— skeptical brotha ?? (@skepticalbrotha) September 15, 2018
I went canvassing for @AndrewGillum today. At one point a truck pulled up and the back window came down. A young girl asked for a flyer. She proudly announced that she had recently turned 18 and that her first vote was for Mayor Gillum in the primary. All the feels. #BringItHome
— Jason Kruszka (@JasonKruszka) September 15, 2018
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) September 15, 2018
… She and her husband, Joe Daley, closed on Lisbon’s 480-acre Packard-Littlefield farm on June 29, within days of learning that the White House would not continue to pursue her nomination. Thornton announced her resignation from the State Department on June 30. The youngest of her three children had just graduated from high school, severing the last obligation they had to stay in Washington. They’ve now moved into their new home, and are “just sorting out internet and lawnmowers,” she said.
The Thornton-Daley family is also sorting out their relationship with the former owners’ tenant, Cultivating Community, a nonprofit that has turned 30 acres on the Packard-Littlefield farm into a powerful incubator for immigrant and refugee farmers, many of them Somali-Bantu. According to Cultivating Community’s website, the farm is hosting 18 farmers growing for markets and over 30 community gardeners at the site. Fresh Start Farms, a packing and distribution service for the new-American farmers, is also based at the farm. Cultivating Community’s lease is due to run out soon.
“We’re planning on continuing the relationship,” Thornton said. “We have had discussions about renewing the lease. They are trying to figure out their plans for the next five years, and we’re talking about how we can both work side by side there.”…
“It helps us to feel like we’ve got a partner there that already knows how to do this,” she said of Cultivating Community. “Because we are obviously kind of neophytes.”…
She said she and Daley had always wanted to own a farm here but had added incentive once their son, Ben, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, decided he wanted to be a farmer. (More incentive: Their daughter Kate is a freshman at Bowdoin.) He’s worked on vegetable farms in North Carolina and in Maine, has experience with livestock and has worked on horsepower farms. “I think he is thinking of horsepower,” Thornton said. “He likes the slow pace.”
The Packard-Littlefield farm went on the market in the spring of 2017 with an asking price of $2.7 million. (It sold for $760,000, according to the listing agent’s office). The longtime owners, Ella Mae Littlefield Packard and Robert Packard, had farmed the land but were in their 70s and ready to retire.
The Packards, part of only the second family to own the 18th-century farm, had taken steps to preserve the land for agricultural use. It has been designated a “Forever Farm,” meaning most of it is covered by an agricultural conservation easement. In 2004, Androscoggin Land Trust and the Packard family, working with the Maine Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, used funding from the Land for Maine’s Future and Farmland Ranch Protection Program to put 195 acres into protected status. Then the Packard family donated conservation easements on two additional parcels in 2007 and 2010, bringing the total conserved acreage to about 400 acres…
The Beltway’s loss, hopefully Maine’s gain.