The Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead sits on a 17 acre parcel that Dennis bought in 2002 with the goal of opening a Hostel. Anneli came to Deer Isle in 2008 after years of traveling the world and since then we’ve developed our farm and now live a homesteading life, where our basic needs are met from our own land. Thus our financial needs are very limited and and only a small part of our time is spent making money, with most of our income coming from running the Hostel. We live here year ’round in a simple cabin, we’re off the grid with solar power, we have a hand pump for water and cook and heat with wood. The farm is still expanding and evolving; what not so long ago was dense woods is now gardens providing us and the Hostel with organic produce year round without greenhouses, plastic material, freezer or refrigeration.
We have chickens and we raise couple of pigs each year that we butcher and smoke ourselves. We grow a variety of fruit trees and each year we’ll graft locally grown heirloom varieties of apples that we sell on the island. We cultivate Shiitake mushrooms, grow garlic for a local market and forage for wild fruits, edibles and medicinal plants. In the winter we manage our wood lot and cut trees for fuel and for building materials, that we mill on our Wood Mizer sawmill.
We constantly strive for greater independence from the fossil fuel based economic system and for even more creative use of the resources around us. We think about it as a positive-impact kind of life rather than low-impact; we belong in nature, with nature, and our actions in the landscape
shouldn’t necessarily be minimal but rather focused on being beneficial and harmonious.
In the summers we offer a program of workshops and lectures within the sustainable practices we use in our every day life, such as food preservation, gardening and fruit tree cultivation, wood work and herbal medicine. And in the middle of all this is the Deer Isle Hostel. The only hostel on the coast of Maine, it is set right here on our farm, in a 17th century style timber framed house that Dennis built himself from the stone foundation up, using local materials and hand tools. From late May to September we see travelers from all around the world coming to enjoy the scenic beauty, the water with world renowned sea kayaking and canoeing opportunities and hiking trails in the adjacent nature preserve. We offer more than just a good night sleep and a communal dinner each evening; here our guests experience a way of life they might never
have encountered before and see first hand that an alternative way of living is not only possible; it’s simple, rewarding and dignifying.