Well we made it. Runamuk has arrived at Paul’s place in Norridgewock. These beginning farmers are now “trailersteading”. The official address is 26 Goodine Way, which is off of Ward Hill and still close to Madison and Anson where I vend and manage the farmers’ market, and where my kids attend school. It’s been one hell of an emotional roller coaster over the last couple of months, with the stress and anxiety only intensifying as moving day at Runamuk drew closer and closer.
It’s an overwhelming prospect to move a whole farm; not only does the farmer have an entire household and family to pack up and move, but also a myriad of tools and equipment between garage and barn, storage sheds and outbuildings. To make matters even more sticky, there’s equipment in use and spread out across the acreage that needs to be pulled off, cleaned and packed up. Then there’s the pets and livestock who need accommodations at the new location to be in place before they can be moved, and who need careful planning and consideration for a transition that’s as smooth and stress-free to the animal as possible.
I have been out straight with packing and preparations, harvesting the garden, culling chickens to downsize the flock and constructing a new coop to house the rest of the birds. Meanwhile, Paul’s been working himself ragged to prepare his trailer for my arrival─staying alone in Norridgewock several nights a week, burning both ends of the candle so that he could get the electricity and plumbing installed before my entourage and I descended upon the place.
It’s really impressive the amount of work he’s put into this old trailer. Paul bought the 12×50 mobile home and the 40-something acres it sits on from his aunt about 6 years ago and proceeded to gut the old trailer. He’s reinforced the entire structure with 2×4 framing and a new floor. He replaced the insulation, rewired and replumbed the whole thing. He’s removed the oil-burning forced hot-air heating system and put in a new woodstove.
Even with all of these improvements and modifications it’s still little more than a well-insulated camper. None of it is pretty. It’s all purely functional, but Paul’s ugly-duckling property provides the long-term stability Runamuk and I need to gain ground and grow until I can find a piece of property that meets my vision for Runamuk’s forever-farm setting.
We moved the bulk of the household things on Friday, September 30th, and then made the official leap on Wednesday with Murphy, the 3 lazy farm cats and my 2 boys. The laying flock I moved over the course of Friday and Saturday nights, and the bunnies I’ll relocate tonight and tomorrow. There are still a few pieces of large equipment to move, some clean up to take care of in Starks and next week we’ll move the beehives.
It was barely 5am on Saturday morning when Phillip the rooster’s crowing pierced the still dark of early morning there at Goodine Way. I imagined him disturbing the neighbors who live close by and I smiled as I said to myself, “Runamuk is here.” The hardest part is over. The critters and I are settling into familiar routines at Paul’s place; soon I’ll have my feet under me and I’ll be off and running once more.
Stay tuned folks!