Category Archives: About Us

Feeding ourselves

Bass FI

The season is well underway here at Runamuk, much as it is on farms across Maine. Trees are budding, pastures are greening up, and I am lulled to sleep each night by a chorus of randy frog-song out my window. And now that the dandelion bloom is underway, I can breathe a sigh of relief and count my blessings; four… Read more »

Market season underway

Harvest Bucks in Action

It was cool and overcast Sunday as the Madison Farmers’ Market came together at the Main Street Park in Madison. Fine friends I had scarcely seen since our last winter market back in December, cars and trucks loaded with wares, gear and market-equipment, some with their children in tow. Winter is finally over and spring has come to our part… Read more »

Growing season

2016 Spring Apiary_sm

It’s been a long few months leading up to spring and the start of the growing season. Temperatures have fluctuated unpredicatably from one week to the next, sunny and warm one week and frigid and snowing the next. But at last the weather pattern is smoothing out. I can hear the peepers in the pond at night, new shoots are poking up… Read more »

Friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

johnnys selected seeds

I’ve been back to work at Johnny’s Selected Seeds since the start of the new year, and while it’s always a little bittersweet to have to work off the farm, I’m really very happy to be able to work for this company. This is my 2nd year working in their Call Center in Fairfield, Maine. I answer the phone, take… Read more »

Greens in the ground!

early greens in the mini hoop house

Yesterday was mild here in central Maine, with temperatures reaching 50° so I seized the opportunity to get a jump on the season. I managed to get a few seeds in the ground inside my trusty mini hoop-house (check out these simple plans for my DIY mini hoop-house), which I had left set up on the garden in the fall… Read more »

Gearing up

Samantha Burns   February 22, 2016   No Comments on Gearing up
seeds

As the days grow longer and the winter begins to wane, farmers, gardeners, and beekeepers alike are all gearing up for the growing season ahead. Like many others out there, I have been eagerly planning my garden for the 2016 growing season. More than ever before I am determined to grow as much of my own food as possible─not only to… Read more »

Freeze-your-face-off COLD!

It was seriously cold this morning as I made my way across the road to the barn. I honestly worried that I was going to freeze my face off (okay so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!). It’s a familiar story on any farm across Maine this today. Morning chores in the frigid and windy temperatures,… Read more »

January hive check

Me and the Winter Bees

What does a beekeeper do in the deep depths of winter when it’s too cold and snowy for bees and beekeeping? I know you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, lol. My season at the orchard is over, my vacation was wonderful but that is now over; and on January 4th I started back at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, resuming… Read more »

Winterfest at Runamuk!

sledding fun

Announcing Winterfest! A celebration of the winter season and the joys that can be found even in the depths of winter. I’m excited to host what I hope is the first of many annual winter festivals here at Runamuk. On Saturday, February 20th from 11am to 2pm Runamuk Acres Farm & Apiary in Starks will be open to the public for… Read more »

When beekeepers converge

You may or may not recall that back in November I made my annual pilgrimage to the 2015 meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association. I didn’t have time to write about it then, but I’m here now to tell you what a fabulous time I had that day. And also to announce the start of my upcoming series of… Read more »

Saying farewell to North Star Orchards

At North Star Orchards

I never did get around to writing much about my work at the orchard. It’s been a hectic fall season for me; working 5 days a week at the orchard made farming very difficult, especially once I found myself living here alone. It was incredibly challenging to me to find time for everything─for Runamuk or the farmers’ market, for the… Read more »

Open and honest

Samantha Burns   December 5, 2015   1 Comment on Open and honest
honesty

Loyal readers who have been following my blog over the years may have noticed that recently my posts have become more open and honest. Always before I tried to keep to the lighter side of things; I’ve struggled with how much of my personal story to share online for the whole wide world to read. But now…I find myself caught… Read more »

One random act of kindness

random act of kindness

Some people may not have much faith left in society and their fellow man-kind, but I certainly do. I’ve seen it demonstrated to me personally time and time again, and every act of kindness fills me with warmth and love and gratitude, and lends me the strength to go another day. I’ve had help along my journey, and people continue… Read more »

Meet Murphy!

Samantha Burns   November 30, 2015   No Comments on Meet Murphy!
adopting murphy

Sometimes the Universe puts opportunities in front of us and it’s up to us to─first realize that the opportunity exists, and second─actually seize the moment and take advantage of what’s being offered. This is something I managed to learn fairly early on, and it’s what I attribute my small amount of─success?─to. I still grieve for Willow. We had a profound… Read more »

Winter in Maine

This is always a difficult time of the year for most folks in this part of Maine, and I am subject to the same plight as the rest of the local population─those of us who choose to live here year-round, who stubbornly battle the snow and ice and frigid temperatures because this is where we live whether we like it… Read more »

Becoming one with the farm

It’s been a week for some difficult personal changes in my life and I am still reeling from the aftershocks. Suffice it to say that for the first time in my 35 years I find myself living alone and it’s taking some getting used to. I admit at first I was a little fearful; my very first night alone in… Read more »

Chicks in the barn

chicks in the coop

Yesterday was moving day for the chicks! At 4 weeks of age, they’d outgrown the large brooder area we’d designated in the garage for them, and are big enough to be in the barn. So with a few minor adjustments to their prospective living quarters, we loaded the pullets very unceremoniously into a large cardboard box, put them in the… Read more »

New winter market in Madison

madison winter farmers' market

It was a long struggle this summer searching for an indoor venue for the Madison Farmers’ Market to move to once the weather turned cold. This is my third year as manager of our budding market and I’m learning to allow plenty of time for planning and promoting events, so I started on the project back in June, broaching the… Read more »

How do you know what to do to be a profitable farm?

small farm

Let me say first and foremost that Runamuk is not what I would yet consider a “profitable” farm, lol. Runamuk does contribute to the rent and to the purchasing of feed, equipment, supplies, and livestock─but a large part of our income is supplemented by my off-farm employment.  Our finances here are tight, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I make a… Read more »

How do I afford to keep my farm going?

The Barn

An acquaintance of mine emailed me recently asking how I can afford a farm, and how can you know what to do to be profitable?  Those are two totally separate and totally loaded questions, so I am going to answer the first here, and the second one in  a separate post. Lots of people are drawn to the homesteading and… Read more »

New cat on the farm!

farm cat

There is a very real need for a feline predator on the farm. Anywhere grain is kept is a sure-fire attractant for rodents. And then there are the rodents who want to get into the farmhouse because: a) it’s a safe, warm place to take up residence, and b) the farmer keeps his food in the house. We haven’t had… Read more »

Bee-school with SAD 54 adult ed

adult education center

Yesterday marked the start of the fall session of my bee-school. I loaded my laptop, and a variety of beekeeping gear and equipment into the back of my Subaru Outback and drove to Skowhegan and to it’s high school where I was scheduled to teach more than 20 peoples about the basics of beekeeping here in Maine. Back in July… Read more »

Holiday workshop special!

Next Saturday’s salve-making workshop has been moved to Saturday November 7th and has now become a soap/salve-making combo workshop. With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a great time to learn these skills and still have time to make some fantastic gifts for family and friends. Participants will learn the art of soap-making and how to craft their… Read more »

Saturday’s soap workshop

soap-making workshop

After a number of mornings last week up at 4am to work on a new power-point presentation for soap-making, Saturday’s workshop went off without a hitch. I am relieved and ecstatic. 2 women came to the farm Saturday morning to learn a new skill. We began with a tour of the farm and apiary, I introduced the ladies to the… Read more »