The Good Life Center welcomes 2021 Resident Stewards!

The Good Life Center in Brooksville, Maine, is proud to welcome its 2021 Resident Stewards Jack Ott and Jesse Dritz of Peak Island, Maine, to cultivate the organic gardens, lead tours of the hand-built structures and grounds, and teach the simple living strategies of Helen and Scott Nearing to the public this summer season at Forest Farm.

Jack Ott, a chesemaker and farmer, is the son of a baker and a chef. His love of eating well has developed into a passion for sustainable agriculture and the improvement of ethical food distribution systems. As a Resident Steward of Forest Farm, Jack looks forward to getting his hands dirty caring for the grounds while immersing himself in a simple, healthy, and intellectually challenging lifestyle while becoming a better farmer, thinker, and member of society.

Jesse Dritz, a current PhD candidate in the American & New England Studies program at Boston University, is a native of Maine and she focuses her studies on Maine photography and the way that photographs shape our sense of place. She has an enduring love for the Maine woods and the Maine coast. With a passion for native plants and herbal healing, Jesse looks forward to cultivating plant life and sharing the Nearings’ story with visitors to Forest Farm.

Forest Farm, on Cape Rosier in Harborside, Maine, will be open to the public this year from Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day.

Visitors will be welcome to tour the grounds and learn about Helen and Scott Nearing’s methods in organic gardening, simple living, and social and climate activism. Parties of three or more are requested to call ahead to ensure enough space for social distancing. Visitors are required to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and follow all posted protocols and staff instructions for protection from COVID-19.

The Good Life Center is the historic final homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing, who were prominent proponents of simple and sustainable living, leaders of the Back to the Land movement, and powerful social activists. The legacy of Helen and Scott Nearing lives on at Forest Farm: the homestead, meeting place, and organic gardens on Cape Rosier in Harborside, Maine.

Click here for more information about this year’s residency.

About the Residency Program

© Richard Garrett

The Nearing Residency is a seasonal residency sponsored by The Good Life Center. Nearing Residents live at Forest Farm, manage the gardens, live off the land, and entertain the many hundreds of visitors who come to Forest Farm every year.

It is designed to perpetuate Forest Farm as a place of inspiration, to help promote the mission and goals of The Good Life Center, and offers recipients a rare opportunity for simple living, organic gardening, and inspiration.

It is hoped that a season of immersion in the Nearing lifeways, combining hand labor and intellectual pursuit, will enliven the Residents’ capacities to make future contributions to progressive social change.

To apply for the Residency, see application process below. For more information, email:

Nearing Residency – Description & Application Process

Remarkable and unique opportunity on the Maine coast for responsible couple. Live at Forest Farm, historic homestead of Living the Good Life authors Helen and Scott Nearing, on spectacular Cape Rosier peninsula overlooking Penobscot Bay and the Camden Hills. Located near Blue Hill and Deer Isle, Maine, an hour from Acadia National Park with their galleries, restaurants, beautiful public beaches, biking, kayaking, sailing, and hiking.

Responsibilities include caring for the Nearings’ organic vegetable garden, light maintenance, welcoming visitors, providing tours, and introducing educational programs. A simply furnished wood heated resident apartment is provided, along with a modest stipend, garden vegetables, special access to the Nearing library, and the opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the world. You will receive support and supervision from the site manager and the head gardener.

The season is Memorial Day through Indigenous Peoples Day and requires 25 hours of work per week per person with two days off per week. Applicants must be nonsmokers, have hands-on gardening experience, and the capability to commit to the full season. Vegetarian meals while on grounds. Knowledge of the Nearings’ writings and philosophy a plus.

Please send resume and letter of interest by March 1 to: Nearing Residency, The Good Life Center, 97 Water Street, Blue Hill, Maine 04614.