Farm Unfixed is a restoration project focused on wildlife biodiversity in the grassland, woods, and riparian habitats on the 146 acre farm in the Southern Missouri Ozarks where I grew up. Our focus as of summer 2019 is to learn and document seasonal changes to existing species, native and exotic, and initiate controlled burns in preparation for native seed plantings in 2021. Our residency program invites land-based artists to share strategies and observations and learn stewardship from Ozark humans and non-humans.
My parents Ann and Bill Dugan designed and built the house in the 1980s with Bill Oakley, James Ware and other carpenters. The house was a site for gatherings of Ozark artists, therapists, activists and mental health clients for three decades. Artwork by Ann, Bill and the many female sculptors of Ocumicho, Mexico with whom my parents collaborated, fill the house.
We are currently identifying species of plant, animal and fungus with the help of Ozark Natural History Biologist Susan Farrington and the Missouri Department of Conservation divisions of Wildlife and Soil and Water.
A growing herbarium captures what we have learned and is housed along with other specimens in the Field Station Studio. These plants include many species found in the 14 vernal ponds on the farm.
Collaborations with the plants, animals and the humans who visit is part of growing Farm Unfixed. Swedish artist Axel Karlsson Rixon visited this winter.