A Very Beekman Christmas
When The Advocate profiled partners Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell this past summer, their bold move from Manhattan to the 205-year-old Beekman Mansion on a 60-acre farm in upstate New York had become the focus of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a reality series on the Discovery network’s Planet Green channel. Not much has changed in the months since the first season aired — except the weather, as viewers will witness on The Fabulous Beekman Boys Holiday Special, a festive one-hour package that unwraps Wednesday, December 8, on Planet Green. Ridge, who quit his job at Martha Stewart’s company to become a full-time farmer and Sharon Springs resident, reveals how he and Kilmer-Purcell keep warm and make their Christmas wishes come true.
Advocate.com: I’ve seen pictures of your snow-covered farm on Planet Green’s website, and it looks like a postcard-worthy winter wonderland. Is it all cozy fireside hot chocolates up there, or is there a downside to winters at the Beekman?
Brent Ridge: Well, last year was my first full winter on the farm, and by the end of February, I understood why the suicide rate up here is so high. By the end of winter, you feel pretty miserable.
How do you and Josh warm up?
Literally or figuratively? [Laughs] It’s actually pretty hard to heat the house; it’s over 200 years old, so it’s very drafty. I pretty much confine myself to two rooms: the kitchen, where I can close the doors and start a fire, and the bedroom, where I can have a heated mattress pad on the bed. We’re also working a lot, so we try to stay active to keep the blood pumping.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition at the Beekman?
We have a long-standing tradition of going shopping for Christmas ornaments on the day after Christmas. Now we have a collection of over 1,000 ornaments. Our Christmas tree is a riot of color and styles with over 3,000 lights, so it’s a Christmas spectacular up there in our hallway.
Are the ornaments all one motif?
No, we don’t believe in having a themed tree. We like a cacophony of stuff.
I’m a fan of your farm-based Beekman 1802 product line. Out of all your goods, what’s the perfect stocking stuffer this year?
Probably our MilkShake, which is our goat’s-milk bath that comes with a dropper of an essential oil blend. It’s a great luxury that people probably wouldn’t normally buy for themselves, but it’s the perfect affordable treat to give as a gift.