You wouldn’t think a doctor and an advertising art director and writer from New York City would be able to run a successful farm.
But last year, Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who have been a couple since 2000, proved it’s possible with their reality series “The Fabulous Beekman Boys.” The couple run the upstate New York Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, where they produce a slew of goods, including a popular goat-milk soap.
amNY spoke with the couple about the new season.
What can we expect this season?
Brent: The second season really follows what we call the million-dollar challenge: If we hit $1 million in revenue for the farm, then that would be enough for Josh to leave his job in the city and live on the farm full-time.
What do New Yorkers know about farming?
Brent: Most New Yorkers know what we knew about farming, which is very little. But we learned as we went. We learned how to rely on our neighbors and our community, which is something that you really lose when you’re living in New York City, where everyone is so fiercely independent.
Josh: And I do think that New Yorkers value farming more than a lot of places across the country — as evidenced by the really successful green-market program.
What are some of the challenges of farm life?
Brent: We both came from very urban, media-centered jobs where you pick up a cell phone, you send an email on your Blackberry, and you get a response very quickly. A lot of the people we’re working with for the farm, they don’t have cell phones. They’re working on dial-up Internet.
Josh: Our local blacksmith doesn’t check his Blackberry every 10 minutes.
Do you see any correlations between the city and the farm?
Brent: Well, our llama is definitely a diva. She would fit on any runway in New York.
Can you still be fashionable on the farm?
Brent: We started a new fashion movement with our muck boots. On the farm ... there’s always the possibility that you’re going to step in crap; the same can be said of the city. We got used to wearing our muck boots everywhere. When we starting coming to events in the city, we started wearing our farm boots. [We hosted] a style event for GQ and they said, “Please wear your muck boots.”
Beekman goods in the Big Apple
The Beekman Boys’ farm produces more than 100 products from soap to cheese, and you can find many of their items in New York City. Here are some local shops that carry their goods: Henri Bendel, Anthropologie, Murray?s Cheese, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma
On TV: “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” airs on Planet Green Tuesday night at 10.