Apifera Farm is first and foremost a small, working farm owned and operated by artist Katherine Dunn and her landscaper husband, Martyn. Their goals in 2004 were simple and remain unchanged:
~ help an old farm that had been neglected for years
~ be good stewards by planting trees and nurturing fields
~ plant native species on the river front to help fish and the river
~ live as sustainably as possible and be water conscious
~ help needy and old barnyard creatures, hospice them as needed
~ eat meat that we could nurture and be present with at birth, through life and on the day of death
~ raise only enough food for our selves and to offset the cost of adopting the barnyard creatures
Katherine had the brilliant idea to plant 4000 lavender plants. Years later now, and older, and wiser, and exhausted, they cut back the field to about 1500 plants. They sell Grosso, the long stemmed fragrant variety, and also the bud. Visit the Etsy shop, or larger wholesale buyers can email Katherine.
Katahdin Breeding Stock
The flock is registered and/ or recorded. Raised on grass, mother ewes are fed 14% protein mix 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after lambing. Katherine works daily with her sheep, they are cross pastured for health of sheep and field, and always brought into the barn at night for safety. She does all the maintenance on these creatures and loves being a shepherdess. Contact Katherine for info and availability.
APifera is as self sustainable as possible and eats a 50/50 meat/plant diet–limited meat is available as lamb is raised mainly for the farm. Grass fed, no pesticides. Raised on open pasture; the animals are born and raised and humanely harvested at the farm with a local approved butcher, always under the watchful eye of Katherine and Martyn. We partake in their birth, daily lives and their final moment.
The Adopted Barnyard of Misfits
Apifera is also a haven for many old and needy barn animals that have fallen on hard times. Since first moving to the farm, Katherine has been taking in old/crippled goats, donkeys, pigs and fowl, which she lovingly refers to as "The Misfits". She shares her Misfits through story and art, workshops and drawing sessions at the farm. You can help if you'd like by sharing what you can towards monthly care.
Martyn Dunn is a licensed landscape contractor and operates Apifera Horticulture, formerly known as Horticulture Northwest. A graduate of Oregon State University in Horticulture, Martyn has owned and operated his own business for over 20 years. Serving clients in Portland and the western suburbs, Martyn is experienced in design, boulder placement, transplants, plant specifications, pruning and maintenance as well as designing and implementing water/irrigation systems. While Martyn serves many private homes and customers, he also collaborates with landscape architects and designers. At Apifera Farm, Martyn designed the front gardens and boulder placements. The garden was created to be draught tolerant, and includes as many native species as possible. Apifera Farm is also working with the State to increase native species on their river front, and through the CREPS program have planted and maintain over 400 trees. Contact Martyn.
How Apifera was Born
Suffering a long lasting broken heart, a forty plus single woman writes a sacred list of three things she needs to do to recreate a sense of place for herself. It leads her across the country to Oregon where she meets her next door neighbor. Soon after, the man climbs a cherry tree in a heat wave and brings her his cherry harvest, hoping the cherries will cool her fair haired flush from the heat. The next day, still suffering in a heat wave, she bakes him a fresh cherry pie with the bounty he brought her. This leads to one of many epiphanies, that she must love him to bake in a heat wave. With her love for him sealed in that crust and fruit, they go on to move to a magical delapitated farm, and they call it Apifera.
Pino Pie Day - the annual June event to help The Misfits and share Katherine's homemade pie!
While the farm is not open to the public, it does have a giant Pino Pie Party each summer to help raise money for the senior animal and donkeys adopted into Apifera. Pino is one of the farm's resident mini donkeys who has a knack for donkey hugs, pondering and making even grumpy people smile. He gets a lot of mail. He has also become one the artist's main muses, acting as resident puppet, showman, poet, diarist, and apron wearer. This donkey gets mail from far off lands and has swooned the young as well as the elderly.