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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

First seed catalog for the new year, and the winner is

Posted Sunday, November 25, 2007, at 9:13 AM

Eliot Coleman's greenhouse
Pinetree Garden seeds of New Gloucester, Maine. Boy, have they come a long way from the tiny little catalog they used to have.

We used to have a 150 acres farm not too far from there. None of us ever lived there, but Maine was a dream of my father, who loved the "Northern Woods". A little too cold, for too long for us, and the black flies!

BUT, there are several organic seed companies and a few authors up there that I love to visit and patronize when possible.

Ever heard of Eliot Coleman? He has written a number of organic and extended season harvest books and lives in Harborside, Maine. One of his closer neighbors and an influence in him relocating to this part of Maine were Helen & Scott Nearing who wrote "The Good Life". http://www.goodlife.org/index.html

They have both passed on, but their hand-built, stone home is still being used as a learning center and Eliot still teaches workshops for the center. I never met the Nearings, but you could certainly feel their presence when you visit their homestead.

After soaking up the experience, I drove up the road a little further, looking for Eliot's farm and there was this small white haired man, bundled up from the cold and driving a tractor. Eliot Coleman! I do not get too impressed when I run into music or movie "stars", but Eliot Coleman, wow!

To me, he is a giant in the organic movement and here I run into him doing what he likes to do most, farm. He was warm and welcoming and I guess he could see the glaze in my eyes, because he took the time to tell me about his farm and then let me wander the land as he went back to work. http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/index.html (Check out the pictures, he practices what he preaches)

For a natural gardening zealot like me, I was floating on air. I still get a tingle from just writing about it. I can easily re-read his books and find new ideas I want to try, or get re-enthused.

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.