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.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Breakfast with a Pygmy

I took my morning out near the barn and sat with Frankie while she ate her breakfast. She reminded me that during harvest, one must stop, if only for 20 minutes, catch one's breath, and actually relish the bounties we have before us. Frankie lives for two things, maybe three - scratches between the two horn stumps [left by a long ago owner who didn't remove her horns properly but just sawed them off], breakfast, and thirdly, dinner. Dining with her this morning gave me a fresh perspective on the day ahead in the lavender field.

We worked until 10 pm and have another 800 or so bundles to bring in today. The skies are overcast, perfect for my Irish skin, and the temps are cooler. We should be done with the main Angustifolia variety tonite, a day's rest, maybe two, and then the Hidcotes should be ready. Then the Grossos and Provences.

I wasted a bit of time last nite when we were hanging the bundles up in the drying area in the house [we still hang 300# in the house until the drying room is done]. When you bring in the freshly cut bundles, little bugs, mostly beneficial bugs, fall out onto the counters. Tiny little bugs. I decided this year to take time to try to sweep them gently into a box and release them outside. This brought much angst, as they are so tiny, many probably were half killed by the sweeping action, which made m me worry the ones I released were most likely suffering and I should have just killed them in the first place. Man's place on Earth, and our activities, unfortunately, kill many of our tiniest companions, I surmised, and I fell on the couch and had some wine. I decided I could figure out the tiny insect-saving-technique as I lay in bed.


Linda O'Neill said...

Wow, sounds like you're working hard! Keep that wine flowing at night...sounds like you need it by then!

Love Frankie. I wish we had property so we could have a goat, donkey and pygmy pony! I would be in heaven. Oy yeah...and of course...about 10 dogs.

Tina T-P said...

Oh your lavender looks heavenly - talk about aromatherapy! I mentioned your bird story on my blog yesterday - I appreciated what you had to say and your words helped me to get my words on "paper" (so to speak) -

Good luck with your harvest - maybe if you shook the bundles out a little bit before you brought them inside you'd get some of those itty bitty bugs to jump off. Tina

Nati said...

I came upon your blog by accident, but I want to thank you for it...your writing is soothing and a healing presence. I enjoy your stories.

Jen said...

When I read your comments about the little bugs, I just had to laugh out loud. Not laughing at you, of course, but laughing in total recognition of myself. It’s exactly something I would do. No one seems to understand my fascination and complete tolerance for bugs, especially spiders. I graciously share my home with spiders (they eat the other bad bugs, don’t they?), and get rather uptight when people come over and want to vacuum them up. Everyone – particularly my family members – always chastises me about it. No, I don’t buy Raid or other bug-killing sprays, I have to tell them. No, you cannot bring a can of those chemicals into my house. That’s why I have the spiders. They just don’t get it. I used to raise fruit flies as food for the hummingbirds I rehabbed (as a licensed rehabilitator), and once my visiting aunt “got rid of those awful gnats” for me. Mosquitoes are squishable, but all other bugs get escorted outdoors alive. Maybe it’s an organic gardening mentality that fosters my tolerance. Maybe it’s my naturalist background – learning to live in harmony with nature. In any case, your post made me laugh in appreciation of a kindred soul. Thanks.

P.S. Love all the new photos!
Turtle Hollow Farm

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog takes me away to a wonderful place. Your writing is wonderful and so interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your interesting life. Very soothing to read.

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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 ~