Onion Babies!

Onion Babies!

With my Propagation Room freshly cleaned and retrofitted, I finally sat down to the task of seed-starting last week. Inhaling the musty scent of the germination mix, I poked holes in the soil of each of the 72-cells and proceeded to drop 6 onion seeds into each cell. Contented, I settled into the task. THIS is what I am meant to be doing. It’s what I do best: growing food to feed my family and community, and I’m filled with nothing but love for it.

onion babies
Baby onion plants! So fresh and green-looking, they delight the eye!

A Tough Winter

I admit it’s been a tough winter without the CSA funds. The influx of cash to the farm in December, January and February, had kept us afloat these last few years. Keeping the house relatively “warmish” has preoccupied my mind for weeks. Not ordering seeds is foreign to me, and skipping my annual Fedco Tree order pains me in a way only other gardeners will understand.

There’s not a doubt in my mind, however, that this is the best way forward for Runamuk. We’re in a transitionary phase and may need to tight our belts a little, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. With every seed I sow, that light grows brighter.

It’s really a very small operation compared to some farms─so I’ve given up trying, lol. Circumstances being what they are, I haven’t been able to invest in a tunnel or a greenhouse. Even if I did, I don’t have the personnel to manage them in addition to everything else going on here. It took a while to sink in, but I’ve come to accept the fact that there’s only so much one woman can do on her own. Even if she busts ass from sun-up to sun-down, 7 days a week.

Thankfully, I have a second living room I’ve been able to convert into a “Propagation Room”. 123 years ago it served as a formal sitting room. Today this room allows me to grow all of the farm’s seedlings and a few to sell, too. If you’re a local reader, be sure to stop by the farmstand this spring to check out our selection of heirloom tomatoes and peppers!

Lamb-Cam Update

I’m still working on getting enough subscribers to be able to establish the live-feed for the Lamb-Cam (we just need 7 more! Click here to go to our channel on YouTube to subscribe now!). My video-making skills are very rudimentary, lol, but I’ve been playing around with it. Check out this YouTube short I made…

Largely, it boils down to the fact that I’m not overly comfortable in front of the camera. In spite of what my blogging habit might lead you to believe, I’m actually a fairly private person. Better with animals and plants than people. That’s why I write, lol.

What’s more, it takes a huge amount of time to create quality videos. I have big respect for content-creators, because I know what it takes to produce them. I also don’t have the need to hear myself talk. Or toot my own horn. So, if I’m going to share part of my life with the world beyond the camera, I want to be something meaningful─or useful.

Yet, video is such a powerful tool that I can no longer ignore the medium. Making the occasional video─sharing a brief glimpse at the work we do here─promotes Runamuk’s mission of conservation and education. Even my awkward first attempts are a benefit to the farm.

My videos will get better the more I do them, I know. And maybe─just maybe─it will get easier to be in front of the camera. Time will tell.

Here’s a clip from the lamb-cam taken during my morning rounds…

Rooster Pie

Not every meal can be home-grown and made from scratch, even for a farmer. That’s why, when I took that rooster out of the freezer, I knew it was going to be good.

Admittedly, I am something of a food-geek. I geek out over good food, food shows, food art, new recipes, scratch-cooking, local food, home-grown food─I love food. Making meals using as many of my own home-grown or locally-sourced ingredients as I can, is my favorite way to cook. Those meals are super special to me.

To add to the stew, I pulled out a few of the pink and purple and bright yellow-fleshed taters I’ve kept in reserve. The rest came from the local grocery store, but they were fresh at least: onions, celery and garlic, of course, carrots and parsnips, as well as a leek I happened to have on hand.

The crust I made from scratch─with butter─a skill that came to me only in the last few years. For a long time, pie crusts were my weak-point as a baker. I kept trying, though, and eventually I figured it out.

rooster pie
Rooster pot-pie from scratch!

This kind of food is special. It’s the kind of food we pour ourselves into. Food is love, afterall. It should be treated with reverence and respect. It should be shared and appreciated. Next time someone shares a home-cooked meal with you, think about what parts of themselves went into feeding and nourishing you. Be sure to thank the cook. Invite them to sit for a cuppa. Or, if you’re the cook, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

Fortress of Solitude

At the heart of this big, old farmhouse is a small office space. It’s cozy and accessible to the going-ons and it’s become my “Fortress of Solitude”. My “hibernaculum”, if you will… This is the space where my creativity flows freely, where I orchestrate all of the different aspects of my eco-preneurial business─a space that is exceedingly personal to me.

It’s also a catch-all and requires regular purging.

With the grow-racks finally finished and seedling production underway, I spent Sunday cleaning the office. It had reached that fever-pitch point where the clutter in the small room was suffocating my creativity, so it was definitely time. Everything that didn’t belong in the office went elsewhere. Then I gave the room got a thorough scrubbing before putting it back together.

Sitting here now in a clean and orderly space, the various vision-boards, quotes, and all of the quirky bits and bobs that embellish my life, it feels like anything is possible.

Click here to read my latest piece on Substack: “A Partnership With Creativity“.

Onion Babies!

onion seedlings
I just like lookin’ at ’em!!!

Peeking between the tray and the plastic dome, I spied the bright green seedlings emerging from the soil. Elation surged within me and I danced a little happy-dance.

“Why─hello there!” I said warmly to the onion babies. “I sure am glad to see you!”

You have to talk to your plants, you know… They grow better with love─just like the rest of us.

If I give them enough love and attention, maybe they’ll help me grow this little farm of mine. That light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter with every seed I sow. Every seedling and every lamb soon to come. Something tells me this is going to be a very good year.

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