Last Word with The Beekman Boys

Josh Kilmer-Purcell far left and Brent Ridge strike a pose at their farm in Sharon Springs, NY.

David A. Land

After Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge lost their New York City jobs in 2008, they decided to make goat-milk soap at their weekend place upstate—and went on to star in The Fabulous Beekman Boys, win The Amazing Race, and build a farm-centric product empire.

Big needn’t equal bad. Last fall, we launched a food line with Target called Beekman 1802 Farm Pantry. We source ingredients from small farms, and we’re able to give 25 percent of the profits back to small farms. —Brent Ridge

Just because we’re on TV doesn’t mean we’re not “real” farmers. It’s us and one goat keeper, plus an intern during kidding season, minding a herd of 147. We also raise chickens and grow 100 varieties of heirloom fruits and vegetables. —Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Here’s what farm-fantasists should know: You can’t expect to bring home the bacon right away. We hope other people get to live the dream, too, but they’ll want a short-term source of income to keep the dream alive. —B.R.

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Homophobia is a luxury of the middle class. We haven’t experienced a single incident with our neighbors in Sharon Springs. Rural Americans have better things to do with their time. —J.K-P.

Goats will break your heart. The babies don’t have a 100 percent survival rate. We lose one or two each season. It never gets easier. —J.K-P.

They’ll also make you a better person. Goats don’t have the psychological stresses we put on ourselves. As long as they’re well-fed and comfortable, they’re happy. Which reminds us how we should be. —B.R.

The spring/summer issue of Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge’s magazine, Beekman 1802 Almanac, is available on newsstands and at beekman1802.com.

Last Word with The Beekman Boys