© Ben Hoffmann
Manhattanites turned gentlemen farmers.

I’ve recently put together my summer reading list to keep me occupied when the waves are flat this summer at the beach. This past weekend I finished The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers. The witty new memoir from Josh Kilmer-Purcell tells the story of how he and partner Brent Ridge unexpectedly found themselves reviving the dormant Beekman farm in Sharon Springs, NY. They channel Martha Stewart (Brent was vice president at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) as they make a go at goat-herding, heirloom vegetable gardening and even soap-making. At the beginning, the author cautions that the book isn’t about living your dream: “It will not inspire you. You will not be emboldened to attempt anything more than making a fresh pot of coffee.” But after reading the ups (perfectly ripe Cherokee Purple tomatoes) and downs (dealing with a truck full of stinky, sick baby goats or a tree of dead sparrows) of farm life I was ready to move to the country and start homesteading.

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