Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Why Muddy?

After spending months, bordering on a year, obsessing over what to call the soon-to-be farm, I decided to just not name the thing. Seriously, after cycling through every imaginable farm name—from Chili Dog Farm (Chili’s my dog’s name) to Orange Dog Farm (Chili’s orange) to Weed Me Farm (I woke up with that in my mind and cracked up and kept laughing for over ten minutes. After deciding on that name, I forgot why I found it so funny). Oh, and then there was Chainsaw MassAcres, Clear Cut Organics and a few others too dark to mention. So, I came up with Muddy Farm because, after trouncing around the fields here, I realized it’s as default as it gets. There are sandy farms, there are rocky farms and there are muddy farms much in the same way as there are males and females in the plant and animal kingdoms. Calling this adventure Muddy Farm is like calling your son “Human Male” or daughter “Human Female”. I think I may do that if I ever have kids. I hate giving names.

I moved here on October 12, 2007. At that point, the soil was dry. I brush hogged the field, tilled up a plot for the garlic, spread some lime, and then it rained for a day and a half. From that point on, it’s been nothing but mud. Dark, rich, fertile organic mud that, when it dries up next Spring (hopefully), will grow some amazing veggies.

I can’t say I thought of the name myself, which is odd, because there’s really nothing else to call the farm. But, it all happened when I was walking around New Paltz with my brother, Steve, who was visiting from out of town. We were commenting on how there are two coffee shops within a couple blocks from each other with mud in the title. Steve was saying how he liked that so I said, well, that’s what I’ll call my farm. At that point, I had long given up on naming it other than some vague idea of following Prince’s lead, but I couldn’t call it “The Farm Formerly Known As...” because it wasn’t formerly in existence. You can see that I was really in a bind until my brother mentioned his affinity towards mud and of course, Muddy Waters is as good as they get anyways, so there you have it. A farm is named before a vegetable hath been harvested.

About the second word in the farm name: Farm. Why do people call their farm "Farms!" I don't want to name names, but Bradley Farms? Veritas Farms? We all know I adore those two establishments, but where’s the second one? The third? There’s only one! Seriously, I always ask, “Are you a chain? If I buy this bunch of broccoli raab here in Rosendale, NY, can I return it at your location in Waco Texas?” They get mad. But they’re asking for it. So, anyhow, that’s why there’s no S at the end.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Ray Bradley has just informed me that it is Bradley Farm. Apologies to all. I have mislead my reader. It will happen again. Most of the time, you won't even know it.


lagusta said...

Hello hello!
OK. I personally am always irritated by the two muddy coffeehouses, but that is because I don't like the arriviste, and I will never understand why anyone would want a muddy cup of coffee. Then again, I don't drink coffee, so what do I know? That said, I think Muddy Farm is a lovely, very New Paltzy name. It seems somehow to encompass the great and the quotidian about farming in one tidy little name. Yay! Also, yay for farmer blogs!

eugenewyatt said...

Congratulations Dave! Tell me more about your history of Muddy Farm, where & how; & why you want to get back into the dirt, or mud as the case may be.

I've subscribed to the MF RSS feed and it comes into my T'bird inbox so I'll keep an eye out for you.


paula said...

Dear Dave,
I have never lived on a farm. Is "brush hogging a field" a real thing, or did you make it up? If it is real, could you please explain what it is and if it entails brushes or hogs, or brushes and hogs? If you made it up, will you please explain anyway?

Dave said...

Hi. I'm trying to answer Paula's question, here. I don't know where the answer's going to end up, though.
A brush hog's like a really strong lawn mower that can cut brush and small trees. It usually hooks up to the back of a tractor, but sometimes they're walk-behind.

Matthew said...

Hello there Ol' MacDonald,
This blog makes me want to farm again---virtually that is. Farming on the web sounds super. I just revisited the blog to see if there were any new entries. Okay, maybe I am addicted but maybe that is just because you don't live this side of the mountain anymore. Upon my revisit, I noticed Muddy Farm's subtitle and it made my eyes tear in laughter. You know, the kind of laughter one can achieve while sitting alone and staring at a computer screen?
Anywho. . .thanks for the quality writing. I think you finally found your calling!
Blogfully yours,
The Farmer in the Dell