Josh Kilmer-Purcell has written Lynn's favorite book of the summer: The Bucolic Plague. The real life story of two guys who chucked life in the big city (a'la Green Acres) to forge a new life and identity as farmers in upsate New York at the Old Beakman place in Sharon Springs, NY. Josh was nice enough to speak to Mark and Lynn about the rigors of farm life.
M & L : Much of the book is about the challenges of your farm experience-Was there any aspect of your experience that was easy?
JKP: "The only easy part was also the most surprisingly easy part - fitting in with the community. We were far more worried about being "different" than anyone else in town. We were welcomed with open arms, and continue to be. And it's easy to hug back too. Sharon Springs is an amazing place. And we know there are different Sharon Springs all over America that more urban and suburban people should seek out."
M&L: Any reason you guys didn't include a picture insert in your book?
JKP: "No real reason. We have so many pictures on our website (Beekman1802.com) that we didn't even think about it. We're a pretty multi-media farm."
M&L: Is Michelle's Pink Stuff solid or liquid? Also, how do you serve Syllabub?
JKP: "Michelle's Pink Stuff is neither solid nor liquid. I think it might be a form of suspension. But NASA hasn't returned their findings yet. Syllabub should be served only at black tie affairs, and guests should milk their own goats."
M&L: Do you feel like a "real" farmer at this point?
JKP: "I'm not sure we are real farmers yet. I'm not sure we'll ever be what most people would call traditional farmers. Our goal is to find a new way of farming that helps family farms stay in business. My gut instinct is that that will require the same sort of media and communications skill set as any modern entrepreneur."
M&L: Do you think being a farmer is a skill that anyone can acquire?
JKP "The act of putting a seed in the ground or feeding hay to an animal is not all that difficult. Getting paid enough to continue doing so is a whole 'nother issue."