KHS to hear about life on a remote Maine farm

John H. Twomey will speak about his recent book, Retiring To, Not From — From Massachusetts Professor to Maine Farmer. The discussion will encompass many aspects of life on his farm and his comments will be accompanied by a slide presentation. John and his partner Leigh Norcott live off grid in a 19th century Maine farmhouse. They raise vegetables, fruits, chickens and brook trout, and enjoy hiking and cross-country skiing on the many trails on the farm. Indeed, their lives include many aspects of life from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. John and Leigh live quietly and very much in touch with the natural world that surrounds them. Since 1978 John has worked on maintaining and improving wildlife habitat on the farm’s 125 acres. He will discuss these efforts, focusing attention on his work in the fields, brushy areas, and woodlands.

After 37 years as a professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, John retired in 2009 and moved, with his partner Leigh Norcott, to Montville, Maine. There they live simply and deliberately on the farm that John has owned since 1978. The farm operates on solar power, completely off grid, and John and Leigh work together as they produce almost all of their own food, and all of their own firewood. An avid naturalist, John has for years worked to maintain and improve the wildlife habitat on the farm. He does so by carefully scheduling the mowing of his fields and brushy areas, by planting, transplanting, grafting, and pruning hundreds of apple trees, and by planting thousands of white and chestnut oaks. Having seen farms sold and developed in his hometowns in Connecticut and Massachusetts, John long ago set his sights on owning and nurturing an old New England farm, a traditional home place. He has accomplished that and intends to permanently protect his Montville farm.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday, September 20, 6:30 p.m., at the Maine State Library, 230 State St., Augusta. A potluck supper will precede the program at 4:30 p.m.
Edit: Added time and location of presentation.

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