The Magical and Majestic Beekman 1802 Garden Tour

Friday, July 24, 2015

Have you ever visited a place so beautiful, so peaceful, so perfect that you never wanted to leave?  I've experienced a few of those places since beginning this blog and one of them was a place we revisited last Sunday.......at Beekman 1802.

You might remember we visited the Beekman estate in May '14 with our local library.  At that time we were given a tour by Beekman COO, Megan Holken because Josh and Brent (owners of Beekman 1802) were delayed out of town.  I happened to be online at just the right moment last week when Josh & Brent decided (rather spontaneously) to open their home for Garden Tours that very next weekend. As soon as I saw their post on Facebook and read that Josh and Brent would be conducting the tours themselves, without a second of hesitation, I clicked on the link and ordered two tickets for the 10:00 a.m. tour that Sunday!!!
This photo was taken during our first visit in 2014.
Now anyone that knows me knows I may get ecstatic over many things....I'm a pretty enthusiastic person, but I am not all that impressed with celebrity, wealth, or the things that come with it.  I'm a simple girl and I love simple things.   So my admiration and fascination with everything Beekman is somewhat of an irony.....unless and until you meet Josh and Brent.  If somehow you have not heard of the Fabulous Beekman Boys (really???), I'll refer you to my original blog post for their complete story, (http://gwfirecracker.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-fabulous-beekman-1802.html) but...long story short: Author Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge won the Amazing Race, lost their jobs in NY city in 2008, bought the historic Beekman 1802 estate in Sharon Springs and began raising goats.  Sounds crazy, I know, but along the way Josh wrote about their journey in the bestselling book, "The Bucolic Plague", the two revived the beautiful estate, and opened a flagship store in town selling a number of products including goat's milk cheese, goat's milk soap, cookbooks and more.  Fast forward to today and you'll find the Beekman Boys as they're known and loved are two of the most famous and likeable entrepreneurs on the planet.  Their products include housewares, cookbooks, food products including their Mortgage Lifter sauce, clothing, including their famous muck boots, products for the garden and way too many others to list.  They've done TV shows, public appearances, TV commercials for Time Warner Cable, and more.  I'd say they're certifiable celebrities!   Yet, when they greeted their visitors last Sunday, they were anything but celebrities.
Josh (l) Brent (r) - forgive the candid shots guys.....asking you to pose seemed artificial.
Brent was the first to greet us with a warm handshake asking our names and where we were from.  He and Josh were so friendly and warm, and so down to earth.  Had you not known their history, you would have thought they had just arrived from the city and were simply the owners of the property hanging out with their new neighbors.  It is impossible not to love them.  They seem to have no idea how big they are nor have they let their success and fame affect them.  Brent who seemed the more animated of the two (although Josh certainly has personality as exhibited in his hilarious storytelling in the Bucolic Plague) began the tour giving the history of the property.  He then announced that today there would be a special treat.....since we were a small group he would be letting us on the porch where we could enjoy the fabulous view that is often the subject of so many of his Instagram and Facebook photos.  Normally they don't let large groups on the porch.  Our group let out an excited gasp but Josh's mouth dropped open and after a moment to recover he said, "You are?????"  It was so genuine and pretty funny.   Brent, totally unphased by Josh's reaction, simply continued on.
We did get on the porch and trust me, the view is nothing short of spectacular.   The Beekman estate is one of the most beautiful places on earth - no matter which direction you turn.



Our tour continued down to the pond - one of Brent's favorite places on the property.  
It's easy to see why!    




We even got to meet Onder who also loves the pond!
From there we headed back up to the barn where we were greeted by Farmer John and the 100+ goats, most of whom were eager to receive as much love and attention as the visitors would accommodate.

Farmer John gave us a little education on the whole goat-keeping process, much of which is included in my earlier blog, answered a multitude of questions and then passed the group on to Josh who was our tour guide in the vegetable garden.

The garden consists of 52 raised beds which are used to grow everything from herbs to the tomatoes that were the original ingredient in their famous Mortgage Lifter sauce.  At every point along the tour we were welcomed to break off on our own to explore and take photos, and throughout, everyone - Josh, Brent, Megan and Farmer John, was so welcoming and eager to answer questions and make us feel relaxed and unhurried, providing us with ample opportunity to take in as much of this paradise as possible.


 This is a Smoke Bush - an abnormally large and beautiful specimen, in fact. Even Martha Stewart was impressed during her visit to the farm!
Don't let the overcast sky fool you - it was very hot and humid, but it was worth it!
We weren't the only Beekman groupies on the tour.  In fact, there were people who had come from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Georgia!  We met some really nice people!  I feel so fortunate to have been online at just the right time to be able to take advantage of this opportunity.....not just to enjoy the farm again, but to finally meet Josh and Brent.  If you haven't read the Bucolic Plague, I urge you to do so.  It's a quick and hilarious read.  Like me, you will be left wanting more and a trip to Sharon Springs will be on your bucket list.  Check out the Beekman 1802 website for upcoming opportunities to tour the farm (which is only open for special events).  Thank you Josh and Brent not just for being really cool and down-to-earth human beings, but for opening your home to us and doing so in a way that made us feel genuinely welcome.  It was such a pleasure!




If you get to visit Sharon Springs, be sure to check out this beautiful little village and all it has to offer, including the Beekman 1802 Merchantile and the American Hotel where we enjoyed a magnificent lunch with great service by Rebecca!   Please use the links provided below for more information about Sharon Springs.

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7 Responses to “The Magical and Majestic Beekman 1802 Garden Tour”

  1. Greg & LarryJuly 24, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Just met them yesterday in Corning,NY and as you said, they are so down to earth, as if they have know you forever. We will plan a farm tour soon! Love the Beekman Boys!!!

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    1. Thanks for reading and for taking time to comment! Glad you had the opportunity to meet them!

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  2. I enjoyed your post so much! The beauty at the estate is breathtaking. I hope I get to visit one day, but thanks so much for this gorgeous tour! I enjoy their books and products and am so glad to hear (yet again!) about how wonderfully down to earth and sincere they are. Time to flip back thru your beautiful photos before I go...oh, those hydrangeas take my breath away.

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    1. Thank you so much Tina! Hope you take a minute to read my earlier post about the Beekman 1802 also! It sure is a breathtaking place! Thanks for the Facebook follow! I already checked out your blog and look forward to the end of your summer recess!

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  3. Gail, this is wonderful. Your pictures are great and do tell a story. Thank you and I hope to visit in the future. Also, I have met them three times and they ARE both down to earth.

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    1. Thank you..for reading and taking time to comment! Everyone loves Josh and Brent and it's easy to see why!

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  4. I finally had the time to sit and enjoy your blog about The Summer Tour! It was indeed a beautiful farm and meeting Josh and Brent was a joy. Your images bring back the beauty of the morning and it was a pleasure meeting you and talking a bit about photography. I hope to come your way soon and visit some childhood places as an adult. Thank you Gail, beautifully written and a joy to remember.

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