What’s in a Name?

Jodi and Carlos call their future by name, and it is Fair Share Market Garden

As you may have figured out, our (hypothetical) farm is called Fair Share Market Garden. We chose the name carefully, considering its relationship to our guiding principles, its marketability, and the ease in which it translates into the French(ish) Fair Share Jardin de Marché . . . which we’ll still have to verify is correct.

“Convenience can be destructive.”

Our leading, hard-to-sell principle is the idea that convenience can be destructive. An appalling number of the frills that we employ to make life more comfortable often have an unsustainable byproduct that’s plated over by gild (think, “banana republic” (not the clothing store Banana Republic (although, why on Earth a company would name their business that is stupefyingly inexplicable to me. It’d be like naming our farm “E. coli Acres” or “Radioactive Earth Food”))). Striving to reduce our wants is a central goal in what we are trying to construct, and the phrase “Fair Share” is a nice way of starting a conversation about necessity versus excess. “Market Garden” further suggests a small farmers market operation to illustrate our theme.

As a marketing strategy, the obvious benefit is the familiarity and musical quality of “Fair Share.” A major source of income we’ve planned is through a now popular food delivery system called community supported agriculture or CSA. You’ve probably got a dozen of them in your area. Look ‘em up. In this system, customers invest a lump sum before the growing season begins and then receive a “share” of the farm’s harvest every week. Get it? “Share”? “Fair Share”? I’m a wizard. More on CSAs as this here sally rages on.

Everything we’re publishing, except these gorgeous essays will hopefully be translated to French. By avoiding unnecessary idioms, slang, and complex sentence structure, Google Translate has afforded us an imperfect but free solution to my paralyzing fear of using French incorrectly. As an unassimilated, English-speaking hack in the Czech Republic, I’ve used Google Translate on a daily basis, and I’m wonderfully relieved to see that the oftentimes bizarre translations from English to Czech and vice versa, are simply not present in the enormously widespread French language. “Fair Share Jardin de Marché” is obviously not the best answer to this bilingual pickle, as Fair Share isn’t translated, but the characters fit neatly into our logo, and French Canadians can still pronounce it, even if some won’t fully understand the first part (The Czech equivalent would be “Férový Podíl Zahrada,” which Jodi tells me makes no goddamned sense at all). Anyway, if anyone has a better suggestion in French, we’re all ears.

 

So that’s our business identity . . . for now.

We’re flying out to Toronto. Today. It’s been a hectic month of saying goodbyes, closing accounts, and selling/giving away piles of junk, but we’ve prevailed! Next stop, Canada.

Carlos
Frankfurt 2018

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