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

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This particular time

The bees have once again returned to the fields, telling us it is time. "Buzz. Buzz. Prepare your cutters." The lavender harvest has begun. I always forget - even though this is our 3rd summer- how huge the lavender harvest week is. It pretty much commands one's attention and requires much more than just cutting the stuff. This season, the first 1500 plants we put in the ground in late '04 are now nearing maturation, so our bundles are greater, which means we had to create more drying room - a 10 day process. Last year we were able to put 300# of stalks on the ceilings of the kitchen, this year our yield will triple at least. We took the old milking parlor of the old red barn and Martyn created these wonderful wooden doors - DUTCH doors, the kind that make us ladies swoon [why is that?]..So we are ready. We learn by doing each year.

This is the first summer here where I feel I am the farm. I am not who I was when I left Minnesota anymore. Nor am I the person that moved here in 2004. I want to be in the field - at least in the early morning or evening. I'm always ready to leave the field, mind you.We creek back up to the house and collapse - Martyn and I are doing all the harvesting this season - and our hands are tired too from clutching and cutting the bundles - but never tired enough to hold a glass of red wine at 9pm, or hold the Pug with one eye, or feel the ears of Huckelberry Pie.

Meanwhile, art gestates. June is a good month for me to allow the art and ideas to be within me, percolating while my body works on the farm - and later, when I'm ready I'll visit with it in a tangible form. I try not to get restless, and just let myself partake in full speed ahead mode with the farm and land. Sometimes, voices creep in - my own, or, often people on the outside who want me to be making art, want me to focus on what they want me to focus on - and I have to remind myself, I chose to live on a farm for a reason. The last two summers, I have fought this, always caving in, torturing myself that I should be painting, or working on something to get this kind of work or that kind, keep up appearances, keep up with the Jones. Something turned in me recently, good friends abounded with their thoughts and wishes, and I worked through it - I am done with that.

Whatever work I am doing in the field, or on the farm - there is a reason I am doing it - it may not present itself clearly to me or others at this moment, but there is a really valid reason why I am farming right now in my life. While I made a choice to move here, I really believe I was led to this particular farm with these particular animals and this particular mate at this particular time. Perhaps my medium will change, perhaps my output will lesson or focus on one book, perhaps I will choose to create with words only. Whatever it is, it's out there.


coloredsock said...

mmmm, so well said. seems like you have the balance many search for their whole lives. (yeah, even when you question stuff, you're still some sort of model for me. like a picture in a magazine i'd clip out and matte medium to my wall so to remind myself everyday what we're walking towards...) your life is so rich and full and it is revealed in your words and paintings time and time again. xoj

p.s. i'm high on lavender today.

deedledumpling said...

Kathryn, you are there for a reason, seeking the same "goodie" all of us seek in our own ways. Being so connected to the earth is primal, first, and the most integral part of any human's soul, spirit and essence. Yours is just hinted with a touch of lavender!! Stay where you are and send the good stuff thru you, to all of us.


Anonymous said...

What an interesting post. I have enjoyed finding out about your lavender harvest. The lavender looks beautiful. I can almost smell it from here!
Sara from farmingfriends in the UK

Anonymous said...

You're inspiring!

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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 ~