Runamuk Conservation Farm

beehives on benches with smokerRunamuk is a certified bee-friendly farm and apiary located in Maine, owned and operated through a partnership between Sam(antha) Burns and Paul Smith. Currently Runamuk produces raw honey and handcrafted beeswax products, as well as fresh-eggs and vegetables that sold locally at the Madison Farmers’ Market.

bee friendly farmingAt the heart of Runamuk is a love for nature and a desire to preserve the landscape for future generations. That’s why Runamuk’s mission is to practice “Bee-friendly farming for a more sustainable tomorrow”. Through the practice of regenerative agriculture and by focusing on the conservation of pollinators as a keystone species, we are able to provide a benefit to the farm’s entire ecosystem.

Furthermore, Runamuk is dedicated to sharing the knowledge and teaching the skills we’ve learned─so that others might follow our lead. That’s why we’re working to establish Runamuk as a conservation and demonstration farm, where people can gain new inspirations, learn the skills and take our lessons home to implement these techniques in their lives.

The Vision for the Runamuk Conservation Farm

Dandelion Harvest in meadow with treesThe Runamuk Conservation Farm will be settled in the heart of the western Maine mountains, where the farm’s remote location will be ideal for raising superior honeybee stock that is exceptionally well adapted to Maine’s northern climate. On a quiet dirt road, high on a hillside with views of the mountainous horizon, this hundred-acre farm will lay deep in the Maine wilderness, and the apiary will sit at the heart of the scene with a veritable cloud of golden buzzing bees zooming to and from the hives.

Utilizing regenerative agricultural practices, an extensive series of sustenance gardens can be established: nut trees, fruit trees and shrubs, and other perennial food plants. Perennial herbs with medicinal properties can be cultivated and used in the apiary’s production of herbal salves, reducing inputs and increasing the sustainability of our operation.

Broad demonstration gardens of native perennials for pollinators like bees and butterflies, birds and other wildlife will be spread out across the farmscape. Pastures and wildflower meadows can be created to provide high quality forage for bees, producing the most remarkable honey. These perennial gardens serve double duty, allowing for cultivation of seedlings for resale, seed propagation, and cut flower sales while remaining a beautiful attraction to guests and wildlife alike.

Bumble Bee hovering over flowerWell-defined walking paths lead the way through the gardens, pastures and forests, with informational plaques at each garden identifying the plants grown there and the pollinator or animal that habitat supports. Nesting boxes for various bird species, bats, bees and butterflies will be scattered about the conservation farm attracting wildlife and educating the public─with a grand “bee hotel” providing habitat for a spectrum of native bees. Visitors will be able to find benches about the farm and gardens for sitting and absorbing nature, a picnic area for school field trips or family day-trips, and a fire pit for community gatherings and celebrations. The Runamuk Conservation Farm will be a welcoming stop for tourists passing through the area, and a destination for anyone looking to learn about beekeeping, pollinator conservation, bee-friendly farming, regenerative agriculture or sustainable living.

The Runamuk FarmRaiser

Lack of capital and land access are the two largest obstacles facing new farmers today and they have certainly played a role in Runamuk’s journey. Investment in the right property would enable us to establish a permanent location, allowing for Runamuk’s expansion into agritourism as a conservation and demonstration farm. With that in mind, we’re decided to launch a crowdfunded campaign to raise the money we need for a down payment on our forever farm home.

If you like what we’re about and want to support our cause in a monetary fashion, you can Donate to our Down Payment Fund (supported by PayPal) with the button below.

You can also help make this happen just by sharing our story with others to spread the word of our search for a forever-farm home for Runamuk. And be sure to subscribe to the Runamuk blog so that you never miss an update!