Category Archives: About Us

Laying hens for sale

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laying hens for sale

As we gear up to move Runamuk from Starks to Norridgewock I’m preparing to construct a temporary hoop-coop for the laying flock, since there isn’t a readily available coop or barn at Paul’s place. I’ll document the whole project for you in an upcoming article, but for now just know that I’ve made my design, and I’m gathering the materials… Read more »

Hey how are ya?

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First of all I want to say thanks for stopping by. If you’re just passing though, or if you’re one of my dedicated blog-followers, I can’t express what it means to me that anyone should take the time to read my words. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, lol─writing is something of an obsession of mine; it’s… Read more »

What’s next for Runamuk?

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paul-smith-runamuk-apiary

It’s taken me a while to come to terms with the idea of walking away from Jim’s farm, and I fully admit that some days it’s still a struggle to accept defeat. As a beginning farmer, it’s already been a long journey with many twists and turns in the road, obstacles overcome and fears faced along the way, and this… Read more »

No honey to sell….again

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honeybee on royal hybrid

It’s difficult to be at market and have to tell customers that I’m not going to have any honey this year, but that’s the state of things at the Runamuk Apiary. Two years in a row and no honey to sell. The reason for this honey-shortage is largely related to the fact that we’re still building up the Runamuk Apiary… Read more »

Maine’s Artisan Bread Fair

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hootenanny bread

This past weekend was the 10th anniversary of the Maine Grain Alliance’s Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair. I’ve always admired the local food movement that has been created in Skowhegan and have longed to attend the bread fair, but in previous years I had not been able to make it to the event. This year I had Saturday open so I invited… Read more »

Moving beehives

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The sky was just beginning to lighten Saturday morning as I went out to the apiary with scissors and a wet sponge. The bees were not yet active so it was an ideal time to close up hives in preparation for moving. I manage a few hives for Ernie and Gwen Hilton of Hyl-Tun Farm in Starks; just as mine… Read more »

Teaching kids to tolerate insects

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I was invited to speak with the children participating in the Solon Summer-Rec program yesterday, so I pulled a couple of frames of bees and their Queen from a hive and put them into the observation hive and my younger son and I went off to talk about bees. Teaching folks about the importance of pollinators is one of the… Read more »

Gaining perspective

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Murphy and I, along with a good friend of mine, climbed Pleasant Pond Mountain in Caratunk on Friday, reconnecting with another passion of mine: hiking and climbing mountains. Not the scaling rock kind of mountain-climbing where you need harnesses and specialty rope─noooo, I’m not that coordinated, lol. But the Appalachian-Trail kind of hiking and mountain climbing for sure. I’ve even toyed with… Read more »

Garden Update

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With the sowing of green beans on Friday, the garden is finally complete. If I weren’t moving this fall it wouldn’t be “done”, I would continue with succession sowings, planning for fall crops and cold-frames to carry us into the winter with hardy greens. But things being what they are, the green beans are it for this year. The garden… Read more »

Farm vs lifestyle

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jim's barn

I’m not perfect. Nobody is. I have flaws and weaknesses─many flaws and many weaknesses, lol. This post is about 2 of them; I am a dreamer, and I have a deep love for beautiful things. Sometimes these weaknesses are a huge asset. Other times they’re a giant hindrance. Since I was young I dreamed of the picturesque farmhouse. It took… Read more »

Rain!

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rain at runamuk

It’s been dry this season. Abnormally dry for Maine. Frighteningly so. Beachgoers and anyone who does not have a connection with the natural world around them are happy, I’m sure. But farmers and gardeners across the state have lamented. Getting crops to germinate in this season’s fluctuating temperatures was a challenge for many growers; it was hot and then cold… Read more »

Swarm!

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honeybee swarm

A swarm of bees is a beautiful thing. A veritable cloud of bees all flying in every direction as they search for a pace to land their Queen. They choose a spot and form a protective ball around Her; a mass of bees with only one goal in mind: finding a new home. I didn’t even see the swarm until… Read more »

Kitten

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My finger is sore, tender and slightly inflammed from the bite I received from a terrified kitten in fear for it’s life. But it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. It happened as I was leaving work at Johnny’s Selected Seeds last night…. I was glad to be done with the phones and happy to be free… Read more »

Even more bees!

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new bees 2016

I got the call last week from the local beekeeper I’d ordered nucs with; they were ready. I was at Johnny’s at the time and could not contain myself─everyone around me knew my enthusiam and excitement. Yay bees! That moment of elation was quickly followed by a moment of panic. The loan I had applied for had not yet come… Read more »