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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Me and the man in the rubber suit

We had planned to start another fencing project today. I wish I had a $1 for every foot of fencing we've added to this farm, I'd be able to...buy a lot of good wine. We have one more huge fencing job to do, and it is important, as it will improve our ability to effectively cross pasture. We've done well in that regard, but with the current flock, we need that additional 8 or so acres on our upper hills. We'll be adding about 1000 foot of fencing on one property line, and then adjusting the cross fencing. Access is an issue in the winter, so today we trudged up there in two trucks with a 300 foot roll of fencing, t-posts, and every intention of working our old butts off in the rain like we have so many other times in the last 11 years.

But it was pouring. The kind of rain that soaks your coat immediately and if you stop moving, you are a goner. My gloved hands were cold right away. I sensed I was caving. We basically moved everything up there and I suggested we do the rest tomorrow. Martyn didn't hesitate to agree, and we retreated back down to inside tasks for the day.

We have become much more realistic after 11 years here, and at age 57 I think I've earned a few wet days inside. I'm anxious to get the flock up there though. When fields are overgrazed they create bad runoff in the wet winter. We've never had to overgraze, but this year it seems things got grazed down faster, even with the same number in the flock. I'm not sure if it was the dry summer.

When I am up in that part of the property, I feel a real sense of pride-and wonderment that we are really here, doing all this. It feels so good to take land that was neglected, and help it, and learn so many things at the same time. We have a Fescue Blue Butterfly program going on in the very top portion of that land, where we will keep the flock off certain times of year to help restore the Wild Lupine.

Looking down at the barn through the Savannah Oaks, now covered in their winter moss coats of green, I always have a beautiful, calm sensation-that not only did that barn speak to me when I first saw it, but it spoke to me even before I came here. Somehow, that old barn and I are entwined in past lives. I'm sure of it.