That Moment Before Everything Changes

With our lives in a state of flux, we’re balancing a waiting game with our to-do list as our farm begins the transition into autumn.

by Rachael Dupree
PHOTO: Rachael Brugger

The change of seasons is nearly here, and Mr. B and I are thrilled about what that means for us and our farm. To be honest, though, there’s a lot of work we want to do with our land that’s been put on hold due to preparations for our upcoming wedding and the intense late-summer heat and humidity that makes doing anything but sitting on the porch with a cold glass of iced tea seem foolish. Still, Mother Nature knows nothing about breaks and is working her artistry in the meadows and forests while we dream away of the projects to come.

Rachael Brugger

Up on the hilltop pasture where our bees live—what we call “The Bee Hill”—goldenrod has sprung to life. Not quite yet in bloom, I’m looking forward to the moment when the yellow flowers burst through their buds, painting the the landscape a warm shade of gold that will glow in the light of the sunset. After the summer dearth, it’s wonderful to see swaths of color again—ironweed, ageratum (pictured) and butterfly milkweed are all showing their faces—and know that bees have a nectar source as they prepare their stores for the upcoming winter.

changing leaves
Rachael Brugger

On the east side of our property, which is predominantly forestland, leaves are threatening to begin their change. It’s still a bit early for the fall transition to completely take over, but I’m beginning to see specks of yellow and red and nuts are starting to fall to the ground, giving me hope that the end of heat and bug bites is just around the corner.

weedy garden
Rachael Brugger

In the gardens below The Bee Hill, I’m looking forward to having a moment when I’m not thinking about caterers and dress fittings so that I can navigate through the weeds and prepare our beds for fall. Drip tape left in place by the farm’s previous owners has been matted down by beautiful wild growth and needs taken out before I can get in to mow, till and perhaps plant a cover crop before autumn’s chill moves in permanently.

broken UTV
Rachael Brugger

On the equipment front, Mr. B has fully embraced the role of farm mechanic. When our beloved UTV and workhorse, “Delia The Intimidator,” ran into problems a few weeks ago, he opened her up and has been nursing her back to health. Although a mechanical engineer by trade, Mr. B hadn’t had the opportunity to do a lot of at-home repairs until we became farmers, but now he’s constantly fiddling with something, and for that, I’m extremely grateful. (Mechanics aren’t exactly my strong suit.) He should have Delia up and running any day now, thankfully. We anticipate needing to lean on her to help us clean out the gardens and prepare our steep driveway for the first snows of winter.

wooly worm
Rachael Brugger

In addition to all the land projects we’re devising, there’s still a lot of move-related work left to do, even though we’ve been living on the farm for several months now: furniture to be brought over, repairs to be made and other “settling” activities.

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Rachael Brugger

As you well know, there’s always something to do on the farm, and there never seems to be enough time to get it done. It’s funny, though, because I always had this mentality when living in the city—yet here on our new land, things don’t seem as rushed. It’s like the trees and pastures are whispering to us: “Don’t worry, you have time. Take it easy. We’ll still be here.” Instead of dreading the chores we have before us, we eagerly devote our full attention to them. Balancing the work with downtime comes easier, and despite which one is occupying our time, we’re filled with love and gratitude for this place, so it never seems like a burden. I never quite grasped how moving to a farm—where the work is harder and life is more intentional—could be considered “simple living,” but I think I’m starting to understand it a little better as we transition into this new season and new phase of our lives.

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