What makes Maine different? We asked ourselves this question a lot last year at the Bangor Daily News. The outdoors lifestyle from hiking and paddling to “hook and bullet” endeavors does, for sure. But that’s just part of what makes Maine special to the people who live here and to those who travel here.

Today, I want to introduce you to a new section that officially will join the BDN next month. It’s called Homestead, and beginning April 20, it will appear in the print edition of the Bangor Daily News and online. I’ll be heading up our new Homestead team, which includes staff writers Natalie Feulner and Kathleen Pierce and visual journalist Gabor Degre.

Homestead is about people leading more meaningful lives by being connected to nature and to the land, living more independently and deliberately. We’ll show you, our readers, ways to live these lives daily, from foods to prepare to energy sources, from transportation to medical care, schooling options, unusual ways to make a living and interesting DIY projects to undertake.

We’ll tell stories of the Maine lifestyle through the homes that have been made here. Homestead will focus on the mystique of owning a piece of Maine and be clear-eyed about it. It’s not an easy lifestyle, but it’s a rewarding one.

In print, Homestead will take the place of the Family section, not because we don’t think families are an important topic to cover but because we feel Homestead will cover issues of importance to Maine families of all kinds. Other family stories will be appear in our other feature sections: Outdoors, Arts and Culture and Food, as well our news sections.

Whether it’s about an economic choice to live more independently or about being closer to the land or having that special summer place to call your own, we’ll distill the bigger picture and give readers a closer look into the things that drive people to choose a life in Maine.

Leading up to our April 20 launch, you’ll start to see bits of Homestead appear on our site and in print. Editor Erin Rhoda has been seeking submissions from the experts among us here in Maine.

Learn more about how you can contribute.

If you have ideas you’d love our staff to tackle, feel free to reach out to me directly at scaron@bangordailynews.com.

We hope you’ll love this new initiative from the BDN as much as we do as we begin sharing the stories of Mainers — natives and those of us who came here from away and decided to stay — as well as the places and dwellings that make Maine special.


Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is the senior editor, features, for the Bangor Daily News and the editor of Bangor Metro magazine. She’s the author of “Classic Diners of Maine,” and five cookbooks including “Easy...