Category Archives: About Us

Sheep in the garden & a writing contest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Much of society dreads the coming of winter with its frigid temperatures, long dark nights and back-breaking shoveling—yet farmers and homesteaders alike breathe a sigh of relief that the frantic pace of the growing season is behind us. Sure–winter means shoveling walk-ways and thawing frozen water buckets for livestock—but it also means quiet time, and after this first growing season… Read more »

Bee days

Samantha Burns   August 26, 2014   Comments Off on Bee days
swan's apiary & beekeeping supply

The last few days have been bee-days for me here at Runamuk. I’ve been more hands-off with the bees this year, which is odd for me, but good for the bees I think. However when I began to see bees crawling down the driveway with shriveled and deformed wings, I knew something was wrong in my hives.  Saturday I needed… Read more »

Like the pioneers

Samantha Burns   August 19, 2014   Comments Off on Like the pioneers
using livestock to reclaim this old farm

We could have bought a homestead better suited to farming, better set up–some New England style farmhouse with an attached barn, or a garage with an outbuilding we could convert into a shed for the livestock.  Perhaps it would have had a sprawling pasture, an established garden however humble it may be, and a berry patch. It would have been… Read more »

Licensed to process

Samantha Burns   July 30, 2014   Comments Off on Licensed to process
honey at farmers' market

A week ago today I was in a frantic frenzy to get the Runamuk homestead de-cluttered, cleaned, and scoured in preparation for an inspection by Maine’s Division of Quality Assurance and Regulations.  Marshall Piper, the Consumer Protection Inspector who manages inspection and licensing of home-processing and commercial kitchen licensing for our area was due to arrive on Thursday, and the… Read more »

Major storm hits Runamuk and surrounding areas

Samantha Burns   July 23, 2014   Comments Off on Major storm hits Runamuk and surrounding areas
runamuk logo

It was the first thunderstorm we’d had since moving back onto the property–and what a doozy of a storm it was!  Howling winds and torrential rains, hail, and deafening thunder berated the area.  Pease Hill, where the Runamuk farm is settled near the peak of the hill (one of the highest hills in this area), is in a corridor of… Read more »

Open-Hive for Summer Solstice

Samantha Burns   June 24, 2014   Comments Off on Open-Hive for Summer Solstice
beekeepers' open hive

It wasn’t the way I had intended to celebrate the summer solstice, but because last Saturday was raining and wet, the Open-Hive Event (OHE) that Runamuk was hosting for the Somerset Beekeepers was postponed til the 21st–which just happened to be the longest day of the year–the Summer Solstice. Most farmers, I think–are particularly attuned to nature–seeing as we are… Read more »

Goats on the farm!

Samantha Burns   June 11, 2014   Comments Off on Goats on the farm!
goats at work

Yesterday as I was preparing to head down to the field to work in the garden, I received a phone call–some locals over in Madison had seen my advertisement in Uncle Henry’s (the ad basically says that we’re looking for livestock in our area), and were we interested in a couple of goats? Goats are at the top of our… Read more »

Market garden in progress

Samantha Burns   June 9, 2014   Comments Off on Market garden in progress
Onions 2014

My farmers’ tan is a testament to the amount of time I’ve been spending in the market garden lately, working long hours in the sun and in drizzling rain to get crops in the ground.  It’s an on-going process, and there’s also successive sowings to think about–and the fall crops to keep in mind. So far I’ve managed to get… Read more »

Taking it as it comes, rolling with the punches

Samantha Burns   June 4, 2014   Comments Off on Taking it as it comes, rolling with the punches
working in the hoop-house

Things are not going exactly how I’d hoped.  The meager savings Keith and I had managed to set aside have been spent–already invested into the farm.  Despite the fact that I ran an 11-family CSA 2 years ago, we were not able to attract the number of CSA subscribers we’d hoped for–having to skip a year last summer because of… Read more »

New market garden is in!

Samantha Burns   May 16, 2014   Comments Off on New market garden is in!
tilling the new garden

Is it strange to be so excited–so ecstatic–over the establishment of new garden plots? Perhaps this is something that only fellow gardeners, homesteaders, and farmers can understand–and if that is the the case–then I imagine that I am in good company. The lingering winter delayed our farm expansion quite a bit, but now that the snow is gone and mud-season… Read more »

Opening day at market

Samantha Burns   May 6, 2014   Comments Off on Opening day at market
temporary summer coop

Sunday was the first market of the season for our local Madison Farmers’ Market–Runamuk was there with 4 other vendors, and also the local boy scout group was there with us.  It was a big improvement from last year when it was just myself and 85 year-old Thelma Lawrence of Hawley’s Little Acre in Madison.  After all my work promoting… Read more »

First livestock arrives at Runamuk

livestock at runamuk acres

Thanks to the lingering winter-weather, we’re experiencing some frustrating delays in production.  New livestock shelters and gardens cannot be constructed until the snow has melted, and the mud has firmed up at least some.  However, despite the delay–I have managed to bring a few new critters to the farm. Willow I’m sure you all remember Willow–our great pyrenees/anatolian mix livestock… Read more »

Bees Rock! Giveaway Event

beesrock giveaway

It wasn’t long after I got into beekeeping that I began to see pollinators everywhere…the insects that carried out this seemingly sacred ritual with the plants all around me–even the act itself–became the most beautiful and fascinating thing I had ever seen.  And it remains so to this day. The act of pollination fills me with awe.  To think that… Read more »

Runamuk’s Indiegogo Campaign is now live

runamuk indiegogo campaign

My first attempt at making video for the internet is–well–not great, but it’s not completely horrible either. Honestly, I’m just not comfortable in front of a camera. But I did it, and I added it to our Indiegogo campaign page and with a deep breath I went live with our fundraising campaign. I’ve got all kinds of great promotions coming… Read more »

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!
raising funds for runamuk

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… Read more »

Attracting Native Pollinators book giveaway

native pollinator book giveaway

We’ve had such a growth of support, and we are so grateful for it that I’ve decided it’s high time we hosted our first online giveaway to thank all of our readers for following along with Runamuk.  I’m excited to announce that we have a copy of the Xerces Society’s Guide to Attracting Native Pollinators to giveaway to one lucky… Read more »

Welcome Willow!

willow runamuk's new dog

This week we added the first of many new animals to our growing farm–Willow the livestock guardian dog! Willow is a great pyrenees/anatolian shepherd cross. The Great Pyrenees breed–or the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an old breed that has been used by shepherds for hundreds of years.  Developed in southern France and northern Spain where the steep mountain slopes required… Read more »

What is the driving force behind the Runamuk farm?

conservation driving runamuk

“What a hideous plant!  Isn’t it terrific!?” “Oh my gawd–check out this spider!  Look at all those long legs!” These are not exclamations of repulsion, but terms of endearment uttered by myself and our family.  We truly love nature.  To us the Earth is a marvel; there is beauty in even the ugliest of plants, the homeliest of animals–even rocks… Read more »

Gearing up for spring; planning Runamuk’s farm expansion

planning for a tractor

Mother Nature brought us a whopping 12-14 inches of snow last week, forcing me to postpone the first class of bee-school, and while I’m sure we’ll get more snow between now and then, the first day of spring is just 6 weeks away now.  Here at Runamuk, Keith and I are gearing up for the rush of the growing season. … Read more »

Bringing back the Runamuk CSA

green sprouting calabrese broccoli

I’m really excited to announce that this year, Runamuk will be reinstating it’s CSA! Some of my followers might remember our CSA program from 2012–which I put on hold during 2013 in the face of our impending move.  I learned a lot about farming and business that year, and we will carry those lessons with us as we move forward… Read more »

Carpe Diem: 2014; Moving forward with our farm expansion

solstice gifts from santa

We’re finally moved in at the new homestead and the family is settling back into our familiar routines.  With my kitchen unpacked, I am at long last able to get back to my typical Sunday baking habit–admittedly, homemaking (cooking, baking, cleaning, etc.) is not my most favorite of activities, but baking my own breads really seems to make a place… Read more »

Runamuk is finally going home!

runamuk apiary_dec 2013

There were times when the obstacles seemed insurmountable, times when I all but despaired of ever reaching my goal–when the dream of returning to the forested hillside where I found my salvation appeared forever out of reach; but I am finally able to say that yesterday, Friday, December 13th of this year 2013–we met with the lawyer handling our real… Read more »

Hooray! A new well!

well-drilling

It’s strange that something so trivial as a well being drilled on our property should bring such excitement–but it does.  The first time we lived at this property we did not have a fancy drilled well–or plumbing at all for that matter.  We made use of one of the old dug wells on the farm and hoisted water up out… Read more »

The arrival of the new homestead at Runamuk

moving the trailer into place

On Wednesday the new mobile home was brought in to Runamuk. Here she is sitting in the driveway while the Ames crew does some last minute site-prep. This is what the mobile home company designed to be the back of the home, but I decided it will be the front of our home–mainly because it has a kitchen window that… Read more »