Tag Archives: FSA

Meeting at the Somerset County Farm Service Agency

Yesterday morning I had a meeting with Janice Ramirez at the Somerset County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) regarding my loan application, their requirements, and the process involved in government financing of the Swinging Bridge Farm. I’ve visited them 2 or 3 times before, but the representatives there are always patient and kind; they seem to truly want to help… Read more »

Change of heart! I have a Sale Agreement!

      1 Comment on Change of heart! I have a Sale Agreement!
at the orchard

I’d all but given up on the Swinging Bridge Farm, accepting it as being out of my reach and beyond my control. However, sometimes in life, good things come to us when we least expect it. I was in the process of letting it go─wrapping my head and my heart around the idea that it wasn’t meant to be. I… Read more »

Hesitation over the Swinging Bridge Farm

      2 Comments on Hesitation over the Swinging Bridge Farm
sbf the house

After 12 days of agonizing back and forth negotiations with the Seller of the Swinging Bridge Farm, I learned last night that they are hesitant to make a commitment with me at this time. When I received the news last night I was at Johnny’s after hours with a few devout supporters who joined me in painting bee-themed magnets that… Read more »

Swinging Bridge Farm

      4 Comments on Swinging Bridge Farm
619 middle rd

Last week there was a new listing at Realtor.com that immediately sparked my interest. We’d already seen the farmhouse during one of our drive-bys to see in person other properties on this same road in New Portland. It seems, in my area, and with my commitment to stay within my kid’s school district, the only community giving up farmland right… Read more »

A good season

      No Comments on A good season
spring honey 2017

It’s been a good season for Runamuk, all things considered. The weather has been good this year, with a good amount of rain and an equally good amount of sun. There have been a few scorchers and a few chilly nights, but all around it’s just been a decent season and farmers all over Maine have reveled in a year… Read more »

Save bees! Help Runamuk go home!

      2 Comments on Save bees! Help Runamuk go home!

Sometimes I joke that my status as a landless farmer and the on-going search for Runamuk’s forever-farm has given new meaning to the name “Runamuk”. Originally I named the farm after the chaos homeschooling 2 rowdy boys inspired in my life, but we’ve had 6 moves in Runamuk’s lifetime (7 years). Lack of capital and land-access are the number one… Read more »

Making the most of it as a land-less farmer

spring hives 2017

One of the great things about beekeeping is that I can do it from anywhere. Everyone wants beehives on their property, especially if someone else is going to do the work and all the land-owner has to do is sit back and enjoy the bees. I’ve had so many offers for apiary locations that I’ve lost count. Even if I… Read more »

What’s next for Runamuk?

      8 Comments on What’s next for Runamuk?
paul-smith-runamuk-apiary

It’s taken me a while to come to terms with the idea of walking away from Jim’s farm, and I fully admit that some days it’s still a struggle to accept defeat. As a beginning farmer, it’s already been a long journey with many twists and turns in the road, obstacles overcome and fears faced along the way, and this… Read more »

Even more bees!

      2 Comments on Even more bees!
new bees 2016

I got the call last week from the local beekeeper I’d ordered nucs with; they were ready. I was at Johnny’s at the time and could not contain myself─everyone around me knew my enthusiam and excitement. Yay bees! That moment of elation was quickly followed by a moment of panic. The loan I had applied for had not yet come… Read more »

The next hurdle…finding funding

      No Comments on The next hurdle…finding funding

Well we’ve got the land, we’ve got our ideas and plans and goals, now all we need is the money to put things into action.  In order to even get started at the new site of Runamuk Acres, we’re going to have to establish a foundation at the new farm–that means all of the basics that make up a farm. … Read more »