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It seems that every year at the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival the crowds are always less on Sunday. Sure, a lot of folks need to get home after a long weekend, but they miss the best part. For us, the Sunday of Harvest Festival weekend has become synonymous with a Beekman farm tour.
We were on the first-ever farm tour and even made it on TV, and we love returning as often as we can. Visiting Sharon Springs, New York, seeing the goats, and talking with the people on the tour is always one of the highlights of fall for us.
We first discovered Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell through their show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. We loved their story, their approach to heirloom gardening, their amazing goat’s milk soap, and their entertaining personalities, so it was a no-brainer to visit for a farm tour.
Every year, the village of just over 500 residents explodes with vendors, authors, chefs, and even a few celebrities celebrating artisan products, seasonal living, and good food. The whole experience is joyful. The Beekman 1802 brand, after all, is founded on the principal of being neighborly to each other.
We have seen the farm tour done a couple of different ways — once led entirely by Josh and Farmer John and filmed for the show and another time with volunteers and friends leading different parts of the tour. The latter approach lets Josh and Farmer John chat with guests a bit more and answer questions, so we’re always fans of that.
The farm tour consisted of 5 stops – the front of Beekman mansion, the crypt, the backyard, the barn, and the heirloom vegetable garden. We spent nearly two hours touring the grounds and then taking photos of Polka Spot the llama, the goats, Farmer John, and that garden we love. The Beekman Boys’ farm is an absolute delight for photographers like us.
With permission, we picked a few items out of Josh’s garden — some tomatoes, radishes, an onion, and even a pumpkin. It is always so nice of Josh to let visitors to the farm pick items from the garden… though I suspect that it also might help just a little bit with fall cleanup.
Touring the farm is an amazing experience! However, Sharon Springs and the area is also a pleasant visit even when it isn’t Harvest Festival season. We always try to stop in the village and support the local businesses whenever we are driving back from Saratoga Springs or anywhere else in Upstate New York.
Touring the Beekman Farm
Tours of the Beekman farm happen several times a year. The tours are often in conjunction with a major event, such as the Harvest Festival that occurs in mid-September or the Garden Party, which typically takes place around Memorial Day weekend in May. The farm isn’t accessible to visitors outside of these reserved, ticketed events.
The interior of the Beekman mansion is not part of the tour, as it is Josh and Brent’s private residence. Beekman 1802 Mercantile is located just four miles away in downtown Sharon Springs.