Buying a farm was the original plan when we first moved back to Minnesota from Washington. Things didn't work out that way five years ago and the dream was sidelined, we thought forever. But it resurfaced, as dreams do, a couple years ago. It took a different shape this time around, but the fuzzy dream quality of it was still there. We had to give the dream a few hard edges before we were able to move forward. During this planning process we felt like we were planning for a new baby. How would we nurture it over the years? How would it fit in with our family? Would it change the dynamic we love so much in our family currently?
The farm certainly feels like a new child. We are discovering something new about it everyday. We have grand dreams for it, and also no expectations at all.
Just like any child our farm needed a name, and coming up with that name was just as hard as naming a child. It needed to be original, but not crazy, have meaning, but not cliché.
Much of my desire for this land had to do with raising our kids closer to nature. Unstructured, disconnected, imaginative, pure, dirty, risky- I wanted it all for them. I kept thinking Wild... I wanted them to be in the wild... to be wild. On top of wanting wild, it was also a wild move for us. We were both raised in the suburbs of two big cities. We weren't familiar with country life or farm life or small town living. We lived in a wonderful home in a thriving and growing suburb with great schools and every amenity you could ask for, all within 15 minutes of St. Paul. What sort of wild idea was it to move away from all that? Sometimes I can't believe we followed through with it. We chose wild.
Joel is drawn to mills. He wanted to stick a windmill in the yard at our house in the suburbs, he loves them so much. There are no mills on this farm... yet. He has dreams of building a wooden windmill and I am certain we will have a mill find a home in these fields someday. Mills are meant to produce something from raw material. The mills I think of draw from Earth's own raw material- wind, water, sun. When I see a windmill I imagine the wind flowing in and being spun around and released out the other side and it makes me think of the process of creativity. The world pushes information at you and it’s churned and chewed over until eventually it takes shape and an idea emerges. Nothing energizes me more than the creative process- and energy is just exactly what a mill is designed to create. This farm is buzzing with energy – it’s a mill unto itself.
So with that, we chose the name of the newest member of our family:
Wild Mill Farm.