Soon after the two bought the Beekman 1802 farm to use as a weekend getaway, they met Farmer John.
“He had written a note and put it in our mailbox saying that he was losing the place he was farming and needed a place he could bring his goats,” Ridge said. “We thought this would be a great thing, so we allowed him to come on.”
“We didn’t know at the time he wanted to get the farm running as a dairy,” Kilmer-Purcell said. “And that we could help him with that by coming up with products and a way for selling them. We didn’t know at the time that we would need the products.”
Six months after buying the Beekman 1802 farm both men lost their jobs. They were close to losing the farm when the New York Times sent a reporter out to do a story about it.
“The interest that (article) drove really helped us to get business and helped us to stay afloat,” Ridge explained.
In 2009, soon after Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge started their online business selling goat-based products, Sharon Springs began holding a Harvest Festival.
“We were part of the team that started it that first year,” Kilmer-Purcell said. “We didn’t have a store yet at the time, but we wanted to get people here to see Sharon Springs and help drum up some news about the village, and then our new business, which had just started that spring.”
The following year, the two also started a garden party. The party is held Memorial Day weekend, and people who come are encouraged to bring plants that they can trade for other plants.
The moral to this story — you’re only as good as your neighbors, Kilmer-Purcell said, and being neighborly and helping other people is what helps you get ahead.