Agricultural Tradeschool

For the last year and a half, we’ve been a practicing “agricultural tradeschool” here at Runamuk. We were already leaning towards a return to homeschooling before the onslaught of COVID-19. Then, when the virus swept the nation and children everywhere were suddenly home-bound. While some parents struggled with having their children home fulltime on an extended vacation, I saw it an opportunity on many levels. This is the story of how the Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm became the center of an agricultural tradeschool for my son, BraeTek, what that looks like, how it works, and why it was the best thing that could have happened to our family.

Trouble at School

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My 2 sons during our earlier homeschooling years. BraeTek (left), William (right).

Once upon a time, I homeschooled both my boys and enjoyed it very much indeed. My older son, William, was reading by the age of 3. My younger son, BraeTek (pronounced Bray-tek), was very a very active and talkative young boy, and did well at home too. At 7 though, BraeTek wanted to attend public school to make some friends. At that point, William’s autism was beginning to cause friction between the 2 boys, so we opted to allow BraeTek to join 2nd grade at the local public school.

That went well enough for a while, however, as the years went by, BraeTek seemed to struggle increasingly with the public school system. He had an innate sense of fairness, and was unable to sit idly by whenever he perceived some injustice at school. I would often get calls from school about his behavior, or some scuffle he’d been in.

BraeTek also wrestled with the pace inside the classroom. He just could not seem to keep up with the teacher, or with his peers. He was easily distracted, and struggled with handwriting. This all affected his self-esteem in a terrible way, and my spunky little boy became very down on himself as he entered adolescence.

The issues at school were escalating, with high school not far off. I knew I had to do something to help BraeTek. At that point, I toyed with the idea of returning to homeschooling with him. However, I was hesitant because of my workload as a solo-farmer. I worried that I would not be able to do justice to my son’s education.

Then covid hit, and like so many kids across the nation, BraeTek was suddenly home full-time. I saw what public schooling, and my own lack of hands-on involvement had done to my little boy. He was absorbed in his phone, wanting nothing more than to be online every moment of every day. His attitude was piss-poor, he was angry, irritable, and downright rude. Worst of all, he was lazy.

I’ve seen the same attitude, internet-obsession, and laziness in other teens and young adults today. I vowed then and there that my son was not going to grow up to be like that. And that was the beginning of some very big changes in my household.

Agricultural Tradeschool

I decided to combine schooling and farm-work to give my son a well-rounded education. I’ve dubbed it: “agricultural tradeschool”. BraeTek can learn at his own pace, study things that he is actually interested in, learn important life skills, and most importantly (in my opinion), learn to work. I can’t help feeling that just learning how to work, how to use his body and his hands, and developing a willingness to put in the time and effort, is going to be a huge asset for BraeTek.

Bringing in the hay 2020.

I invested in Holt’s Environmental Science text books, both the student and the teacher’s editions, but for the most part, I’m not using any formal curriculum. Instead, I track down free printable worksheets online for math and language arts. We use the community library for reading material, and watch documentaries together for history.

It’s easiest for me to coordinate schooling with my baking days, when I’m relegated to the kitchen anyway. Those days I am able to be close at hand to guide BraeTek’s learning, answering any questions that might crop up. We do school year-round, working on academics 2 or 3 days a week during in the winter months, and just 1 day a week during the summer. He gets an academic vacation during planting season, and gets holidays off entirely. It’s a flexible system, and works really well with our farming life.

Incentive

At first, BraeTek was fairly resistant to working and to learning under Mum’s tutelage. Like many other teenagers these days, my son would much rather spend his time alone in his room watching videos online. He dragged his feet everywhere he went, moving so slowly I would want to scream, lol. Even with the simplest of tasks he would complain that it was “too hard”, and he wouldn’t really try to work. There would be a big show of how “difficult” the project was, followed by some display of anger and aggression. This was mostly because he didn’t want to be bothered, but also because he just did not know how to use his hands or his body to do any kind of real work.

Learning to drive.

When it came to schoolwork, he would rush through the assignment so that his handwriting was illegible. I would get a snarky answer, or he would skip some questions entirely. There were some pretty big gaps in his education because he hadn’t been able to keep up in school. He’d just been passed along from one grade to the next, never really learning the basics. Because of this, he steadfastly clung to the idea that he was stupid and worthless.

We weren’t very far into the summer, when it occurred to me that BraeTek might work a little more willingly with some sort of incentive. He’s always been the entrepreneurial type, selling first lemonade and then dog biscuits beside me at the farmers’ market beginning at the age of 9. I offered him $5 a day, or $25 a week. Eagerly, he accepted the opportunity to earn his own money.

It’s a pittance, I know. I wish I could give him more. He is the only one receiving a paycheck here, however. Even $100 a month is a lot for Runamuk to finance at this stage in the farm’s development. For a 14 year old though, $100 a month is a decent chunk of change, and BraeTek is happy with the arrangement. He knows that if we work hard, he will get a raise when the farm is more financially solvent.

I’ve been able to use the promise of a paycheck to elicit better work effort from BraeTek on all levels. When we first made the deal, however, he seemed to be under the impression that the $25 a week was guaranteed regardless of how he worked or behaved. I had to explain to him that this is a lot of money for the farm. As the farmer, I have to be able to justify the expense. If he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid. If I got a piss-poor attitude, I had every right to suspend or fire him. If he broke equipment because he was cranky that he had to work, I would dock his pay to cover the cost of the repairs or replacements. This is the real world, and this is how it works.

Conversely, BraeTek also has the opportunity to earn bonuses. For going above and beyond what I’ve asked of him, I’ll slip him some extra cash. For doing exemplary work, he can earn some extra money. When a customer emailed to tell me how polite and helpful he was with them, I made sure to thank him and rewarded him with a bonus to his weekly paycheck. This incentive has made all the difference.

Transformation

Lambing season 2021.

As we’ve practiced this version of agricultural tradeschool over the course of the last year, I have seen a wonderful transformation in my son. There’s been a complete reversal in his attitude. His self-esteem has improved, along with his confidence. He’s developed a willingness to work, and strives to be productive every day. He learns new skills with an eye towards future independence. Best of all, working and learning together on the farm has greatly improved our relationship.

Does he want to be a farmer when he grows up? Lol, not at the moment, but he does see the benefit in learning the skills to be self-sufficient. Regardless of what his future might hold, BraeTek knows already that he wants to keep the house, and that’s something to build on. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. I am grateful to have such an opportunity with my son, and none of this would have been possible if I weren’t able to be here every day doing what I do best─farming.

Thank you for following along with the story of this #femalefarmer! It truly is my privilege to be able to live this life, serve my family and community, and to protect wildlife through agricultural conservation. Check back soon for more stories from Runamuk Acres, and be sure to follow @RunamukAcres on Instagram or Facebook! Much love, my friend!!

A Growing Season

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Autumn 2018 has been a growing season for me on a deeply personal level. These darker days of the year are a time for self-reflection, and somehow, with the purchase of the farm now behind me, I finally found myself strong enough to deal with some healthy confrontation. I turned inward this fall, embracing the discomfort of personal growth, and now, on the other side of it all─and facing a new year on a farm that is mine─I’m feeling stronger than I’ve ever been.

i'm mostly meme

It’s a little embarrassing to admit that this is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own, but that’s the path my life’s journey has taken. While Runamuk has always been largely my project, I’d always had support and help on occasion from a significant other. It’s been more than a year though, since I’ve had anyone resembling a “significant other” in my life. Being alone here since July, with only myself to rely on has been both terrifying and liberating at the same time. I couldn’t help but worry that I’d bit off more than I could chew. So many people helped me to get here, and so many people are watching─what if I can’t do it? What if─after everything I’ve been through to get here─I fail now?

Despite my fears and misgivings, I welcomed the chance to stand on my own two feet, and I think my work here at Runamuk this fall has proven that I’m capable of getting things done on my own. I bought a farm, moved all of my farming bits and bobs over, and have proceeded to set up shop─constructing livestock housing, reclaiming gardens, building compost bins, establishing work spaces, and cultivating a sense of home and security for my children. I did all that while still working part-time in the Call Center at Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

At first it felt uncomfortable; I was not accustomed to being alone. I struggled with it earlier in the summer, but then as autumn came on I accepted and leaned into the seclusion. It is in this solitude that I am learning to better know myself, to love myself and to be myself. I embraced the dark days and really reflected on myself, my relationships, and the things that are truly important to me.

For far too long I’ve given my love freely to those around me, in hopes of being so loved in return. I have great capacity to love, and─having dealt with my own share of depression, anxiety, and personal hardships─I want the people around me to know that someone in this world cares about them. In the words of the great James Taylor, “You’ve Got a Friend.”

I can’t deny, however, that we all perceive the world in different ways based upon whatever experiences life hands us. I came to realize that my love was unwarranted in some cases─even unwanted sometimes, and that sometimes─people just do not have room in their lives for love.

It was a very painful lesson for me and my heart is still healing from it.

Having a big heart is one of the things I love most about myself. I love; it’s what I do. I love nature and my kids, my friends and family, my community. Love is the reason I do the things I do─and why I give so much of my time and energy to my community.

Conversely, allowing that tender heart and my precious love to be taken advantage of is one of the things I like least about myself. I will give and give and give of myself if I think it will make someone happy, if I think it will help someone in need─and often I, myself, am the one in need. It brings to mind the story of The Most Foolish Traveler, take a few minutes to watch, if you will.

The moral of the story is that I am finally learning to set boundaries. I am learning to love myself first, and to prioritize the people and things I care most about so that my love and energy flows where it is most valued by me and me alone. Afterall, this is my journey, and I am the Captain of my own life. Queen of my own castle.

This was an unusually personal post, I know, but I believe it’s important to share our struggles so that others who might also be suffering know they are not alone. If I’m having to work through these kinds of issues, it’s likely there’s someone else out there who is faced with similar troubles.

This was also to acknowledge those feelings of fear and inadequacy that are ever-present, because anyone who thinks they’re going to go into farming should be prepared to feel those things. This is an intense business─a highly rewarding lifestyle on an intrinsic level, but it’s also a super-intense business. There will be days when you are on top of the world─the sun is shining, you’ve got it all together and things are going smoothly; but then come the days when you’re farming from the trenches. Those are the days that Murphy’s Law prevails, you’re covered in animal shit, literally bleeding, broken and crying in the rain─and you limp into the farmhouse at the end of the day, licking your wounds with your tail between your legs.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leaning into my own discomfort, and allowing myself to grow and evolve, is going to set Runamuk up for some really good growth this coming season. Check back soon for my annual Year-End Review, and look for more on the way about what’s in store for runamuk in the 2019 growing season!

The #GreatFarmMove #FinalChapter

Land-access is one of the biggest challenges facing beginning farmers today, and one that I have certainly struggled with as I’ve worked to build my income from farming. Runamuk has moved a number of times and it is always such an ordeal that─to make light of the situation─I’ve come to refer to these transitions as the “GreatFarmMove”. I am overjoyed and hugely relieved that this #GreatFarmMove will be my last, and so this particular “moving of the farm” also gets the hashtag: #finalchapter.

Moving a Home VS Moving a Farm

I’ve never met a person who liked moving. It’s a big undertaking for anyone, whether you’re moving from one apartment to another, or from one home to another. First, you have to get the boxes and organize and pack all your belongings. You have to make sure the fragile things are protected and that the boxes are labeled. Then you have schedule to have the utilities and communication services turned off at the old location and scheduled to be turned on at the new location. You need to get forwarding forms from the post office and update your mailing information for all of your banks and credit cards. And finally, there’s the actual moving of all your stuff. Hefting each box and loading it into the moving truck or your buddy’s pick-up─and don’t forget the furniture!

When a farmer moves, they have all the tasks you’re already familiar with, along with the added responsibility of farm tools, equipment, and livestock. Tools and supplies have to be brought in from the fields and gardens, equipment has to be prepared for road-travel, and the relocation of livestock needs to be carefully orchestrated so as to cause as little stress to the animal as possible. Sometimes fencing needs to be taken down, or livestock housing needs to be moved too. Even compost and manure piles need to go, as those are valuable resources to the farm. It’s quite an ordeal.

Before I can even think about moving the Runamuk chickens to the new property, I have to set up a space in the barn there for them: construct roosts, nesting boxes, and a pop-hole, set up a fence. Ultimately the plan is to have them in a moveable chicksaw, but I’ll need a place for the ladies to land before I’ll have time in my schedule to construct anything as elaborate as a chicksaw. For the time being they can occupy the stall in the back corner of the barn at the Hive-House, which I’ve already decided will be their winter coop.

The Plan for the #GreatFarmMove #FinalChapter

Closing is scheduled to take place at 9am on Wednesday, June 27th, at the Somerset County USDA office in Skowhegan. I’ve scheduled the #GreatFarmMove #FinalChapter to run from June 27th through July 3rd, and I’ve almost got all my pieces in place to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I’ve already contacted the utility companies, the phone and internet service provider, and sent out my change of address forms. I’ve been packing slowly but surely for the last month and a half, and I put up a simple shed made of pallets, electrical conduit, a tarp, and some of the snap clamps that are sold by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This simple structure allows me to begin moving stuff out of the cramped one-bedroom trailer, collecting all of my belongings into one central location.

My friends and long-time supporters of Runamuk, the Hiltons, are loaning me the use of their horse trailer─again. They’ll deliver the trailer to my current location Tuesday night. Wednesday, Thursday, and probably Friday too, the boys (who are now on summer vacation) and I, along with some help from Paul, will load Runamuk into the the trailer, and Saturday evening the Hiltons will hook onto it and tow it the 19.5 miles from my current location in Norridgewock to New Portland─a 30 minute drive northwest.

#greatfarmmove horse-trailer
The Hiltons also allowed me to use their horse trailer in Oct 2016, when I moved away from Starks.

I am blessed with some really wonderful friends. Friends who have encouraged me along my way, who have supported me, or lifted me up when I was down; they kept me going when times were tough. The closest of these friends will be on hand Saturday evening to help unload the horse trailer. I’ve promised the customary pizza and beer, along with their first look at Runamuk’s new #foreverfarm and the opportunity to celebrate with me.

Sharing the Joy

Yesterday Nathan (my FSA agent) contacted me to let me know that he delivered my loan documents and the FSA’s closing instructions to the title company who is finalizing the transaction. He said they are in the process of advancing my loan funds to the title company’s escrow account where they will be held til closing. Eeeeeeeeeeek!

Nathan will be there Wednesday morning at the Somerset County USDA Service Center for Closing, as will Janice Ramirez─the Somerset County FSA Farm Loan Officer that I originally saw when I first approached the FSA─and Andrew Francis, Somerset’s FSA Program Technician, who has also helped orchestrate my farm purchase. They are all so happy for me and it feels right to have them there to share in the joy of this accomplishment; really, when you think about it, my victory is their victory.

And I can say that of all my friends, and of the community which I serve and which serves me. There have been so many people who have helped me make this happen who all deserve to share in this victory─I’ll have to write a post exclusively dedicated to calling out these amazingly wonderful people who are a part of Runamuk’s story, because there are just too many to attempt doing it here and now. You all know who you are, and if you’re reading this, please know that─with all my heart─I am so grateful. Truly.

Days Away

Closing is just days away now. The #GreatFarmMove #FinalChapter has been organized, help has been recruited, I’ve scheduled a Saturday off from the farmers’ market and even taken time off from Johnny’s. I have about 9 days to make the move and settle in at the Hive House. I’m calling this my “Honeymoon”. A time to get acquainted with my new farm, to settle my kids in there, the chickens, Jules the old fat-cat and my dawg Murphy. I can’t wait to walk the property, cleanse the house with sage, and set up the first hives at this permanent location.

It’s really happening folks! Check back soon for more updates coming soon! Be sure to subscribe by email to receive the latest from Runamuk directly to your inbox!

Advertise with Runamuk and sponsor beginning farmers!

your ad here buttonRunamuk invites local and green businesses to advertise with us on this blog-site.

This site showcases Runamuk’s agricultural business with info about our farm, gardens, apiary, and beeswax products.  But it also focuses on sustainable living, organic farming and gardening, pollinator and wildlife conservation, beekeeping, even homeschooling and the communities of central Maine.  Therefore we attract a wide variety of readers with our how-to and do-it-yourself articles, articles that teach and inspire.  We have many locals who avidly follow our efforts to expand our farm, so we also post frequently about our farm’s growth and progress.  On occasion we even write about other local businesses that we love and support with our own patronage.

By chosing to sponsor Runamuk we will upload your business logo to this blog-site’s sidebar for our readers to see.  With your advertisement on this site you will increase awareness of your brand and product/service, with the potential to attract new customers.

Furthermore, because we only support local and/or green businesses, having your advertisement here at Runamuk lends you credibility in the eyes of our readership–akin to a Runamuk “seal of approval”.  Because of our own efforts at sustainable living, Runamuk has become known as a reliable source of guidance for those seeking to learn and live this lifestyle for themselves.

We also offer our sponsors the opportunity to work with us to promote their business and products here on the site by allowing Runamuk to do a write-up of your business to introduce it to our readers.  Runamuk can write a review of your product or service, host promotional give-aways, or even post about promotional events you may have coming up on our website and on our social networks.

For Runamuk, sponsorship means that we will be able to continue to do the work we are doing–teaching people about sustainable living through our website.  We will be able to invest in our farm, support existing systems and expand into new endeavors.  But most importantly, the support generated here will help fund our family’s work in pollinator and wildlife conservation.

If you are interested in learning more about the possibility of sponsoring Runamuk and advertising on this site please check out our sponsorship page by clicking here to learn more about what we offer and our rates for various packages.

I’ll be back!

It’s been a while since I last posted, and I don’t have the time to do it now, either. But for those of you who might follow this blog on a regular basis, I just wanted to give you a brief up-date.

Runamuk is in hot pursuit of a loan so that we can establish a foundation at our new home. We’re going to need a well, septic, earthwork, a house, garage-workshop, and two polytunnels for seedling production. Read more

New soap ingredients have arrived!

From the sale of my first batch of soaps and salves and lip balms I managed to purchase more ingredients from a wholesale distributor I found online.  Essential Wholesale specializes in ingredients for soaps and cosmetics, they offer organic as well as mainstream products, and they arrived yesterday by UPS in the midst of the snow-storm.

thiberius with new soap ingredientsThis is one of our three cats–his name is Tiberius–yes, he is named after Star Trek’s Captain James Tiberius Kirk.  You’ll find a lot of science-fiction references around Runamuk.  Keith is a devout Star Trek fan, I’m more fond of the Star Wars trilogy, though I didn’t see it for the first time until I was in my twenties.  We enjoy a lot of fantasy too, Winter is particularly imaginative, which we actively encourage.

I bought certified organic ingredients: palm oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and kaolin clay (to make shaving soap, by request).  From Specialty Bottle I purchased more tins for salves.  Later in the spring I will also purchase from them my glass jars for the honey–no more mason jars for Runamuk–we’re moving up int he world!

This weekend I will spend my time making several batches of soap, some new salves and more lip-balms, which have been sold out at Simply Natural since the first week after they arrived on the shelves at their natural foods store.

I plan to have our online store ready by the time these soaps are ready to be sold, in about a month.  What a way to bring in the new year!

Fun with beeswax

I’ve spent a lot of time lately playing with beeswax.  And I say it that way because it’s just so much fun melting the oils and wax to create salves, and soaps, and all sorts of great stuff.

Back in February I participated in a salve-making workshop with a wonderful older woman by the name of Gerta who studied with Gail Fail Edwards at Blessed Maine Herbs in Athens.  The workshop took place at Gerta’s lovely old farmhouse is south Solon, the kind of storybook farmhouse with open-beam ceilings, hardwood floors, and a cast-iron wood-burning cook stove in the kitchen.

Gerta taught a small group of beekeepers from our Somerset group how to make a healing cream and a rose oil lotion cream–both were exquisite.  After that my eyes were opened to the uses of beeswax.

The more research I did, the more I realized that the possible uses of beeswax are endless.  Beeswax is utilitarian, medicinal, and beautifying and has been used for thousands of years for a thousand and one purposes–much like duct tape!

wax processing
Processing beeswax on the kitchen stove.

This summer when Keith and I harvested honey, we carefully collected the wax cappings, I kept the bits of burr comb I scraped from the tops of frames or under the hive’s inner cover, and comb that broke during the extraction process was reclaimed.

So far I’ve made non-petroleum jelly, hand-butter, lip-balm, lotion bars, and soap.  And I’m excited to announce Runamuk’s new line of all-natural beeswax products.  Yay!  Check out our prospective product line in our Farm Store, on our Products page.  In time we will have the option to purchase products directly through our online-store.

Friends and family have been testing my products as I perfect my recipes and techniques, and I’ve gotten rave reviews and the orders have already begun pouring in.

My first soaps will be available at the end of November, with more and more of our great beeswax products becoming available over the next 6-12 months.  At least one local retailer has already agreed to sell my products, along with my honey, and I’m toying with the idea of joining a couple of farmer’s markets and/or craft fairs next summer and fall–but that would be dependent on what happens with Runamuk’s prospective move next year (more about that later).

I’ve got a lot of things in the works, so check back soon for news about what’s going on at Runamuk.

Secular Homeschooling Lonely Business in Central Maine

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The Appalachian Mtn Range, viewed from North Star Orchard, Madison, ME.

Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream, but secular homeschooling, particularly secular homeschooling without religion, remains a lonely endeavor in central Maine. We live in an area the locals refer to as the Foothills Region, which seems to be a no-man’s land for organizations and groups.

On the coast we have the Homeschoolers of Maine, a Christian-based homeschool affiliation meant to include all of Maine’s homeschoolers. I’ve been advised by a secular unschooler in Camden who went to their annual convention, that she was disappointed to discover the event to be very much faith-based, so I’ve refrained from attending.

We have a number of area homeschool groups, including a group of unschoolers, according to Yahoo’s Groups, however, I haven’t found any of these to be organized groups who meet physically for events or meetings, though it’s possible I simply missed the memo.

So I find myself very much alone in my secular homeschooling pursuits. This solidarity is made more pronounced by a number of restrictions I find placed upon my inclination to adventure.

Firstly there’s the fact that due to budgetary limitations, we are currently a one-car family. My husband, being the one who works outside the home, naturally has priority over the vehicle, though there is some lee-way here since he works within walking distance from home–and there is access to my in-laws’ spare vehicle on occasion.

Because of the issue of the budget, the same limitations affecting our car-situation, also affect monetary allowances for frivolities. Basically, our budget leaves very little for extra expenditures for gas, or entrance fees at discovery centers and museums. So currently, field trips that are not free are out of our reach.

Then there’s the nature of my kids. My older son, Winter, struggles to cope with his sensory input. He’s come a long way since he was very young, but when he was three or four traveling even short distances was, at times, hellish. The world outside the car was just too much for him. He would just melt, and blow up; if I “went the wrong way” or stopped at a red-light, he would kick the back of my seat, pull my hair, scream, and cry all the rest of the way home–regardless of how much farther it was!

Sometimes busy social-settings can be over-whelming for Winter. This is always a factor I take into consideration when I’m planning field trips. I try to plan to visit a museum or fair on off days, when it’s less crowded. But even then, sometimes he can only tolerate the stimulation of so many exhibits for forty-five minutes to an hour-and-a-half. And that’s something else to keep in mind. If I have to travel two hours to reach our destination, for only and hour’s worth of interaction, or possibly less if he’s having a bad day, I might not be inclined to make the attempt.

My younger son, Summer, has detested riding since he was one-week old. Most babies sleep blissfully when they’re in the car, and Summer did too–for the first week. It was like someone had flipped a switch, and anytime he was restrained in that car seat he would just immediately begin to fuss, then his fussing would give way to crying, then screaming…. All this with my audio-sensitive child in the car (it was torture for Winter, who couldn’t help but loose control, and hell for me!). Summer still loathes being restrained by seat-belts. He’s such an energetic child that even in his sleep he seems to fidget, and traveling any distance is something we still struggle with. At this point, I can comfortably take the kids anywhere within an hour’s travel from home.

northernappalachia
The northernmost mountains of the Appalachian Range, viewed from atop Bald Mtn, Rangely, ME.

Locally I’m aware of at least two groups of homeschoolers, one in Madison, and another in Skowhegan.  I’m sure these people are generally fine people, but both groups meet in church basements.  As a very science-oriented family who believe in and teach evolution (we don’t even observe Christmas anymore), meeting in a church sends a confusing mixed-message to my very young and impressionable boys.  When they learn about the various religions of the world, I would like it to be from an unbiased perspective, and if they decide to affiliate themselves with a church, then that is their decision.

Personally I’ve only met one other secular homeschooler in my area; she’s a lovely lady, very Earthy and kind.  If there are any secular homeschoolers  reading in and around Somerset County, Maine, I invite you to leave a reply, give a shout-out and make yourself known.  Then I’d at least know I’m not alone.

20% of Plant Species Face Extinction

Mainly because of population sprawl and habitat loss, scientists say that roughly twenty-percent of the Earth’s plant population is under threat.  This article from DiscoveryNews talks about those threats facing plant species.  In fact, in a recent study which classified some 4000 species, 22 percent were classed as threatened.  This is a scary thought, since the effects of the loss of plant-life on Earth would be catestrophic.

Yet a separate study determined that the extinction of mammals has been over-estimated, and the article goes on to state that some animals that had previously been classified as extinct are being re-discovered in select locations.

As a citizen scientist, and an eco-enthusiast, I like to stay informed.  It’s a good idea to stay abreast of the continuing developments of this ever-changing world.

20 Percent of Plant Species Face Extinction