Q & A

Five Minutes With Geo Neptune

The Passamaquoddy master basket maker/educator/drag queen on living with a menagerie, “gateway plants,” and honoring Molly Neptune Parker’s legacy.

Geo Neptune
Portrait by Brianna Smith
INTERVIEW BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVE DOSTIE
strawberry basket by Geo Neptune

Recently, I made…

a strawberry basket on my great-great-great-grandmother’s mold. My strawberries have always been unripe because Gram (the late master basket maker Molly Neptune Parker) made them ripe. I was waiting to carry on the tradition until it was my turn on the mold. It doesn’t look exactly like hers, but I think she’d be proud.

Geo Neptune holding a duckling from Al’s Quackery, in Arundel, Maine

I live with…

25 ducks, mostly from Al’s Quackery, in Arundel, seven Silkie chickens, six guinea fowl, and three dogs on a small Indian Township plot with a cabin given to me by my gram. Having animals and a garden grounds me to this place, and taking care of them reminds me to take care of myself.

commissioned coffee mug from Connie’s Clay of Fundy Pottery, in East Machias, Maine

“My dad commissioned my favorite coffee mug from Connie’s Clay of Fundy Pottery, in East Machias. The shape is inspired by Wabanaki pots and it has our tree of life symbols, which I used on a blanket I designed for Eighth Generation (portrait).”

market basket by Orono Passamaquoddy basket maker Gabriel Frey

My go-to accessory is…

my market basket by Orono Passamaquoddy basket maker Gabriel Frey. I use it to collect eggs; it holds a decent farmers’ market load; it’s been a makeup bag; I take it on planes — it fits overhead and under the seat — and it’s totally held up. $400. 

dark maple syrup from Passamaquoddy Maple, in Jackman, Maine

Every morning I…

drink coffee sweetened with dark maple syrup from Passamaquoddy Maple, in Jackman. I don’t mean to be biased, but I’ve tried many syrups and this has the richest flavor. And it directly supports my people. From $4.95.

succulents in a hypertufa planter from Brickhouse Succulents, in Etna,

My house is filled with…

all kinds of plants. Succulents, like this one in a hypertufa planter from Brickhouse Succulents, in Etna, were my gateway plants. They’re pretty hardy; they’ve survived when I haven’t kept up with watering and helped me realize I don’t have a black thumb.

Geo Neptune and a hive of Italian honeybees from Maine Bee Company, in Bucksport, Maine

I just purchased…

three pounds of Italian honeybees from Maine Bee Company, in Bucksport. So far, they are very docile ladies and the queen is laying healthy eggs. I’m hoping more tribal members will get into beekeeping.


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