It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve been a little quiet on “the Social Medias” lately, because, well, because all my spare time has been spent socializing with vegetables. (And the occasional bee and cabbage moth.)  Most everyone knows that the Beekman 1802 Vegetable Garden is my favorite spot in the whole world, and this time of year it’s simply irresistable.

Especially this year. It’s always chic to complain about the weather, especially in an agricultural community like Sharon Springs. But since I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian, let me take this moment to compliment Mother Nature. It’s been a phenomenal year…at least for vegetables. Nice and hot, with just the right amount of rainstorms. The supportive weather, plus the 42 beehives we installed this year, means that nearly everything we planted is having a banner year. Plus, for whatever reason, we’ve been free of blights and plagues.

Excuse me a moment while I go knock on a wooden raised bed.

Some of you know that I can be a little bit lazy at times. But I’ve made my laziness work for me. And for the garden. I daresay we have one of the most efficient organic gardens in the world. Since I can only afford to be a two-day-a-week gardener, I think it’s pretty amazing that we keep a 1/4 acre garden that produces more per square foot than should be vegetabley possible.  All without chemicals or plastics. The stone paths between the beds stay fairly weed-free, but I go on a 5 minute hunting spree each Saturday morning with my “Flame Thrower” (worth every penny) to fry any stragglers. The earth between the tomatoes are mulched with a bio-degradable paper mulch, which gets supplemented Sunday morning with sections from the NY Times. (I lay down the papers while the sprinklers are on so that they don’t blow away. Plus I get a shower in.) And we fill every space in each bed, even vertically, so that the weeds don’t have a chance to take hold.

I don’t think there are a lot of jobs left these days that actually result in a product. And even less that result in a product that one truly needs. Most of us, including myself, spend a vast majority of our weekdays filling up papers, taking phone calls, holding meetings, and generally working very hard without being able to hold the result in our hands come Friday afternoon. To date, I’ve never had to clean under my nails after a conference call. (Although I’ve often felt like showering.)

So, even though I commit every minute of every summer weekend to the garden, it’s worth it. Because it has certainly committed itself back to me.

Take a walk with me around this summer’s garden, as it stands at the moment. (Click any picture below to begin the slideshow)

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Reader Comments

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Beth

I’m so happy that Josh will be able to be in the garden full-time this summer. Would you consider sharing a diagram of what you plant bed by bed? And which varieties you choose? I love to hear what other gardeners are up to!

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kristen

I find Mysore folding to your sight.more and more. I have built one raised garden. Maney more will come. I wish I had someone like you guys to talk to when I have to plan out the garden. But, nope. It is just myself and 2 other 20 somethings trying to help.feed our small community. Wish us luck and thank you for all your help.

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D.

If you are feeding a group of people in your community think about aquaponics. Fish and vegetables. The fish feed the vegetable and the vegetables take the nitrate out of the water and return clean water to the fish. Roof top or where ever and just enough water to keep the flow going.

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Nancy Orth

I've been watching your show on Netflix and I am addicted. Problem is that now there are no more shows, and I really want to see more. God bless both of you, and you have done a fabulous job making your farm work for you. I have to resort to container gardening, but get a lot of joy out of doing this.

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Ginger Cobl

Hey There!

I just finished "Bucolic Plague", and it was the most charming book EVER! I was wondering if there are plans for a second book in the works? We usually plant a small garden every spring, we've never produced enough of any one veggie to can, but your book inspired me to have a better plan this year. So last Sunday we planted 29 tomato plants! Wish us luck!

Ginger

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Susan Graham

I so enjoy your approach to gardening. I have planted heirloom tomatoes for years but this year I am trying other 'old time' vegetables and those darling little fingerling potatoes. My 5 year old grandson checks every day to see if the 'fruit' is growing.

I also hope to get to Sharon Springs sometime in the next year.

I wish you guys could get to Monkey Island, Okla. Yes, it is an island, but no real monkeys.

Love you all

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Judy

Is there a place on your site to find how you created the raised beds? I really want to go that route after 2 years of weeds, weeds, weeds…plus I want to go organic. Thanks!

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Jacqueline

I'm crazy inspired your your garden and I've recently built my own raised beds and now I'm wondering what to fill them with. Dirt obviously but what kind? I had no idea there were so many possibilities and it's all getting a little much. What did you fill your beds with and how do you fertilize/dress them each season?

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Jacqueline

You only need to refill when the dirt gets too low; but we do reconstitute ours each season from our compost.

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Amy

What kind of juicer do you guys use to juice your carrots? What a great idea to freeze the juice for winter cooking!

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Mike in KY

Hello Josh,

I am planning on planting Cherokee Purple tomatos in the spring. I am wondering how you support them since they grow so big, cages, trellises, or stakes? I have always raised determinate varieties which you know stay pretty small.

P.S. Will there be another season of The Fabulous Beekman Boys in the spring? I really hope so.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Mike

Invest in some Texas Tomato Cages. You can reuse them every year and they collapse flat for easy storage. They are very sturdy

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Linda O'Neill

Hi Josh, I love you both to pieces. I'm wondering if your getting to spend any more time with your veggies. They crtainly are beautiful. I was telling Brent I would like to have a garden in our back yard because you have better control of what you put into your body.We'll see.I'm hopping you get to spend more time with Brent and I hope you boys have a very merry Christmas 2011. And a happy New Year Love to you both, Linda O'Neill

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Christina Mandara

This Christmas we are gifting my 86 year old father in law, a lifetime gardener, the Landreth seed catalog and a photo of your raised beds from Harvest weekend. He's living with us now and a new garden designed just for him will be something for him to look forward to come springtime.

Thank you for your inspiration!

Christina Mandara

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Linda Landers at San

HI John – love all your healthy, homegrown veggies! Enjoy them this Thanksgiving!

Hope you and the Doc are well, happy, and enjoying your gentleman farmers life!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda

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Tricia

Hi guys, First I want to tell u that I enjoy both of u and have a great interest in ur projects. U have brought the community of Sharon Springs to fame.

Secondly I have been endlessly courious about if u have a root cellar or not. Have u thought of one? Here in NC We have a great history of mountainous storms and rough weather and root cellars saved families during harsh winters.

Pleasec ontinue ur show….maybe changing to OWN network because they play reruns for us.

Blessings and good fortune to u both

Tricia

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Linn

Notice you never answered anyone asking about future episodes.

WILL YOU BE DOING ANY MORE TV EPISODES? ? ? ? ? ? ?

( Loved them and want more!!)

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catherine battaglia

this is a P.S. For the past two years I have not done well with growing tomatoes (terribly embarassing). Anyway, heard that it may be due to the bee population declining. Is that true? What am I doing wrong?

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Catherine

If the plants otherwise look healthy and you get flowers but no fruit, then it very well good be the lack of pollination. If you are only do a few plants, you can pollinate yourself using a cotton swab

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catherine battaglia

Are you doing another season? Live in Maryland…so want to come up and meet you both.

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Dee

An upstate NY girl myself (Chautauqua) I applaud your fruitarian and vegetarian exploits. Also read your book, wonderful! It's nearly winter here in northern UT and we won't be able to plant 'til probably June of next year, but thanks for the photos and advice.

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Nancy Carey

I am jealous. I failed at herbs in pots and a tomatoe plant. I cannot seem to find any vegetables that I can grow. I don't think its vegetably possible 🙁 I may get some of your seeds next year or visit the farmers market and save my sanity for flowers…

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Mary

Your garden is beautiful, but can you tell me why you have so many raised beds? Is there a lot of clay or rocks in your soil? I have raised beds also, but am now thinking of planting directly in the soil, (after amending it with compost, peat, since I have heavy clay soil) my raised beds seem to dry out quickly and I find myself having to water far too often.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Mary

Raised beds are used for two reasons: (1) ease of care and weeding and (2) because we are far north, the soil in the raised bed heats up more quickly and allows us to extend or growing season slightly

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Mary in TX

You killed me with that picture of your onion harvest. There is nothing like the mingled scents of good, rich soil and freshly-harvested onions! Your photos are as wonderful as your garden must be!

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Jerri

Love your gardens! We live in a very cool part of Oregon so our summer veggie garden is on top of the patio cover so it can reach up to the fleeting rays of sun. There is nothing like homecooked veggies, is there? Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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Phil W.

Josh and/or Brent, what kind of wood did you use for your raised beds. They look great and I wanted to make some using a good quality wood that will last for as long as possible. Thanks!

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Ken Sadler

Josh, thanks for putting the link in for the Weed Flamethrower. What a wonderful tool! Are anymore episodes of the Beekman Boys slated for the future?

Ken

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Adele from NYC and M

Would love to make these vegetable beds down in our Miami, Fl home but our soil has plenty of sand and dont quite know the right vegetables to start planting this Fall with still warm temps.

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Ed and Heidi McNamar

I love it when a plan comes together! Thanx guys for the outreach for those who are really in need after Irene.

Fondly yours,

Ed and Heidi ;D

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Delia DD

Gorgeous photo's. Halfway thru the slideshow I was fantasizing recipes, especially with the peas & fava's. Yummy. Thanks!

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Laura Ribellia

Loved the idea about tying up the cabbage leaves to protect the heads during the hot weather. We have just gotten the 90 degree weather in Oregon and I planted my cabbage late due to the rain and cool weather last month and was worrying now about the heat. I am going out right now and tie the leaves up. THANK YOU.

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