The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Jun 2011

I am a big fan of the Planet Green show The Fabulous Beekman Boys, and was thrilled to learn that their little enclave was right on the route to an event I was attending in upstate NY last weekend.  I had to somehow find the time to pop in during their business hours!  The show follows the hilarious and touching adventures of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge as they try and transition from hectic NYC to a life on the farm.They are not your average couple raising 80 goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens and one self absorbed, diva llama named Polka Spot.  A modern day Green Acres, this is not!
The drive on Rt. 20 is one that I have made often, and it is bucolic and depressing at the same time.  The sky goes on forever and disappears into beautiful rolling hills, often dotted with grazing cows. Decaying ornate structures, both Victorian and Georgian in design, are interspersed with mid century ranches stuffed to the gills, selling “antiques”. Enormous barns that have seen better days look as if the next strong wind could take them down. Pockets of renovation and restoration appear out of nowhere, and the result is a charming mix of old and new {mostly old} that seems frozen in time.

4beekman barn dougtown

Photos from Dougtone

Historic Sharon Springs, home to Beekman 1802, was once a resort town with over 60 hotels filled with visitors lured to the area by the healing properties of the sulpher and magnesia springs.  Driving down the main road into the valley there are many historical signs in front of abandoned buildings, giving the distinct impression that “you are looking at a series of dioramas in a Natural History Museum”. ** But there are unmistakable signs of life.  The American Hotel is a beautiful building with a large front porch filled with rocking chairs and activity.  There are other shops, a talented craftsman reproducing exquisitely designed wallpaper, a new restaurant under construction.  It is obvious this village has a buzz about it.  And then we arrive at our destination.{Mind you, it was a very short drive off the main route, we were just going so slowly so we could take it all in.}
2beekman store

The shop is filled with handmade, chemical free, artisanal products, many of which are the Beekman 1802 brand. We loaded up and were lucky enough to get the last wheel of the seasonal Blaak cheese, a delicious goats milk with the flavor of cheddar and parmesan and a hint of sweetness.  There are two baby goats bleating for attention out front and you’ll recognize many of the shows characters working the shop.

3beekman-josh brent

It was a treat when Brent stopped by to pick up the goats and load them in his truck. I wish the Fabulous Boys much continued success and hope Josh will soon get to move to the farm full time.  His wonderful book, The Bucolic Plague, is a great read {**quoted above}, laugh out loud funny and will give you additional insight into their life in beautiful Sharon Springs.