April 2017

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From our guest editor, Martha Stewart
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Last summer, the editors of this beloved magazine asked if I would oversee the April issue, a prospect that elicited only an excited affirmative response from me, a professed Maine lover and well-known extoller of Good Things in Maine. My first visit was in the early 1960s, when, as newly married college students, my husband and I drove to Maine for a week in what we thought would be pure wilderness. Our destination was Mount Desert Island, specifically Acadia National Park. We were traveling without reservations, and the only accommodation available within our modest budget was a “maid’s room” tucked under the narrow eaves of the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor. Despite the discomfort of sharing a twin bed with my very tall husband, I had a wonderful time. We vowed to return to Maine again and again and even discussed the possibility of buying a house, cabin, or camp on MDI.

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.

Features

Garden Party

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

Mother Hen

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

A Slice of Culture

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


See Inside


Departments

Where in Maine?

Connect

The Mail


North by East

Opinions, Advisories, and Musings from the Length and Breadth of Maine

Down East Dispatches

News You May Have Missed

Cabin Fever

Maine Camps Meet Reality TV

At the Helm

A Pioneering Boatyard GM

Talk of Maine

Who’s Leading Today’s Land
Conservation Movement?


Dooryard

Living the Maine Life

Home

Martha Stewart’s Skylands

Recipe

Sorrel Soup

Garden

Go-To Planting Resources

Making It in Maine

Lunaform’s Garden Urns

Critters

Beetlemania: The Bug Invasion

Room With a View


Guide

What to Do in Maine This Month

Dining

Coda in Southwest Harbor

Reads

Under-the-Radar Maine Journals

Goods

Martha’s Favorite Maine Merch

Music

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


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