Back in the Saddle

After a long hiatus, I am ready to get back in the proverbial saddle. I am ready to come back to blogging─ready to share my farm’s story with the world once more. I took some time away to focus on the farm, but the writer in me will not be ignored. The words must flow, just as the waters of the mighty Kennebec River must flow southwards to the sea.

I am a Writer

Farmer Sam with her sheep.

“What good is a farm without land?” I was in a dark place 7 years ago, following my initial separation from my husband of 15 years. Uncertain about my future and the future of Runamuk, I was landless, homeless, apart from my children for the first time, and the callous words of an acquaintance sent me into a dark depression. I found myself questioning everything I was, and everything I had ever been.

It was a good friend who took me aside to correct the situation, and I’ll never forget those sincere words. She told me, “Yes, Samantha, you are a farmer.” This friend went on to say, that, other people may have more land and more money to be able to play at farming with–but my heart holds the truest spirit of farming. She believed that it is that spirit and dedication, passion and love that make a real farmer. She said, I have that spirit, and I am more farmer than many who claim the title.

Tears pricked my eyes, and I had to fight to maintain my composure. I felt as though the editor of the New York Times had just said to me: “Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.” Thanks to that friend’s kind words of support, and thanks to so many others who supported my ambitions, I went on to pursue my dream of owning my own farm and making my living by working with nature to feed my family and community.

Note: To read that story in full, click this link: “Yes, Samantha, you are a farmer.”

Yet, just as much as I am a farmer─so, too, am I a writer. The truth is…I just do not feel whole when writing is not a consistent part of my life. I love being a farmer, but something inside me compels this outpouring of words to page. It will not be denied, ignored, or left behind.

Farm First

Runamuk currently serves 40 local households through it’s CSA program, maintains a farmstand, and collaborates with 2 local restaurants.

Since buying my forever-farm 3 years ago, I’ve largely put the farm first. Establishing Runamuk at this new location, building infrastraucture, gardens, and a clientèle, has been a monumental and all-consuming project. Add to that BraeTek’s return to homeschooling, and a new relationship with my Mr. Right, and you can see why I might need to put writing on the back-burner.

But it didn’t feel right. The urge to create and express myself literally is always there, sometimes fairly choking me with it’s desire to be expressed. Snippets of stories that want to be told come to me on the wind when I am working in the garden. Bits of inspiration hit while I am driving along my delivery routes. Conversations between characters play out in my head when I am mucking livestock sheds. Just as that desire to farm and feed people burns inside me, so too does the need to write.

I know in my heart, if I were to give up on writing─if I were to continue ignoring that side of myself for the rest of my life─when I am old and frail, lying there on my death bed, I would regret it. And I am just not willing to go to the Great Beyond with regrets. I am not willing to live the unlived life, or even a half-life. For, that is what life is for me─without writing─a half-life.

Committed to Writing

I am committed to writing, just as I am committed to farming, to my family─to breathing air! I vow to you here and now, to post─at the very least─an update from the farm on a weekly basis. To myself, I promise to spend time every day─writing. Whether that writing is done in my journal, on the blog, or working on some other literary project─I will write. For, I am a writer, and the words will not be denied.

I write about what I love and hold most dear─farming, self-sufficiency, feeding my family and community, family dynamics, connecting with nature, and environmental conservation. They say to write what you know…well, that’s what I know─because it’s who I am. I am a farmer─and a writer!

Thank you for following along with the journey of this female-farmer! 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 updates from the farm, and be sure to follow @RunamukAcres on Instagram or Facebook! Much love, my friend!!