Well, of course, there is that groovy song by the Beatles, and who wouldn’t want to be under the sea in an octopus’s garden in the shade?
When I was in college studying at UNC-Chapel Hill, I had a very close group of friends who ended up living together during our junior year. There were eight of us living in the house, seven women and one man. Among our friends and neighbors, our house became known as the Octopus Lady; eight people, mostly ladies: a fun and logical name. Over the years, I have continued to be close to these friends, and today they are still my closest friends. We stay in close contact and over the past few years as my plans for my farm and my life have developed, they have been my greatest supporters.
We have stayed such great friends in part because we share the same values, and one of our hopes is to one day live on a piece of land together in a manner that is self-sustaining, fosters fellowship among ourselves and with our wider community, and serves to educate and uplift. I have confidence that we can make this dream happen and so my farm name, “Octopus Garden” is an homage to those friends and that dream.
As I have journeyed through my life since I was in college, I have been blessed with many new friends who have also offered me support and help in achieving my dreams, and expressed their desires to be a part of my farm dream. In my opinion, there is no farm without the community. The farm exists to feed the community and to be an educational tool and resource. Before our modern age of industrial agriculture, the farm was always a center of community; no one owned all of the tools and machines that they needed to do all of their work, nor did they have the labor. Area farmers would gather together and tackle big jobs as a group, pass important pieces of machinery around as each person needed them.
Though the name “Octopus Garden” references one group of friends, it reminds me always that my farm and my dreams are much bigger than myself, and also that challenges that I face can be overcome because I have the support of a community behind me, people who wish to share in my triumphs and my trials. The community is still growing! Thank you for being a part of the Octopus Garden!