Cherry trees on The Beekman Farm
Cherry trees on The Beekman Farm

To:

The reason that we put so much effort into designing this website goes far beyond selling soap.  We really wanted to create a space where people could enjoy the farm and learn right along with us.

So, to get your fix for beautiful farm shots, here are a couple from this week.

The barn at sunset
The barn at sunset
The row of 200 year old maple trees in the front yard.
The row of 200 year old maple trees in the front yard.

But farm life is not always as beautiful as the pictures you see in the magazines.  It can get pretty dirty, so sometimes we have to show you pictures like this:

All in a day's work
All in a day's work

We’ve had several people who’ve tried the soap and loved it.  Some have written to ask us what we think makes the soap so amazing for the skin.  As in anything in life, you only get out what you put in.  One of the things that makes our goats’ milk special is the number of minerals in the water in our little hamlet of Sharon Springs.  The goats love it.

Over the last two weeks, the NYT had a story about heritage goats, another one about a goat with only 3 legs who was getting fitted for a prosthetic, and yet another about the Getty Museum in LA renting a herd of goats to keep the underbrush under control.

Who knew that one little appearance on ‘Martha’ would start such a goat craze?

Goats ready for their 15 minutes
The Beekman goats ready for their 15 minutes

If you are interested in jumping on the bandwagon, a nice little book to read is The Year of the Goat.

We found out on Friday that Daily Candy (www.dailycandy.com) was also a big fan of our website and that they wanted to feature our Bug Repellent Bar in one of their emails this week.  So if we return to the city smelling strongly of citronella and eucalyptus, you’ll know why.

BEEKMAN 1802 Bug Repellent Bar
BEEKMAN 1802 Bug Repellent Bar

Look closely.  The bug artwork used on this label and the inside card was taken from an encyclopedia of bugs written in  – you guessed it: 1802.

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

Not too crowded. Quiet
The clouds and rain of Manhattan gave way to a beautiful copper-colored sunset on the shore of the Hudson
30 minutes late
But we ran into our friend Douglas who has a farm just outside of Coxsackie, NY.  He regaled us with stories of venture capitalists, fantastic gardens outside of London, and the sublime wonders of craniosacral therapy

From:

I an exhausted, but in a good way.

We were outside by 6:00am on Saturday to start our chores.

After strategizing with Deb about the soap inventory, the rest of the day was spent in the vegetable garden.  We have all 50 raised beds in place now, and from the road it’s quite an odd site.  Several people have pulled in the driveway to ask what we were doing.  One woman thought we were building a cemetery. Farmer John pitched in to help move huge slabs of slate from one side of the property to the other.  The slate will be used to fashion a very unorthodox patio in the very center of the garden (or tomb stones, apparently.)

In the evening, our neighbors, Peter and Barb Melera, dropped by for an aperitif.   Peter is an accomplished professor at the University of New Jersey, and Barb is the owner of D Landreth Seed, the oldest heritage seed company in the US, and the third oldest corporation in the country.  It is the seed company that William Beekman would have purchased from for his own garden and mercantile, and over 80% of our vegetable garden is planted with seeds from Landreth.   Barb has told us that the early Landreth Seed catalogs were also well known for serving other purposes, not in the garden but in the outhouse.  Being the resourceful man that he was, I’m sure William recycled, too.

When Barb called to say they were coming over, she told us not to prepare a thing, but, of course, we are better hosts than that.

We whipped up a small salad out of new pea shoots from the garden and dandelion leaves from the backyard.  We also clipped some stinging nettles that grow wild around the farm and made a cold pasta salad with them.  (You can see the recipe over on the HowToo blog.)  Lastly, we brought out our first attempt at making our own chevre.

Our first chevre
Our first chevre
A golden bouquet
A golden bouquet

The garden was awash in yellows this weekend, so I gathered a handful of buttery blooms to make a quick centerpiece.

Why go through so much trouble when Barb explicitly told us not to?  Because we just knew that she and Peter would show up with something fabulous.

Peter is an authentic oenophile and brought two bottles of wonderful Californian Chardonnay from his collection.  To tell you the truth, I know nothing about wine and find it very interesting to be in the company of someone who can teach about wine with gusto and passion.  This is different from friends in the city who take one wine class and then proceed to talk incessantly about “bouquet” and “legs” for the first half of every meal.  (They will be reading this and know who they are.)

Smith-Madrone
Smith-Madrone

From the vineyards of  Stew and Charlie Smith in St. Helene, California.  As with all of Peter’s recommendations—delicious.

They also brought a wonderful cheese plate that included rosemary crisp bread, a triple crème cheese and a honeycomb.  They told us to first put the cheese on the cracker and then the honey.  The flavor combination was extraordinary and needless to say it will be featured in the Beekman farm entertaining repertoire from here on out.  We ate it too fast for me to take a picture!

Sunday morning was spent doing more work in the garden, making phone calls to all the mothers we knew, and rushing back to catch an early train.

THE TRAIN REPORT:

Not a single empty seat in sight.
20 minutes late (track work)
Fellow passengers must have a had an equally exhausting weekend.  There wasn’t an open eye in any of the surrounding aisles.

by Dr. Brent

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Nancy

I had a lovely friend who always had to offer refreshments when anyone visited. She was almost blind but tried not to let most people know it. One day we were visiting and she brought out some nice snack crackers, then placed cream cheese in a bowl with a knife. She then took Apricot Preserves & added several spoonfuls of horseradish to it. My friend & I looked at each other in horror wondering if she realized what she had just put in the preserves. She instructed us to spread some cream cheese on the crackers & top with the Apricot/horseradish Preserves. It was absolutely fantastic. I have taken this offering to many parties and everyone raves about it but I never tell them what is in it until they have tried it. LOL

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