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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Anything for the old llama...and a note about out of line crowd sourcing

Martyn built this shade shed this spring-yet another one- for The Misfits. He says it is no longer a barnyard, it is a village. I like this thought because it is a village-full of activity, gossip, comings and goings of individual characters and cull de sacs of friends.

We put sand in this one and Aldo and Stevie just love it. Not only does it provide a soft cushion for achy joints, it helps them stay cool, and I also think it helps avert flies. The minute we put that sand floor down, there was Aldo, just as I had hoped. One farm in Texas I read about actually lays out sand in the heat of summer and sprays it down with water, so the llamas can lie in it for cooling. I tried this and it worked like a charm, so we decided to add sand to this hut.

And today, Martyn is beginning the task of winterizing it. You can't have enough huts, I say! So thankful The Dirt Farmer knows how to build-what a true blessing. We could never maintain this place without his skill as a builder. I always tell people that want a farm-you better be handy, and if, have the means to hire handy people. I'm grateful to have Martyn's unwavering generosity and skill.

I walked out this morning to take some photos of him working, and there was the poor man surrounded by crippled goats, wandering pigs and dogs, and a very stoic llama. It was amusing and endearing. He wasn't even complaining. I took some pity on him and took most of the gang up to the goat barn to give him some space.

I have been seeing a lot of over the top crowd funding requests lately-people asking for money for all sorts of things that they simply can't afford-or don't seem to have the patience to earn over a period of time. If you can buy a horse, it seems you should first know you can afford to pay your mortgage! If you can't afford a vet for the sheep emergency, seems you shouldn't be buying pigs-that sort of thing. It seems like it is becoming almost a rip off for some artists-blogger-writers, and I'm feeling more and more queasy about keeping my donation page up. But I talked to some valued, loyal readers who think I'm over worrying. I guess I go through this a few times a year. So to be clear, this farm and this artist will continue because we work hard and are very wise with the money we do earn through self employment. When people want to share their appreciation through subscriptions or donations, it is so helpful, and used wisely for The Misfits. But basically, it is my art and books that maintain the Misfits. So when you buy my books or art, you are helping me, and animals.

It's a fine line, isn't it-asking for help, and taking advantage of good hearted people? I was raised to be self reliant, or not a mooch. And maybe this is why I get queasy about the donation page-why should anyone support me with money when it is I who choose to adopt these creatures, knowing full well they will need more food and vet care than most? I guess people share money at times, because they can, it feels good, and just as I said in the beginning of the post-this is a village. The new barn we are building is a labor of love. The initial stage will cost us $7,000 out of pocket to have the trusses, posts and roof put up. The we will side it and build the walls, doors, windows and floor ourselves over time. I must have put the barn donation page up, and then taken it down, several times. It is my choice to build a barn to help with my Misfit work, so is it right to ask others to help if they can? Maybe the fact I question it periodically is a good thing.

I have a handful of people that subscribe at various monthly levels [thank you!]-this really helps with the feed bill! And no matter how much you choose to subscribe each month, once you hit $50, you get a book [you can decide which of my 2 books]. And there are other reward levels too.

Now, will one of you please pay my mortgage this month? Oink, squeal, snort, hoof stomps-that was a joke sent in by The Head Troll.