My Real Food Challenge

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Buying and eating real food is a challenge for low-income families like mine; for people who struggle to make ends meet, food isn’t always a priority. Yet I get this sick sense of satisfaction whenever I am able to put before my family a meal made up of real and local foods. Food is just one of the many ways… Read more »

Fast Growing Garden Vegetables

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fast-growing-vegetables

Following the long winter, as my stores of vegetables dwindle and I am once again reduced to buying Olivia’s spinach at the grocery store, cringing over the kale and lettuce there which never compares to the quality of my own home-grown produce─I am all too eager to get seeds in the ground to grow my own vegetables as fast as… Read more »

3 Reasons To Go Foundationless In Your Langstroth Beehive

3 reasons to go foundationless in your langstroth beehive

When I began keeping bees, I managed my hives in the mainstream fashion.  I fed them sugar-syrup, I painted my boxes, and I used foundation in my frames.  As I’ve learned more about bees and how to take care of them, some of my methods have changed.  I’m much more reluctant to feed my bees sugar, I stopped painting my… Read more »

How To Make Pollen Patties

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pollen-patties-for-beehives

Not every beekeeper needs to use pollen patties on their hives. Here in Maine there is an abundant supply of pollen in the fall and our bees are able to store enough for the colony’s purposes through the winter, until fresh pollen is again available in the spring. Unless you’re planning to make early season splits or raise your own… Read more »

Garden help

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peppers-at-runamuk

Honestly I wonder sometimes which I really love more: beekeeping or gardening? Working with the soil and helping plants to grow is an intoxicating drug for me and one I could easily spend all day stoned on. But at the same time, the bees are my zen. When I’m working with bees I’m thinking about nothing else; hours slip away… Read more »

Big news at Madison Farmers’ Market!

fun-and-games-at-market

This will be the Madison Farmers’ Market’s 5th season and what a season it is shaping up to be! I’m so excited and so proud that I’m fairly bursting! We have some big changes planned and despite the snow in our local forecast, the days are getting longer and I have faith that spring will soon be here and I… Read more »

April apiary update

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March is always a dirty month. As the snow melts all of winters dirty secrets are revealed. The snow banks along the roadside created by the municipal plows are coated with dirt while frost heaves and pot-holes in secondary roads can make for treacherous driving. Trash that had been buried under a blanket of snow now litters the landscape, and… Read more »

Introducing Rootsy!

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I’m taking a moment today to introduce Runamuk’s new affiliation with Rootsy. I’m really excited about this because the Rootsy network is made up of some of my very favorite sustainable-lifestyle bloggers and gathers into one place some of the best and most reliable information about homesteading, gardening, livestock, cooking, preparedness, herbalism and simple living that you’ll find on the… Read more »

How To Set Up Your First Beehive

how to set up your 1st beehive

Imagine you’re sitting at a four-way intersection, a red stop light hanging above you, while the hum of buzzing comes from a pair of rectangular wooden boxes strapped into the passenger’s seat next to you. The Nuc boxes–or nucleus colonies–contain more than 10,000 bees each.  Bees cling to, and crawl across the wire mesh stapled over the openings that prevents… Read more »

5 Reasons To Raise Chickens

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Chickens are often the first livestock to be added to a homestead and have been laughingly referred to as the gateway livestock. However the benefits of adding a flock of chickens to your backyard, homestead, or beginning farm, are no laughing matter. Chickens bring some serious good ju-ju with them and open the door to a number of opportunities for… Read more »

Mink!

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mink-in-a-trap

WARNING: This post contains images that might be too graphic from some readers… When I constructed my hoop-coop I neglected to protect the foundation of the coop from predators. With the Great Farm Move putting pressure on me to get the thing constructed and birds moved in, at the time I felt like I just didn’t have time to dig… Read more »

Sprouts: easy DIY winter greens

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sprouts-easy-diy-winter-greens

I’ve been eating sprouts during the winter for a number of years now. Sprouts are a quick and easy way to provide the family with fresh veg all year long regardless of where you live. They’re pure, fresh, and nutrient-rich food that can be produced easily whether you’re 3 or 103. I like to use the jar method because I… Read more »

Nor’easter

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hoop-coop noreaster

We were up early this morning to face the Nor’easter that has descended upon Maine. Paul threw a few pieces of wood onto the still glowing embers of last night’s fire and went out in the dark to haul snow off the roof. I woke to the scraping sound of the roof-rake above my head and got up to make… Read more »

8 tips for growing your own seedlings

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tips-for-growing-your-own-seedlings

Growing your own seedlings is not hard to do and opens the door to new opportunities for the home gardener, homesteader or small farmer. You’ll have a vast number of varieties available to choose from, more control over the amount of seed you purchase, and you’ll save money by growing your plants yourself. Starting your own plants gives you the chance… Read more »