Calling the farm down the road “the Johnson Farm” or “the Bouchard Farm” is so 1956.

Ever since back-to-the-landers got the urge to plunge their hands into the dirt, the task of choosing a farm name has become laden with meaning. These young farmers got as creative in naming their plots of land as they did in naming their children Blossom and Rainbow.

Today the quest for the perfect name – one that expresses the beauty of the landscape and the values of the landowner – continues, especially among small organic farmers looking to put their own creative footprint on the land. The moon appears in a lot of Maine farm names. And if farm names are to be believed, the state has a lot of mist rising above its fields of potatoes and corn: Autumn Mist Farm in Sebec, Misty Acres in Sidney, Misty Brook in Albion and Mysty Mountain in Turner.

Other farm names are rooted in a funny family story, they’re kind of punny, or they state the obvious. It’s not hard to figure out, for example, that they raise goats at Butting Heads Farm in Gardiner. And you can be fairly certain you can buy fresh lamb and hand-spun yarns at Ewe and I Farm in Kennebunkport.

We asked 16 Maine farmers to tell us the stories behind their farms’ unusual names. In most cases, they wanted something catchy that reflected their own lives and philosophies, and if the name happened to catch a customer’s attention, great. But marketing was not foremost on their minds.

Here are some of our favorite stories:


Ten years ago, when Clayton Carter was trying to name his certified organic vegetable farm, he gathered friends together to brainstorm. His place in Etna is surrounded by other small farms whose names ooze humor and whimsy, and he wanted something similar that would resonate with his customers at the Waterville, Bangor and Orono farmers markets.

“This is not the generation where we all name our farms after our last name,” Carter said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but a lot of us have chosen to take a different approach.”

In the end, he found his answer on the radio, when he heard someone quoting from the playwright Samuel Beckett’s novella “Worstward Ho”: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“It seemed to work really well with my method of tackling problems,” Carter said.

At first, he got lots of questions. Why on earth would he include the word “fail” in his name, customers wondered?

“Once I explain it, everyone kind of gets it,” he said, “and can really appreciate the idea that you’re always beset with challenges, and it’s how you deal with those challenges that’s really important.”

Plus, once they lay their eyes on his gorgeous organic vegetables, “it’s clear to them that I’m not actually failing.”


When Lizz McLaughlin and her family started raising beef cattle in 2012, they were already brewing their own beer so the name they chose was “kind of a take on moonshine,” she said.

They had also inherited an old cow (she will be 17 this spring), who became a mascot of sorts. They named her Mumma “because she keeps an eye on the herd and makes sure everyone is kept in line.”

A photo of Mumma on a hill, standing next to a tree and bathed in sunshine, became the farm’s logo.


Deena Albert Parks and her husband used their wedding money to start a hog farm in Sidney, just north of Augusta. Parks was struggling to come up with a name for their farm when one day she spied a license plate that read “CHOPS.” Immediately after, she saw another one that read “AHOY.” “It was two license plates within seconds of each other,” she said, “and I was like, ‘That’s really cute.'”

Eventually, they relocated Chops Ahoy to 32 acres in Woodland, where today they raise a dozen organic pasture-raised pigs a year and sell vegetables at farmers markets. The farm relies on word of mouth for marketing, but Parks admits she did think about customer reaction when she decided on Chops Ahoy, which she describes as “a happy name.”

“It’s definitely about branding,” she said. “You hear some of these other names, and it sounds creepy. “I’m like, ‘Should I buy something from their farm?'”

47 DAISIES, Vassalboro

Harmony Dillaway says she and her husband are both “extremely strong-minded, difficult people.” Even when talking names for their fruit-and-vegetable farm, they could not agree on anything.

So how did they get such an unusual name as 47 Daisies? Why 47 and not 62? Why daisies and not roses or gladiolas?

Her husband’s first soccer jersey number was 47, and it stuck with him. “He would see it in the strangest places,” Dillaway said, “and always said his lucky number was 47.”

Dillaway’s favorite flower is the daisy. So they linked them for what she calls a “really random” but “absolutely perfect” farm name.

The downside? Potential customers often think it’s a flower farm.


Ivan Smith was having “a week of Mondays” when he stumbled onto a name for his farm.

At the time, Smith was living on the farm his father had bought in 1947, and renting a farm for dairying.

Not long after that week when nothing went right, a friend asked him, tongue in cheek, “How are things at Snafu?” Snafu is military slang for “Situation Normal: All (Fouled) Up.”

Smith thought it was funny and started using Snafu as a prefix to register his Holsteins and later as a brand for his beef, pork and poultry. Eventually, his home farm (part of his father’s original farm) also became known as Snafu Acres.

“I get a lot of people and they see the name and they smile,” Smith said. “A lot of them, they get it. They spent time in the military. One of our jokes is ‘Snafu Acres, where things go Fubar.’ ”

Fubar is military slang for “Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition.”

“Most anybody would tell you that on a farm there’s times that it’s pure chaos,” Smith said, “and sometimes it doesn’t seem to end.”

To him, Snafu Acres means when things go wrong, “you accept it and go on.”

WIDDERSHINS, Dover-Foxcroft

Wendy Russell calls herself a lapsed pagan. But she’s kept the pagan name for her farm, where she and her husband raise cows, pigs and Katahdin sheep and run a licensed raw milk dairy.

About 15 years ago, she started calling her farm Widdershins, a pagan term for counter-clockwise. When pagans perform a ritual, Russell explained, they walk three times clockwise to form a protective circle, then reverse and walk three times widdershins.

“We tend to go at things maybe not the normal way,” Russell said, “and so that’s kind of the joke about the name.”

She thinks the unusual name helps people remember the farm, although they often mispronounce it.

“Every so often,” she said, “we’ll get someone who says ‘I know what that means!'”


When Annette Marin and her then-husband tried to name their farm, they considered Pine View Farm, but realized a farm just a quarter-mile away went by that name. Then it dawned on Annette: “Well, we really have no view. And that was it. It was that simple.”

So the farm, which raises horses and organic vegetables, became “No View Farm.” Business counselors advised the name was too negative. But Marin stuck with it, and the name has, she said, “held me well.”

That is until last year, when landowners across the road logged their property. Now No View Farm has a nice view of the Androscoggin River and the mountains, and when Marin tells customers the name, “they look at me like I’m crazy.”

That inspired the new name: “Gone Loco!”

Marin, who is also trying to launch a salsa business, thought the catchier name would be easier for people to remember.

Is changing the name of a farm bad luck, like changing the name of a boat? Marin isn’t worried. “I think it’s a good thing,” she said.


Natalia Bragg calls her farm “one of the finest natural apothecaries around.”

But when she first moved there in the 1970s, she couldn’t even get a garden growing, and she cursed it as “stupid land, like the knot of a tree.” (Thus the first part of the farm’s name.)

Her grandmother told her to stop fighting the land. Bragg listened. She took a year off, walked the land and found 28 different kinds of trees and shrubs that could be used in natural remedies. Her customers showed more interest in her medicinal herbs than in her livestock. “Grammy was right,” Bragg said. “When I quit fighting with it, it made itself clear what I would do with it,”

So over the years, Bragg became an herbalist. She planted gardens propagated from the wild plants that grew on her farm, which is cut in two by a branch of Salmon Brook.

“It’s a tough farm to farm in the traditional way, but as long as you go with what has been provided for you, it’s actually a rich, delicate piece of land,” she said.

To name the farm, a friend suggested she turn her married name, Bragg, into a pun. That brought her grandmother to mind again.

“She made biscuits so light they’d jump off your plate,” Bragg said. “And every time she made a batch, she would automatically say, ‘Not to brag, but I do think these are the finest biscuits I’ve ever made.’ It was just one of those remarkably sweet memories from my childhood.”


Karen Shumac’s tiny farm has six goats, two alpacas, and dogs, cats and chickens. She sells eggs, milk, cheese and soap.

“We started out with bees back in Pennsylvania. Then we picked up alpacas just because,” Shumac said. “So we went with the sound of each one and called it Hummbuzz (Farm). Then we moved to Maine about 10 years ago and we got goats, so we figured we might as well add that to the mix, so we got Baahhummbuzz.”

Sounds like something Scrooge would say, right?

Shumac gets it. This year, she’s naming her new baby goats after Dickens’ characters. Fagan, meet the Artful Dodger and Estella Havisham.


When Noah Wentworth and Flora Brown bought their 16-acre farm in 2011, they wanted a name that reflected their farming philosophy, yet was also memorable and fun to say.

They thought about naming the place after their daughter, Sascha, but worried about future children – would they feel left out?

In the end, they used the name of a character from one of Sascha’s favorite books, “Uno’s Garden” by Graeme Base.

In the book, a man walks into a pristine forest and, inspired by its beauty, decides to raise a family there. With each turn of the page, the reader learns about a species of animal that lives in the forest, including the Feathered Frinklepod, which looks like a tropical bird. The civilization grows quickly, however, and one by one the animals disappear. Eventually, the forest is transformed into a giant city. But after the civilization nearly collapses, the humans change their ways, and plant and animal species begin to reappear.

Brown and Wentworth chose the name Frinklepod Farm because the themes of the book reflect their own philosophy – the importance of biodiversity, conservation, and balance between humans and nature. (The couple is working on a long-term plan to conserve some of their land.)

“We’re considering future generations as we work with the land,” Brown said. “We’re being really mindful about creating habitat for other species and treating the soil in ways that will keep it healthy, and not just thinking about making a buck this year for a certain crop.”

After customers questioned whether the title of the book was copyrighted, the couple wrote Base to explain what they had done.

“He wrote back immediately and was like, ‘That’s awesome, right on, thank you.'” Brown said. “That was nice, to feel like we had his blessing.”