I grew up on an apple orchard in Waterford. Morse Orchards harvested 40-50,000 bushels each year. We had two large storages and packed and shipped apples throughout the winter and spring. Growing up and working on a farm as a kid and young adult taught me a lot about food, nature and hard work.
I returned from college to work in the orchard and help build houses and barns. I also started what has turned out to a lifelong history of community organizing by helping to organize food co-ops. In 1978, the local buying clubs evolved into Fare Share Co-op, which is going in to its 42nd year in 2020. I also worked at the Maine Federation of Cooperatives which operated Fedco Warehouse.
I then started Grassroots Graphics which I ran in Norway for 18 years. During that time, I helped organize Norway Downtown in order to revitalize Main Street. As a volunteer, I also managed the restoration and relocation of Fare Share Market's new home on Main Street.
Based on these community organizing efforts, I was hired to serve as Director of Healthy Oxford Hills, a public health coalition funded by tobacco settlement funds. During my 8 years there, I became more ...