Dan Marion sits atop his tractor in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Overlooking a picturesque coastal view, lighthouses watch over the Atlantic Ocean and the crashing waves collide with the rocky shore of his fertile farmland. Marion explains the potential massacre deer can execute on his farm, Fresh Pickins. He’s taken a break from installing a 3D solar electric fence that’s supposed to deter them without obstructing the view. It’s a dramatic change from where he sat 10 years ago, atop an icy halfpipe at the Winter Dew Tour.
“I never thought I would be farming,” Marion says. “I never imagined it at all.”
While traveling to Breckenridge, CO, for a contest, Marion’s farming idea took root. The family of fellow Mainer and skier Abe Zacharias ran a farm in nearby York. Marion and Zacharias chatted about farming and skiing. Eventually the two worked out a deal in which Zacharias got a pair of Marion’s Volkl Chopsticks, a popular powder ski made by Marion’s then-sponsor. In return, Zacharias would help Marion get started farming flowers in a greenhouse that spring.
Following the winter, Zacharias made good on the deal and taught Marion which varieties of flowers would grow well in Maine’s climate. The flowers provided Marion with easy money at the farmers markets that summer while he geared up to break ground on a plot of land that belonged to his grandfather in Limington, ME…