Work in Progress

Work in Progress

With a list of on-going work-in-progress, it’s easy to feel like I haven’t accomplished much since last week, yet I know that’s not true. Anyone who knows me, knows that’s not true, lol.

work in progress
The Propagation Room at Runamuk Acres.

Farming is deceptive at this time of the year. Looking in from the outside, I imagine it looks like there’s not much going on at Runamuk at all. However, spend a little time here and you’ll soon see that every day is filled with a never ending list of projects all coordinated by your friendly neighborhood farmer. These cold and snowy months are all about the set-up, and I am diligently working to ensure a successful growing season for this small farm.

Lambing Nursery

Though the list is on the short-side now, modifications to the lambing nursery continue to be a work-in-progress. Winter in Maine is harsh and not every day is suited to working outside. Even when well-dressed in my insulated overalls, I find 40-ish degrees to be my threshold of tolerance for the cold. I’ve learned to watch the weekly forecast for those days when the temperatures rise above freezing.

The days when the temperature rises to a comfortable level by midday, I can get 2-4 hours on outside projects. Then there are days when the thermometer refuses to climb out of the single-digits. On those days, just doing the morning and afternoon critter-chores is enough to keep me inside for the rest of the day. This makes crossing things off my list a slow process.

Over the last week, I’ve made adjustments to the lambing pens─reducing the size of the hay manger to allow easier access for the farmer (me). I also rebuilt their supplement dispenser, after the girls destroyed it by rubbing against it.

I’d like to add a live-feed from the lamb-cam to the website, but YouTube policies won’t allow me to establish that link until Runamuk has 50 subscribers to it’s channel (currently at 25). I haven’t done much with video in the past because I’m not overly comfortable in front of a camera, yet there is opportunity there, for sure. If you’d like to be able to follow the activity in the nursery via lamb-cam, please consider going to YouTube to subscribe to @RunamukAcres’ channel so that I can set this up for us.

The Propagation Room

With no greenhouse or high tunnel available to me for seed-starting, I’ve designated one of the many rooms in the farmhouse to serve as my Propagation Room. However, before I actually start seeds this year, I wanted to give the room a much-needed deep-cleaning, re-build one of the grow-racks which seemed to be not quite up to the task, and rearrange the workspace to allow a better flow.

So far, I’ve organized my vast seed collection, dissembled the rickety grow-rack, and thoroughly cleaned the space including vacuuming and scrubbing walls and wood-work. I rearranged the grow-racks and some of the furniture in the room, and I reassembled the questionable grow-rack, reinforcing it with sturdier lumber so that it will be better able to withstand the weight of all of the lights and the many trays of seedlings soon to come.

Today I’ll finally be starting my first seedlings of the season. Woooooooooooo!

farming work in progress
Reconstructing the grow-rack, it’s now sturdier than ever!
seed starting
Seed-starting underway!

On the Chalkboard This Week:

  • Start onions & slow-growing herbs/flowers.
  • Nursery mods continued.
  • Lunch with my BFF.
  • Furnace cleaning (via hired professional).
  • 2nd round of lice treatments for sheep.


Despite the seemingly long list of ongoing work-in-progress, I did manage to cross a few things off the chalkboard last week. The farm’s taxes are done and submitted. I sent off article pitches to a magazine I’ve been approached to write for, cleaned up after yet another winter snowstorm, and set up half a dozen lessons for BraeTek to work through this week. While it might appear quiet from the outside, I can assure you there’s plenty of set-up going on for the upcoming growing season. Stay tuned, my friends!

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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