The scenario of hapless city slickers gamely trying to make a go of living in the country is an old classic, from Aesop’s fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” and Shakespeare’s As You Like It to Kaufman and Hart’s 1940 play George Washington Slept Here and the ’60s TV sitcom Green Acres. In real life, as documented in the best-selling memoir The Bucolic Plague and the Cooking Channel reality show The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a couple of gay professionals made a rocky transition from Manhattan to Sharon Springs in Schoharie County when, starting in 2007, they purchased the Beekman Farm, started raising goats and turning their milk into a line of soaps and cheeses called Beekman 1802. At first Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge admittedly had no clue what they were doing, but now they’re celebrities – and their product line seems to be doing pretty well.
The Beekman Boys will be among the high-profile guests at this year’s Country Living Fair at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck this weekend. It’s one of four such regional fairs celebrating the upscale rural lifestyle put on each year by the folks at Country Living magazine.
The event features cooking, crafting and do-it-yourself demonstrations, samples of locally sourced artisanal food, a Specialty Food Market and Country Living General Store, plus more than 200 vendors including antiques dealers, furnituremakers, artists and craftspeople. Besides Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell, visitors will be able to meet Cari Cucksey, star of HGTV’s Cash & Cari, and contributing DIY Network designer/stylist Joanne Palmisano.
The Country Living Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 5 through 7, rain or shine. Single-day admission costs $13 in advance, $16 at the door; full weekend passes are also available. Admission is free for children age 16 and under. Parking is free and plentiful. For additional details, visit www.countryliving.com/fair.
Country Living Fair, Friday-Sunday, June 5-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $16/$13, Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Spring Brook Avenue (Route 9), Rhinebeck; www.countryliving.com/fair.