Opening day at market

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madison farmers' market

It rained and drizzled most of the day, but the farmers’ of the Madison Farmers’ Market were there on opening day!

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 and trying to recruit vendors for our market–it was very gratifying to see so many tents set up at the new Main Street Park where our market is held.  And in the rain, no less.

opening day at madison farmers' market

Carol and Pete of P & C Pottery brightened up the day.

groundswell seed farm opening day at market

Maria and Mike of Groundswell Seed Farm are certified organic by MOFGA.

Runamuk’s been in the papers and on the news twice in the last couple of weeks–the first was a mention of us in this article about how the bees fared in Maine this winter, and the second was this article about the Madison Farmers’ Market and it’s first full season this year.  Between these articles and the recent Indiegogo campaign video, we’ve had some really great press lately–it’s definitely good for our business, and I see it as a necessary evil–but I will be more than happy to spend some time OUT of the limelight for the foreseeable future.

As far as the gardens go–because we moved our farm to a new location, we’re essentially starting over, which is really killing me.  In town I had a number of raised beds with mini hoop-houses set up on them, and permanent beds that I can work early in the season.  I would have had lots of crops in the ground already–like lettuces, spinach, and brassicas.  Now–because we moved to this site in December–I’m forced to wait for the ground to thaw and dry up enough that I can get the preliminary tilling done.

temporary summer coop

I built this summer shelter using the woven-wattle method.

It’s been a really tough spring–between the long-suffering winter that hung on forever (and it’s still chilly!)–and trying to re-establish our farm here on Burns Road.  We’re working hard here; it seems like everything needs to be done all at once, and it’s hard to prioritize one task over another.  I slapped together a mini hoop-house and got the temporary coop up, Keith’s finishing off his reconstruction of the hoop-house (less hideous this time), and the kids and I have been removing debris from the field where the market gardens are going.  Last Friday I brought home 2 of the big round bales of mulch hay, today I will go get 2 more (all free! yay!), and yesterday Keith brought home a water storage tank, which we plan to use to gravity-feed our garden irrigation system.

So I was at market with no vegetables what-so-ever, but I did have a number of seedlings available, and our beeswax products.  I promoted the CSA with brochures and some new CSA sign-up cards I’d put together and printed out.  I’ve got lettuce seedlings growing, so that when the gardens have been prepped they will be all set to be planted, we’ve received our shipment of onion sets from Johnny’s Seeds, and last week the kids and I went to Newport to pick up our order of seed-potatoes from the Maine Potato Lady.

We’re gung-ho and ready to go–now if only Mother Nature would cooperate with us just a little.