to address a current problem in Maine: somehow connect people who want to farm but don’t have land with people who have land but are getting too old to work it anymore.

This will be the topic of the Sept. 6 First Friday public discussion at the Abbott Memorial Library (or the UU Church across the street depending on crowd size) in Dexter from 6 to 8 p.m.

For the last 10 years, Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition has provided space and time for area residents to examine local solutions to global problems in a respectful and consultative manner, with local food production one of the most constant concerns.

The area has the bounty of good soil and ample rainfall, the basics for an agricultural economy. But over the past 70 years industrial models of farming have caused a steep decline in the viability of small-scale food production.

Recently, a new tide of interest in just this smaller-scale operation is rising in Maine, with increasing numbers of people looking for opportunities to experiment and prosper by growing food without huge capital investment. The main obstacle for beginning farmers (of all ages) is lack of affordably-priced available land.

At the same time, many older people who moved to Maine in the 1960s and 1970s are no longer capable of working as they did when younger, don’t want to move off the land they have lovingly homesteaded or farmed, yet have no clear “exit strategy.”

At this upcoming meeting, attendees hope to begin figuring out local solutions to combine these two social dynamics for the benefit of everyone, and we welcome anyone who would like to share ideas to come consult on Sept. 6 and see what the combined perspectives can produce.

Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition’s mission is to help our area increase our energy and food independence and create a more stable rural economy, sharing skills and ideas which can help us all take better care of each other and our natural resources.

For more information on the organization and future events, email to get on the email news list or call 277-4221 or 924-3836.

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