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

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

All images

©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicken Named Dog

Chicken Named Dog demonstrates that while a pure white chicken might not get all the attention of her multicolored flock mates, she still struts better than any runway poser - and is in much healthier condition, I might add.

Monday, June 25, 2012

And the pig naps

One of the learning curves of any farmer is knowing when a mound of animal is alive and napping...or not.

It always takes the heartbeat away for seconds when upon entering the barnyard you see an animal spread eagle, and still, very still. The chest flutters and there are no words, just a quick 'gasp' until one calms and realizes the animal is in fact alive.

I've seen my horse in this death like pose, as well as the the goats and donkeys. Even a chicken will spread out in dust with fanned wings leaving it to look like an upright form of road kill.

But when you come upon a snoring mass of pig, that is an exceptional display of sleep. The best part about Rosie's naps are she is in complete a dream state - she never woke up while my camera hummed and clicked about her. The warmth of her horizontal manure throne must have engulfed her like a warm blanket complete with aromatic delights.

I am so glad I finally found a pig - it took me years to find the right match. Having a porcine in the barnyard provides me with a simple pastime - watching the pig sleep.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Surpise in the field

As if baking pies, greeting new goats, meeting Henry, having Northern Mother arrive in her mini chariot, painting donkey toes and decorating a porta potty wasn't exciting enough, we had four surprises to push the sensory limit to overload.

I had made a small scribbled note on my calender on January 24th, 2012, "ram jumped in field', but had forgotten about it.

While in the midst of baking pie on the Saturday before Pie Day, Martyn came into the kitchen with a startled, but pleasant, look on his face and announced,

"You need to stop making pies for a second because there are two new lambs behind the old barn."


It was Olive Oil and two beautiful little girls, all dried and enjoying the warm sun. Now just a week earlier, we noticed that Lilly - an older ewe I retired this year - was looking very pregnant, but not Olive. The night before she lambed, Olive's udder looked pretty big and I mentioned it to my house guest, but figured it was from eating clover. She just didn't look pregnant.

But she was.

Monday night I went to feed Boone and in my post Pie Day exhaustion, gazed out over the fields in a sleepy but content frame of mind.

And there was Lilly, with two white specks.

Lofa and a Raggedy Man arrive at Apifera

So much happened between the sixteenth day of June and the seventeenth day that I haven't had time to digest it all and share it in proper form. A couple hours before Pino Pie Day began in earnest, two new arrivals landed on Apifera soil for the first time.

Their charriot was a Mini Cooper and their chauffeur was none other than Northern Mother - our name for Ellen of New Moon Goat Farm & Rescue. She had brought us two more needy pygmy goats. I guess it is fair to say they are the first animals to arrive at the farm in such style.

Lofa is the most bow legged little fellow I've ever seen. This is often brought on by neglected feet and poor nutrition of which he has both. But all in all, he is a sturdy little gent and a real talker. He has a very distinctive voice, sounding very similar to a lamb. His hair is the blackest I've seen on a goat, and his front teeth protrude in an under bite. But he is a lover lover lover. He is fitting right in, not afraid of anyone, not too pushy, and the minute I enter the barnyard he is calling out to me. Loves to be petted.

His sidekick came with the name Gandalf like the wizard in the "Hobbit". It's easy to see why they named him that with the beard he has, and while there is nothing wrong with his name, I began calling him Raggedy Man which fits him perfectly. It also fits his new home which honors all things "raggedy".

Now Raggedy was a buck and recently became buckless so he still has a bit of stinkiness to him. He is a bit timid right now and it appears perhaps he'd been hit a lot. His coat and skin aren't great due to poor nutrition and he's very thin - his backbone is sunken. But we'll get some weight on him in time. His longer hair will drop off now that he's debucked. I hope he doesn't lose that beard, but I guess it can happen once they are wethered. Within a couple days, Raggedy Man already is taming up, and stands to have his face stroked. I've left the collar on him for now so I can catch him and stroke him each day. He is not afraid of the pack, but does rely on Lofa as his go to man.

To see all these short statured creatures waddling about - it's a smile maker. I'm so glad to have them here and hope they live long lives with us. These two are our tenth goats we've adopted from Ellen and New Moon. It all started with Old Man Guinnias who lives on in each adoption.

If you'd like to help Apifera maintain, vet and feed their adopted barnyard animals, please visit this link to read more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The creature named Henry

Lessons from a one year old and a path of pebbles...

I always liken Pie Day to that of the opening of a theatrical event. Months before the real deal, guests are given sneak peaks of what might lie ahead for them as they are enticed by photos of previous Pie Days. Excitement builds and builds for the guest and the hosts – cresting like a wave that washes down on all the day of the event.

Stevie's kissing premiere

It was Stevie’s first Pino Pie Day and he seemed to understand instinctively that his main mission was to share himself in composed love. No rushing about or bleating for attention, he quietly spread his large frame in repose so guests of all ages could pet.

But he also gave out his trademark greeting – kisses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love and pie

I have lots of little stories to share- but for now, here is a glipse of the big day. Jan Harris was kind enough to take pictures at Pie Day for me this year and I must thank her again and again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The donkey is ready

I will be going into pie commando mode now. The donkey is having his pedicure tomorrow and I begin pie prep for Sunday's celebration where we'll be surrounded in donkey love and the souls of many pies.

I'll be needing some time to relax afterwards, but will be getting a slide show ready after Sunday's dust has settled.

I hope to meet some of you - and if you do come- please be sure to find me and introduce yourselves. I'll be the one with a pink glow around me, with electrified braids.

We are so excited to have Cathy Loup from NYC with us again - it is turning into a real tradition and I couldn't do it without her - or at least not as well. And all the other volunteers this year - you will be thanked in classic Pino tradition after the event. And all you apron and banner helpers - Pino is getting his notes to you ready...slowly.

So I'll see you all next week sometime - full of pie.

Post Script: Thank you to the News Register for the nice front page article about Pie Day - it really helps bring people in!

Two needy minis to arrive in a mini

I'm excited to tell you that Apifera will be welcoming two more needy goats from New Moon Goat Farm. But the best part is they will be delivered in person by none other than The Northern Mother herself, Ellen Felsenthal who owns and operates New Moon.

Actually, that's not the best part - they will be arriving with her in her new Mini Cooper wagon. That alone is a story, maybe even a movie. It will be a whirlwind day on Sunday...so many first's: the pig's first Pie Day and the first one without Old Man Guinnias, the anniversary of Honey Boy's arrival and now he is sadly missed, the debut of the Museum Of Misfits and the first time Ellen has been to Apifera.

I promise to share more about these two fine fellows after they settle in the the pie flour is out of my hair.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And a pig floats

Sometimes the camera takes over, capturing things I didn't even know I saw at that second, consciously anyway.

I think of Apifera as a breathing cloud, floating along with all us creatures floating right with it. How long we'll be up here I have no idea, but for now, when I actually capture one of the creatures floating, I feel it's an extra special gift for me that day - a reminder that this life here is magical.

It will be Rosie's first Pie Day and I'm sure she will perform at least one trick for a cookie. I do suspect she'll nap most of the day away and large groups could set of her grumpolopogus radar. Will she float for the masses? Highly unlikely. Floating occurs in my own heart and can only be transferred to others when I sleep, dream or manifest it with ink, type or color.

Friday, June 08, 2012

When puppets get mail

I live in a magical world where not only does the donkey get overseas packages of cookies, but the puppet gets mail too. Yesterday a huge package of vintage fabrics, aprons, cookies and other treats arrived for me and Pino - the donkey - but there was a little tiny apron in there too for Pino - the puppet.

My life is very good, albeit filled with mud and poop of all varieties and consistencies, but it is good and I am very aware of it each day. I'm soaking in every minute so I can hold onto it later - when I might need it the most.

If my posts are short in the coming week it is because the donkey and I have much to do before Pino Pie Day on June 17. I know you will understand. The Head Troll is also driving everyone in the barnyard a bit nuts as she has a certain ambiance she is striving for.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Pie and a donkey

The day is fast approaching. I am busy making aprons, preparing all the little details to make my guests feel like they are entering a magical haven where they can rest, soak up farm energy, commune with little donkeys or hug an old one and meet a bevy of astute little goats. And a pig.

Next week the pies will be prepared and raggedy crusts will unfold. They'll be a special "Museum of Misfits" where guests can look at all the adopted animals of Apifera and read their histories, helping them see the good work of Sanctuary One, New Moon Goat Farm/Rescue and Lavender Dreams Donkey Rescue [apron sales will be split between these three places this year].

The gardens are priming themselves too. And Pino? Pino is as calm as can be, and continually looks at me in harried state and suggests with his expression,

"Stop, come to me, bring a cookie, we'll share it. It will all get done."

Get all the details about the June 17th Pino Pie Day here at Apifera Farm.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Walk with the Old Goose

Beautiful, old, goose.

Those three words capture her - but I should add a neck like Grace Kelly.

She is also proving to be very difficult to capture in a photo - until I get a slightly different zoom lens, these will have to document her fluidity.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Porta Potty Puppet Ponderings

We pay for Pino Pie Day out of Pino's tin can. If you'd like to chip in- feel free. This year, the apron sales at Pino Pie Day will help New Moon Gaot Farm Recue, lavender Dreams Donkey Rescue and Sanctuary One - all of which were once home to our adopted goats, pig and donkey.

Every year there is great excitement over the arrival of Pino Porta Potty for Pino Pie Day. The Puppet considers it like the night before Christmas and talks non stop about the arrival of the porta potty. Each year he makes a movie to share with people to inspire them too about his porta potty. He hopes it inspires you to think about porta potties not as mobile restrooms, but vessels in which to pontificate.