My Favorite Jacksonville Garden Shop

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October in New York - Part 2 - The Fabulous Beekman Boys

If you are a gardener, farmer, lover of sustainability, or just a wannabe and you haven't heard of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" then you must be living under a rock. Ok, most likely you don't have Planet Green on your cable plan. While on an apple picking adventure in upstate New York a few years ago, partners Brent Ridge and Josh Purcell happened upon the small town of Sharon Springs and a vacant mansion and run down farm known as the Beekman. It is a bit of long story, one you can read for yourself in a memoir of the event written by Josh called "The Bucolic Plague". Although we happen to go on the coldest and rainiest day of our vacation, Sharon Springs was beautiful and quaint. We even had a star sighting of Doug, one of the owners of The American Hotel. It was clear upon meeting him and the nice lady who was working at The Beekman 1802 Mercantile that this truly was a town that practiced what it preached. I was happy to know that what I saw on tv was no show, but a real representation of what life is like there.
A little warning though, although the Beekman 1802 Mercantile is open 7 days a week, the rest of the town is not. Most businesses are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also, if you are going simply to buy some of their famous cheese, save yourself a trip. Since Jean-Georges at ABC Carpet and Home in New York City started serving it, it's better to just order online and get on the waiting list.
The Beekman Boys also have a fabulous blog:
You will find amazing recipes, entries from guest bloggers, entertaining ideas, links to follow the boys on facebook and twitter and be able to purchase some of their amazing goat's milk soap.
Either way, "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" is a must see. Josh and Brent are heart warming and sincere. You will fall in love!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New York in October - Part 1 - A walk in the country

My husband is from a small town in upstate New York called Greenwich near Saratoga Springs. It's a small farming community and is part of one of the most amazing food sheds in the country. We have visited often, but this past visit a few weeks ago was the first time that I really had the opportunity to take a walk and really experience the beauty. It was truly an amazingly beautiful fall day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Harvest Monday

OK, so no blogging for a few weeks, but for good reason. In a very short period of time I have lost my job, had my husband come home from a seven month deployment, lost my my papaw, gone on vacation and sent my husband off to school in virginia for another month.

That said I have also spent a lot of time in the garden mostly reflecting on all of these events, but also really digging in to the beginnings of what will hopefully be an epic fall/winter garden as well as a major renovation of the side garden. It's a funny thing though. I have always known that I had gardening in my blood. My mom's father, grandaddy Bill, used to bring us a watermelon that he had grown every summer or two. The plot he used to garden on was right behind the garage he used to own and run, and you could see the garden from the Mayport Rd overpass. I can remember now sub-conciousley keeping track of it's progress and decline over the years. I can't help now but wonder from my own experience if that one watermelon was all he may have had to show for all of his efforts. Melons are indeed a fussy crop here in north Florida and it may have been one of the few ways he really knew how to show us his love.
My papaw was a far more simpler gardener. He used the grow bag method. He would take a bag of compost and lay it in a sunny spot, drive a tomato tower through it, rip a hole in the top of the bag and bury his transplant in the compost. All spring and summer there would be dozens of plump, ripe, homegrown tomatoes lining the window sill behind the living room sofa at his house. He stopped gardening about ten years ago as his health began to decline, but he never lost his discerning taste for a good tomato. At family dinners he would often find some excuse to go into the kitchen and on his way in and out he would steal a cherry tomato (or two or three) and pop them in his mouth like a jelly bean. About two months ago when he was in the hospital recovering from hip surgery, they brought his dinner to the room. He immediately snatched up the cherry tomato from his salad and popped it into his mouth. He also immediately spit it back out. I guess it wasn't homegrown.

This weeks harvest:

A few large eggplants in my new handmade Beekman 1802 garden hod, and some amazing ginger bulbs. The bulbs are full of an amazing smelling essence. So intoxicating!