The Making of a Name
Last week’s forecasted snow presented more of a drizzly, icy, snowy combination for days that resulted in barely one inch of new snow, and a fair amount of melt on the already existing accumulation. This feels just fine to me. There are still finishing touches to put on a couple outdoors projects and doing it in a bit of snow rather than a foot is much appreciated. I’m still on a painting tear, but have hit pause on that, put the house back to some semblance of order, and am enjoying our daughter’s Thanksgiving break.
Before I get too swept away with family time, I thought I’d share a few housekeeping notes with regards to this new site, and the new direction of my work (well, maybe new branch of my work, I’m not entirely abandoning the work I’ve done previously, just adding something new). This information is not particularly interesting, but it is part of the softest-slowest-launch-in-blog-history. Gosh I think we’re at four months now and I’ve yet to talk about the very name of this new website! In my defense, it mostly has to do with the name being so utterly simple and open-ended that it hardly requires explanation, but also I feel quite sheepish given that I’ve so boldly included the “F” word in there.
We live on the North Ridge in our town. It’s not the name of our road, it’s a geographic location and everyone knows where “The North Ridge” is. When my husband was a young boy, there were no road names here. Heck, that remained true well into our marriage. If you wanted to mail something to someone, you simply placed their name and “North Ridge, Sutton, Vermont” on the envelope and it would get to them. Such vagueness seems romantic to someone like me, but it hardly was helpful in times of emergency. Eventually 911 services made it to the ridge and with that, order was required. You couldn’t expect to call in a burning barn and have the fire department know exactly where that was without a few specifics. So, road names and house numbers were assigned. Our road was named after Adam’s grandmother because she had been living here the longest, and for much of that time, she was the only one living here.
North Ridge was the easy part in naming my new web home, but choosing to insert “Farm” at the end is honestly the very thing that put my blog into darkness for the better part of a year. Who am I, lady with a vegetable garden and some chickens to call her place a farm? Sure, we produce maple syrup and firewood and within the next year or two will begin harvesting significant amounts of medicinal herbs. But even that, by “significant” I don’t mean large-scale mono-crop size farming. Our harvests will be modest by modern farming standards, yet serviceable and greatly needed on a community and regional scale.
I wanted the name of my new website to also be the name of the place we are creating here: in the soil, under this vast blanket of stars, within these four crooked walls. I wanted it to feel obvious, but also open-ended. Yes, my focus at this time is on medicinal herbs, but I know myself pretty well, and chances are there will be a new addition to the idea down the road. Better to not be so specific.
Farm. It’s such a charged word for me. And sure, if you look up the definition you will find its a rather loose term describing a plot of land used for growing crops and rearing animals. It doesn’t specify how much or how many. I guess it just comes down to the reverence I have for farmers who day after day put their backs into a full day of production so that others may be provided for. To me, there’s hardly a more important job out there, and I would never lump my efforts into such an accomplished category. But it is also true that we are a place of production more than we are a place of consumption, and we have established our first medicinal herb field, with field number two coming next summer. So even though things do not feel particularly farm-esque at the moment (to my standards), I needed to name this new site something, and we are indeed moving swiftly in the direction of farming.
It took us nearly a week to name our daughter when she was born. I fretted over the task. What a thing to choose someone else's name! A name they will carry for all the days of their life. But Adam’s mother put us at ease by telling us not to worry so much, the child will define the name given to them, the name will not define the child. It is advice I took to heart then, and was reminded of again when choosing a name for this new place of ours, both here on the land, and on the web. So, consider this your official welcome to North Ridge Farm.
And with that, I've gone on for so long without getting to the other topics I was hoping to bring up today. We'll get to those soon enough.
Thank you for taking the time to read here these days. Sometimes I find myself searching for answers as to why we can post a photo with ten careless words on Instagram and receive twelve times the engagement compared to actually putting some effort into hashing out a thought, story, or idea in longer form. I don’t have the answers, only a few ideas. So more than ever, I appreciate those of you who take the time read an old fashioned blog such as this, and even more so when you go the extra mile to comment and say hello. It’s a small connection that means a lot. I am glad to have taken as much time off from blogging as I did. I am in a new season of life now, and the marker of prolonged silence was a helpful transition. Having said that, I really could have used writing to get me through last winter, and am thankful to have this outlet for the coming months ahead. Thank you again, your presence here means more than I can express.
Wishing those of you celebrating, a wonderful day of Thanksgiving. May your table be filled with abundance, laughter, kindness, and good health.