Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blue Ribbon in My Heart

I awoke with great excitement on Monday, as we were off to the state fair to see Pokeweed compete in the yearling ram class. When I did barn chores, I told everyone I was off to see Pokeweed, and I told Rosemary his mother I would greet him. We sold Pokeweed a year ago to Schulson Ranch at 6 months, and I was so pleased to see how he had filled out. I have to admit, I was so proud! And there in one stall were 4 little Pokers [seen here], all created by Pokeweed, which means they are grandchildren of our Mr. Joe Pye Weed. Pokeweed's personality is still sweet and calm. He came in 3rd out of 5, but in my heart, he has a blue ribbon.

I used to go to the Minnesota State Fair [and, I must admit, the Oregon Fair ranks 1 out of 10 in quality, exhibits, livestock shows, fair site, animal shows, barns, etc]; the Minnesota State fair gets a 10] and I would buy the usual corn dog, mini doughnuts, maybe some lousy little piece of crap that caught my eye, like a bracelet made out of corn seeds [I miss the seed art building!]. But now I know just how much my life has changed, as the only thing I bought was...a sheep. A ram to be exact. This fine 1 year old ram will be coming to Apifera this fall to help keep our line from being too inbred. Some people just get rid of their ram after two years, but I am devoted to Joe. After much hair tearing and consults with my patient sheep crowd sprinkled through out the country, I decided two rams was the way to go. This fine gentleman is gentle and I think we will all be fine. One year he will breed with Rosemary, and Joe can then breed with those lambs a year or so later. He was named Mr. T, and we will adjust it to a weed name, to keep in line with the fact that all our rams are named after weeds. If you have a favorite weed, leave a comment. I just haven't had time to think. It would be nice if it started with a T. Can't do 'teasel'. Thistle is a possibility.

We walked through the horse barn which was disappointing as hardly any horses were in. The next day was mini donkeys,so we did see some mini donkeys that would have ripped Pino's heart out. Saw a few Palominos that had been shown that morning. I was really tempted to buy a floppy eared bunny but one ram seemed like a good day's investment. When we got home, I looked over our flock at feeding time and felt like we are doing pretty good with breeding good stock even though we were total novices in 2004. We are not experts, nor do we have that as a goal. I also was really glad to see all our animals, and I don't know why. It was just really nice to be in the barn. Sky looked especially beautiful to me. Perhaps because she is mine, and walking around the fair, I remember how many fairs I'd been to where I saw the horses and thought "someday, somehow'...


Cherry Menlove said...

I love it when I hear of dreams coming true.

Anonymous said...


He has a very wise looking face. What a grand addition to your farm.


Cathy said...

That's a handsome ram! He has a lot of gravitas.

Tansy? Kinda girly. Tamarisk?

shepherdgirl said...

Keep those ideas coming! So far we have Tumbleweed, Tickseed, Toadflax, Tansy [which might be Tansywort?] and Tamarisk.

I like the idea of all of Mr. T's little rams being named "Little T's - but with a different weed starting with a "T"' - since all of Joe Pye Weeds rams are named after weeds. That way, we'll have the 'weeds' and the "T's" to help differentiate !

farmgirl said...

Wonderful post as always--such a joy to read.

Ha ha, I love the little Pokers! That brown color is gorgeous. Congratulations to you on raising the father of such fine sheep--and on your newest addition. What a handsome fellow--and quite a thing to come home with from the fair, LOL.

Joe and I have been trying to come up with "T" weed names for you (I, too, thought of Tansy, then immediately dismissed it as not nearly manly enough). Joe suggested Timothy. Yes, technically it's a grass, he said, but if it's growing in your garden it then becomes a weed! We're still thinking, but I do like Timothy, too.

julie@greatwool.com said...

Third place is just grand! And you should be proud of it! And how wonderful to come home with a ram. I wanted to come home from our fair with chickens and some Angoras but it will have to wait until I feel a little more in control of the current managerie. You're blue ribbon in my book.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~