Abigail Curtis

Homestead Reporter

Maine Farmland Trust's popular Maine Fare event is returning after a yearlong break in the form of a monthlong series of hands-on field trips and workshops and not a two-day festival.

Maine Fare reboot to include animal butchery, cider-making workshops

By Abigail Curtis on April 22, 2017, at 8:41 a.m.
A year after the popular Maine Fare festival was put on ice, it’s being revived and rebooted by its organizers at the Maine Farmland Trust.
The Homeport Inn, a historic sea captain's house in Searsport, has a storied past.

Searsport sea captain’s ornate home for sale, ghosts included

By Abigail Curtis on April 20, 2017, at 6:56 a.m.
“Every night, about 2 in the morning, [my dog] Coop would start growling,” the property’s previous owner said. “He’d just growl until he started full-out barking. It just struck me as really odd that he would do that. It’s just really weird.”
Melinda Hellum, head chef at Waldo County General Hospital, looks to Robert Coombs, kitchen supervisor at Waldo County General Hospital, while peeling a bag of fresh beets at the Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. The kitchen staff at the hospital is working to bring the locavore, farm-to-table movement to an unusual place: the hospital cafeteria.

Maine hospitals are bringing farm-to-table to patients

By Abigail Curtis on April 17, 2017, at 11:57 a.m.
“Hospitals should be role models. We started seeking out farmers and training our cooks to use local foods.”
Krystin Noyes works on a watercolor paining below decks while her dog, Cirroc, roams around outside in Portland. Noyes spent the winter on the 36-foot boat at Dimillo's Marina with the dog, a cat and her boyfriend, Nate Taylor.

Liveaboard life a draw for some hardy Mainers

By Abigail Curtis on April 15, 2017, at 6:30 a.m.
“We’re not going back to land,” she said. “We want to encourage other people to be boat people, too.”

Lawmaker still wants to regulate foraging but drops support for wild picker law

By Abigail Curtis on April 12, 2017, at 1 a.m.
Sen. Tom Saviello said that after reviewing state laws already on the books and learning that such harvesting already is largely prohibited, he decided that there is no need for another law.
Acorns ready to be made into flour are seen in Belfast on Thursday. The group expects to make around 20 pounds of acorn flour when they are done.

Bumper crop leads to acorn flour production for Belfast friends

By Abigail Curtis on April 10, 2017, at 1 a.m.
“I love everything that has to do with wild edibles and eating off the land. It feels like it’s timeless, like something that would have happened 10,000 years ago.”
A glass of water is seen during the taste testing at the Maine Rural Water Association's 34th Annual Water and Wastewater Technical Conference at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Dec. 11, 2014.

Maine’s wells could be polluted with arsenic, lead

By Abigail Curtis on April 05, 2017, at 6:01 a.m.
“The major problem is that Maine has a high reliance on wells, but very few people test their wells.”
Fedco employees pack seed potatoes at the company's warehouse in Clinton Wednesday. The Maine-based cooperative sells a wide variety of seeds, bulbs, trees and soil amendments and it is owned by its employees and customers.

As more Mainers covet local food, a longtime seed seller grows

By Abigail Curtis on April 04, 2017, at 6:22 a.m.
This Maine company has mailed out roughly 24 million seed packets since the 1970s.
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District held a fruit tree pruning workshop at the Tudor Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, March 2016.

Early spring is still the right time to prune fruit trees

By Abigail Curtis on April 02, 2017, at 1:19 p.m.
It’s still a good time to prune fruit trees, but people should try to finish up pruning their apples and pears before they break bud,” Renae Moran said, adding that stone fruit trees such as plums, peaches and cherries can be pruned anytime in the month of April. “In my opinion, pruning is good for the tree.”
Fiddleheads grow in Stillwater, Maine

Foragers, landowners at odds in proposed wild picker law

By Abigail Curtis on March 29, 2017, at 12:50 p.m.
Opponents and supporters of a proposed law that would put restrictions on foraging on private land agree on one thing: An important part of the Maine way of life is at risk.
Sap buckets around a neighborhood in Belfast wait to be emptied by Sasha Kutsy and her family Wednesday. The family gathers sap from neighbor trees to make around two gallons of maple syrup.

Maple syrup isn’t just a business, it’s a way of life

By Abigail Curtis on March 28, 2017, at 5:57 a.m.
“As February rolls around and we are so eager for spring to come, this is a sign that it’s on its way.”
Clara Connolly, 8, looks out the window with Mango before cat yoga at P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Camden Wednesday. The third Wednesday of every month, Coastal Maine Yoga provides free yoga classes with adoptable cats at the center.

Mainers can now do yoga with cats

By Abigail Curtis on March 27, 2017, at 8:42 a.m.
“I love animals, and this was a really cool way to have a new experience.”
Wyatt Beauchamp, 6, is held by his mother Kristin after he had a small seizure. Wyatt has epilepsy, which causes seizures that range from a few seconds of inactivity to major episodes when he falls to the floor and his body starts to shake. He has to wear a helmet to provide some protection during the numerous falls throughout the day.

Maine family seeks solutions to help child with epilepsy

By Abigail Curtis on March 22, 2017, at 5:52 a.m.
Even though the family’s path has been hard and at times scary, it has been made a little easier thanks to the love and care from their expanding community. On this path, there is hope.
Lokie Horn and his wife Adria stated their farm in Pittston two years ago. They keep a herd of yak, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits. Lokie said they decided to raise yak for their milk and in smaller part for their meat.

Veterans are putting roots down in Maine — as farmers

By Abigail Curtis on March 18, 2017, at 6 a.m.
There are now more than 250 veteran-owned farms in the Pine Tree State that belong to the non-profit United Farmer Veterans of Maine.
Megan Anderson the barn manager at Unity College bottle feeds McKinley a Katahdin lamb at the college. McKinley was rejected by her mother and had to be bottle fed.

How a sheep breed developed in Maine became popular around the world

By Abigail Curtis on March 11, 2017, at 7:31 a.m.
“It does well in the heat and also the cold. Not many breeds of livestock can do well in the southern tip of Florida and also be raised in the Arctic circle.”

Maine’s native bees a ‘very optimistic story’

By Abigail Curtis on March 10, 2017, at 7:15 a.m.
The orange belted bumblebee is one of Maine's native bee species. Frank Drummond, professor of insect ecology at the University of Maine, said that Maine's native bees on the whole are doing pretty well, which isn't the case with the national outlook on honeybees. "In general, it seems that most of our native bees are pretty stable," he said.

Maine’s native bees a ‘very optimistic story’

By Abigail Curtis on March 09, 2017, at 12:51 p.m.
“Bees mostly operate pretty locally, with the distance they fly just a couple hundred meters, so individual people can have an impact. Everybody doing their little bit helps.”
A bee buzzes a flower in Maine.

How you can help save Maine’s bees

By Abigail Curtis on March 09, 2017, at 12:51 p.m.
Maine’s native bees are holding their own but could use a little help from humans to keep them healthy.
Mud and ruts are seen on East Waldo Road in Waldo Thursday. Waldo residents that live along the East Waldo Road admit it can be hard to travel in mud season. Living along the road, they said, is something that can bring neighbors together. "We all talk about the road," Deb Burwell said.

How mud defines Maine

By Abigail Curtis on March 04, 2017, at 9:59 a.m.
Florida has its palm trees and hurricanes, California boasts Hollywood and earthquakes — and Maine has mud season.
Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell, the musicians behind the popular folk music act “Sassafras Stomp,” spent the last few months playing at concerts and contra dances around the country. But as spring approaches, they will turn their focus to Songbird Farm, where they grow organic vegetables, grains and beans on their farm in Unity.

These singing farmers want to change how Mainers buy flour

By Abigail Curtis on March 01, 2017, at 7:40 a.m.
In the yellow-painted music room of their sunlit farmhouse, Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell changed their shoes, pulled out their fiddle and guitar and began to play and sing a toe-tapping song about working hard on the farm with the help of the one you love.