This morning I listened to the TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about creativity. I have been thinking a lot about creativity lately. It might not seem like it, but starting a farm is a creative endeavor. Like any other small business, it requires ingenuity, flexibility, humor, and an ability to think outside the box. Or in this case, the barn. You may have picked up on the fact that naming a farm is not an easy thing to do. I appreciate everyone who has voted and I hope anyone who has not voted yet will put in his or her two-cents. We want a name that will be both universally appealing and that will adequately convey at least some of the things we stand for.
Sometimes, when I want to scare Geoff, or when I hear my biological clock ticking particularly loudly, I look up baby names on the Internet. Then I say stuff like, “What do you think of ______ as a name?”
“What do I think of _______ as a name for what?” Geoff responds, bowels loosening.
“What do you think of _______ as a name for a baby?”
“Why?” Eyes full of fear, heart rate and blood pressure increasing, the room begins to spin and turn dark, for Geoff that is.
“Don’t worry. I’m not pregnant. I just want us to be prepared. Look at how long it’s taken to come up with a farm name. Baby names are way more important. From what I have observed about our decision making process, nine months will not be enough time.”
In other news, yesterday I made my friend Adele drive with me out to Boerne so we could visit the Tractor Supply. One of my chief complaints as a lady farmer is that there is a severe lack of available gear designed specifically for women. In Tractor Supply for example, there are three full rows of men’s work boots and less than half a row of women’s work boots. If you are a woman looking for steel-toed safety work boots you have two choices at Tractor Supply. (Similarly at the Redwing Shoe store near my house there are no women’s steel-toed safety boots. You can only by skid resistant lunch-lady type shoes.) I think the consumer world is missing out on an untapped market—women who have feet and need farm shoes. In fact, the very first question my brother’s friend, a ballerina, asked as she expressed her desire to come to the farm was, “What type of shoes should I wear?” Tractor Supply, this is your time to shine.
I myself tried on the attractive pair, of the two, and it was incredibly comfortable. One critical fact that made my
shoe trying on experience less than completely productive was that Tractor Supply puts really big security tags in the tongues of their shoes—the kind that a department store might put on a fancy leather jacket. The security tags were placed so that when I laced up the shoe completely as one might if they were going to wear a shoe to do some work, the security tag cut directly into the skin of my ankle. This severely detracted from my ability to determine if the shoe fit properly or not. I tried on two different sizes and gave it my best guess. I did not purchase on the spot, however, because they were having a 10% off sale with free shipping on the Internet.
Adele and I also made a side trip to a shop that I hoped would be like a local Tractor Supply but turned out to be more like a combination of Dolly Parton’s closet and a taxidermist. Needless to say, there was nothing there that suited either of our taste. But one cannot deny that their inventory was creative.
Geoff and I eagerly await the moment when we finally decide what our farm will be called. From there we begin a creative gauntlet of web-design, marketing, making-of-really-cute-farm-shirts, and the actual running and operating of the farm. I can’t wait to get to work.