The Beekman Babies on the set of 'Martha'
The Beekman Babies on the set of 'Martha'


Goats were one of the first animals to be domesticated, and, I swear, you can see them thinking if you look into their eyes.  The kids will follow us
around the flower garden at the farm, right underfoot, all the while wagging their tails just like puppies.

As many of you know, several of the kid goats had their first trip to the big city this week as guests of the Martha Stewart Show.

(photo: Anders Krusberg/The Martha Stewart Show)
(photo: Anders Krusberg/The Martha Stewart Show)

They helped me talk about finding a passion in life and using that passion, whatever it is, to positively impact your well-being.

Martha and I also made goat milk soap.  As a result, we have hundreds and hundreds of orders for soap.  Since each bar of the BEEKMAN 1802 soap is hand-made and hand-wrapped, this means that a big chunk of this weekend will be devoted to making and wrapping soap.  I told Martha that I was going to have to use my vacation time to make soap!

But beyond the orders, I received a tremendous number of emails from people who were inspired by the goats and the farm.  Some people were starting their own businesses.  At least two had recently bought their own farms, but many, many, more wrote to tell about finding their own passions.  Those were my favorite.

We also have to complete the installation of the raised beds for the heirloom vegetable garden this weekend.  When we get it done, we’ll post the photos.  It’s going to be a very busy weekend.

THE TRAIN REPORT (each week I’ll also give you a glimpse on what our train ride was like):

On time!
Sitting in the row of seats that face one another at the end of the car were three people who were having the most animated conversation.  The trio was anchored by a young man who looked to be in his early 20s.  He demonstrated some of the best interpersonal skills I’ve ever seen.  I’m hoping he’ll become a doctor, but that’s probably wishful thinking.   I assumed the trio were friends; however, as they were getting off the train, their “goodbyes” made it clear that they were not.  It’s so nice to see that people can still connect.


There's always work to be done
There's always work to be done

That tiny speck on the horizon is Farmer John’s father on his tractor kindly helping to spread a winter’s worth of manure on Clover Hill.
Have you ever had one of those weekends so packed with activity that it seemed to last a whole week?  I try to make every weekend at the farm feel like that.  It’s like getting more for your money!

Saturday we were out to the barn by 6:30.  Farmer John starts the morning milking around 3:30 and is usually finishing up around 6:30, and we needed his help. Our agenda for the day was to finish placing the raised beds in the vegetable garden.  There are 50 of them this year. I’m going to withhold photos until things start growing so that I can do a time-elapsed video extravaganza for you. You can see a lay-out of the garden here.

Each of the raised-bed planters is 4 feet by 6 feet by 18 inches.  They are made of sturdy, untreated local hemlock.  We moved them into place and filled them with dirt.  I was astonished at the size of the worms.They were nearly as big as my finger.

I’ve talked so many times before about what great exercise gardening can be.  So, as I was lifting the planters, I made certain to flex my biceps so I knew how to isolate them.  When using the garden rake to smooth the top soil, I focused on the abdominal obliques (those six pack muscles that always seem to be hiding no matter how many sit-ups I do) and on the latissimus dorsi, the two large muscles on either side of the back.   It’s easy to do this sort of thing no matter what type of house or garden work you are

On Sunday, Josh went back out to the garden to plant potatoes, radishes, carrots, onions, and horseradish. I spent the afternoon making soap, fulfilling orders, and answering emails.

I was admiring on my way “to” the farm this week one young man’s ability to “connect”, so was very pleased to receive the following message on the website:

Brent:   I have “toured” your beautiful estate on the internet after seeing your segment on the Martha Stewart Show.  It is sooooo beautiful and is a dream that I have had for years; (since I was a young girl); A farm or an estate that would be self sufficient, and more.  Worked and maintained in an earth friendlyway and providing jobs/income for others too. Needless to say, at the age of 62, this “old” retired nurse has not had my dream come true.  At least not yet.  I have always wanted to do something like this and use it to help/benefit others, not just myself. You have been truly Blessed to be in the position you are in.  I hope that you always keep that in your heart as well as your mind.  I am happy to see that you are helping others while enjoying this Blessing for yourself too.  And, I too am going to enjoy through you.

Thank you for sharing and God Bless
From Saline, Michigan

To that I say:  Isn’t the world wide web a wonderful thing?

I think I’ll spend the last hour of the train ride counting my blessings.  This should make the trip speed by.


On time.

The train was crowded, so Josh and I didn’t get to sit together.  I sat beside a young girl with beautiful red hair wearing a blue miniskirt and fish net stockings.  Aside from a very curt phone call with her mother, a trip to the café car to buy some chips, and sending a few text messages, she slept the entire trip, no doubt counting the blessings of youth in her sleep.

by Dr. Brent

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Dear brent and Josh: I am in cancer treatment right now and my Dr. has given me the okay to garden. I am sick from the chemo but vegetables have really tasted good to me. I wanted to buy and plant your Heirloom seeds but cannot find them anywhere as they are sold out. I also really wanted to take part in the Grow in. Can I get some of your heirloom seeds from you all? thank you for yur wonderful show. You are both an inspiration to me. Josh your work ethic is wonderful and Brent you put the Gentleman back in the Gentleman Farmer! It is possible to look good and work outside! Please reply to me about the seeds as I want to get them in the ground soon. Sincerely, Susie Hall 1270 Tualatin St. Saint Helens, Oregon 97051

Dr. Brent

Hi, Susie

You can buy the Complete Heirloom Set from which has all of the heirloom seeds from the Williams-Sonoma set plus five additional varieties. You might also check the physical store location of your nearest W-S. They may still have some sets