Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!

Samantha Burns   April 1, 2014   Comments Off on Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!

We’re gearing up to get underway here at Runamuk, we’ve got animals lined up to come to the farm (you know–as soon as the snow melts so that we can build shelters for them!), we’ve arranged for a neighbor with a tractor to come till the new gardens, and the bees are flying!  I’m so excited to finally be able to make this dream of mine–this dream that is Runamuk–come to life!  But we could use some help!

That’s why I’ve put together this Indiegogo campaign to generate additional funding to aid us in establishing Runamuk at it’s new location.

The Vision of Runamuk

This image that I have for Runamuk burns inside me–it drives everything I do.  I wish you could see it as I do in my minds’ eye.  A combination farm and pollinator conservation and sustainable learning center.  Leading by example, and sharing our knowledge and experience with the public–teaching others how to live and farm more sustainably, how they can promote pollinator and wildlife conservation on their farm or in their backyard.

A Family Farm

raising funds for runamuk

Farming at Runamuk is a family affair.

On one hand, the family-run farm, providing food and a living for our family.  We’re already providing fantastic raw honey, and great all-natural beeswax products to the communities of Madison and Anson, along with our bee-friendly heirloom seedlings and fresh produce through our CSA program.

Now that we are moved onto our 50-acre property, we will soon have goats, pigs, and a myriad of poultry (everything from chickens and guinea fowl, to ducks, geese, and turkeys!).  Next year we will add sheep and rabbits to the mix.  And in the distant future, a pair of horses to help maintain the forest that we’re responsible for managing.

Click here to go to our Indiegogo campaign!

We will create a large vegetable garden, reclaim the old orchard and install new fruit trees, berry bushes, and other perennial crops (like asparagus–yum!).  But we also want to grow our own hay to support our livestock, and we’ve contemplated the possibility of growing grains–like oats.

Native Plants for Pollinator Plantings

A nursery for growing and distributing native perennials, and some annuals, all grown using bee-friendly methods that do not include harmful pesticides is part of the plan.  And that includes a least 2 high-tunnels or greenhouses.

Pollinator Conservation

runamuk crowdfunding campaign

Beetles pollinating a black-eyed susan at Runamuk Acres.

On the other hand, you have the conservation center–which works in tandem with the farm.  Wildflower meadows and bee-pastures offer food for native pollinators–bees, butterflies, beetles, and more.  Walking paths will lead school children on their field trips through the different meadows, skirting the pond and the forest.  A variety of bee nesting boxes will demonstrate how humans can provide places for native bees to lay their eggs, informative plaques set up along the way allow for self-guided tours, but we will also offer the option for guided-tours.

And finally–a beautiful, clean picnic area near our education center–which will be a hexagonal building constructed using the cordwood style, which sits upon the land most naturally, as though it grew up out of the Earth.

It’s an integrated system–this dream of mine–much like the ecosystem that we strive to support here.

Leading by Example

I believe the need is there-for a leader in the industry to show other farmers how conservation can be integrated with agriculture.  Agriculture cannot exist without a healthy ecosystem.  And shouldn’t mankind step up and act as the Earth’s good stewards?  Don’t we–as beings with the ability to think, solve problems, and create such wonderful tools, buildings, and inventions–have a responsibility to take care of this planet?

I believe we do.

Click here to go to our Indiegogo campaign!

It’s a grand plan I know.  But completely attainable.  I’ve broken it up into 3 phases.

Phase 1: Reclaiming the Farm

This involves cleaning up and reclaiming this old farm.

  • Take apart the farmhouse, salvage what we can, and properly dispose of the rest so that it is not a safety hazard.
  • Put up shelter and fencing to house the livestock that are coming to the farm, who will help us in reclaiming the land for farming.
  • Reclaim the orchard, and establishing new gardens.
  • Create the first of many bee-nesting boxes.

Phase 2: Building It Up

using livestock to reclaim overgrown pastureInvestment in a tractor will allow us to expand upon the foundation we’ll have created.

  • Dig the first of a number of swales for water capture on the property.
  • Further improve our gardens, plant new fruit trees in the orchard, establish perennial food plants like asparagus and berry bushes, and install the first of our high tunnels.
  • Use livestock to gently work the land, we will eek out pasture for the livestock, and the first of our pollinator meadows.
  • Create a picnic area for outdoor education and on-farm events.
  • Expanding the Runamuk apiary.

Phase 3: Elaborating

Continuing our work, as the livestock help us to take back more pastures, we will turn them into hay pastures, or wildflower meadows one at a time.

  • Expand the native pollinator nursery and install high-tunnel #2.
  • Work on increasing our market-reach; sharing bee-friendly plants and promoting our message of integrated agriculture and conservation.
  • Continuing to expand the Runamuk apiary.
  • Establish the first of many trails throughout the property.
  • Build our cordwood education center.

Obviously this is not going to happen over night.

It’s going to take years just to reclaim the land, but I am confident that this burning desire in my soul to see this thing come to life will see me through.  The relationship between plants and pollinators is so profound, so beautiful to me–I can’t help but do this–can’t help but dedicate my life to the cause of helping and promoting their importance.

We need pollinators as much as we need farmers.

So I’m inviting you to help us create this farm–this pollinator conservation and sustainable living center.

Click here to go to our Indiegogo campaign!

While we do have some money squirreled away, and I am working hard to generate funds through our CSA, through sales of our honey and beeswax products, and soon–through sales at the Madison Farmers’ Market each week–we could use some help.

Improving the Local Economy

This thing that I am working to create is going to be a boon to the communities of Madison and Anson, as well as the surrounding area.  We’re out of the way over here, nestled amidst the foothills of the Appalacian Mountains here on the border between central and western Maine.  Most people pass through the area either heading south to the coast, or north toward the mountains and the fantabulous skiing.

Much of our local industry has been built around the timber industry, but now that is fading.  My own father worked the majority of his life in one local wood-mill or another, and while the Madison Paper Mill still plays a large role in the local economy–even that is starting to decrease.

Click here to go to our Indiegogo campaign!

I know that our farm, nursery, and conservation center could breathe new life into the area.  It is my hope that people from all over the northeast will buy Runamuk’s native perennial plants for their yards or farms.  I hope that people will come to Anson from all over Maine and New England to tour our gardens and meadows, to learn more about bees and native pollinators, and about how farms can successfully integrate agriculture and environmentalism.  They will come to relax, they will come to learn, they will attend weekend-long workshops and stay at a nearby bed-and-breakfast.

You Can Help Us Make It Happen

sponsor pollinator conservation with runamuk acresRunamuk is my dream.  And I invite you to join with me to make it happen.

Our Indiegogo fundraising campaign begins on April 7th and will run for 30 days.  We’re offering some great rewards for those who sponsor us, so if you can donate be sure to go to Indiegogo.com to look us up.

Click here to go to our Indiegogo campaign!

We understand that not everyone can afford to help financially, but if you still want to help you can be part of the team by sharing our story with your friends, family, and social networks!  Like us on facebook, share a link, post on twitter, help us spread the word!

Thanks so much for reading!  We appreciate each and every one of our followers!  <3

 

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