Beekman 1802 soap, brown paper packages tied up with string
Beekman 1802 soap, brown paper packages tied up with string


When I was in high school, we staged a well-received production of Sound of Music. I played Rolf, the traitor youth so full of himself because he was about to turn 18. While I relished the opportunity to tell my good friend Lisa Smith that she was a little girl who just had to wait for the better things in life to come her way (and kiss her at the end), the song that I always left rehearsals singing was “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”.   I am well aware that every single person who reads this blog will sing or hum at least one bar of this song, possibly repeatedly over the next several hours.  This is my gift to you.

Even though that musical doesn’t even have a Christmas scene, the tune seems to have become a modern holiday classic.

With such gift-giving familiarity, it shouldn’t be a surprise that BEEKMAN 1802 took some of its brown paper and string packaging cues from Maria von Trapp.  (Also, not so coincidentally, the unbleached and recycled tissue also happens to be the most environmentally friendly.)

This weekend at the farm was all about getting ready for holiday orders.


Hundreds of Priority Mail boxes waiting to be stuffed

Because of our various connections, BEEKMAN 1802 was launched with quite a bit of fanfare.  While we love the national and international attention that our products have achieved in such a short time, it makes it easy for people to overlook the fact that we are still just a farm-based artisanal enterprise.  It’s still just me, Josh, Deb, Farmer John, Keith, and the goats—-and Heidi.  Heidi is our new “Chief Operating Officer.”  We had to search high and low to find someone with a name like Heidi.  Heidi refuses to have her picture taken but occasionally when she is packing orders I can get her to sing a melody about the lonely goat herder living high on the hill.  As you might imagine, she loves the yodeling part.


These are the shelves in our “stock room.”  Even though April is a long way off, we can pick up a bar of our Month of April soap and dream of things to come.


By the end of the holidays, Heidi is likely to find these stickers in some very strange places.


In time for the holidays we are introducing BEEKMAN Baby.  These little soaps are made with goat milk and calendula oil.   It’s like taking a bath with butter!


Perfect little stocking stuffers

“TO” TRAIN REPORT: (Each week I’ll give a quick status recap of the train trip to and from The Beekman)

On time

It was a wonderful train ride.  This weekend we are accompanied by our friend Jeannie, so we commandeered the suite of 4 seats that face into one another.  Jeannie had just run the NYC Marathon a couple of weeks ago and had plenty of entertaining tales.  She had also recently returned from vacation in Key West.  Those tales were entertaining, too.


When we arrived at the farm on Friday night, it was a balmy 65 degrees, but after several hours of incredible wind and rain, we awoke on Sunday morning to snow flurries and temperatures that struggled to get above 30 all day.


It was a perfect day to forage the root cellar and cook up a pot of delicious potato soup.  Jeannie would not want me to tell you this, but she had two full bowls.  She’s Irish and has a “thing” for potatoes.  To be quite honest, I might have to add potatoes to my list of favorite things, too.

Beekman 1802 Heirloom Baby Bundle
Beekman 1802 Heirloom Baby Bundle

We use the farm as our photo studio for our online catalog, so we spent several hours shooting some of our new products.  Our holiday e-newsletter will go out within the next week. (Have you signed up for it yet?  Since we practice sustainable farming, we sometimes only have limited supplies. We send an email to subscribers first when we launch a new product.)

While Josh was busy fine-tuning the website, I paid a visit to another local artisan named Tim.  I had seen some of the avant garde floral and fauna arrangements he had made for the American Hotel and was very eager to spend some time learning from him.

A kissing ball on the back porch

Tim showed me how to make a Kissing Ball.  Kissing Balls are common holiday decorations in this area of the country, and nary a porch is without one.   Now that I know how to make these I’ll adorn the entire length of the Beekman porch.   Could there be a better place to sneak a kiss?

and Kissing.

These are a few of my favorite things.  I know Oprah will not divulge beforehand what some of her favorite things are , but I would love to know some of yours.


15 minutes late.
Jeannie finished one book, (A Mercy by Toni Morrison) and started on another (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon).  Reading is one of Jeannie’s favorite things, too.  So voracious is her reading appetite that she tried to look over my shoulder to see what I was writing about her in this week’s blog, but I told her she would have to wait to read it just like everyone else.

by Dr. Brent

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