Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The stately Georgian/Federal style mansion is situated on 60 acres surrounded by meadows, heirloom vegetable gardens, and formal flower gardens. Oh, and let's not forget the goats.
I became familiar with Dr. Brent when he worked for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. It wasn't until a year ago April, during an appearance on the Martha Stewart Show did I become aware that he and his partner Josh owned a farm and made goat milk soap. During that appearance, Brent and Martha discussed (and fed) the goats and worked together to make homemade goat milk soap. When I logged into their website, Beekman1802.com, I was immediately taken in with the beauty of the farm, and their 'experiment in seasonal living.' I've been a avid reader (and customer) ever since, always learning from what they are sharing and adapting ideas into my own gardening and living ventures.
I've watched with great interest as Dr. Brent and Josh have turned their concept of home and farm into an emerging lifestyle and media company. Recent features in the New York Times and Vanity Fair have been key in building awareness of Beekman and the natural and useful product line available through their website. The appeal is far and wide. From coast to coast and from around the world, visitors are making Beekman.com a preferred destination during their Internet travels to learn from their work, while snapping up goat milk soap products, heirloom vegetable seeds and other beautiful items made by local artisans on their e-commerce site. In a most recent development, Beekman soap products will be available in Anthroplogie stores as well as Michael Chiarello's NapaStyle stores in California.
A visit to Beekman seemed like the perfect kick off to summer and the perfect way to celebrate my 50th birthday. I was thrilled when Josh and Dr. Brent graciously invited us to stay at the farm and help them in the gardens (which should be interesting for David, since he's not a gardener!). I want to stroll the grounds, see the goats, gather eggs from the chickens, dig in the dirt and hopefully see the production of their goat milk soap products.
As we drive to Sharon Springs, we're stopping along the way to visit antique shops that we come across. You'll be able to follow along while we're on the road through Twitter and read a complete recap (or two!) here on House Blend when we return. See you soon!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, MS; Macon, GA.; Richmond, VA.; Boalsburg, PA; and Carbondale, IL.
In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The intense purple/black foliage is finely cut, giving it an effect similar to the Japanese Maple. Creamy pink flowers are a spectacular contrast to the dark leaves of the plant. The flowers are followed by deep red berries that can be harvested in the Fall for making Elderberry wine or jam or just left on the plant to attract birds and other wildlife.
BLACK LACE™ is very cold hardy and easy to grow, and adaptable to most sites. Full sun is needed for the best color. It can be used as a dramatic accent plant, planted en masse for a trouble free high hedge, or incorporated into the mixed or perennial border. Left alone it will reach up to 8 feet in height, but plants can also be pruned back each year to fit into more formal settings.
I believe I'll be going back to buy a few more of these beautiful plants. I can envision an enter property border with some nice chartreuse plantings in front of them!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Here is the first look at an upcoming book from Martha Stewart Living. "Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home" features 52 quick meals for family and friends.
Due for release on October 13, 2009, pre-orders are being taken on Amazon.com.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Next month’s test will make Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia the latest media company to try charging audiences for content online, where most media is currently free.
Details about pricing for the video subscription offering are yet to be worked out, but it’s an experiment for MSLO to find new ways to generate additional revenue from video content not currently available on the website marthastewart.com. The website will for the most part remain a free, ad-supported venture.
The company will launch the test using a platform from iAmplify.
On a different topic, Martha also said that Twitter, the leader in “microblogging technology” will become a powerful marketing tool for Corporate America. Martha said it was a service she would pay to use. She commented that in 11 weeks of using Twitter, and making only about 250 tweets, she gained a following of more than 600,000 people.
“It took me two years to get to 600,000 subscribers with Martha Stewart Living,” she said. “It took a fraction of that time to get there with Twitter.”
I like the idea of a subscription video service. My hope would be that MSLO would make several different types of offerings for the online video subscription. I’d like to see topic specific subscriptions (cooking, holidays, decorating, etc) and perhaps another subscription to the various SEASONS of the old Martha Stewart Living television show. I would also hope that subscribers would have the option of downloading the video content (much like iTunes) to their computers to watch it whenever they wished, as often as they wished. We’ll see what type of subscriptions MSLO comes up with.
The question for the day: would YOU subscribe to a Martha Stewart video library service? What would you like to see? (single content, seasons of television shows, vintage, new?) Share your thoughts in the comment section.
Yesterday afternoon, I found a few beauties ready to burst into bloom.
This is one of two 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea bushes. This particular variety blooms on old wood as well as new wood. Last year, the plant did not produce any foliage on the old wood but this year, despite the harsh winter, it's decided to give the old wood a try. This hydrangea was planted in place of an old dead rose bush... but look closely and you'll see a left over rose root that has sprouted new growth. After three years it decides to come back?
The peony bush is pushing dozens and dozens of buds ever closer to bloom. I love peonies. This particular plant produces very classic pink/white blooms. The blooms are typically so large, it just takes one or two to make a beautiful arrangement.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I recently received this great Martha Stewart Home Decorating "Look Book" filled with many of the great Martha Stewart products. Take a sneak peek into the "Look Book" below. To see a more detailed view, click on the images below.
For more information on Martha Stewart Home Decorating products, log into marthastewart.com/shop.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
After a long day at work, there is nothing more relaxing than coming home to the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living in my mailbox.
After dinner, I have my reading ritual; grab a glass of wine, or hot tea and make a quick 'once through' of the magazine. After the quick turn, I return to read it page by page. The June issue is packed with great ideas and inspiration. Here's what you'll find inside this wonderful issue:
Grilling 101 - A special section: Create meals with big flavor using this guide to grilling, recipes for homemade barbecue sauce and methods of keeping the grill in top condition.
Soups on Ice: Cool off with nutritious, easy-to-make chilled soups such as spicy tomato, fresh pea & buttermilk, corn & coconut and more!
Lasting Impressions: Capture the summer spirit with simple printing projects inspired by the sea including rice-paper prints and seashells printed on pillows.
This, plus Ask Martha, From My Home to Yours, recipes galore and of course a nice selection of Good Things to make life just a little bit easier.
The June issue is beginning to appear in subscriber mailboxes and will be on the newsstand May 18th.