When Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his longtime partner Dr. Brent Ridge stumbled across a 19-century mansion for sale in the tiny, upstate New York village of Sharon Springs during an apple picking trip, little did they know they'd lay down roots.
Josh, a New York Times bestselling author, ad executive and former drag queen and Brent, a former VP of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart, spent the next several years transforming the Beekman Mansion's mostly abandoned barn and surrounding acres into the sustainable, working farm that now fuels their burgeoning goat soap and cheese brands at Beekman 1802. It also serves as the core of their reality show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys and Josh's memoir 'The Bucolic Plague'.
As the pair connected with the land, establishing their heirloom vegetable garden and learning to grow nearly everything they ate, they realized they had also planted the seeds of self-discovery.
iReporter Eric Sundman sees what it means for a healthy, informed future.
Lee Gunderson of Calgary, who iReports as Kalalau123 puts it simply: "Food IS life."
Of gardening, he says:
And commenter Merlie has learned a thing or two about self-reliance.
Get started on a garden of your own and let us know what you learn either via iReport or the comments below. And join the Fabulous Beekman Boys as they team up with Williams-Sonoma to create the world’s largest "community" garden.