Hi @gertcoetzee - welcome to the farmOS community!
the problem is, every time that I log in, the map on the dashboard page displays my areas (polygons), but the base layer is not selected (blank) ?
This is a known issue, but we haven’t been able to pin it down yet. It seems to be somewhat inconsistent, and some have reported that it resolves itself. I personally have never experienced it, but others have. Here is the open bug report: Selected base layer is not being remembered for some users · Issue #65 · farmOS/farmOS-map · GitHub
Have you tried the Mapbox layer? Curious if that works any differently than the Google layer for you.
Also, I would like to know if it is possible to override certain field captions with more suitable names eg. areas to be orchards etc.
It isn’t possible to override the work “Areas” without some significant hacking - it’s used throughout farmOS in many places.
Worth noting: we are currently hard at work on farmOS 2.x (a major upgrade), and “Areas” are now becoming new “Asset types” like “Land”, “Structure”, “Water”, etc. There will be a “Plant” asset type (called “Planting” in 1.x), and there has been talk about making an Orchard module that provides an “Orchard” asset type. So that might be something to watch for!