We are a rugged breed, we Yankees. And innovative and hard working too. Up and down the peninsula my parents live on, nearly every other house has a sign for some sort of cottage industry whether an art gallery, a sewing repair service or a hair salon. It's part of how people make it through the winter when everything all but shuts down around here. Maine is an entirely different place in the winter.
My dad and I got some flowers here for my mom on the way home. Not only are they beautiful, but the prices are way better than at a store and I much prefer their arrangements. It's like that with a lot of these little business. I'd rather do business with our neighbors and it's often better quality, and of course more personal and friendly.
Along with having a little something to sell or odd jobs to do, most Mainers are pretty self-reliant and independent too, whether it's siding your own barn or, like my uncle, adding solar panels and those things that heat water onto the side of his house. He's been working on this project since last summer and it's pretty exciting. He also, of course, sells rhubarb from a cute, little stand and has a B&B, soon to be an off-the-grid bed and breakfast!
My other uncle (in the top picture) has the ultimate homestead. It's so gorgeous, situated right along the river is a little valley nestled in the trees. He has several gardens and grows enough to keep himself fed all winter with the help of his root cellar and some ambitious canning. He also takes it upon himself to outfit a handful of old ladies and other friends and family with plenty of garden extras. When we lived here I'd always see him out and about delivering extra produce. He also taught high school history and was a state representative for many years. I wish my local rep was a gardening, clothesline-using, homesteader!