It’s finally warming up here, in the western mountain region of Maine. The rains have come. The rivers are open. There are bare patches of earth in the yards and fields. The birds are in the tree branches singing their songs of Spring. Here at Runamuk Acres, our farmstand is open, and the first 2022 lamb was born Saturday night. This it it! The growing season starts now.
Truth be told, spring is my most favorite time of the year. The Wheel turns, and I appreciate the unique beauty brought by every season─but oh Spring! Nothing stirs my soul quite like seeing Spring creeping across this mountainous landscape. To see the forests come alive after a long and grueling winter, is to see life breathed back into a dead world. Watching the green blush of tender new-leaves spread across the hills and mountains stirs a song in the hearts of every living thing. The whole world seems to sing a song of Spring. It truly is a beautiful planet we’ve been blessed to live upon.
With my renewed sense of determination, I’ve launched myself into the 2022 growing season. Runamuk’s farmstand is open, offering whatever it is I can provide from this scrappy, little farm. I’m fortunate to have a licensed kitchen, which allows me to generate income through baking. I use that to my advantage during the winter months, when I cannot be outside growing vegetables.
Season extension is a high-priority this year. It’s been on my list since establishing Runamuk here in New Portland, but this is the year I am going to make it happen. We do not have a high tunnel, or a heated greenhouse that would allow our farm to produce vegetables year-round. Realistically, I don’t see that kind of structure as being attainable for us this year, either. I do think I can pull off a caterpillar tunnel, however. At the very least, I can manage a handful of low-tunnels and cold-frames. Those simple structures will allow me to extend this farm’s growing capacity into the shoulder-seasons: early spring and late fall.
Reducing the farm’s reliance on the town water utility is a high-priority this year, too. Certainly there’s the issue of the expense, but more importantly, our local water utility has announced that they are considering restricting water usage. Officials cite recent drought conditions, and “higher than normal water usage” within the community. With a host of livestock, and 1-acre in vegetable production, you can imagine what water restrictions might mean for this farm. I can’t allow the farm to backslide now, not when we’ve come so far.
Fortunately, I have some options readily at hand: a 275 gallon caged tote-tank, and a spring-fed farm pond with an established water line. For the tote-tank, Deron is going to build a tall scaffold to create a gravity-fed water system. To be able to utilize the pond, I need to replace the pump which means the farm needs to generate the funds to do so. Stay tuned for more on those projects later in the season.
So determined am I, to make this farm stand on it’s own 2 feet, that I have been up at 3:30 most mornings to start my baking. I’ve been putting in long days, often working til 7 in the evening before calling it quits for the day. I’ve even given up some of my precious time with Deron to give more of myself to this farm. I am breathing myself into this place, pouring my heart and soul into the food I make, into the animals, the plants, and the landscape. It is a simple kind of magic, but one that I hope will return my investment by supporting this farmer and her endeavors. I am this farm, and this farm is me.
Thank you for following along with the journey of this female-farmer! It is truly 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 to you and yours, my friends!
I look forward to your updates! Your journey on your farm has really touched my heart in more ways than I can express. Unfortunately unlike you I don’t have the gift of writing. I prefer talking in person.
Thank you for following along, Tonya!
Happy Spring Sam,hope all your dreams and plans come through for you.
Happy Spring!!! And thank you!