Abigail Curtis

Belfast Bureau

Nancy Durand Lanson, originally of Paris and who describes herself as a healer who uses Tibetan singing bowls in her work, talks about recently moving with her family to an old wooden house in Monroe.

French family settles into Maine homestead

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 08, 2016, at 7:07 a.m.
“It felt like we didn’t have the time just to be,” Nancy Durand Lanson said. “I realized that was what I was missing.”

Cow dead after vandalism spree at local dairy farms

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 06, 2016, at 12:33 p.m.
500 of the thousand-plus pound Holsteins were wandering around the farm and Hill Road.

Much of Maine still considered in severe drought despite rain

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 02, 2016, at 11:26 a.m.
All this rainfall still doesn’t mean that the drought is over.
Stan Belch of the Belfast Co-op, who will be teaching a class on making kimchi, holds up two daikon radishes, which he uses to make the spicy fermented cabbage dish, on Wednesday in Belfast.

Kimchi catching on in Maine

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 01, 2016, at 11:54 a.m.
Fewer folks here are on a first-name basis with kimchi, a spicier fermented concoction made with cabbage and other vegetables that is the national dish of Korea, but that is changing.
Caitlin Shetterly, author of "Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future."

Maine journalist in search of answers takes deep look at GMOs, pesticides and American agriculture

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 30, 2016, at 6:17 a.m.
Caitlin Shetterly’s unusual diagnosis — that she possibly had developed an allergy to genetically modified corn — led her to start asking questions. She wanted to find out what exactly genetically modified organisms are and whether they can make people sick.
A sign for The Red Barn shows the restaurant is holding a fundraiser in this November 2015 file photo. Restaurant owner Laura Benedict works to help others, and she has raised millions for good causes.

Despite hardships, Maine restaurant owner strives to help others, raise money for charity

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 24, 2016, at 7:17 a.m.
Laura Benedict has turned the joint she affectionately calls “a chicken shack” into a charitable powerhouse, raising more than $2 million for good causes.
College of the Atlantic students Patricio Gallardo, of Yerba Buena, Argentina, and Mako Mihira of Tokyo, Japan, work to sort one week's worth of trash and recycling gathered on campus. The discarded waste audit, now in its third year, has tracked a sharp decrease in trash thrown away at the college.

Trash on the decline at College of the Atlantic, audit says

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 22, 2016, at 6:22 a.m.
“We’re super happy about the diversion [or recycling] rate climbing.”
omen of the World is a long-established group in Orono that meets monthly to share recipes from other lands and talk about other cultures.

For 40 years, women’s group has built bridges with food and fellowship over international differences

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 21, 2016, at 11:15 a.m.
“It’s great to learn about different cultures and different traditions. It’s also a great way to try different food that you wouldn’t eat otherwise.”
Graham Mallory, who works at North Branch Farm in Monroe, unloads boxes packed with the farm's biweekly vegetable share on Thursday afternoon at the pickup location at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.

‘Tis (still) the season for local produce in Maine

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 19, 2016, at 7 a.m.
“Winter markets are important for farmers. It’s good for farmers to keep interacting with their shoppers, and it’s good for Mainers to keep local produce part of their grocery shopping.”
Some of the panelists who spoke on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Slow Money Maine gathering in Belfast were (from left) Bonnie Rukin, the coordinator of Slow Money Maine; Dan Fireside of Equal Exchange; Marada Cook of Crown O'Maine Organic Cooperative; Francis Boero; Scott Cooper, the director of finance at Crown O'Maine; and Lynne Hoey of San Francisco-based RSF Social Finance.

How companies can scale up without selling out

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 17, 2016, at 2:02 p.m.
“We’re looking to grow our sales dramatically.”
Some of the products Houlton Farms Dairy produces include butter and wide a variety of milks.

Locally made butter a bright spot in state’s dairy production

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 14, 2016, at 6:51 a.m.
“If people have a local butter they love to buy, they are fiercely loyal to that butter, just like everybody’s got their favorite ice cream.”
Kennebec Valley Community College timberframing instructor Sandor Nagy (second from left) gives pointers to students on the fitting of a floor joist in a timberframe structure. The college's sustainable construction program started two years ago. Also pictured are students Amber Oberle (right), Vinnie Birtwell (left) and Hannes Moll.

Sustainable construction on the syllabus at Kennebec Valley Community College

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 11, 2016, at 7:49 a.m.
Officials at Kennebec Valley Community College are happy that nearly one-third of the students in the sustainable construction program, which began last fall, are women.
Chuck Gould rakes blueberries on Aug. 12 at one of the Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company fields in Township 19 in Washington County.

Trouble in the barrens as wild blueberries bring in less money

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 10, 2016, at 11:45 a.m.
Daniella Tessier gives a a kiss to a goat int he goat pasture at Peace Ridge in Brooks Tuesday. The farm animal sanctuary has a new, 800-acre home in Brooks where more pigs, chickens, goats and other rescued animals can live out their lives more freely.

Maine sanctuary provides safe haven for farm animals

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 04, 2016, at 12:09 p.m.
“The animals own the property, not me. This is their home.”
November is not too late to plant garlic, other bulbs, fruit trees, shrubs and wild Maine seeds.

Late fall is the season to scatter seed bombs and bury bulbs

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 03, 2016, at 11:47 a.m.
“Fall is a great time to plant because it’s cooler, and we generally get an adequate amount of moisture, so that’s good.”
Hay bails are seen at a farm in Monroe. The town of Winslow is working to try to help its remaining working farms stay the course -- by forgiving their local property taxes.

New program in Winslow to offer property tax relief for farms

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 01, 2016, at 10:35 a.m.
Winslow is working to try to help its remaining working farms stay in business by forgiving their local property taxes.
Jeff Wolovitz of Heiwa Tofu works on a batch of his product on Thursday morning at the company's new beanery, or manufacturing space, in Rockport.

Maine-made tofu company growing fast

By Abigail Curtis on Oct. 31, 2016, at 1 a.m.
Jeff Wolovitz of Heiwa Tofu was a blur of action on Thursday morning as he shepherded the transformation of pounds of raw soybeans into the creamy, fresh-tasting product his small, family-owned company is known for.
Ray Schofield shapes bread on Monday in his newly-constructed bakery, Back 40 Bakehouse, at his home in Montville.

From commune home to family-run bakery, this Montville barn has stories to tell

By Abigail Curtis on Oct. 29, 2016, at 7:56 a.m.
“The world is a great place, here in Montville, Maine, the way life should be,” baker Ray Schofield said.
Stanley Luce uses a mechanical picker to harvest cranberries using the dry method at Highland Farms in Troy. Fresh cranberries are harvested using this method rather than a wet harvest. After Stanley harvests the cranberries, his wife Jennifer Wixson sorts the berries to remove any that may have frost, bug or picking damage.

Bumper crop for Maine cranberry growers

By Abigail Curtis on Oct. 27, 2016, at 2:14 p.m.
“The cranberries are really the fruition of our love.”
Entrepreneur Paul Naron is looking for vendors to sign up for the United Farmers Market of Belfast, a business that will be open on Saturdays all year-round, starting next spring.

Indoor farmers market grows in Belfast

By Abigail Curtis on Oct. 23, 2016, at 7:44 a.m.
“It’s all about breaking bread with your neighbors. That’s the whole thing. Sitting around on a Saturday morning and enjoying your neighbors.”