The Bucolic Plague
Josh Kilmer-Purcell, New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir and Candy Everybody Wants: A Novel, brings his irrepressible sense of humor to narrate his unlikely journey from New York City ad man (and retired drag queen) to weekend farmer with 60 goats. THE BUCOLIC PLAGUE: HOW TWO MANHATTANITES BECAME GENTLEMEN FARMERS- An Unconventional Memoir (HarperCollins Publishers; June 2010; $24.99; Hardcover) tells the story of how Kilmer-Purcell and his partner, Brent, a vice president at Martha Stewart Omni Media, stumble upon the Beekman Mansion, a gorgeous 19th century farmhouse in Sharon Springs, New York that had been empty for four years. Embracing the “can do” ethos of their twin heroes (Martha and Oprah), the couple embarks on an unforgettable adventure of bringing a dormant farm back to life—while trying to maintain their sanity and their relationship.
Welcomed with open arms by the town’s colorful characters, and aided immeasurably by Farmer John, their hardworking caretaker, the “Beekman Boys” plunge headlong into their weekend labor of love. A herd of goats, a new heirloom vegetable garden, and a seemingly never–ending list of chores occupy them from the minute they arrive upstate on Friday night to the moment they depart for Manhattan on Sunday evening.
Working with a local soap maker, the boys hatch a plan to make organic goat milk soap as their holiday present for friends and colleagues, including Martha Stewart herself. To their amazement, Martha loves the present and invites them to do a segment on her show. Overnight, the “Beekman Boys” are from transformed from weekend hobbyists to organic entrepreneurs. Orders rush in for their new brand of soap, Beekman 1802, while Josh—always the ad man—chronicles the goings-on at the farm on a new website for their ever-increasing audience of fans.
But despite the camera-ready appearance of life on the farm, trouble starts to brew as the stress of maintaining the property and their business threatens their relationship. And when the Great Recession hits, first Brent, then Josh gets laid off from work, leaving them to question whether life on the farm is truly sustainable.
With a wit reminiscent of David Sedaris, Josh Kilmer-Purcell has written an unforgettable memoir about following one’s passion. A media dynamo (both Josh and Brent Ridge will be featured on Planet Green TV reality series, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys”), Josh Kilmer-Purcell delivers a tender and very funny story of the joys (and trials) that await when you trust your instincts and take a leap of faith.
This is a signed first edition of The Bucolic Plague.
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