A Quiet Start

A Quiet Start

It’s been a quiet start to 2024. Mostly, the past week has been filled with writing and planning, but also some guests to the farmstay. I’ve even managed a bit of R&R. It’s a shocker, I know, lol…Farmer Sam takes a break!

a quiet start to new year
Photo credit: @Tommy Siegel

Between Years

That week between years is always an awkward time. As the old year dies and the new takes hold, it’s as though life grinds to a halt. We’re burnt out from the holidays, but there’s still school vacation and New Year’s to get through.

Even Mother Nature seems to be uncertain what day it is. Everything outside seems to be spellbound. Holding it’s breath. Watching and waiting. To see if the light will return so the world can start turning again.

Slowly. Ever so slowly. We begin to gain day-length. 6 minutes already, since the Solstice on the 21st.


new year farm planning
New Year farm-planning.

I might be something of an obsessive when it comes to planning, but I think that’s served me well in my life. I’m a firm believer in the SWOT analysis and the 5-year life-plan. I have plans for me. Plans for the farm. Plans for the homestead. The garden.

I made it part of his schoolwork coming into his 11th year, for BraeTek to complete his own SWOT analysis and 5-year plan.

Those plans get broken down individually, into actionable steps. This all gets reviewed annually to see what progress we’re making─be it the farm or my personal life. What’s working and what’s not. Where are my weaknesses? Where are my strengths? What opportunities can I capitalize on this year? What projects are calling me? Where do I want to put my time and energy?

New Year’s is a time of hope and inspiration for me and the bright-n-shiny new year ahead. This year feels particularly auspicious, somehow…leaving 2023 behind feels like a huge weight has been released. 2024 is ahead of me, a bright light penetrating the mists as I make my way toward tomorrow. I don’t know why, but everything in me is energized in anticipation of the year to come. It’s as though things have been building toward something fantasical and life-changing and I am definitely ready to embrace that.

This is going to be a good year for Runamuk─for me─I can feel it.

Year’s End Review

year end farm review
Year-End Farm Review

During this in-between time, I’ve been doing a lot of writing, too. Over the weekend I published a year’s end review entitled: “Embers“. If you’re interested in a debriefing of our 2023 successes and failures here at the Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm, I invite you to check it out.

I’m particularly in love with the 1-minute video I made to showcase our 2023 year. Seeing my life like this reminds me that no matter the struggles or the fails, this is a beautiful and precious existence and I am happy to have it.

It also amuses me to see how many pictures I have of myself with food in my face hahaha! But when you’ve built your entire life around food and feeding people, I guess it makes sense…

NOTE: After several failed attempts to load the video here, I was forced to abandon the effort due to time constraints. It’s really inspiring, though, so I hope you will go to one of Runamuk’s social accounts to view it there.


The farmstay has been busy this week, as ski season at Sugarloaf gets serious in the wake of the holidays. I’m actually hoping for snow, at this point, just to ensure a steady flow of business to the farm. Making beds and cooking breakfasts to earn a dollar, keeps the lights on and greases the wheels here, and I aspire to get the bills caught up in 2024.

Booked solid this past weekend and already booked for the coming weekend, we’re off to a good start.

On the Chalkboard This Week

Projects of priority this week include:

  • Ironing out the details of the 2024 farm-plan.
  • Lesson planning to carry BraeTek’s studies through the next 2 weeks.
  • Wrapping up 2023 projects: I still need to make the curtains to finish off BraeTek’s room remodel.
  • Dump run: It’s not glamorous, but someone’s gotta do it.
  • Begin work on new Substack article.

A Quiet Start

It’s a bit boring, maybe, but I don’t mind at all the quiet start to the year. My body has certainly earned a respite, and it won’t be long before I’m running again. Already, I’m gearing up for lambing-season, which could begin as early as mid-February. Once it starts, it will be difficult for me to leave the farm much until later in March. As a solo-farmer, it’s a grueling, but cherished season on the farm. Stay tuned for more on THAT as lambing-season approaches! Much love to you and yours, my friends!

Thank you for following along with the story of this lady-farmer! It is truly a privilege to live this life serving my family and community, and protecting wildlife through agricultural conservation. Check back soon for more updates from the farm, and be sure to follow @RunamukAcres on Instagram or Facebook!

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Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm