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    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. A few years ago, 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 two acres of land in Raymond, Maine, some 20 miles northwest of Portland.