Politics

A Compact, Eco-Friendly House and Three (Not-So-Little) Pigs

This is the story of two athletic people who formed an attachment while cycling and made a home together near the coast of Maine. They built a small, energy-efficient house northwest of Camden that is comfortable throughout the year: in frigid season, sopping season, insect season. It’s got it.

This is also the story of three not-so-little pigs that chomp down on their field. We’ll get to them eventually.

Didier Bonner-Ganter and Nathalie Nopakun met seven years ago while participating in the Cadillac Challenge, an annual bike ride in Acadia National Park. Ms. Nopakun was living in Cambridge, Mass., and had a job as a compliance officer for a Medicaid/Medicare plan, while Mr. Bonner-Ganter was working as a forester and arborist in Midcoast Maine.

Nathalie Nopakun and Didier Bonner-Ganter in their kitchen. The couple, who are foresters and arborists, installed maple trim throughout the home. The glossy white tile behind the range is from Clé.Credit…Sarah Szwajkos

“It was just one of those things,” Ms. Nopakun said, sounding like a very fit, female Cole Porter. “We just were totally drawn to each other. We tossed around a bunch of ideas about where to relocate, because we’re older.” (Ms. Nopakun is now 47, and Mr. Bonner-Ganter is 53.)

She added: “It was not like we were about to start a family or anything like that.”

But Mr. Bonner-Ganter had an established business in Maine, which Ms. Nopakun joined in the pandemic after an unhappy bout of working at her job remotely. “I just burned out, so I begged and pleaded and he finally took me on,” she said.

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