Tag Archives: bootstrap business

2016 Year-End Review

runamuk-apiary-bees-on-a-hive

A full rotation of the Earth around the sun has brought us once again to the end of the calendar year. It’s been a busy year for Runamuk, with some ups and some downs too, and some life altering moments. Before we shift our focus to 2017 and all that the new year may bring our way I’d like to take… 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 »

Working off the farm

It’s a fact that many farmers need to work off the farm to cover their living expenses or to have access to health insurance or other sorts of benefits otherwise not available to them. And while I strive to reach a point where Runamuk is infact a self-sustaining business that pays its farmers’ living expenses, we are not there yet,… Read more »

Good days and bad days

runamuk logo

Spring has finally come to my neck of the Maine woods. Last week, for the first time in months, the temperatures rose into the 40s and exuberantly I made my way to the apiary to check on the bees. After five years keeping bees I know enough to realize that the odds were against me. Last year’s neglect led to hives… Read more »

SWOT analysis of Runamuk

runamuk's swot analysis

Business planning and annual reviews are an important aspect of any business–big or small–even agricultural businesses. Typically most farmers spend time during the quieter winter months planning and preparing for the next season, and I may be a little late getting to it this year due to the disarray my life currently faces, but I have been reviewing Runamuk’s farming… Read more »

Conducting a SWOT analysis of your farm

No one gets into farming because they want to get rich, lol. But at the same time a farm is still a business, and a business needs to at least break even–if not earn a profit. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your farm-business annually can help you to determine what’s working for you and what’s not.   What is SWOT?… Read more »

Every farm needs a tractor

every farm needs a tractor

This old 1950s Farmall tractor was donated to our farm–it took us a while to find someone to help us move it to the farm, but last Sunday it finally arrived! The tractor came with a number of attachments–including a plow, which I am ecstatic to say will help us keep our 200-yard driveway clear this winter (and also means… Read more »

Sheep in the garden & a writing contest

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 »

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 »

Market garden in progress

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

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 »

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 »

Challenges new farmers face

overcoming the challenges of establishing a new farm

“Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.”  –Denis Waitley. Farmers are a ruggedly determined lot.  The farmers whom I know personally, are full of vim and vigor, and while obstacles may sometimes get them down on occasion, typically these challenges do not hold them back for long. Even so, farming… 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 »

Innovation, resourcefulness & creativity in farming

This is part 3 in our “Establishing a New Farm” series, you can view part 1 here, and part 2 by clicking here. Have you ever met a wealthy farmer?  Ever seen a farmer driving a flashy new sports car?  or any brand new vehicle for that matter?  Not likely.  People do not become farmers to get rich. Most farmers… 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 »

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 »

So close and yet so far away…

fail

I haven’t written in a while, I know.  It’s been a difficult summer for me, to say the least.  And it’s been hard enough to admit to myself that we’re not moving, let alone admitting it to the world in writing here on the blog. We’ve attempted construction loans with 2 banks, and failed.

The Year of the House

runamuk logo

It’s been just over two weeks since we went back to the bank to formally apply for our construction loan. Back in March we were pre-qualified for an $85k construction loan, and we’ve been busy gathering all of the necessary estimates and documents together so that we could finalize the loan.  When we met with bank representative Jack Ducharme at… Read more »

Apiary expansion up-date

This past weekend the hive in the backyard here in-town swarmed.  They settled nearby and I was able to collect them and safely transport them to Medicine Hill to install them above a Queen-less hive. With an established colony I didn’t want to chance the workers taking exception to the introduction of a new Queen, and I’ve had good luck… Read more »

Bootstrap farmers

Well folks it looks like Runamuk will continue to bootstrap it’s way into business.  20 years ago we could have easily gotten a loan for our start-up venture, but the game has changed and investors today want to see that you can start a business with nothing before they’ll give you money.  My business counselor suggests we take out a… Read more »