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The Boston Globe


Your Home: The Joy of Gardening

Homestead act

What would it be like to ditch city life and live off the land? One former urbanite is giving it a go on 2 acres in southern Maine.

THOUGH SHARON KITCHENS SPENT some of her childhood in rural Arkansas and near farms in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, homesteading was never part of her grand plan. “I had a romantic vision of country life, very Charlotte’s Web, but I didn’t imagine myself doing it,” she says. Nevertheless, these days one finds her pulling carrots out of the ground, tending beehives, and toting chickens around the yard. “My friends laugh at the sight of me with a hen tucked under each arm,” she says. “But it feels so natural. It’s like they’re . . . my children!”

Before opting for a quieter existence in Maine, Kitchens, now 40, worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. In 2008, she moved to a funky factory-turned-loft in Somerville’s Davis Square, where she joined a community-supported agriculture farm-share and a local fish-share and grew vegetables with neighbors on the roof. Finding herself drawn more and more to the idea of sustainable living, Kitchens decided it was time to commit. In 2011, she purchased an 1830s farmhouse with an attached barn and chicken coop on about 2 acres of land in Raymond, Maine, some 20 miles northwest of Portland.

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