From Dennis Dechaine, testimony at trial: “We wanted to be row croppers, vegetable growers…. It actually happened while we were residing at the Christopher farm. George was amenable to us pursuing some of our own interests. So we planted a large garden on a borrowed piece of land that had decent soil and sold our crops in Hallowell while we were still under George Christopher’s employ…. Well, that had gone quite well and we felt the success warranted expansion. During the summer  I met several farmers that specialized in different crops, and one of them specialized in strawberries that told me about Paul’s produce stand and how it had been abandoned when Paul Farley had died. So I went to speak to Beulah Farley, his widow, and basically the arrangement was established at that time.”
[Responding to question, "And once you started Paul's Produce [in Spring of 1985] or started working the stand were you selling primarily vegetables at the time?”] “Yes, we had brought in a few bedding plants from a greenhouse producer and had those for sale, but we produced them ourselves… That first year it was very small. Bath Iron Works was having a strike, which affected the business in that area. And the stand having been abandoned for a period of years was going to require renewal. So we realized that…. I think it [sales the first year] was in the area of probably between ten and 15 thousand…. After that season I think that’s when I started thinking about getting into the Christmas wreath business to extend the produce business….. [Became aware of that business]. From northern Maine where I grew up, the balsam fir is available and people make balsam fir wreaths in large quantities…. Nancy and myself. Mike Hite played a big part that first year. He was an unpaid helper.”
[Responding to question, "How did the Christmas wreath business do the first year?" “It was pretty small. I don’t think we totaled much more than two or three hundred wreaths in total. Most of them went out mail order. [Then] We built a greenhouse… At Paul’s Produce in Brunswick. I did [build it] with the help of several friends…. We realized several advantages to greenhousing versus row cropping. You have limited rodent and insect problems, limited disease, you are not subject to tremendous weather variations that we often experience in this state. And on top of that, the inventory was far more controllable in that it was basically non-perishable if you kept it watered daily….
“The vegetable business had also grown substantially. We found we were unable to produce the quantity of vegetables necessary to keep the stand supplied. So we started brokering a lot. At that time we also started dealing with out-of-state products, fruits of all varieties…. Over the course of a season [we dealt with] probably 20 [wholesalers] a month…. [Then] Basically we prepared to get back into the wreath business…. At that time [of] that second season we launched our first direct mailing. We spoke with several corporations that we felt would be interested in that product, service oriented industries that might want to supply wreaths to their clients. Consequently the wreath business mushroomed… That second year  we maybe doubled or tripled over the first.” [With two employees and Dennis]
[Responding to question, "What did you do after that [the Christmas season]?” “Basically, it’s time to start greenhousing. There are a lot of long season plants, perennials that need to get started in January and February, so we were actually starting to experience some overlap…. There is no money coming in, but there is plenty of activity in terms of production….Once again [now in 1987] we experienced expansion. Our greenhouse was no longer able to supply the demand, and we ended up buying in a lot of plants from other producers and the same with the produce business.”
[Responding to question, "And at that time did you purchase your home or not quite yet?"] “No. I don’t think we had purchased it. It was the Fall of 1987. We went through that season.” [“Relationship with wife?”] “It was very good….After having purchased the farm we decided for two reasons to sublet the produce aspect of our business to another agriculturalist. The first reason was that we dearly loved our new home and wanted to develop a business there so that I wouldn’t have to travel to and from Brunswick.
The second reason was that the produce business had grown to such an extent that it required tremendous focus and energy to maintain. And for the amount of net income that we received from the business we really didn’t believe that the effort was justified…. We were going to expand in both greenhousing and our mail order business. We were at that time in the process of, I think it was the Winter of 1987, that we purchased another three thousand square [foot] greenhouse and we were going to erect it after the greenhouse season was over in Brunswick.” [The same greenhouse he was going to be working on in July, 1988]
“Well, early 1988 basically saw us producing plants, basically. We filled our greenhouse in Brunswick, opened up for business, in April, I believe, and went through the season. And after – basically the greenhouse season finishes after the first onset of tourists, so we were finished by the end of June…..
“Yes, I still had Paul’s Produce. But the Economeau farm had come in in the middle of June or perhaps last week of June and they were actually selling their products while we were selling ours. So we were running two separate businesses from the same location.” [TR pp 1184 - 1191]
“I was nominated by local farmers to be a county committee member for the Farmers Home Administration for Sagadahoc and Lincoln County… After I was elected those duties basically entailed – there were three of us. What we decided or what we helped decide was the feasibility of various projects that farmers needed money for. We determined whether operating loans and/or startup loans were feasible or necessary. Whether farmers had the adequate background to successfully meet their goals and repay their loans. And the other aspect was to decide whether to write off loans from delinquent farmers or to refinance…. ” [TR pp 1195-1196]
From Human Sacrifice: “Dechaine’s former wife, Nancy – she’d divorced him to preserve her half of their marital property from the Cherry family’s lawsuit – testified to his inability to hurt the farm animals. ‘We decided at a dollar-fifty, it was worth trying it [slaughtering the farm animals] ourselves. I didn’t want to be part of it. Dennis said he would try. He killed the chicken and said, ‘I can’t do it. It’s worth a dollar-fifty for someone else to do it.’” [Same situation for their rabbits] (Human Sacrifice, p. 143)
From Mike Hite at trial: “I met him, I went over and introduced myself to him when he opened the vegetable stand in 1985….I would say we are very good friends… I helped him plant the field the first year when he was there before he put the greenhouse up. When I wasn’t working in the evening I would come home and help him plant. … Yes sir, it is hard work…. He was trying to build a business. Yes, I would say he had stress. He was just trying to get it going…. After he would close his stand up occasionally he would come over to the house, and I have a big garage and I like working out there and we would have a few beers and reminisce about things going that day. That’s how we became such close friends. When Dennis needed help with equipment or anything I was always there to try to help him…. I helped overhaul one of his tractors, yes…. I met a few of Dennis’ friends through the vegetable stand when they would come over to visit him.” [TR pp 1157-1160]
From letter from Dennis: “I loved dealing with the public, especially for horticultural sales. I learned to dislike selling food. People appreciate luxuries more than necessities.” (Dated 22 February 2003)