The Runamuk FarmRaiser

I like to joke that when I signed up to be a farmer I checked every box in the “Disadvantage” list. I am a first-generation beginning farmer, lacking in capital, struggling with land-access, and I'm female. To top it all off, I chose to focus my business on bees at a time when keeping bees alive is extremely difficult.

My name is Sam(antha) Burns; I am a farmer, beekeeper and blogger and I'm working to create a pollinator conservation farm. To save bees and save the world.

What is Runamuk and Who am I?
Runamuk Acres is a certified bee-friendly farm & apiary located in central Maine. We produce raw honey, handcrafted beeswax products, free-range farm-fresh eggs. and fresh vegetables for our family and our local community. Our products can be found at the Madison Farmers' Market, at select locations across the state, and on the world wide web. Online the Runamuk blog promotes sustainable living, gardening, beekeeping─and of course─bee-friendly farming.

Learn more about Runamuk Acres on our website!

What the funding is for
I imagine the Runamuk Conservation Farm as a hybrid-cross between a botanic garden and working farm/apiary. Picture a series of gardens, each geared toward different types of pollinators: a hummingbird garden, a garden for bees, one for butterflies, and another for nocturnal pollinators like moths and bats. Each garden provides crucial food and habitat for it's pollinators and walking paths wind throughout, connecting the gardens and leading guests through the farm.

Read more about our plan for the Runamuk Conservation Farm and what we will be using these funds for !

With this setting we can offer workshops and tours to promote bee-friendly beekeeping, landscaping & farming. A permanent home will allow Runamuk to finally take root and become the pollinator conservation farm that I have envisioned.

All of the funds raised with the Runamuk FarmRaiser campaign will go toward the establishment of the Runamuk Pollinator Conservation Farm.

Read more about the vision for the Runamuk Conservation Farm!

Why you should care
Much of the diversity we enjoy on Earth is the result of this intimate relationship between plants and their animal pollinators.

75% of flowering plants require animal pollination to set seed or fruit. Yet nationwide, beekeepers are seeing an average of 38% loss in hives annually. Researchers have found that these losses are due to a combination of factors, including pests like the Varroa mite─a parasite that feeds on the blood of the bee, weaking it's immune system and introducing a spectrum of diseases─but climate change, agricultural practices and land-development all play a part too. In fact, studies show that we are seeing significantly reduced populations of native pollinators as well.

At the heart of Runamuk is a love for nature and a desire to preserve the landscape for future generations. I teach people to BEE tolerant and to live more bee friendly. I believe that by focusing on the conservation of pollinator as a keystone species we can provide a benefit to the entire ecosystem. I know that with a permanent home for my farm I can do more to teach the world how they too can save bees and save the world.

Not a Greenhorn
It's ironic, but I was already farming before I knew I wanted to BE a farmer.

For 20 years now I've been gardening, learning to live a more sustainable lifestyle by growing my own food. In 2010 I started Runamuk in my backyard with a 12-family vegetable CSA. I served 6 years as the President of the Somerset Beekeepers─teaching beekeeping courses, speaking throughout my local community about pollinators and how we can all do something to BEE more bee-friendly.

5 years ago I established the Madison Farmers' Market in my hometown and I've served as the Market Director ever since─promoting local food and farming.

I've done all this even as a landless farmer! Imagine what I could accomplish with a farm of my own where I can put into action real-world methods for bee-friendly farming.

How you can help
Follow the blog. Follow us on social media. Learn more about bees and how you can BEE more friendly.
2. SHARE! Share the Runamuk blog with friends and family. Share this campaign or the video to help spread the word about my mission to create this pollinator conservation farm in Maine.
3. PARTY! If you're local to Maine, mark your calendar for the Runamuk FarmRaiser Party on October 1st! Hosted by Hyl-Tun Farm on RT 43 in Starks, Maine with a pot-luck dinner, locally crafted beer, and music by the Miner's Creek Bluegrass Band. All proceeds go to the FarmRaiser campaign.
4. DONATE! If you can afford to and are inspired to help bees, consider donating to this campaign. Check out the great bee-friendly perks I've come up with to show my appreciation!

Together we can do more
According to the USDA's 2013 Agricultural Census, access to capital and land are the 2 biggest challenges facing beginning farmers today. These obstacles have certainly played a role in Runamuk's journey.

You can help make this Bee-Friendly Farm a reality. Consider this your invitation to be a part of Runamuk's story. With your support I can buy this old farm, cultivate a pollinator conservation farm where we can teach the world to BEE more friendly.

Together we can do more to save bees and save the world.


Samantha Burns
Madison, ME

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