Sidsel Overgaard is a public radio journalist who has reported on topics ranging from how a once-popular pregnancy test led to the endangerment of the Chiricahua leopard frog in New Mexico, to how lingonberries and reindeer blood challenge pickled red cabbage and meatballs as the ‘New Nordic’ cuisine in Denmark. But today on Vela she’s reporting her own story.
“Family Farm” is about Sidsel’s move to Denmark, a year after her grandfather’s death, to renovate her family’s nearly 500-year-old farm. Stripping away the layers of past generations, trying to win back the house from the overgrowth and mice, she hauls out a sort of fossil record of clutter and soot stains and notions of ancestry. What’s artifact? What’s junk? What of the past is root, and what burden? And what does it have to do with her, or her daughters, who are the seventh generation of their family to walk those floors?
Well, I won’t give it all away—you can read the whole essay here.