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New Printing of Northern Farm Available Now

NEW PRINTING: Northern Farm, the classic paperback edition with art by Thoreau MacDonald. Just $15.00 -- All proceeds going to the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association for their purchase of conservation easements at Chimney Farm. Call DLWA at 549-3836 to purchase this collectors item and help DLWA in its efforts to protect the land. 

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Henry Beston’s Northern Farm –
Signed Edition Available

TIn a special pre-publication offer, Kate Beston Barnes, First Poet Laureate of Maine, will sign 100 of her father Henry Beston’s reprinted classic, Northern Farm. The signed copies are available for $25 to those who pre-order before the book release party on August 9.

The proceeds from the signed copies help the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (DLWA) protect Chimney Farm on Damariscotta Lake, where Northern Farm takes place. 

In the 1930s, nature writer Henry Beston, author of The Outermost House, a book so beloved it has remained in print for over half a century, moved with his family to Nobleboro, Maine.  He chronicled his simple country life on Chimney Farm, imbuing his prose with a deep sense of spirituality and intense love of nature. 

“Maine” he wrote “enjoys being Maine.  Something of the eighteenth-century gusto of living continues here, and there is a positive enjoyment of adventure, character, and circumstance…Here one still thinks of life as life and not as existence.”

Beston’s family shared his love of Maine and Chimney Farm.  Beston’s wife Elizabeth Coatsworth was an accomplished author in her own right. She wrote Maine Memories on the farm, memorializing a place they came to cherish:

“If Americans are to become truly at home in America, it must be through the devotion of many people to many small, deeply loved places.  The field by the sea, the single mountain peak seen from a man’s door, the island of trees and farm buildings in the western wheat, must be sung and painted and praised until each takes on the gentleness of the thing loved, and becomes an unconscious part of us and we of it.”

Beston and Coatsworth’s daughter, Kate Beston Barnes, is heir to her parents’ literary prowess.  She also inherited their deep appreciation of nature and Maine.  In her poem Neighborliness she writes
In Maine
we are glad to be part of a land
that remains so beautiful under its green skin
of woods and open fields, that is glitteringly
bordered by thousands of miles
of breaking waves, and that is lovely,
too, with an unbroken tradition
of concerns, with the kind, enduring grace
of its neighborliness.
Barnes wrote an article on Chimney Farm and her parents’ life there in a 1992 issue of Downeast Magazine.  “The Farm, they called it, and now people ask what they raised.  The answer is clear.  Although they had flowers and herbs and vegetables in the garden, hay in the fields, apples and pears and cherries on the trees, their only real crop was words.”

To help the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association protect this historical and literary treasure, Kate Barnes has agreed to sign 100 copies of Chimney Farm’s finest word crop, Henry Beston’s Northern Farm.  Call DLWA at 549-3836 to purchase this collectors item and help DLWA in its efforts to protect the land. 

DLWA has already protected 10 acres of Chimney Farm and needs to raise $27,000 more by this September to purchase development rights on an additional 3.5-acre parcel.

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January 2005

HenryBeston.com Launched
Skaneateles. New York

The Friends of Henry Beston announce the launch of HenryBeston.Com, a new web site to help perpetuate the memory of the naturalist-writer and his wife Elizabeth Coatsworth. The web site, created through volunteer efforts, also focuses on the efforts to help preserve Beston’s Chimney Farm in Nobleboro, Maine. It is hoped that the farm, subject of the enduring Northern Farm, could someday be declared a National Literary Landmark and become a working symbol of the Beston legacy like the Rachel Carson Homestead.

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December 2004

New Book on Henry Beston in the works
Oneonta, New York

Daniel Payne, professor of English at Oneonta State, is working on an biography of Henry Beston. This will be the first biography ever done on the naturalist-write who influenced Rachel Carson and a whole generation of nature writers.

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November 2004

A Note From Chimney Farm
Nobleboro Me.

Dear Friends,

It is Thanksgiving week here at Chimney Farm. Today we put 150 bales of hay into the barn for the donkeys. Last weekend we planted over 350 garlic cloves, under more hay. This week we have been visited by deer, turkeys, and a cardinal pair, but our most unusual visitor was a red-bellied woodpecker. This weekend's Sunday paper reported more than 100 sightings around the state, so we weren't just seeing things.

The campaign to save the farm has geared up, with DLWA printing 5000 brochures about the farm, and the move to save it. If you would like us to mail you one, or if you can suggest people, organizations, any potential source of resources, please do send along the addresses. Things are going really well, but there is always the possibility of doing more.

We hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration -

Beth and Gary
Chimney Farm

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Summer 2004

Chimney Farm Conservation efforts
Jefferson, Me.

The Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association is pleased to announce their recent agreement in principle for the acquisition of a conservation easement on a portion of Chimney Farm, known to fans of author Henry Beston as "Northern Farm".

Authors Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth made their home at Chimney Farm on Damariscotta Lake. Since their deaths, their daughter Kate Barnes, Maine’s first Poet Laureate, has owned Chimney Farm. The farm consists of over 70 acres of forest and agricultural land, the original Beston house, barn and outbuildings, and over 2000 feet of prime frontage on Damariscotta Lake. DLWA is delighted that they intend to acquire a Conservation Easement on a portion of the farm from Ms. Barnes. The DLWA easement will include 9 acres of agricultural land and more than 650 feet of lakefront. Conservation Easements to protect other sections of the property in the future are included in the agreement.

DLWA has additional work to do to complete the terms of the agreement on conserving a portion of Chimney Farm. For further information on the easement or to find out how you can help, please write to DLWA, PO Box 3, Jefferson, ME 04348 or call the DLWA office at 207-549-3836. General information on DLWA can be found at www.dlwa.org.

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