Category Archives: Family

Winter solstice & dawning realizations


As the Wheel of the Year turns the seasons and we move deeper into the darkest half of the year I want to pause for a moment to reflect on the journey that has brought me to where I am today. I’ve spent a lot of time this fall looking inward, thinking about who I am─the experiences that have shaped… Read more »

Sustainability through the family garden

I managed to set up 2 mini hoop-houses and planted a number of lettuce seedlings, yet April was a cold and windy start to the gardening season that left me longing for more.  So far May has made up for it in spades!  I’ve been out in the garden practically every day for the last week, working on preparing one… Read more »

Take action this Earth Day

At Runamuk Earth Day is a big event.  Any significant event celebrating nature is a big event here because we make it so, the Winter Solstice, Mid-Summer’s Eve, the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, Arbor Day, Pollinator Week, Compost Awareness Week, just to name a few.  Keith and I are both nature lovers, passionate about embracing nature, preserving and protecting life,… Read more »

Unschooling at the Runamuk Homestead

Our youngest son “Summer” is never more content than when he his hard at work fixing something, and while the Runamuk truck is down for maintenance, Keith thought it the perfect time to include Summer in the repairs.  This is the rear axle that they are tinkering on.


Samantha Burns   December 27, 2012   No Comments on Snow-Day!

What could be better than staying in the comfort and warmth of your house during one of Maine’s famous snow-storms? This is the view from the back door of the Runamuk homestead.  From here you can see down over the hillside, and across to the neighbors’ through the snow and wind.  The gardens of the summer have all been blanketed;… Read more »

Gearing up for the celebration of the Winter Solstice at Runamuk

As it is for many families, the holiday season is a fun time here at Runamuk.  While we don’t celebrate Christmas (check out this post here for more info on that!) we still do many of the same holiday traditions that most families enjoy at this time of the year. We’ve been busy attending the local holiday parade to see… Read more »

A Home for Runamuk

I am ecstatic–I am ridiculously exuberant and utterly over-joyed.  We have a home for Runamuk–a place where we will be able to expand our business and our efforts to lead a more self-sustaining life.  A place where we can truly be ourselves. It is the old Burns-family farm-land, just five miles outside of Anson on Rt 158-west.  This is the… Read more »

10 tips on how to avoid GMOs

grass-fed meat

With genetically modified ingredients in just about everything processed, it can be a daunting challenge to avoid them when you go to the grocery store.  It’s startling when you begin to realize how pervasive GM-ingredients are–it seems like they are in all of the things you love and have been eating for years!  But with a little dedication and your… Read more »

Making your own breads

There’s nothing quite like homemade bread still warm from the oven.  A fresh slice slathered in butter is a treat that can’t be beat.  Even after three years baking my own bread my family can scarcely wait for the loaves to cool enough before cutting into them. Making your own bread is a rewarding experience.  Not only will you be… Read more »


My boys are happy to be able to stay home, and I am more than happy to oblige. We’ve been discussing what they’d like to learn more about this year, things that we all need to work on to improve ourselves, and fun, new things we’d like to try. That’s how we do things here–we explore things that fascinate us,… Read more »

Homeschooling Adventures

On Friday I loaded my boys into the Runamuk-truck and we ventured over to New Sharon for some goat manure.  Two older women manage the 80-something goats and their farm, and for $10 will use their tractor to load your truck with manure. The boys had a blast petting the goats while we waited–the tractor needed a boost to get… Read more »

Holding my breath for our home loan approval

We finally completed the paper chase for the USDA. Like any home-loan process a number of financial documents and credit verifications are required, but when dealing with a government program there is twice as much red tape.  It was a bit of a hassle to gather the necessary documents and get them to the specialist at the Rural Development office,… Read more »

Avoiding cabin fever in Maine

The snows and cold used to come a lot earlier to Maine thirty and fifty years ago, but now, in this time of increased climate change, winter doesn’t seem to really get underway until January and February. I remember my mother’s stories of snow that reached the second-story window, and how she and her brothers would slide right down off… Read more »

Winter Family Fun Day at Mount Blue State Park

Maine is fortunate to have a bounty of state parks and public reserved lands. We also have a number of organizations whose only goal is to get the people of Maine outside to enjoy and appreciate this great state and it’s natural wonders. On Saturday, January 29th from 10-3 families can participate in the Mt Blue Winter Family Fun Day… Read more »

What Exactly is Citizen Science?

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in some of my posts, participating in a citizen science program at-home.  I also wrote about central Maine’s lack-of citizen science and environmental activism programs.  I even started a new blog recently, called Green in Central Maine–hoping to create more opportunity for citizen science where I live. But what exactly is citizen science? … Read more »

Age is No Limit in Big Scientific Discoveries

This is amazing. Just two days ago, on January 2, this 10-year old Kathryn Gray in Canada was using a computer program that compares new and old images of the same portion of the night sky when she located a previously undiscovered supernova.  She is now the youngest discoverer of a supernova, proving that age isn’t an obstacle to practicing… Read more »