But how exactly do you punk a farm? Google searches lead to an interesting, albeit short, list of what was already labeled farmpunk. To our dismay, we had not coined the phrase, but the movement appears to be in its infancy.
Let's begin with a general definition of "punk" as set forth by the Urban Dictionary:
- the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experiences of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions.
- a process of questioning and a commitment to understanding that results in self-progress, and by extrapolation, could lead to social progress.
- a belief that this world is what we make of it; truth comes from our understanding of the way things are, not from the blind adherence to prescriptions about the way things should be.
- [and my favorite] everyone has the potential to be punk."
|This mohawk, I might actually try...|
In most people's minds, "punk" is immediately linked to the rock movement of the 1970s. But if you think of that movement in the terms of the definition above, it makes sense why those punks dyed their hair blue and pierced their ears with safety pins. But by it's very definition, I do not have to shave my hair into a mohawk to be punk. I simply have to be true to myself.
|table and light|
Which brings us back the Homestead...and the growing realization that we may already be a little farmpunk and not know it. All of the re-purposing, up-cycling and salvaging of the past years falls squarely into the existing farmpunk culture. One New York-based company, called Unite Two Design, consistently appeared in web searches. Using reclaimed wood and iron, they take a very minimalistic, modern approach to farmpunk.
But what was noticeably lacking was a specific fashion style linked to farmpunk. The Steampunk crowd has their bustle dresses, laced-up leather boots and gold-chained pocket watches. Should farmpunk utilize overalls, mud boots and corncob pipes? Burlap corsets, veiled bee-keeper hats and jewelry made from square nails? The possibilities here are as endless (and ridiculous) as you can imagine.
Inside I wound a small length of the very first yarn I ever spun, made from horrible, scratchy wool from my father-in-law. I have two larger balls of this yarn, but won't ever use them in a project. Looking at them reminds me how excited I was in those early days that I could take the whole process from the sheep to the wheel. Quality wool and skilled spinning were the farthest things from my mind. I was a shepherdess!
And so I am on a journey to define farmpunk as it applies to my life on the Homestead. My farmpunk will be sustainable and organic but well-framed with cast iron. It will be heavily influenced by the 1940s and 50s. It will have texture, layers and warmth. It will most likely border on the absurd, and I'll look back years from now and laugh.
But what is Life without absurdity? Without personal expression? Without a little punk?