Our name was just put upon this trailer.
Why does one do this? Isn't it awfully brash to promote oneself in excess like this? What would one's grandmother say about being so demonstrative in public? Is it really necessary? And how important is a name, anyway? These questions arise, as the signature event of the week was installing this large banner around our large trailer.
One of the most effective claims to name and advertising I recall from decades ago was promoted by Buddy's Carpet Barn. Buddy would take 30 seconds to explain, in growing breathless enthusiasm, the excitement around his low-priced carpets. All he was selling was price, a mere commodity, but his message was so enthusiastic it was infectious. He was successfully brash.
Our personal names are usually given to us by parents. Sometimes they fit the recipient, creating welcomed lifelong affinity. Other times they don't, forcing definition upon a newborn that creates discomfort ever-after. Some nicknames are so descriptive and fitting, they won't shed themselves, no matter how hard the afflicted try to cast them off, like: Jocko, Tugger, Buffy, or Yesod... Many women have been willing to change their last names, when entering marriage, understanding the mutability of identity. In the nineteenth centurey, notable women authors, buried under the weight of sexism, assumed pen-names, like George Elliot, by Mary Ann Evans. Latin cultures ascribe four or five names to an individual, to recount full lineage. Some individuals, want to free themselves from cultural confines, and stridently claim only one, as in Madonna. In Indian culture, first and last names are often repetitive. If one were born into families of: Montague, Capulet, Hatfield, or McCoy, the only way to escape a bloody future was through defiant powers of romantic love. Members of aboriginal cultures assume new names with each stage of life, reflecting the complexity and richness of great journey. At the same time, names identify one's historic tribe, which can be emotionally centering.
At our farm, we engage in this awkward discourse with names as well. All of our fields are numbered, which are names in themselves. My aging father remembered the numbers of every field, and loved to recount the history of each, as we drove by. Susan doesn't resonate with tedious sequential numbers, much preferring descriptive terms. So, Fld 5 is also Sardinia, Fld 27 Snake Field, Fld 29 Turkey Vulture Field, and Fld 23 Carribean... We have stopped naming most livestock, learning the hard way that doesn't work, but the eight dogs have their own affectionate designations, of course. The legal entity that owns our land has a different name from that producing and marketing grassfed meats, the legal name of which is also slightly different from that under which we do business. The creek flowing through our farm, saddled with an unimaginative Anglo name, recently succeeded that designated by Native Americans for thousands of years. So, the topic becomes rather complex, reflecting the challenge of ascribing static names to dynamic forces.
In the end, though, one has to claim who one is, if one is going to participate and compete in the world. The best way is through one's actions. The name one assumes, however, is also important, as it represents those actions. We have chosen Grassroots Farm & Foods, to reflect how the roots of grasses stand at the heart of all we do and stand at the heart of good health, in many ways. So, with deference to our genteel grandmothers and with a lesson from Buddy, we have summoned the courage to impose our name upon the side of our trailer. May the world behold for an instant who we are.
Orecchiette pasta, Grassroots Italian sausage, and rappini from a Beach on a Farm in Bethel conspired to create this hearty meal.
Thinking ahead several months, we are planning to hold a Farm Tour on Saturday, May 13. We are located in Cynthiana, Ohio (with mailing address of Hillsboro), about 85 miles east of Cincinnati. Tour will be from 11-3, with a wagon ride to see pastures, sheep, cows, chickens, and hogs. A light lunch of sliders will be served. $25/hd, with children under 10 free. Payment will be made on-line and in advance. Mark you calendars!
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday in Hyde Park. We resume attendance at Findlay on April 1, and will be making a delivery to Milford on April 5.
May the names we choose honor the past while embracing the future,
Drausin & Susan