Abigail Curtis

Homestead Reporter

 
VIDEO
John Gawler plays the washboard with his family, the Gawler Family Band, during the Belfast contra dance at American Legion Post No. 43 on Friday. The Gawler family are a "fun-loving, folk-singing, fiddle-playing family" that are truly an only-in-Maine music group. They are committed to farming and old-time activities such as contra dancing and music.

Gawler family helps Maine music traditions to thrive

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 19, 2017, at 7:42 a.m.
“Our energy comes from people in the audience. If they’re smiling by the end, it feeds me in a really incredible way. That’s what traditional music is all about. It’s the music of the people.”
VIDEO
Farmer Michael Hayden of Folklore Farm in Cherryfield helps students pick vegetables to take home on Thursday at his pop-up farm stand at Milbridge Elementary School in Milbridge.

How a Washington County farmer is working to fight hunger in Maine

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 18, 2017, at 6:29 a.m.
“Food insecurity is such a big issue in Washington County,” Wendy Harrington, the director of service programs at the mission’s Down East campus in Cherryfield, said.
Bangor artist Hannah Kreitzer of Hallowbone said that art is how she makes sense of things and is a language that co

Sense of wonder flows through Bangor artist’s creations

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 12, 2017, at 1 a.m.
She finds inspiration in archaeology, ancient history, ecology, music, scavenger animals and outer space.
Ashley Sorrentino (right) and her husband, Adam, work to gut their house after a devastating mid-December fire. They were not able to get homeowner's insurance because their sole source of heat was a woodstove.

Destructive house fire points out struggles in getting insurance with a wood stove

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 09, 2017, at 6:18 a.m.
Mainers love their woodstoves, but that doesn’t mean that insurance companies love them, too.
Nanne Kennedy walks through her pastures looking for her sheep to run them back to the barn for the evening at her farm in Washington, Maine, in this August 2016 file photo.

Calling all farmers for the 2017 USDA census of agriculture

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 04, 2017, at 5:41 p.m.
Are you a farmer? If you are, even on a tiny scale, it’s a safe bet that the United States Department of Agriculture is looking for you.
Goldie, a backyard chicken and family pet that  lives in Orono, was brought inside her owners' house to stay warm during last week's bitterly cold weather.

Backyard chickens: Are they OK in the cold?

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 30, 2016, at 6:37 a.m.
Although it may be a temptation to use a heat lamp, she and other poultry aficionados say it isn’t worth it.
VIDEO
John Palumbo, his wife Nyla Bravesnow and their three sons Jonah, 9, Ara, 4, and Kai, 2, at their home in Thorndike. John and Nyla gave up their hectic 9-to-5 schedule about a decade ago in exchange for a simpler lifestyle in Thorndike. The couple and their three young sons live in a 432-square-foot home on their 8-acre farm called Many Hands Farm.

Embracing the simple life on a Thorndike farm

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 29, 2016, at 12:41 p.m.
In many ways the couple has applied permaculture principles to their lives and their finances as well as their farm. “It works really well. We just go with the flow. There’s not a lot of extra, but there keeps being enough.”
VIDEO
Polar plungers race down to Belfast Harbor on New Year's Day to jump into the frigid water.

What does it take to be a diehard polar plunger? Some brave Mainers tell all

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 29, 2016, at 8:24 a.m.
“You go from the edge of death to feeling euphoric, and that’s the truth,” Dan Greeley of Belfast said.
Belfast police said they have started to organize mail, including Christmas cards, prescription drugs, packages and more, taken from hundreds of midcoast victims.

Midcoast pair accused of stealing hundreds of pieces of mail

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 6:27 p.m.
On Christmas morning, a Belfast police officer caught two suspects charged them in connection with thefts of mail and packages.
Two Maine Warden Service aircraft are shown at Millinocket Municipal Airport on Monday. The aircraft were used in efforts to find three lost snowmobilers.

Three lost snowmobilers found after overnight search

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 4:13 p.m.
More than a dozen game wardens and two warden service aircraft were involved in the search in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.

Report: Pedestrian struck by car in Brewer dies

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 3:06 p.m.
The investigation into the matter continues and further details will be “released when appropriate,” according to the Brewer Police Department’s Facebook page.
A crew was working to repair a service line leak on State Street in Bangor on Monday.

Crews work overnight to fix water main leak in downtown Bangor

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 11:50 a.m.
Traffic has been restricted to one lane of travel in front of Orono Brewing Co., but the city is maintaining through traffic at all times.
POLL QUESTION
John Slaughter (left) and Nancy Slaughter carry their tree back to their car after cutting it down at Fisher Christmas Tree Farm in Belfast Thursday. The Slaughters got one of the last trees of the season at the tree farm.

Bittersweet end of the season on the Christmas tree farm

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 23, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
“I love Christmas. It’s such a nice time of the year. And everybody who comes in here is happy.”
MAINERS WE MET
Matthew Secich helps Lori Perez at his Charcuterie store in Unity recently. Perez is one of many regular customers at Secich's shop, which sells unique smoked meat and cheese products. The Amish man's business had more then its fair share of ups and down throughout the past year.

After a year marked by ups and downs, Amish chef finds his happy place in Unity

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 14, 2016, at 6:46 a.m.
“I could never have imagined,” Matthew Secich said. “It was mind-boggling to think you could have a business in Maine that brought people from all over the world.”
Over the last three decades, Cleaves has worked to turn his 60-acre parcel on a Lincolnville hillside into a Japanese-inspired garden he calls “Schleppinghurst.”

Maine man toils 32 years to build Japanese-inspired garden

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 12, 2016, at 8:50 a.m.
Over the last three decades, he’s worked to turn his 60-acre parcel on a Lincolnville hillside into a Japanese-inspired garden he calls “Schleppinghurst.”
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.
POLL QUESTION
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.