Bath house In Sharon Springs, NY During Harvest Fest 2011
There is an exciting affair that converges here every September. It’s called the Harvest Fest. Thousands of people show up here so they have to park their cars in lots all around town and take the shuttle, also known as the head-start school bus, into the village. There are bunches of vendors under little white tents selling everything you can imagine –as long as its organic. There are tours of particular homes, as well as exclusive lunches and dinners using local foods, and even a “Hop”, which is another name for a type of barn dance. It has it’s history in hops picking—but I won’t go into that for now. These events are usually sold out weeks in advance. This giant bash and all the nail-biting excitement was fashioned by two guys from Manhattan who have taken this town by storm. They are known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys.
Sharon Springs is normally a sleepy, pocket-sized town in the middle of New York State where the dairy cows outnumber the residents. During the Victorian Era, the well-to-do folks like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers would come here to partake of the healing waters and wile away their summers in the lap of luxury. Sadly, in the last 60 years Sharon Springs has been outdone by progress. The town fell out of favor with the rich and famous, and became a great place to watch the grass er..I mean..hay grow.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge moved to this sleepy, historic town a few years ago and purchased a grand plantation known as the Beekman Mansion, where they have fashioned their farm. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary farm.
If you were to drive by this lowly domicile on any day of the year, you would see something reminiscent of a Currier and Ives painting. The gorgeous country mansion, the enormous red barn, the rolling hills, this place has it all. It always looks magnificent. This amazes me.
There are goats, chickens, pigs and at least one Llama –named Polka Spot –she has her own fan club, on this farm. We can’t see the animals from the street though. How Josh, Brent and their buddy, Farmer John, manage to hide the animals and their…umh…excrement, is beyond me. Is there a fairy that magically whisks away all things farm-like? If so, I WANT ONE OF THOSE FAIRIES.
Is it like the story of The Elves And The Shoemaker, where the elves come out at night and take away all the bad, messy, smelly stuff? If so, bring ‘em on! I have farm animals, I know how much they STINK! I’ve been in other people’s barns –especially cow barns, and they stink too. I bet Brent and Josh’s goats don’t stink at all. Perhaps they have found a way to keep them from making poop in the first place.
Every few days we need to shovel out the barn and pile the stuff someplace. I have never seen a pile of poop on the Beekman property. I see they have a tractor, but it always seems to remain in the same place in the front yard –by the way it is a very pretty tractor. It’s placed “just so” to enhance that painting I mentioned earlier.
Perhaps it’s the magic of television. Josh and Brent have a reality TV show on the Green Channel which follows their exploits as they balance working in NYC and on the “farm” at the same time. Their posse includes a film crew that flutters around the boys much of the time. By the way, no one who lives here can access the Green Channel.
The boys happen to be friends with Martha Stewart. Maybe Martha is the Magic Fairy that keeps everything Currier and Ives-ish!! Perhaps she could stop at MY HOUSE to work her enchanted fairy stuff?? She has been seen in the neighborhood.
Now I have never been much of a groupie, so perhaps I am missing some big part of the picture here. I just don’t get why anyone would drive for hours to stand in line for another hour to meet two guys from NYC? So far, I haven’t stood in line to meet anyone in my entire life –except maybe Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. If you show up in town during a regular weekend, you’d be sure to see one of the boys hanging around the store. Check out the goat’s milk soap while you’re there. It smells really good.
So what is the big fascination? Is it because they are gay? Is it because they are on TV? Is it because they know Martha Stewart, Rosie O’Donnell and Rachel Ray? Is it because they are from NYC? Why don’t the boys bring Polka Spot to the Harvest Fest anyway?
They have a great website. People from all over the world are on that site 24/7. A person could spend all day there reading blogs, getting recipes, looking at lovely photos, buying stuff….but I digress. You should check out their site at www.beekman1802.com.
The Beekman Boys and all that comes with them are plenty of fun. They bring lots of people and lots of excitement to town, but I still don’t get it. Perhaps someone out there who does get it will comment on this post! I could really use their marketing skills.