Tag Archives: local farms

New pollinator conservation planning services!

bee-habitat-planning

Over the last decade my personal mission in life has slowly evolved into one that is two-fold. One the one hand I’m dedicated to sustainability and all that word encompasses: sustainable energies and industries, sustainable living, sustainable communities─and especially sustainable food systems. On the other hand, and perhaps just a little overzealously─is the part of me which is committed to pollinator… Read more »

Announcing our new blog-sponsor!

maria-and-i-at-market

I’ve been working on this project for quite some time, and at long last I am able to share this great news with you─Johnny’s Selected Seeds has signed on as a blog-sponsor with Runamuk Acres! If you’re a follower of the Runamuk blog you’re likely aware of the fact that I’m a beekeeper working to build my apiary into a… Read more »

Talking pollinators at the Common Ground Fair

pollinator-conservation-in-agriculturefi

At 2pm on Saturday, September 24th I will be in Unity at MOFGA’s annual Common Ground Fair to give a talk Ive dubbed “Pollinator Conservation through Agriculture”. *Insert excited squeal here.* There’s a decided interest from the public in pollinators, I’m excited to be able to say. You see it in the news, in the increasing numbers of backyard-beekeepers, at… Read more »

Butchering Meat Rabbits

Butchering Meat Rabbits

**WARNING** This article discusses the slaughtering and butchering of livestock. The images below may not be appropriate for all audiences. On principle I firmly believe that as a homesteader and farmer I need to know how to manage my livestock from beginning to end. When my chickens reach the end of their egg-laying life it only makes sense to me that… Read more »

Moving beehives

Hives on the truck

The sky was just beginning to lighten Saturday morning as I went out to the apiary with scissors and a wet sponge. The bees were not yet active so it was an ideal time to close up hives in preparation for moving. I manage a few hives for Ernie and Gwen Hilton of Hyl-Tun Farm in Starks; just as mine… Read more »

Resources recommended by Johnny’s Seeds farmers

recommended resources for beginning farmers

Beginning farmers face a myriad of challenges and obstacles along their chosen career path. Operating and owning a farm has become much more difficult since the advent of the industrialized agriculture system. New farmers today face a steep learning curve, expensive prices for farmland, and high start-up costs. Despite all that, statistics from the USDA’s Agricultural Census indicate that─especially here in… Read more »

Saying farewell to North Star Orchards

At North Star Orchards

I never did get around to writing much about my work at the orchard. It’s been a hectic fall season for me; working 5 days a week at the orchard made farming very difficult, especially once I found myself living here alone. It was incredibly challenging to me to find time for everything─for Runamuk or the farmers’ market, for the… Read more »

New winter market in Madison

madison winter farmers' market

It was a long struggle this summer searching for an indoor venue for the Madison Farmers’ Market to move to once the weather turned cold. This is my third year as manager of our budding market and I’m learning to allow plenty of time for planning and promoting events, so I started on the project back in June, broaching the… Read more »

How do you know what to do to be a profitable farm?

small farm

Let me say first and foremost that Runamuk is not what I would yet consider a “profitable” farm, lol. Runamuk does contribute to the rent and to the purchasing of feed, equipment, supplies, and livestock─but a large part of our income is supplemented by my off-farm employment.  Our finances here are tight, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I make a… Read more »

Are you ready for winter?

Fall is here and I love it. I love all of the seasons as part of the wheel of the year. Each season brings something new and different, changing the landscape as only Mother Nature can. But I admit, I have a special affinity for Fall. For the cooler nights, the colorful spectacle that the forest makes of itself, the… Read more »

My local farmers’ market

For those who don’t already know, I volunteer my time and services with not only the Somerset Beekeepers, but also with the Madison Farmers’ Market. As market manager, I serve local farmers and the communities of Madison-Anson, as well as the surrounding area. I’m privileged to work with some really great farmers, gardeners, and artisan crafters. We have a group who… Read more »

Yes, Samantha, you ARE a farmer

jim's farmhouse_fi

I have to admit, I was getting more than just a little discouraged. After coming from a farm in the middle of the woods, living on a small lot alongside a busy road–while being a step up from the apartment in-town–was still a bit of a shock to my system. But the rent was low and the landladies lovely to… Read more »

Maine’s local food movement

maine local food movement

The Madison Farmers’ Market, held a meeting Saturday evening at the Old Point School in Madison, to finalize plans for our upcoming 2015 market season. I volunteer my time and efforts as the market manager, organizing, planning and promoting our young little market, and working to both serve local agriculture, farmers and farming in Madison and the surrounding areas. The… 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 »

Promoting native pollinators on your farm

Native Bees on Farms

For farmers and homesteaders, it just makes sense to promote the myriad of busy buzzing insects about your farm.  By promoting native bees you’re effectively promoting the overall health of the  ecosystem that you are responsible for as a farmer–since bees are a keystone species and their health and well-being directly impacts plants and animals all the way up the… Read more »

Why support native bees on your farm?

farming for native bees

Until recently, native and feral bee populations met all of a farmers’ pollination needs.  Farms were smaller, and closer to natural areas where native bee populations could easily recolonize a farm should an insecticide application kill resident bees. But with the advent of the industrial farm, habitat for pollinators has been drastically reduced–today, many of our agricultural landscapes are vast… 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 »

Establishing a new farm: Where to start & how to prioritize

establishing a new farm

These days nothing is more enticing than the concept of living a life sustained by the land and nature.  Folks from all walks are turning away from the mainstream and it’s commercialized lifestyle.  For some it is a mission to provide a healthy atmosphere for raising their family; for others a desire to live more lightly upon the Earth–to protect… 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 »

Kirk Webster at MSBA

kirk webster at msba

I’d never heard of Kirk Webster until earlier this summer when I was talking shop with a friend, who is also a beekeeper.  He happened to bring up the notion of ordering some of Kirk’s Queens for the purpose of installing hygienic genes into his colonies to help in the fight against varroa–which made perfect sense to me.  Of course… Read more »

If you build it, they will come

A new farmers’ market has been proposed in my local community, and I have stepped up to take on organization of this project. The town of Madison sits adjacent to my hometown of Anson, directly across the Kennebec River.  While the people of Anson and Madison may not necessarily share a love for one another, the two communities are reliant… Read more »

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 »