In our early years of homeschooing, people would sometimes ask us the name of our little school. We lived on Laurel Street, so we said it was Laurel Academy. It wasn't a very imaginative answer, but we didnt care; we wondered why we even needed a name. But sometimes, having a name came in handy, like when ordering educational materials, or registering kids for programs. There would be this little box to fill in: Name of School. I would kind of chuckle to myself and write 'Laurel Academy'. I chuckled because, as unschoolers, we were much more oriented to experiential learning, than to academic learning. In no way did we try to replicate school, at home. So calling ourselves an academy was like pandering to a narrow idea about what Education, is. I kind of liked the absurdity of the moniker.
We used the name whenever it was useful, like to deflect unwanted conversations about homeschooling. In those early days, almost no one knew anyone who homeschooled, and so many people had so many questions! so when someone would ask “What school do you go to?’, if the girls wanted to a avoid the questions they could just say ‘Laurel Academy’ and then redirect the conversation.
Over the years, we all developed a kind of fondness for 'Laurel Academy' and then, in 2009, we started growing food; that is when we added the 'Farm'. Laurel Academy Farm. I immediately identified more with the Farm, than with the Academy, but the idea of an Academy of Urban Farming was delicious. Irresistible. And the fact that the acronym is LAF? Well, its perfect.