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Gardening with Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart has been in quarantine on her New York farm with her gardener, housekeeper and driver for nearly two months. 

Long days in the garden, surrounded by a rainbow of flowers and adorable baby geese. Dinners of fettuccine Alfredo or scallops cooked with leftover Dom Pérignon champagne, followed by $300 bottles of wine and competitive card games. 

This is what life in quarantine looks like for Ryan McCallister, the head gardener at Martha Stewart's farm in Bedford, New York.  McCallister, along with Stewart's driver and housekeeper, has been at Stewart's 150-acre estate for more than 45 days, according to Town & Country. 

McCallister, who is staying in Stewart's guest house, told the magazine that he did not expect the lockdown to last long when he left his New York City apartment in March. 

"I thought to myself, 'Why not just stay in the guest house for a few days until this is over?'" he recalled.  McCallister has since been posting updates from Stewart's farm on his Instagram page, sharing pictures of brilliant flowers alongside selfies with Stewart's adorable pets. 

And McCallister, who has been Stewart's head gardener for the last nine years, said plenty of work is being done as well. 

"This is actually working out pretty well," he told the magazine. "Since we're at the house all the time, we can work earlier and later and we get a lot more things done. And Martha doesn't just sit there and say, 'Do that!' She's out there doing everything with you." 

The pair are currently preparing Stewart's outdoor vegetable garden and planting trees. McCallister said Stewart has "hundreds of saplings waiting to go into the ground," including maple, oak and chestnut. 

"Martha decides what to plant and where it should go," he added. "I've been gardening my whole life and studied plants and landscapes in school, but I learn something new from her every day." 

Stewart told Insider in March that she grows almost everything she eats right on her farm, "even during the winter." 

"I have a vegetable greenhouse now that is full of gorgeous plants," she said. "I make salads every single day from my greenhouse. I'm growing cucumbers, tomatoes just started and I raise my own chickens for eggs." 

Stewart has been sharing numerous Instagram videos and photos from her farm, giving fans a peek as she whips up dinner, organizes her pantry (with 39 different types of salt) and enjoys a ride on her new mower to the tune of Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." 

Since Stewart's usual film and photography crew are not at her estate during the lockdown, McCallister is the one who is often behind the camera. 

"All the videos you've seen of her since March were done by me," he told Town & Country. "I hope I'm getting better at it." 

But it's not all work and no play when you are staying at the home of Martha Stewart. McCallister told the magazine that Stewart eats meals and plays cards with her staff, and has been cooking up a storm for them as well. 

"Ordinarily, I can burn off extra calories," McCallister added. "But when Martha offers you a cookie, you can't just say no. They're delicious and you eat three." 

There has also been plenty of wine. Evidence of the nightly ritual found its way to her Instagram page, where she revealed she had accidentally opened a very expensive bottle of wine during a nightly card game of Gozo. Stewart opened a bottle of 2013 Domaine Roulot Mersault des Boucheres, worth about $380. “Must have been a gift,” she joked. “But the detainees (Mc Callister and other staff) deserve it.”


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