The Accidental Farmer

The plans for the rest of our lives have spun completely out of control—and we’re OK with that.

by Rachael Dupree
PHOTO: Rachael Brugger

I am, for all intents and purposes, a city girl. Having grown up in a suburb to one of the largest cities in the Midwest, I had my sights set on moving out of the presumed “cow town” I am from—oh, what I didn’t know then!—to a big metropolitan city where I’d trade in my car for a subway pass and carefully climb my way up the publishing ladder.

Then I ended up in Kentucky.

It’s not that I didn’t like the Bluegrass State upon moving here. In fact, prior to my move, so many people told me about how amazing of a town Lexington, Ky., was, and they weren’t wrong. Lexington has grown into itself over the past decade, creating a culture of art and music and events that has given it a personality all of its own. Little by little, I fell in love with this place—with its scenic horse farms and the beautiful Red River Gorge as its backyard playground and the man that entered my life for keeps—but still in the back of my mind, I was confident this place was just a stepping stone to the bigger better places I (or should I say, we) would move on to.

Fast-forward seven years to mid-April 2016. This is the point in our lives when we lost all control of our plans and dreams.

Very often, people talk about “losing control” or “things not going to plan” in their most negative sense. But for us, a series of events seemingly outside of our control lined up perfectly to bring us to the point where we are today. Let me explain …

A month and a half ago, that fella I mentioned above—let’s call him Mr. B—and I were planning our wedding. My biggest concerns of the moment were how would I do my hair for our outdoor nuptials and what napkins we’d use for the reception. All nice but, in hindsight, petty things compared to what would be in store. Then a friend—as a joke, mind you—sent me a notice about this pretty house for sale about 30 minutes outside of town. It sat on top of a hill on a beautiful piece of land full of butterfly meadows, forestland and organic gardens. (You see, we’ve been scheming for years how we could get Mr. B to buy us a farm so she could raise pigs and I could grow herbs.) He and I weren’t looking to move out of the city—at least not yet—but out of sheer curiosity, we checked out the place, obviously not going to put in an offer. Obviously.

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butterfly weed
Rachael Brugger

Before I knew it, we were signing papers and securing loans, all the pieces of what should be a confusing puzzle of buying a farm falling easily into place.

You see, this piece of land spoke loudly to us, and before we knew it, we found ourselves entangled in its story. I’ve always wondered how you would know when you found your capital-H Home—when you knew you were exactly where you’re supposed to be—but here the sensation was profound and real. We found a peace we never expected and were invigorated by the vibrancy of life that surrounded us. If we chose to follow any other path but the one laid out so clearly in front of us, I’m not even sure it would have been possible. We were destined to be farmers—as accidentally as it appeared to be.

We got lucky. But the story doesn’t end there.

What I’m going to write in the coming weeks, months and hopefully years (if this is indeed our capital-H Home) is the story of us becoming farmers. Full disclosure: We’re not going to do things perfectly. In fact, things might get ugly at times. You’ve been there, and probably know better than I do that’s how these things go.

I’ve read pretty much every article on this website, so I’m not going into this completely blind, but keep in mind, Mr. B and I have never done this rural-living thing before. So let’s make a deal: I’ll share with brutal honesty our successes and failures of living the farm life, if you will in turn give us a little bit of grace along the way. Is that something we can agree to?

I look forward to the many lessons that the farm and you will teach us as we dive headfirst into this new life. More to come soon.

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