Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are the owners of Beekman 1802. Take a peek at life on their farm at beekman1802.com
When we first bought Beekman 1802 Farm, the only heirloom vegetables we’d ever heard of were heirloom tomatoes. But a welcome-wagon meeting with one of our neighbors changed all of that. Half-a-mile down the road from us lived the owners of Landreth Seed Company, and we soon learned that every kind of vegetable seed carries with it a little bit of history.
Before long our vegetable garden was sprouting with over 100 different varieties of heirloom seeds – peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbages, and nearly any other kind of vegetable you’ve ever tried. Or haven’t tried.
Remember way back when our Managing Editor Kat spent the day at a pig slaughter on Beekman Farm and then ended up harvesting the innards and whatnot? They were all put to excellent use when Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author, ex-drag queen and co-star of The Fabulous Beekman Boys - not to mention the owner of said pigs - dropped by Kat's home so they could take their maiden sausage making voyage together.
The clip above never made it past The Fabulous Beekman Boys' censors 'cause it's a tad...suggestive, so watch at your own discretion.
Get The Fabulous Beekman Boys' Sausage and Sour Cherry Stuffing recipe at Beekman1802.com
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.
Even the most adventurous eaters often give their inner food warrior the day off on Thanksgiving - nothing but the same turkey, stuffing (or dressing!), cranberries, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie they've been eating since childhood. If one of those dishes goes missing, the whole meal just doesn't feel right.
For Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell co-stars of Planet Green's "The Fabulous Beekman Boys," the must-have item is something that's much-maligned.
There's no pretty way to say this. I was present for the death of the pig pictured above.
It was a grim, sodden day on an upstate New York farm. A local meat sciences professor named Eric explained to the pig's owners that the most humane method of slaughter was to shoot it at close range between the eyes with a .22 rifle - a stunning blow to knock its central nervous system offline - then slit the main artery so the blood loss would bring about swift, arguably less painful death. The blow would also supposedly reduce the stress on the animal, allowing for better meat quality.
The farmers, having researched the matter thoroughly and consulted with the Humane Animal Farm Care project, believed this to be true. Still, as they stood several yards from the slaughter, half sheltered in the doorway to their goat barn, they flinched at the stark crack of the rifle, and then they cried.
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