Tag Archives: winter

Mink!

Samantha Burns   March 9, 2017   No Comments on Mink!
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

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 »

January

Samantha Burns   January 24, 2017   2 Comments on January
january-farm-planning

I got up this morning to 45 degrees. Several times when I’ve gotten home from Johnny’s the thermometer we have tacked to a 2×4 in the kitchen has read 42-degrees. When you’re heating exclusively with wood, if you’re away for 12 hours or you make the choice to get a good night’s sleep rather than get up and down all… Read more »

How to build a temporary chicken coop for a Maine winter; with free printable instructions

temporary-chicken-coop-for-winter

Housing for the chickens was a big concern during Runamuk’s Great Farm Move. It had taken a full year to rebuild the Runamuk flock following my divorce, and I was up to nearly 90 birds in varying stages of production when I made the difficult decision to let go of Jim’s property in Starks. As we build up our apiary… Read more »

DIY mouse-guards: how and when to install them on your beehive

mouse-invasion_fi

Harvest is now past, the leaves are falling from the trees to blanket the Earth as we move deeper into the darker half of the year, and things are cooling down here in Maine. Now that I have 7 seasons of beekeeping behind me I know that I prefer to have all of my winter hive preparations finalized by no later than… Read more »

Feeding Bees in the Fall

feeding beehives syrup in the fall

It’s that time of year when beekeepers are ramping up winter preparations for their beehives. We’re inspecting hives for colony strength, putting entrance reducers and mouse-guards on hives, applying mite treatments and feeding to ensure colonies have adequate stores to overwinter on. I have 15 hives going into winter and some of them are incredibly heavy with bees and honey stores,… Read more »

No honey to sell….again

honeybee on royal hybrid

It’s difficult to be at market and have to tell customers that I’m not going to have any honey this year, but that’s the state of things at the Runamuk Apiary. Two years in a row and no honey to sell. The reason for this honey-shortage is largely related to the fact that we’re still building up the Runamuk Apiary… Read more »

Freeze-your-face-off COLD!

It was seriously cold this morning as I made my way across the road to the barn. I honestly worried that I was going to freeze my face off (okay so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!). It’s a familiar story on any farm across Maine this today. Morning chores in the frigid and windy temperatures,… Read more »

January hive check

Me and the Winter Bees

What does a beekeeper do in the deep depths of winter when it’s too cold and snowy for bees and beekeeping? I know you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, lol. My season at the orchard is over, my vacation was wonderful but that is now over; and on January 4th I started back at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, resuming… Read more »

Winter in Maine

This is always a difficult time of the year for most folks in this part of Maine, and I am subject to the same plight as the rest of the local population─those of us who choose to live here year-round, who stubbornly battle the snow and ice and frigid temperatures because this is where we live whether we like it… 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 »

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 »

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 »

Winterizing the farm — with free printable checklist

winterizing the farm

Cold weather is once again on our doorstep. Farmers and homesteaders alike are racing to finish their winter preparations before the first snowflakes fly. We have gardens to put to bed, livestock to prepare and equipment to get ready for the long season ahead of us. If you’re new to farming or homesteading, the list of chores for winterization can… Read more »

Sheep in the garden & a writing contest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 »

Preparing your beehives for winter

Samantha Burns   August 29, 2014   Comments Off on Preparing your beehives for winter
Runamuk Winter Apiary_2014_FI

As the rush of spring and early summer wanes, the beekeepers’ attention turns toward the up-coming cold months.  Getting your honeybee colonies through the winter–especially one such as those we experience here in Maine–is perhaps the second most challenging thing a beekeeper will face (the first being coping with varroa mites).  Wintering beehives is very largely dependent on your location,… Read more »

Bee days

Samantha Burns   August 26, 2014   Comments Off on Bee days
swan's apiary & beekeeping supply

The last few days have been bee-days for me here at Runamuk. I’ve been more hands-off with the bees this year, which is odd for me, but good for the bees I think. However when I began to see bees crawling down the driveway with shriveled and deformed wings, I knew something was wrong in my hives.  Saturday I needed… Read more »

Winter beekeeping: Checking your hives

Checking hives in winter_FI

What’s a beekeeper to do during the winter?  Those–like me–who hold such passion and adoration for their honeybees–for whom there is no better feeling in all the world than watching these busy girls coming and going, carrying pollen and nectar to the hive; for whom opening the hive, viewing the larvae-grubs in their cells, or finding the Queen amidst her… 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 »

7 foods you can easily grow indoors this winter

kitchen windowsill herb garden

Now that the balmy days of summer are behind us, and the time to tuck in for the long cold of winter has come–I like to play around with growing different foods inside my house.  The gardening season may be over, but providing fresh and nutritious foods for family meals is a never-ending task, and though I am not yet… Read more »

Feeding bees non-GMO sugar

feeding your bees non-gmo sugar

There are a good number of beekeepers who object to feeding bees sugar.  And I completely understand their objections.  Sugar is essentially the equivalent of feeding your bees a steady diet of twinkies.  It causes a number of health issues.  Add to that the fact that mainstream sugar is produced from genetically modified sugar beets, which have been proven through… Read more »

Winter management of the beehives

I miss my bees during the winter.  The long cold and snowy months when a beekeeper can’t go out to play with her bees are hard for me. But yesterday was a gorgeous January day–sunny and relatively warm (for January), and I was feeling energized after helping a local prune her beautiful apple tree.  So I trudged through the snow… Read more »