The spray of goldenrod bobs in the breeze and overhead a flock of starlings weaves in and out, black against a piercing blue sky. Around the edge of the blueberry bog, the swamp maples’ leaves are maroon, and hints of gold tint the edges of the wild cherry trees. While yellow school busses and backpacks symbolize the advent of fall for many families, the subtle shift in nature towards the autumnal equinox begins on our farm in late July.
As a lover of fall, I watch the swamp maples. They are the first trees to complain about the summer heat and humidity and foreshadow the change in the seasons. Because of the high water table in that soggy section of the blueberry bog, we seldom walk into the area where sphagnum moss grows. The more reclusive birds dwell in the area, and we spy the Pileated Woodpecker darting from tree or the Red-Tailed Hawk rising from its nest.
Over the summer, I met a couple of our patrons when they came to you-pick blueberries and to experience the beauty of the farm. In the waning weeks of August, other customers begin to contact me, “When will you resume shipping? I have two cups of your berries left.” Soon, I reassure them.
While we are still packing tons of blueberries, I prepare for September 10th, the first Tuesday we will ship out frozen blueberries. I order more ink for my printer, labels from FedEx, postcards to slip into the boxes. John checks to see if we need to purchase more shipping containers, and calls the FedEx representative to schedule a pick-up, the first of the many. The webmaster turns on the ordering buttons.
Voila! When I turn on my computer, the first order has arrived. Our fall work has begun.