Michael Whaling is a polymath -- the Oneonta Daily Star describes him as a 'carpenter, painter, stone mason, environmentalist'. It is his work with stone that is described in his new book, 'The Garden Wall at Beekman Farm', an account of his painstaking construction of a 200 foot wall for his neighbors at Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs. The farm's owners, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge -- better known in the realm of reality TV as 'The Fabulous Beekman Boys' -- wanted to make a 'permanent contribution' to their 200-year-old property and so asked Whaling to constuct an 'L' shaped wall to mark the location of a new vegetable garden.
Whaling will be signing copies of his book at Sharon Springs' Village Hall Gallery on May 28 and May 29. Those curious about a timeless craft or, perhaps, bold enough to attempt building their own walls without mortar or mechanical tools have the opportunity to pick the brain of a seasoned craftsman, although specific answers might be in short supply. "Patterns emerge, the cast changes," reads a quote from Whaling's book. "There is no perfect answer when working with stone."
The book signings will be part of a 'Garden Party' that the Fabulous Beekman Boys will be hosting along Sharon Springs' Main Street on Saturday and Sunday. Each day will be a showcase for dozens of local artisans, lectures and tours. Gardeners making a late start can get a boost from the 5000 seedlings that will be brought in by Landreth Seed Company.
Village Hall Gallery, 87 Main St. Sharon Springs, NY 13459 518-284-2402. Saturday, 5.28.2011, 11am-12pm and Sunday, 5.29.2011, 12pm-1pm. www.villagehallgallery.com Garden Party on Main Street, Sharon Springs, 5.28. and 5.29.2011, 10am to 5 pm.
Photo appears courtesy of Beekman1802.com