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.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

It begins! Help Apifera bring in the hay and more!

 UPDATE: We have raised just over $5,000 of our $20000 goal so we are 1/4 of the way there! Thank you!

So...I was going to wait until Sept to start fundraising but have decided to start now and will be attempting some new efforts to do that. I want to raise hay money which is double this year, and more to cover the costs we incurred over the summer. So a minimum of $20,000.
I normally put a fundraiser up on FB, but I can't add offline payments. I'm doing posts on Facebook and Instagram asking for money as we go along. I'm not sure if followers have a preference, but thought I'd try it that way for the first month. Of course, if you read the blog you can donate here too on the blog.
-Also, if all 2700 followers gave $10...imagine that
- if 100 people raised $100 on FB imagine that
I plan to do art giveaways, photo giveaways...calendar gifts too and will treat each post I do to raise money as a new pitch.
For starters, everyone who donates today or in coming posts, will have their name put in a bucket and Pickles will be in charge of it. This is a bit risky but she understands the importance of her role. Puddles is banned from being near the bucket. 
The first give away you might get for donating is this art print below retailing for $195 [©Mrs. Dunn]. [Somehow Pancakes is in charge of picking the winner which won't happen until late fall]
Here are recent cost incurred: vet costs from summer $4,000; Lumber for Bigg's winter mini barn $2,000; each ton of Canadian hay we are bringing in is $525, and we are bringing in 17 tons [$9,000]. But I just found out it is going up a $1 a bale so that is $700 more]. We buy about $300 a feed a week. That doesn't include cat food/supplies which are 75% donated.
I hope to make the give aways enticing. And if you can do a matching donation, message me!


Friday, August 18, 2023

A message from Ruthie

Good morning. I have something very intimate I'd like to share about Ruthie and from her. I have to tell you I did not want to get up this morning, the vision of finding the body and all that it all seemed like a waking nightmare. But something really helped me this morning and I thought it might help others.  

Back in the late '90's I began working with a healer/intuitive in Mpls. I still work with her when I need to. She helped me immensely in my younger years to learn how to stay grounded, and not always float away which I had done since I was a child. She taught me so much-about boundaries, about asking 'who says' when someone tells you something, about putting on my pink bubble suit when I need it. She taught me about how to navigate a human world in an intuitive body. I continue to learn about myself with her guidance when needed. She is a gift to me and she is the real deal. 

So yesterday I reached out to her, asking if she might reach out to Ruthie. Before I tell you what she said, I should also mention that yesterday morning before I went to the outer barn, I was in the cat room, and looked down and there was a white feather. Probably from The Goose. But another friend of mine always looks for a white feather after one of her horses dies, to let her know they are ok, and one always appears, eventually. So I took note of that. I thought it was from the duck that disappeared. 

So here is what my healer heard from Ruthie. 

 "She knew it was coming and wanted me to reassure you. I was gifted two turkey feathers, found on the ground outside where I was teaching: one yesterday and one today [note from Mrs. Dunn, this was before my healer knew of Ruthie's death]. First time ever. She wants you to know she met her death like a warrior and that you gave her the best friendship ever. You opened one another’s hearts even more. She really thinks of herself as as samurai. Sitting on the nest gave her such beautiful dreams, and peace… her life ended in a poem. This was all from her…what a beautiful being. Her head is high and she was not afraid. She was waiting for the inevitable day." 

The photo posted here is one I took a few days ago. I was so pleased she was off the nest and out and about, running to me when I arrived in the pasture, following me about. That day I sat on a rock, a beautiful breeze. The duck had disappeared that day. Ruthie just was taking it all in, the breeze, my presence. It was a quite, beautiful communion we had that day. She looked up at the sky, over and over, and I took this photo. I remember wondering if she was looking for the owl or knew something was in the sky [at that point I thought an owl had taken the duck]. But hearing my healer's conversation with her...I see this photo in a different light. 

I love thinking of her as a samurai. I think we humans think so differently than our more intuitive animals...even though we have our intuitiveness...but this idea she knew it was coming, is so, Indian, so...part of what it is to live within and amongst nature-not on top of it but WITH nature. I continue to grieve this one hard. I think in some ways it is one of the hardest death-acceptances I've faced since starting this work in 2004.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Ruthie the turkey's great egg dream


My latest from the Tails & Tales series. If you like my writing which is always free to you, you can support in any quantity when at this link. 

“Mrs. Dunn, it’s day 25! Did the turkey have any chicken babies yet?” asked Pickles.

It all started back in late spring. Ruthie, the resident turkey, had been laying eggs as usual, and I collected them each morning. After weeks of laying, she stopped laying, which is normal, but there was one egg left in her nest and she wouldn’t leave it. I decided to let her set on her egg. I knew the chance that a passing Tom turkey had stopped in for a romantic evening was highly unlikely, even though we do have them passing by in the back woods. Knowing the egg was likely unfertilized, I played along, thinking she’d eventually leave her nest to return to normal life. But part of me wondered, maybe she knows something I don’t.

After 30 days, I said to Ruthie, “There’s no baby in your egg. You need to move on, Ruthie. I’m sorry.”

She said not a peep.

The next day, I arrived at the barn, and there was Ruthie, sitting on her empty nest. Except it was not empty, she had dragged a graham cracker into the nest to set on.

“Oh Ruthie,” I said. There’s no baby in the graham cracker either.”

She seemed unfazed and sat tight.

This went on for days. I had hoped she would give up on her nest but she didn’t. So I visited the hens and politely asked if I might take some of their eggs, knowing they were possibly fertilized.

“Excuse me? You want to my prodigy to be raised by a turkey?” asked one of the roosters.

The hens flocked together in an uproar of clucks. Everyone gathered to see what was going on.

“Rooster! Only I have control over my eggs!” said the lead hen. More clucking.

“Ruthie seems so intent on being a mother,” I said.

Earnest the pig stepped in. “Hen, I can vouch for Ruthie, I think she would be a fine mother.”

“I will get you more mealy worms,” I told the hens, as I knew they swooned over them.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” said the hen, and she gave over some eggs. Earnest and I took them to Ruthie and placed them under her in the nest.

“Thank you, Mrs. Dunn. Earnest, would you like my graham cracker, Mrs. Dunn says it has no chance of becoming a baby,” said Ruthie.

“Thank you,” and he ate it in one bite.

Well, 35 days went by, well past the usual 21 days to hatch chicks.

“Ruthie, it wasn’t meant to be this time. I’m sorry,” I said, and I took the eggs away.

The next morning as I entered the barn, Earnest the pig sat with his arm around Ruthie as she sat on her empty nest.

I reached under her and there were some rocks. “Ruthie, rocks can’t have babies,” I said gently.

“I know, but I’m practicing for spring,” she said.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Goose Visits Mrs. Dunn's House By the Sea


Today, The Goose took a trip on his own to Mrs. Dunn's House By The Sea...a place you can only find in her head, and heart. Don't worry, he is already back at the farm. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Have you read "Pig & Bucket"?


This is an illustrated story I did last fall. It originally was only available to Patreon members but I shuttered Patreon and now anyone can read it, for free but if you like it feel free to share a tip here The story takes place in present time, with Earnest the pig meeting an old abandoned bucket, named Bucket, who was freed from a debris pile by a Nor'easter. The two become friends and eventually are joined by Mrs. Studley, a rat with a very unique past. The story meshes historical facts form former owners of our farm, with Earnest and Bucket's story.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Just let me be old. I merged into it. It's fine.


This photo is us back in Oregon farm, I was maybe 50 I think. Recently, I realized that I have been slipping my age into certain conversations, such as, "Well you know since I turned 65..." and I realized I am growing into that new identity. I am no longer young [do not call me young, as I am not, I am older now] and I simply want to be what I am, older. I just want to be 65, naturally. Why do we post old photos? I think it is two fold-to show ourselves where we are now and try to merge with what we see in a mirror versus a photo from what seems like yesterday, but also to kind of wave to the younger set "Hi, it's old me, I was you once, I'm fine here though but I was once a young something."
I read where the beautiful actress Addie McDowell was critiqued for not dying her beautiful silver hair because it made her look older [she is stunning] and she said, 
"I do think there is the importance of seeing beauty at every age and it's not limited to a certain age," said MacDowell, adding, "Every once in a while, I'll say to someone, 'I'm old,' and they'll say, 'No, you're not!' Like it's some horrible thing to say." MacDowell continued, "And I'll say to them, 'But what if I say I'm young? Don't have a problem with that, do you?' The truth of the matter is, I'm old and that's OK. That's what I really want people to think about. We're towards the end," she explained. "We have no time to waste feeling shame."
Nor do I have time to try to look young. Think about it, why should I try to "look" young. I'm old. When I was 20 nobody tried to make me look older, why do we create products called anti aging. Why is anti? We are evolving bodies. Do we tell the little sapling in the yard, 'Please don't ever get old".
At some point in this whole aging thing I thought, I'm not ashamed of my aging, but I have to keep it to myself, I don't have to declare my age-because if I do people will start watching...is she still okay working with those animals? Oh, she fell, she said, is it getting to be too much? I wondered, maybe people won't donate to the non profit because they wonder how long I can do this.
Then I came to my senses. It took a bit of merging into the entire age of 65 though.
I am not young, but I'm living as I am until I won't be alive. I'm actively living, which means I'm aging. I am not young. I am no longer pretty but I'm not ugly, I'm just like the old animals, I am what I am. I shine really brightly, so much so that that is why I'm looking older now-it takes energy to shine. A flower shines and shines but it can't be the same flower as when it bloomed.
"You can't do everything forever," said Bob Dylan. 
And I'm smarter about many things-like what I will and won't tolerate, what I just don't care about and what I do care about. I don't tolerate drama queens or kings, grifters or phonies. Gotta use my energy for my healing, my animals and my art. Most of the time, I know what I am supposed to be doing and I do it.