Events

October 11, 2012

Dharma Tours Ritual Coffee


Ritual Logo WHITE

Dharma partner SFMade is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting San Francisco local manufacturer’s.  Our friends at SFMade offered public tours of its member merchants this summer to highlight merchants who manufacture, create or bake products within the city limits.  SFMade has over 350 members dedicated to creating job opportunities right here at home.  We were surprised to learn how many food and beverage producers were headquartered in San Francisco.  One of our favorites was San Francisco based single-source coffee producer Ritual Coffee.  With 4 retail locations in the Bay Area and a new roasting facility located in SOMA, Ritual has brought the art of artisan coffee roasting directly to SF coffee connoisseurs and has quickly built an intensely loyal fan base. 

“Coffee is a delicious, sweet, complex fruit. Plucked off its tree, it has a range of flavors that reflect its upbringing--cultivar, soil, pruning, and care,” comments Eileen Hassi, Ritual Coffee’s founder.   “We work with producers who care for their trees as they would their children, giving them both the love and attention that they need to live up to their full potential. We walk with these producers through their small farms. We sleep on the farm, we breathe the farm, trying as hard as we can to understand how our producers make magic happen in our cups.  Our continual mission is to present these coffees to ourRitual Employees SMALL customers in the same sublime condition that we tasted them, both by serving them seasonally, to preserve their freshness, and by roasting them with the intention of accentuating the intrinsic qualities within.”  Eileen Hassi shared her belief that conscious businesses can serve as anchors for communities, both for the employees and the  customers.  Eileen's goal is to see Ritual Coffee grow organically and in harmony with her community. "I enjoy when regular customers meet, fall in love, marry or bring in their children to the stores."  

At right, a few of the Ritual Coffee community of  employees: Bryce Navin, production
Kaleena Stoddard, production manager
Eileen Hassi, owner
 and Ben Kaminsky, director of Quality Control

Ritual is unique in its commitment to buying coffee direct from coffee producers. Of the  166,000 pounds of coffee Ritual roasted last year, nearly 90% came from producers they work with directly.  Buying direct enables Ritual to source the very best coffees while ensuring that the quality-focused producers are rewarded for their hard work.  It also means that when you're drinking their coffee, you're only one step away from the producer responsible for this exquisite coffee.  Not only does this produce a delicious cup of coffee, but it also produces a fair and direct profit for the farmers growing the coffee  beans.  Hassi believes that it isnt necessary to give up integrity in exchange for great taste.  In fact, operating conciously and buying direct from the source has helped Ritual Coffee build a dedicated following in the Bay Area and beyod.  You can help celebrate Fair Trade Month in October by dropping by your local Ritual Coffee location or visiting there website.

 

July 26, 2012

Dharma Exhibits at PAINWeek, 9/5-9/8

Registration Discount Code Available!

300x250-PW12This September 5th-8th, Dharma will be exhibiting at the annual PAINWeek conference in Las Vegas, NV. A happy client of Dharma, PAINWeek is the nation's largest pain conference for frontline clinicians with an interest in pain management. Over 1500 physicians, nursing professionals, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, and psychologists are attending this year.

The conference is based on a comprehensive curriculum offering more than 120 CE/CME hours of pain management education across 18 different tracks that include assessment and diagnosis, multimodal treatment, pharmacotherapy, regional pain syndromes, and the evolving legal/regulatory environment. There will also be full-day programs presented by the American Society of Pain Educators, the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, and the Veterans Health Administration AND a new track from the American Pain Society. Click here to view the Full Conference Schedule, and here to register.

The conference is geared towards Physicians, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, Nursing Professionals, Psychologists, and Social Workers. Practitioners can earn up to 30 CE/CME hours in their chosen fields of interest.

We are thrilled to participate in this fantastic conference!  Please share this information with your health care community, along with this link to register. Please pass along the discount code of DHARM for a discounted registration rate of $329, available until July 30th.

July 26, 2012

Bay Area Sacred Commerce Workshop: 8/18 - 8/19

Sacred CommerceAbout 4 years ago we became aware of a local restaurant called Café Gratitude whose founders, Matthew and Terces Englehart, had integrated their contemplative practice as a vital part of the path to awakening. They have since written a book and developed workshops to teach the principles of Sacred Commerce, which Dharma Merchant Services has wholeheartedly embraced and practices on a daily basis. This has been transformative for us individually as well as for our collective approach in guiding our business. It has been liberating to see how this practice is aligned with our company's original intent of right intention, right speech, right action and right livelihood.

In 2010 we were fortunate to hire a former Café Gratitude manager as our Office Manager, and now Yebuny Johnson has left to pursue her calling to teach Sacred Commerce workshops around the country. For those of you in the Bay Area, the next opportunity is the weekend of August 18th and 19th. To register or to get more information please click here.

May 26, 2012

Dharma Attends May 2012 BALLE conference

BALLE churchWe attended our first Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference this past May and had such an enriching experience that we know it will be the first of many. It was held in the beautiful city of Grand Rapids and brought in people from all over the US who are working hard to strengthen their local economies. Central themes of the conference were ownership and collaboration, and the content was completely incredible. Here are some highlights:

We were reminded by Fred Keller of Cascade Engineering, which stands out as a model of the positive change business can acheive, that "we're not ok if we're not all ok".

Malik Yakini of the Detriot Black Community Food Security Network quoted the moving African proverb "I am because we are" during his talk on removing racism in the food system and the physical, spiritual and financial well-being that comes from urban farming.

Charles Eisenstein who wrote Sacred Economics shared the benefits of a gift economy and operating as our connected self, and stated that "a leader is someone who helps you remember what you already know, and helps you believe in it".

Maggie Anderson gently but very firmly pointed out that buying Maggie Andersonlocal hasn't worked in black communities because the local businesses there are not locally owned.  The alarming statistic that business profits earned in a black community stay in that community for a mere 6 hours inspired her year-long committment to shop exclusively at black-owned businesess, documented in Our Black Year.

Alpha Demmellash of Rising Tide Capital shared the shocking and moving story of her childhood in Etheopia that included a year long kidnapping by her father, where it was her ability to love and forgive that literally set her free.  She went on to study at Harvard and create a business incubator for underserved entrepreneurs.

TAri Weinzweighe breakout sessions were hard to choose from but "Leader as Host" and "Servant Leader" stood out and did not dissapoint. "Leader as Host", lead by Deborah Frieze, described an approach of hosting "wildly inclusive" conversations among all stakeholders as a way to create solutions to complex problems. "Servant Leader", lead by Ari Weinzweig, was part of the famous ZingTrain seminars. The session provided many fantastic takeaways, including "your customer service will never be better than the way you treat your employees".

More highlights, photos and videos are on the BALLE site here.  Next year's conference will be in Buffalo, NY. Once considered part of the "rust belt", it is now a thriving city thanks to the resiliency of its residents who understand the benefits of local ownership. We're going and hope to see you there!

May 25, 2012

Dharma Attends Wisdom 2.0 Event

Written by Jeff Marcous

Wisdom 2.0On May 11th and 12th, I attended the first annual Wisdom 2.0 Business conference in San Francisco, which addressed health and wellness in the workplace. Presentations were focused around leading research and applications of employee productivity, well-being, mindfulness, creativity, meaningfulness, and wisdom. Over 300 attendees were actively engaged in the exchange of ideas and practices.  Click here to watch many of the inspiring talks from the conference.

What I got from this weekend was just how business in the Bay chip conley smArea has evolved from the simple bottom line of generating profits as an end result to how the business environment is sustaining the body, mind, and spirits of their employees and customers. So many dominant companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the like have changed how their Human Resources Departments have gone from managing health benefits to promoting good nutrition, mindfulness, and spiritually creative practices. This is completely in line with what the great psychologist, Abraham Maslow, has identified as the Hierarchy of Needs – from taking care of basic physiological needs to self-actualization as the highest goal of the individual.

Dharma Merchant Services was created to foster these higher attributes of self-love, acceptance, compassion, morality, and so forth. We see that business can be the most influential element of an awakened life, hence should contain practices that reflect and inspire the presence of love. What could that look like in your company?

May 19, 2012

Dharma Sponsors Global Exchange Human Rights Awards

human rights awardWe continued our tradition of sponsoring the Global Exchange Human Rights award on May 10th and were so grateful to participate in the 10th anniversary of this special event. It was a festive evening, with silent auction items (we won a signed copy of Chip Conley's just-released book,
Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success), delicious food (and Ben & Jerry's!) and a signature cocktail, Justice 'n Ginger.

There was an appropriate, respectful, somber tone around the Brad-Manning-in-uniform-150x150 presentation of the 2012 People’s Choice Award. Honoree PFC Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst, is accused of leaking a video showing the killing of civilians, including two Reuters journalists, by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. He is also charged with sharing the documents known as the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs. Bradley has not yet been tried, and was held in solitary confinement for the first 10 months of his incarceration. It was a special moment when Daniel Ellsberg, open government advocate and prominent whistleblower, accepted the People’s Choice Award on behalf of Bradley Manning in honor of Manning's courage to stand for what is right. 

annieThe tone went back to festive when our beloved client Annie
Leonard took the stage to accept the 2012 Human Rights Award, acknowledging her 20+ year committment to investigating the true 
cost of our exploitation of resources, usage of toxic chemicals and excessive consumption. If you haven't seen The Story of Stuff, please take a moment to see this incredible eye-opening and entertaining environmental short film. Annie has gone on to produce other films, including The Story of Cosmetics, The Story of Water and The Story of Broke. All are availble to watch for free at storyofstuff.org.

Thank you Global Exchange for more than two decades of activism, education and inspiration, and for creating such a special event to honor the monumental contributions of those working for a more democratic and just world.

See more pics on Facebook!

May 13, 2012

Dharma Attends SF Made's Ramp It Up Event

sf made ramp it upThis past Wednesday night, Dharma was honored to join the rest of the SF Made community at their "Ramp It Up!" event, at one of San Francisco’s great breweries, Speakeasy Brewery.  They graciously opened the doors to their beautiful space, and hosted this event for the community. This was the kick off for a whole week of festivities dedicated to bringing more awareness to local artisans and manufacturers right here in our wonderful SF community.  If you’ve never heard of SF Made, head on over to their site.  They’re a fantastic group of hundreds of merchants who create, distribute, and sell their products and services all within the city limits.

Mayor Ed Lee was kind enough to stop by, and give his support for our local businesses.  He, along with the SF Made community, are advocating to make it easier for businesses to start production within San Francisco by reducing red tape and some of the costs associated with opening a new business.  It was great to see so many passionate manufacturers share their dreams for a new way of doing business, by operating with intention and awareness every step of the way.  The atmosphere was one of excitement, hope, and happiness.

We were wowed by the amazing food and drink selection!  Cellarsspeakeasy brewery 33 wines, Bluxome Winery, and SF Vodka were just a few of the drink hosts, and we got a little chocolate pleasure from Kika's Treats! For the coffee drinkers out there, Ritual Coffee generously shared a delicious new blend, while explaining the intricacies of coffee bean selection.  If you need something a bit more off the beaten path, the Kimchi provided by Sinto Gourmet was simply outstanding!  There were plenty of other fantastic sponsors, and we highly recommend learning more about these fabulous firms and SF Made, and supporting local businesses! 

March 21, 2012

Dharma Field Trip: Creating Enlightened Society

An Evening with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, written by Nicole Stasio

sakyongsmilesbygaryI was honored to attend a talk on “Creating Enlightened Society” by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche with the Dharma team. My first impression as I was welcomed into the incredible Grace Cathedral was that I was coming into a sacred place full beauty and openness. I wondered what it would be like to be in the presence of one of Tibet’s highest and most respected incarnate lamas – the holder of the royal lineage to the ancient kingdom of Shambhala, a borderless community of meditation practitioners committed to realizing a higher consciousness through wisdom and compassion.

When Sakyong Rinpoche walked in with his contagious smile and stories of his newborn daughter, I was moved by a sense of shared humanity. He shared a stunningly simple message of how to create an enlightened society: with kindness, generosity, and courage. The take-away was that each person needs to respect themselves in order to be kind to others. The way you feel when you wake up in the morning impacts all future interactions. Sakyong Rinphoche recommended that we all take a moment in the morning to evaluate our emotions and recognize how we are being in the world. Every human being can reach inside to see their inherent goodness, warmth and intelligence – and then use that insight to create an enlightened society.

February 29, 2012

SF Green Film Festival – March 2012

SF Green Film Festival – March 2012

The San Francisco Green Film Festival begins next week, March 1 with a slate of films that will intrigue you, enlighten you, maybe even anger you a little, but ultimately inspire you. Join them on a week long cinematic journey which will take you into the depths of a mine in the Congo, through the kitchens of Tokyo’s top sushi chefs, cattle wrangling with rancheros in the Brazilian Amazon, marching on environmental protests in China, and urban farming in Detroit. These are just a few of the places you’ll visit during the festival.

sfgreenfilm-photoMeet with over 50 visiting filmmakers and guest speakers for a lively week of green films and discussions at the SF Film Society Cinema in Japantown. Buy a festival pass and join them for VIP weekend brunches with the filmmakers and special guests.

Download 2012 Festival Program Guide (pdf)

Ready for tickets? Go to the online box office »

The festivals executive director, Rachel Caplan, urges everyone to “Watch Globally, but Act Locally.” We already have tickets to an interesting film titled Cafeteria Man that follows charismatic chef Tony Geraci on his passionate and tenacious journey to overhaul the school lunch program serving 83,000 students in Baltimore’s public schools. Opening the festival is the very timely The Island President, where Bay Area filmmaker Jon Shenk spends a year with President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives as he confronts a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it, due to the devastating impacts of climate change. And the inspiring Urban Roots offers up hope against all odds, in the boarded-up shops, empty lots and defunct factories, where seeds of change are taking root in Detroit. With the most vacant lots in the country, citizens are reclaiming their spirits by growing food. A small group of dedicated Detroiters have started an urban environmental movement with the potential to transform a city after its collapse.

We hope you can come out and support this amazing festival and share in the excitement and entertainment. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming screenings and events!

Photo: SFGFF Executive Director Rachel Caplan and Dharma's Trace Wendell

November 22, 2011

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary Green Festival

With Gratitude for All In Attendance

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary Green Festival

On November 12-13, Green America and Global Exchange hosted the 10th Anniversary Green Festival in San Francisco and Dharma was grateful to be there. We are always excited to see our conscious, sustainable community show up in force to network with each other.

This year’s event played host to speakers as diverse as perennial Green Festival favorite Amy Goodman from DEMOCRACY NOW and Frances Moore Lappefrom Food First and the Small Planet Institute. There were courses on how to break up with your Mega-Bank (and your mega-credit card processor!) to how to make sure your Thanksgiving is as Fair Trade as possible. We left this year’s event with many new friends and tons of inspiration.

greenfestival-boothA big THANK YOU! to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello and to express gratitude for the work we do. We wouldn’t be here without you and we thank you for choosing to support us. And if you appreciate what we do and find it valuable to your business, we urge you to share your experiences with your friends. As we saw this weekend, our community grows stronger when we partner together. We hope to see you at next year’s event!

November 22, 2011

Green Chamber of Commerce Annual Event 2011

Celebrating at the Green Chamber's Annual Event

greenchamberWe were delighted to attend the Green Chamber of Commerce Annual Event! Celebrating “A Taste of the Bay” and held at the beautifully remodeled Levi Strauss & Co. headquarters in San Francisco, the event was filled with so many of our favorite Bay Area merchants such as Green Dentistry, Equator Coffee, Three Twins, and Frey Vineyards, as well as exciting companies new to us like Trim Tab Media !

We thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous program of speakers (expertly put together by Green Chamber Executive Director Stacie Shepp and the Green Chamber team) that included passionate and engaging community leaders such as Mitchell Rofsky of Better World Club, David Bodwin, co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council , and Donald Simon of Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP,  who also served as lead attorney in advocating for the recently passed B-Corporation bill. The joyous Jess King ushered the evening to its close accompanied by a small, but riveting electric cello.

Congratulations to all who attended, catered, volunteered, and made the annual event a wonderful success! Our sincere thanks to the Green Chamber for hosting and fostering such a brilliant community of movers and shakers in the green business movement.

September 14, 2011

Amazon Watch and SBA host Benefit Concert

Willie Nelson, Sara Wasserman, and friends at Amazon Watch & SBA Benefit Concert

Willie Nelson at Amazon SBA Benefit ConcertOn July 22nd, Dharma was privileged to attend the Benefit Concert with Amazon Watch and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA) at the beautiful Bently Reserve in downtown San Francisco. This team-up was the first time that a rainforest protection organization and a bio-fuels organization worked together to raise money and awareness for a common cause. SBA’s hope was that the benefit would “help educate the public on how supporting local, sustainable biodiesel production and using local renewable resources instead of feedstocks like international soy and palm can protect our planet’s precious rain forests.”

SBA sources community-based biodiesel and works with celebrity environmentalists and social activists like Willie Nelson (who performed for the event along with Sara Wassermanand others) to use biodiesel for tours and festivals as well as to educate fans about its benefits. SBA’s chief mission is to ensure the U.S. is sustainable in our use of biodiesel. They create independent sustainability certification systems, educate the public, and provide tools to consumers and the biodiesel industry itself.

Unlike many environmental organizations, Amazon Watch actually partners with the indigenous people of the Amazon in their fight against deforestation, sickness, and death caused by oil drilling and other harmful enterprises threatening their ecosystem and way of life. Currently Amazon Watch is working with the Achuar (an indigenous tribe who call the Amazon home) to petition Chevron to acknowledge the damage caused by oil spills and to take responsibility for cleaning up Ecuador; to stop the drilling of oil; and to prevent the Brazilian government from damning the Amazon rainforest.

On a personal note, Dharma enjoyed meeting the collection of vendors, like the beautifulVilla Creek Winery in Paso Robles who donated some delicious wine for the auction that night.

sba-aw-logosWe look forward to seeing this collaboration continue between these two amazing organizations. Dharma is grateful to be the merchant services provider for Amazon Watch and even prouder to have taken action and joined the cause ourselves. Please join us for their annual luncheon on September 27th.

Dharma is also doing our part in our daily lives to combat the use of oil and promote the preservation of the rainforest. Read about our green initiatives here. What are some of the ways you are taking action?

September 09, 2011

18 Reasons hosts Tomatoland author Barry Estabrook

tomatoland-bookU.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” in regards to openness and transparency in government. Extended amounts of sunlight is also one of the best ways to grow a delicious tomato. Barry Estabrook, author of “Tomatoland,” drove these points home in a dinner/talk hosted by 18 Reasons, the community outreach organization of San Francisco’s own Bi-Rite Market and Bi-Rite Creamery. Estabrook writes the popular food blog Politics of the Plate and his article for Gourmet on labor abuses in Florida’s Tomato fields received the 2010 James Beard Award for magazine feature writing. This article has now been expanded into a book that details how the industrial farming behemoths grow the majority of supermarket/fast food tomatoes and the blind eye they turn to horrific abuses of the imigrant labor force in Florida. The talk was both informative and shocking.

Estabrook’s research took him to Immokalee, Florida, the tomato capital of the United States. During the winter months of December to May as much as 90 percent of the fresh domestic tomatoes we eat come from south Florida, and Immokalee is home to one of the area’s largest communities of farmworkers. According to Douglas Molloy, the chief assistant U.S. attorney based in Fort Myers, Immokalee has another claim to fame: It is “ground zero for modern slavery.” When Molloy was asked if it was safe to assume that a consumer who has eaten a fresh tomato from a grocery store, fast food restaurant, or food-service company in the winter has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave, he corrected the choice of words. ‘It’s not an assumption. It is a fact.’ In the last 15 years, Florida law enforcement officials have freed more than 1,000 men and women who had been held and forced to work against their will in the fields of Florida, and that represents only the tip of the iceberg.

Not only are the working conditions of the farm-workers horrible, but as anyone who has ever tasted a winter tomato from a chain supermarket knows, the taste is virtually non-existent. Estabrook explained that Florida soil where the tomato plantations exist is some of the worst soil for tomatoes. Sandy and drenched in harmful pesticides, these plantations produce barely edible tomatoes. In order to last the long truck ride to stores, these unripened tomatoes are picked while still green and hard. Ethylene gas is used to “ripen” the fruit for store shelves. However, the gas only turns the tomatoes red, it doesnt really ripen the fruit. Essentially, you are still eating the same unripened, hard green tomato. This is why winter tomatoes are so flavorless. In addition, these tomatoes have a third of the vitamin C of Summer tomatoes and less calcium but 14 times the sodium! Also, pestcide residue from 110 different pesticides and fungicides has been found on 54% of tomatoes in grocery store produce sections. 34 of these agents make Pesticde Actions “Bad Actor” list because they contain known carcinogens, mutagens, neurotoxins and deadly poisons.

So, what can you do in your community to effect change?

  1. In the winter, dont buy tomatoes shipped from across the country. If they can’t be grown locally in your current climate, dont eat them.
  2. Instead of a boycott, Estabrook suggests a “Buycott.” If you see locally grown, organic tomatoes, buy those and send a message to your grocer that those are the only ones you will buy. By buying a local, organic tomato you are supporting just wages and healthful choices.
  3. Grow your own. If you have a sunny yard or balcony, tomatoes can be grown easily and cheaply. And nothing beats the flavor of a sun-ripened tomato.
  4. Consider donating to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. This organization has been fighting for humane treatment for farm workers since 1993. They have managed huge success getting tomato buyers such as McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell to agree to pay an additonal $0.01 per pound for their tomatoes so that farm workers can have a living wage. And the fight continues. Currently, no giant food supermarket chain, other than Whole Foods, has agreed to this penny a pound more agreement.

18 ReasonsThe event, hosted by 18 Reasons, included an amazing organic heirloom dinner prepared by our hosts. 18 Reasons

was created to bring people together and deepen our relationship to food and community. Through an innovative community center and thought provoking, fun programming, they have inspired action and fostered collaboration toward creating a just and sustainable food system. Dharma is grateful to be a member of this amazing group of concious foodies. You can check out their upcoming calendar of events here.

Barry Estabrook has succeeded in shining much needed sunlight on the treatment of tomatoland farm workers and on the tomatoes they grow. What change can you enact in your own life that will improve the lives of the Immokalee farm workers in Florida and send a message to the huge industrial farming companies that these tomaotes are no longer acceptable on your plate?

May 17, 2011

Green Festivals - Spring 2011

greenfestivalIf it’s spring it must be Green Festivals time! We love the sense of community, the inspiring speakers, the delicious food, the energy and the happening environment of these great events. At the April San Francisco Green Festival, we displayed a brand new exhibit that was sustainably provided by Greenerprinter.

As usual we made many new friends and got to see many of our existing merchants that were displaying their beautiful, sustainable products at the show.

greenfestivals2011-boothBig shout outs to:


We demonstrated our new iPhone solution and we offered copies of the book Sacred Commerce – Business as a Path of Awakening. We plan on attending several more Green Festivals in the future and we hope you plan on attending also. Please let us know about any Green Festivals in your area in the comments section below. See you there!

Photo: Dharma Office Manager Yebuny Johnson, Dharma President and Co-Founder Jeff Marcous and Trace Wendell, Dharma Accounts Manager in the Dharma Booth designed by Greenerprinter

April 21, 2011

Two Guys, a Herd of Goats and a Llama walk into a…

beekman1It may sound like the punchline to a joke but it was anything but funny when partners Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell originally purchased Beekman Farm at the height of the real estate boom in 2007. One year later the market crashed, both had lost their jobs, and coming up with a monthly farm mortgage payment was no easy task. Enter sustainable TV network Planet Green who approached the boys to create a reality program based on their experiences on the farm raising a herd of goats and one unruly llama. One year later, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” aired on Planet Green Network and two new icons for the sustainable set were created.

Josh and Brent traveled to San Francisco April 9 to appear at the SF Green Festival to talk about their farm and their lifestyle brand, Beekman 1802. (1802 was the year their farmhouse was originally built.) The guys try to embrace seasonal, natural living wherever they can. With a little help from an appearance on the Martha Stewart show, the Beekman Boys introduced their first product: goat milk soap. Many more goat milk products were to follow including the newly released “Cajera” caramel sauce. With the launch of these products and the success of the reality program, the boys have now been approached by Williams-Sonoma to release packages of their favorite heirloom seed varieties grown on the farm.

beekman2It was great fun listening to these guys discuss the in’s and out’s of life on the farm during the festival. But the main takeaway for me was their exhortation to plant something. Josh and Brent believe the only way humans are going to get back to our food roots is to learn how to grow our own food; on farms, in our yards, our roofs, our kitchens, even at our offices. In fact, their goal is to make their website the largest online farming community in the world. I would say they are well on their way.

My friends at Dharma have encouraged me to accept the challenge of Brent and Josh. So, I have decided to try my hand at farming. Like the Beekman Boys, I have little farm experience but a lot of passion. I will keep you posted on my progress in the days and months ahead. And if you have tips I encourage you to post them in the comments section. I assure you, I will need all the help I can get!

Photo: Brent Ridge, Trace Wendell and Josh Kilmer-Purcell. The Fabulous Beekman Boys and a fabulous Dharma Boy!

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