'B' is for Beekman
'B' is for Beekman


Do you ever just get bored with the people who surround you in your everyday life?  I don’t mean you don’t care about them or no longer love them dearly, but you just become bored with them?  Perhaps it says something about the company I keep, but this happens to me quite frequently, which is why I love meeting new people.

I never heeded my mom’s advice to “never talk to strangers.”  I suppose it’s a stroke of good fortune that I made it to adulthood.  To the contrary of parental fears, I would say (like some movie heroine whose name I cannot remember) that I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

You can imagine, then, that I have been overjoyed with all of the new people we’ve met since taking up residence at The Beekman Mansion. (including those virtual friends from this blog.)  When you buy a farm and know next to nothing about farming, tapping into the local knowledge base is more than just an elixir for ennui.  It’s a matter of survival.

We were so blessed to have recently met a new friend, Judy.  It turns out that Judy married one of the few remaining descendants of the Beekman family and had in her possession one of the Beekman’s embroidered linens and presented it to us as a gift.  It is probably the best gift we have ever received in our lives.  Someday soon we’ve planned to join her for a field trip to Schoharie to see the large Beekman family burial plot (…those who are not still in the crypt or under the yard somewhere.)

See what I mean about the kindness of strangers?

An original linen from the Beekman Mansion
An original linen from the Beekman Mansion

Can’t you just see this hanging on a clothesline behind the house?  If you concentrate hard enough, you can almost make out the sound of the snap as the wind rushes up the hill and catches the cloth.  And inhale.  No other fragrance comes close to that of sunshine captured by linen.

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

The stars must have been aligned.
The train was quiet and on-time.  We made it to the farm in time to attend the opening party for Deb’s store.


Many of you know how I feel about weeds.  I’ve tried so very hard to look at the positives:  pulling them is good exercise, admiring them as a study in genetic supremacy, even trying to find their inherent beauty.

But deep down inside, I still find them so very, very annoying.

On Saturday, our friend Keith brought some of his friends by for a stroll around the farm.  As soon as they got out of the car, they started proclaiming that the flower garden was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.   Always being self-deprecating and hyper-critical, I said, “Just wait until you get up close and see all of the weeds.”

“No,” the visitor replied.  ‘When we get up close, YOU will see all the weeds.”

That was a profound way of ending my summer-long frustration.  I wasn’t seeing the flowers for all the weeds.

So I though this week, I’d do a slide show of the last floral hurrah of Summer 2008.

The white hydrangeas lining the back porch
The white hydrangeas lining the back porch

The hollyhocks line the southern most perimeter of the flower garden.  They grow so tall and majestic that people used to plant them strategically to mask their outhouse.  Ladies in polite company would ask “to see the hollyhocks” instead of asking the way to the bathroom.

Hollyhocks in The Beekman flower garden
Hollyhocks in The Beekman flower garden

This echinacea will eventually make it into one of our skin care products.


The slope between the back porch and the flower garden is covered with lilies. I don’t usually associate lilies with a powerful fragrance, but there were so many blooms this year, that it was intoxicating.

The lily bed
The lily bed

Below are the various lilies.  They were planted at The Beekman long before we were, so if anyone can identify any of the varieties, please help educate us :

[slideshow id=9]


For us, the train was only about 30 minutes behind schedule, but it was coming from Montreal, and for those passengers onboard for the long haul, they were almost 3 hours behind schedule.

They were not happy.

As I was choosing the pictures for the blog, I could tell that several were looking over my shoulder and dreaming of freedom (or possibly fresh air)

by Dr. Brent

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Hi Brent

This is the best gift ever!!! You are so lucky to has something that was original to your home. Do you know how old the tablecloth is? I collect antique linens and this piece is in very good condition. It would be nice if you could track down some of the original furniture that was in your home. The mansion is so big I sure it was full of beautiful New York made Federal furniture. Keep up the good work.