EDDINGTON, Maine — Between February and September, you won't find Beth Hutchings far from her greenhouses. The 81-year-old moved from Northern Ireland to Eddington, Maine when she was 19.
She's about as Maine as it gets, working well into her golden years at the business she and her husband started in 1969.
"I love it! I love to do it and I like to be busy," she says. Her story is one of many photographer Jason Paige Smith has started documenting in a series he calls, "The Oldest State;" traveling Maine, and capturing its people and what they love to do through beautiful stills.
"You hear people talking about how Maine is the oldest state and usually it’s in a negative way," says Jason. "I never saw it that way. I always thought it gave a lot of depth, a lot of really interesting aspects to the state that really help tell the story of what makes the state what it is."
In fact, Maine is one of the oldest states in the nation, with more than 18% of the population over the age of 65; people like Beth who don't let age define them or slow them down; either because they can't afford to, or simply aren't willing to.
Beth continues to plant every day and get up at 3 AM through the winter to keep the wood stoves stocked in every greenhouse on the property. She also knits sweaters through the fall and winter.
"I hope that they connect with somebody on some level, I hope that they learn something because I’ve learned a lot just by talking to people about not only who they are and what they’ve done but how things have been done over the years that I might not have known about," says Jason.
Jason Paige Smith has put together a book of his project, you can order here: https://www.jasonpaigesmith.com/books