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The Story of Beekman 1802

Posted by Beekman 1802 on

Short Answer: Two NYC guys who bought a farm and are sharing their experiment in living better lives, season by season, neighbor by neighbor.

Long Answer: Beekman 1802 is a TV Show, Mercantile, bestselling cookbook and memoir, website and tourism destination all inspired by the Beekman 1802 Farm in Sharon Springs, NY.

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.

Josh and Brent sitting on their porch.

Hi! We’re Brent Ridge (left) and Josh Kilmer-Purcell (right.) We met in 2000 in NYC, and have been together ever since.

Farm during sunset.

We purchased the Beekman 1802 Farm in Sharon Springs, NY in 2007.

Cover of the book The Bucolic Plague.

Josh has written a few bestsellers, including “I Am Not Myself These Days,” and “The Bucolic Plague.” He also used to be a drag queen, but only shares that with select folks.

Martha Stewart and Brent Ridge with goats.

Brent was previously a physician. He returned to school to get his MBA and then went to work at Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

The Beekman 1802 farmhouse.

The “Beekman Mansion” was built in 1802 and is listed on the historic register. It’s a bitch to maintain, but worth it.

The red barn on the farm.

The Beekman 1802 Farm covers 60 acres.

Goats playing in a field.

The farm is primarily a goat dairy. Farmer John expertly manages his herd of approximately 130 goats.

Wheels of cheese.

We use the goat milk to make things like Beekman 1802 Blaak goat milk cheese…

A unwrapped, wrapped and bag of bar soaps.

...and our famous bar soaps.

Cameraman filming Josh and Brent on the farm.

We kinda got a little famous for a TV show made about us called “The Fabulous Beekman Boys.” (We didn’t call ourselves “Fabulous.” That would be weird.)

Vegetables in a garden.

Our main passions in life are gardening…

A baked gooseberry pie.

...cooking...

Pumpkins on a handrail.

…hanging out in Sharon Springs…

Brent and Josh with friends.

…and enjoying our great community of neighbors.

Josh with a llama and goat.

We also had a llama named PolkSpot. She’s a whole ‘nother story.

Josh kissing Brent on the cheek.

We’re glad you found us. We hope you’ll swing by Sharon Springs one day and pay us a visit.

 


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