Our Journey - Welcome To The Family - Why The Name

Why The Name?

Choosing a name is one of the hardest tasks in the world, whether for your child, your business, or your farm. Our farm is another child to us, as well as a business. We wanted something unique, but that had meaning beyond the surface.

The first name we chose was "Misty Valley Farm." The summer we moved in, we became enamored with the surreal mists that would creep along the valley and envelop our home at dusk. We would watch it roll off the hillside down towards the creek every evening. In the morning, the fog still remaining gave the place a magical look. However, there were just too many Misty Valley Farms already, and we still felt that we needed something more personal.

Organic vegetable production was always our plan, utilizing as little input as possible to produce fresh food - not only for our own family, but others as well. The more research we did, the more we found out that we were (and still are) applying some of the principles of bio-dynamic farming. This type of farming is primarily about building the health of the soil. In doing so, the health of your plants improves, which leads to little dependence on chemicals (even organically certified ones) to deter pests and disease.

This got Joe thinking. He has a background in the ancient practice of Tai Chi and QiGong. In ancient Chinese wisdom, health and well-being occurs when the five primary elements are in balance. This health and well-being is not only in people, but plants and animals as well.

So, what are the elements?

Metal: These are the tractors and other tools with which you work the soil. Work with metal tools too much, or conversely, not enough, and you upset the balance - causing the soil to become too compacted or so light and fluffy that it blows away.

Water: You need water for anything to grow. But too much water and the plants get root rot; not enough they wither and die.

Wood: These are the plants that grow, but not just the edible ones. We need other plants to bring in beneficial insects or even to provide cover crops to protect the soil. Too many undesirable plants are called weeds, which choke off the ones we want to grow.

Fire: This is the sun, which provides light for plants to grow. Too much, and the plants can get scorched and burn; not enough, and they do not produce. The sun also produces the electricity that powers our farm by the solar panels on our house's roof.

Earth: The necessary medium for all plants to grow. If this does not have the proper balance of nutrients and other beneficial organisms, then the plants will have a difficulty growing - and the soil then must be augmented. This is where bio-dynamic farming comes into play.

So with these tenets in mind, “Five Elements Farm” was born.