Pound Sweet is an old New England apple variety, valued in years past as a superb cooking apple and a good keeper. At least one Pound Sweet tree grew o
n the Ripley, Maine farm of my great-great-grandparents, Lamont and Eva Ellms.

My work as a writer, agrarian and schoolteacher is grounded in food and farm tradition. I grew up in Southern Maine where my parents instilled in me a love for gardening and simple, homemade meals.  I raise chickens, cook meals on our Home Clarion Cookstove, and from time to time I break out my grandmother Virgie’s old Dazey butter churn.

With my partner, Wyatt, I’m bringing back an 1860’s homestead in Hampden, where a small Pound Sweet tree now grows. Down the road at Nettie Fox Farm, in Newburgh, I raise flowers for market, and I manage the blog of The Greenhorns — a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting and promoting young farmers in America. Recently, I added teacher to the mix, completing a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Maine. This fall, I begin teaching 11th grade English at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport. School gardens are certainly in my future.

I still dream of owning a farm, of returning to Eva’s creamery to make batches of yellow butter, of finding the old Pound Sweet tree and bringing it back to fruition. For now, I’ve got a full and beautiful life.

 

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