Erik Gray

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Though today sustainable living and locally-sourced food receive increased attention nationwide, these ideas have been important in Maine for several decades. A key part of the state’s agricultural history is a tradition of self-sustaining homesteads. While subsistence farming and self-sufficiency was often a necessity on Maine’s northeastern frontier, homesteading has remained a lifestyle chosen by many of the state’s residents to this day. In this article, the author discusses the legacy of Scott and Helen Nearing, focusing particularly on the couple’s contributions to the “back to the land” movement in Maine and beyond. The author earned a B.A. in History at the University of Maine. He is a proud army veteran and is now a high school educator, where he teaches his students to read, think and write like historians. He has a wife and is an extremely happy father.