Major storm hits Runamuk and surrounding areas

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2014 summer storm in madison maine

Main Street Madison–in front of Nappa Auto Parts. Photo credit: Marie Hawkins.

It was the first thunderstorm we’d had since moving back onto the property–and what a doozy of a storm it was!  Howling winds and torrential rains, hail, and deafening thunder berated the area.  Pease Hill, where the Runamuk farm is settled near the peak of the hill (one of the highest hills in this area), is in a corridor of sorts that funnels weather from the western part of the state into central Maine and eastward.  And because we are at an increased elevation, we sometimes sit in the midst of low-lying clouds and storm-systems.  We typically receive more snow than the folks in the Kennebec river valley where the communities of Anson and Madison lie, and I’ve noticed too–that our season seems to run about two-weeks behind that of the valley’s–thanks to our elevation.

We were having dinner at the time, Keith and I with the two boys, and we reveled in the storm–personally I love a good thunderstorm, any weather really–nature is beautiful and wondrous–an ordinary miracle to behold each and every day.

Sitting so high on the hill we were directly under the storm, and a number of the lightning strikes were right over our head.  One struck just behind the homestead with an ear-splitting crack that startled even me, let alone the two dogs, who came cowering at my feet and side.

2014 summer storm

Water flooded streets and roads, including the gully on Main Street in Madison–right in front of Nappa Auto Parts. Photo credit: Marie Hawkins.


water run-off from 2014 summer storm in central maine

We received several inches of water in a very short amount of time. Here you can see the water running off the hill down in-town Anson. Photo credit: Brenda Taylor Irwin.

2014 summer storm in anson maine

Main Street in Anson–in front of Amy Lynn’s Restaurant. Photo credit: Brenda Taylor Irwin.

When the storm had passed we had lost access to the internet and satellite, the end of Burns Road had been washed away by the torrential rains, and later, we learned that there had been significant damage throughout the area.  You can read more about the storm from the local paper’s account of it by clicking here. What’s more, according to the National Weather Service–their radar detected what looked like a tornado sweeping through southern Franklin and Somerset counties–including Farmington, Mercer, and Norridgewock, and by the time the storm reached St. Albans on the other side of the county, it had enough power to do some significant damage, with winds reaching speeds of 80 and 90 miles per hour.

And so we’ve been without internet since.

I love my farm, and I am typically loathe to leave it, but I like having that connection to the outside world through the internet.  I like being able to share updates, stories, and connect with friends and family.  There’s also a level of necessity–since we are running a business, small as it may be at this point, and need to be able to contact or be contacted by customers.

I had a blog post nearly ready to publish last week–another “From the Farm Update”, but all of that seems irrelevant now.

In the spring rush to get the garden in, and to get things underway here at Runamuk’s new location, there hasn’t been much time for writing, and I have sorely missed it.  Farming can be hectic, and I know that to some degree the spring and early-summer season will always be busy, but I hope that as we become better established here, that will leave me more time to share our stories with our readers and followers.

I have been out straight from early morning to late evening, always working on one project or another.  If I am not in the garden, I am working with the bees, or collecting and drying the herbs that I use to make my beeswax salves, making and preparing soap for market, tending my family (ie–household chores, cooking meals, etc.), caring for my ailing father who lives in Madison, or just at-market with the other farmers on Sundays.  It has been an incredibly busy spring and summer, and I have been loving every minute of it.  I feel so grateful to be able to be here, doing the work that gives purpose and meaning to my life, living so closely attuned to nature, making a statement to society through my labors and efforts.

It is hard work, but it is work I love, and so it is a joy.  Stay tuned folks; this story is just beginning!