Silver Linings: Giving Again in a Small City

Lee Holman at his house in Hartford. Holman is a neighborhood chief in rural Maine. Andree Kehn / Journal of the Solar

HARTFORD – Lee Holman has a easy philosophy: “Be the change you wish to see on the planet.”

Lee Holman stands in his kitchen in Hartford. “You will be remoted or be neighbor,” she says. Holman is energetic in his neighborhood each in individual and on-line. She makes use of little or no electrical energy at house, relying primarily on kerosene lamps for gentle. Andree Kehn / Journal of the Solar

She’s been this modification for 46 years.

Holman, 65, moved from Lewiston to Hartford in 1975 to pursue his passions: farming and neighborhood service. She purchased a “decrepit” farm with the intention of turning into a farm.

“I’m obsessed with meals, home-raised meals, meals preservation and meals security,” she mentioned in a current interview.

She owns Whippoorwill Hill Farm on the secluded Labrador Pond Street, the place she raises herbs and greens for meals and medication, and pasture poultry for eggs and meat.

She has been a part of the Selectboard for her small city of 1,209 inhabitants since 2003 and can end her fifth time period subsequent spring.

She additionally served on the Metropolis Funds Committee and the Oxford County Funds Advisory Committee, an elected place made up of Selectboard members from throughout the county, for 12 years.

As a farmer, she has been a member of the board of administrators of Fare Share Co-op on a number of events.

Fare Share is a pure meals cooperative based mostly in Norway. It describes itself as a grocery retailer, a gathering place, a wellness useful resource, a chance to purchase domestically.

Holman believes neighborhood involvement is a accountability.

“I truthfully believed I owed it to my adopted metropolis to take part,” mentioned Holman. “I suppose it made me really feel like I belong right here. In actual fact, it nonetheless is.

This sense of belonging fuels a deep neighborhood spirit, as anybody who is aware of Holman would acknowledge.

She is a frequent donor on the native Purchase Nothing Fb web page, created to permit folks to present again to their neighborhood. His motto: “Let’s assist one another.”

Lee Holman lives on the finish of an extended lifeless finish street in Hartford, the place she owns a small farm. She is a part of town’s Selectboard. Andree Kehn / Journal of the Solar

Over the previous few months, Holman has donated dozens of things, together with a French press, faucet footwear, an apple baker, a wicker cradle and a altering desk.

She’s racked up rather a lot over time, she mentioned.

And she or he’s completely happy to share her stuff – and her time.

“I’m very dedicated to the participation and help of my small city,” she mentioned. “Small cities in Maine are such a blessing. Folks from the skin transfer right here for their very own causes, however I believe they typically do not acknowledge – typically even folks born and raised right here both – that now we have an actual gem right here.

Anybody in a small city can affect budgets, ordinances and different essential selections, she mentioned, which makes small city authorities a real democracy.

And everyone seems to be liable for their participation.

“After I hear folks complaining bitterly about their metropolis, which they certain do – social media makes it simpler – I all the time wish to remind them that once you stay in a small city, it is not the States- United in opposition to town. We ARE town, ”mentioned Holman.

“And if not, it is as a result of we gave up our most valuable proper to take part.”

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