As told by Julia Gardner Asherman of Rag & Frass Farm in Jeffersonville, Georgia.
I named the farm Rag & Frass because I was sick of farms having names that sound like gated communities. Farming is romantic—but mostly it’s dirty, sweaty, gritty and overwhelming. I don’t think something has to be romantic or traditionally beautiful to be important, or in the case of agriculture, vital. A rag represents the re-purposing, resourcefulness and mending, also the cleaning and renewal of spaces. Frass, or caterpillar poop, represents the other half of food production: the manure that is crucial to soil health and nutrient cycling, and also the taboo and unmentionable reality that comes from all living things. By naming the farm after these necessary and overlooked resources, which I think are beautiful in themselves, I am embracing and celebrating the whole of the farm operation and familiarizing my customers with what’s really involved in sustainable farming. People are seduced by flowers and beautiful bountiful produce, but they can only fully appreciate what I do as a farmer if they understand the other side too.