Short Answer: Two NYC guys who bought a farm and are sharing their experiment in living better lives, season by season, neighbor by neighbor.
When Josh Kilmer-Purcell (advertising executive and NY Times Bestselling author of I Am Not Myself These Days & The Bucolic Plague) and his partner Brent Ridge (physician and former Vice President of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia) purchased the historic Beekman 1802 Farm in 2007, they had no idea that it would launch one of the “fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country.” (source: Nasdaq) Originally just a weekend getaway from their hectic NYC lives, the farm became their lifeline after both men lost their jobs within one month of each other during the recession of 2008. Faced with possible foreclosure, the pair made a decision – if they were going to save their farm, they would have to make it profitable.
After taking in a neighboring farmer and his herd of beloved dairy goats, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell began producing soaps and cheese. As other neighbors taught them how to farm, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell shared their city-honed skills – starting a website and Mercantile. The men began working with several other local farmers and artisans to market their goods, and the entire village came together to host seasonal festivals, which are now attended by thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Soon the press began noticing this little farm and village that refused to give up. (New York Times, Daily News, USA Today) A television network launched a reality show about their effort – The Fabulous Beekman Boys (now airing on Cooking Channel) – which spread the Beekman message of hard work, living seasonally, and neighborly sharing around the globe.
In 2012, the duo competed and won the grand prize in CBS’s The Amazing Race. Over 10M viewers watched for 12 weeks as Josh and Brent beat 20 other competitors in a 45,000 mile race around the world through 12 cities in 9 different countries.
Beekman 1802 has proven that a farm can be much bigger than its fences. The farm might just be one place on a map, but we count as our neighbors folks from all around the world.