Happy Thursday, Homesteaders!

When my kids and I awoke to brilliant blue skies and a blazing sun last weekend, any thoughts of housework and errands went out the window. We wanted to be outside enjoying the day, and dreaming of what we might harvest from our small urban garden this year.

With spring weather finally here (weeks after the season technically began, of course), the growing season is upon us. And here at the BDN, the Homestead team has been talking a lot about what that means and how we can provide you with useful ideas to make your garden flourish naturally. One thing we realized immediately: growing comes in all shapes and sizes — from container gardening on porches to community garden plots to acres of farmed land. I’ve heard from so many of you about your homesteads, barns and homes, and we’re so excited to share your stories from around the state.

Welcome to the first Homestead newsletter. Since Monday’s launch of Homestead, we’ve heard from so many of you who are excited about the BDN’s newest section and can’t wait to read more. Thank you for all the calls, emails and comments! And if you haven’t reached out but want to, feel free to email me at scaron@bangordailynews.com.

Best wishes for living a good life,

Sarah Walker Caron

Senior Editor, Features

What’s happening in Homestead

This week we launched the first in a series of stories about barns in Maine that have been converted into other uses. Kathleen Pierce took us inside the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. Two barns — one from 1810 and one built in 1996 — comprise this thriving center of music and culture.

Are you planning your garden for the season? Be sure to check out Natalie Feulner’s look at the science and folklore involved in companion planting, which is a natural way of both maximizing growth and keeping pests at bay.

Natalie also is sharing her own experiences with small-scale growing in a new series on her blog Rooted in Me called Inch by Inch. This week she talks about how she upcycled Chinese takeout containers to create mini greenhouses for starting seeds.

And, if you missed it, Gabor Degre’s series on a young couple who’ve given up city life to take on the challenge of starting a farm in Monroe. They have a unique lease/buy agreement with the farm’s owners.

Just for fun

What’s coming

The Homestead team is hard at work on stories about how Maine’s grain industry has developed in recent years, unique childcare solutions on farms and natural solutions to spring cleaning. Stay tuned!


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...