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.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Evolving days of Apifera...the dream expands

For years, I tried to get elder residences to come to the farm, back when we were in Oregon. I even talked to some elder consultants, and both of them told me due to laws and insurance issues in Oregon, it would be hard to make it work. This coupled with the fact we were very remote, much more so than we are in Maine.

Like any dream, one looks back and realizes that it wasn't so much doors closing, it was just the dream had to be held onto, percolating, until the right set of circumstances aligned.

And we have aligned, I believe. We have had lift off.

Friday we had our first official elder residents farm visit. I guess I need a catchier name for that. It was so, so, fun. It meant so much to me, and I know how much they all loved it. I had been trying to get this to happen with the folks I visit frequently in Wiscasset, but due to staffing and driver issues, it took awhile to make it come true. This was a test run, and like anything, one learns a lot after a 'first'. I was really pleased with how everyone, staff and residents, were willing and able to go with the flow. I had put the two benches [donated by Apifera Angels] on the outside of the orchard where the animals would be. I wasn't sure who was coming, so decided we would play it by ear to see if some people wanted to be on the inside with the animals, or on the outside just enjoying the animals from five feet away.

It just all worked. Ollie came out at one point-and visited. I knew he would be great and think I might have to take him in for visits now. I kind of always had that in the back of my head. They got to meet some of the animals they've been hearing about, or seeing in pictures, when Opie and I write letters.

And of course, the llama love was spilling out of Birdie.

One of the residents came from a nearby place, and I knew she was a real animal lover. She had met Opie in the past year, and got right down on the floor with him to commune. She arrived eager to be with all the creatures. I am really going to make an effort to go visit her with animals, she needs and wants them in her life. I know I will be the same way.

I also supplied some hats for everyone, and I love that in these photos, they all have on hats that once belonged to my father. In my heart, I said hello to him, and felt him there, getting a chuckle out of that.

I also now feel confident where I want to build the small shade hut so guests can sit in the shade. I'm not sure if we can start that this fall, it would be nice too. I'm also excited that the event manager of this residence is excited to do more of these visits. And next week we have another local elder facility coming. So we are on the road...to love and sharing.

I really felt so good after the visit. We are only one year into the 501[c][3] and I feel we've come along and done so much-and each accomplishment gives me new ideas and energy.

The important thing is that I always focus on our mission-helping elder/special needs animals, and bringing them together with people for...joy. Keep it simple. From the simple gesture of sharing the animals, it brings so many smiles.