From our guest editor, Martha Stewart
My husband and I both enjoyed hiking and fresh seafood and looked forward to exploring Maine’s abundant trails and eating at as many lobster pounds as possible. On that first trip, we avidly climbed the most challenging of Acadia’s trails: Beehive, Perpendicular, and Precipice. Giant Slide was fun, as was Penobscot and the Upper Hadlock Pond Trail. I also attempted to see all of the park’s bridges, canoed on its ponds, and slept soundly on Sand Beach.
Throughout our marriage, we explored different parts of Maine, but I lost my heart on that initial trip to Mount Desert. The natural beauty, wilderness, and quiet made it the perfect place for us. Our busy careers in New York did not permit many long vacations, so we settled for one Maine visit each year. For me, those visits halted when our marriage ended and my attention was drawn elsewhere. But not for long.
The moment I laid eyes on Skylands — the famed Edsel Ford estate on Ox Hill in Seal Harbor — in 1999, Maine had me hooked again. It took little more than a week to purchase the 68-acre estate, which has a large main house, guesthouse, carriage house, playhouse with squash and tennis courts, workshops, staff quarters, a six-car garage, stable, and spectacular view. When I told my banker, Jane Heller, of my intention to buy Skylands, she replied, “Martha, most people are happy to come home from Maine with a pair of L.L.Bean boots!”
As a longtime visitor, and now as a 15-year steward of a historic property, I have been thrilled to get to know Maine’s geography, history, and people. And I’m honored to share some of what I love most about the state in this special issue of Down East.
A group of green-thumbed friends gathers among lush vegetable beds for a laid-back meal at Elizabeth and Marty Lakeman’s cozy potting shed behind their Phippsburg home.
By Sarah Stebbins
With a popular blog and three books, Lisa Steele is spreading the gospel of backyard chicken-keeping. We pay a visit to her Dixmont hobby farm and meet her garrulous brood.
By Virginia M. Wright
The time for Maine cheese is now. Whether you prefer it sharp, funky, hard, soft, or even drenched in herbed olive oil, someone makes it just down the road.
By Virginia M. Wright
Reaping What They Sow
As traditional fisheries stare down climate-induced disaster, aquaculture could be Maine’s next great industry. So why aren’t more fishermen seafarming?
By Mary Pols
North by East
Opinions, Advisories, and Musings from the Length and Breadth of Maine
Down East Dispatches
News You May Have Missed
Maine Camps Meet Reality TV
A Pioneering Boatyard GM
Talk of Maine
Who’s Leading Today’s Land
Living the Maine Life
Go-To Planting Resources
Making It in Maine
Lunaform’s Garden Urns
Beetlemania: The Bug Invasion
Room With a View
What to Do in Maine This Month
Coda in Southwest Harbor
Martha’s Favorite Maine Merch
Fiddling with PSO Pops
From Our Archives
On the cover:Martha Stewart at her Skylands home. By Pieter Estersohn
Additional photos: Chuck Baker, Matthew Hranek, Benjamin Williamson, Bryan Gardner