Planet Green has gone gay with a new reality series, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. An ex-drag queen ( Josh Kilmer-Purcell ) and an ex-Martha Stewart employee ( Dr. Brent Ridge ) buy a farm and many Green Acres-like adventures follow!
Windy City Times: Hi, boys. How is the biz going?
Brent Ridge: It is going well. We are busy. I am still trying to fulfill all the orders.
WCT: You recently attended the Martha Stewart show to talk about your goat-milk soap and cheese. How did that go?
BR: It was great. I have worked with her a lot so I know how to interact with her. She likes our cheese so that is a good thing.
WCT: You quit your job with her and gave it all up for life on the farm.
BR: I walked away.
WCT: Are you ready for the reality-show world?
BR: It has gotten a very good response from people so far. When were approached about doing it, we had our reservations because we were working to create our own business and our own direction. It was tough giving up some creative control that can take your brand in a direction that you didn't want it to go. So far we are very pleased at what they have done. It looks beautiful and most importantly it is very entertaining, which is what we had hoped for.
WCT: So they approached you guys?
BR: Yes, they approached us. When we first moved to the farm we had started a blog at beekman1802.com about our life on the farm and we did a weekly update. That grew and grew. We eventually did e-mail letters. Planet Green got on our e-mail list. They sent us an e-mail through the website and we met with the producer. She said she wanted to make a show about us. They hooked us up with World of Wonder, who does Tori & Dean.
WCT: And RuPaul.
BR: Yes, and RuPaul. They visited us and came up with the idea of how the show would look and how the themes would be addressed. That is how it all came together.
WCT: How is your helper, Farmer John, doing?
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: Farmer John is doing well. He is now at the farm full time. He had his day job for a while but we have now grown to a point where he can be on the farm all the time. That is what he always wanted.
WCT: I enjoyed the book, Josh. It gave a behind-the-scenes of the show.
JK-P: It was very interesting. It serendipitously was the perfect prequel to our show. It was in the works way before the television show.
WCT: Do you guys have a favorite moment from the show so far?
BR: We have only seen the first two episodes. There is an important episode later in the fall that deals with harvesting of animals for our own use. That is my favorite and looking forward to it being aired. I think that will be a great moment that has not been seen on television before, people will really think about where their food comes from after that.
WCT: Do you guys want more animals or are you at capacity right now?
JK-P: No, we keep adding them. [ Everyone laughs. ]
BR: We just added two sheep last weekend!
JK-P: We are suckers for animals!
WCT: Does every one of them a name?
BR: Yes. The two sheep…
JK-P: You can't tell him all the names, Brent. That would be a scoop.
WCT: How many animals are there?
BR: There are about 150 goats at the moment. There are two sheep, two rabbits, 20 chickens, two turkeys…
JK-P: You forgot the one pig.
BR: Three barn cats
JK-P: Don't forget the llama.
BR: "Polka Spot."
WCT: Wow. No fighting, like on TV! How long have you been together?
BR: Ten years
JK-P: Thank you.
WCT: What is the long-term goal for this endeavor?
BR: I am not sure that we really know. If there is anything that we have learned is that if Plan A never works out, Plan B is not much better.
JK-P: We are growing as we grow and we have our guidepost of what we believe in, which is helping small farmers and helping small communities. We like being part of the community. Our success is determined by the success of our neighbors. We will take whatever opportunity comes next.
Josh's book is entitled The Bucolic Plague: From Drag Queen to Goat Farmer An Unconventional Memoir. For more information about The Fabulous Beekman Boys, airing on Wednesdays on the Planet Green channel, visit www.planetgreen.com . Name That Goat once a week on facebook.com/PlanetGreen.