Help him harvest
Patchogue musician creates backyard organic farm; volunteers welcome
By Amy Nicole Tangel
For over two decades, Patchogue musician Karl “BD” Reamer has been spreading charity through music across Long Island and has now begun a new venture, reaching out to the community through his expanding organic garden.
Reamer, who moved to Patchogue in 1997 from his hometown of Seaford, picked up a guitar seriously for the first time in his early 20s, when the pastor of his church came to him and told him he was going to lead their guitar choir. “You must be talking about my wife, because she plays guitar,” Reamer responded to the pastor. Despite being taken aback, he decided to give it a try, and his then-wife taught him his first few chords. From there, Reamer developed his talent as a bass player and took the lead of the guitar choir, as his pastor had hoped for.
The first electric band for Reamer was a Christian rock band called Wrath. Over the years, he has evolved his passion to playing blues and rock music. His current band, Big Daddy and the Bulldogs, formed in 2000 and had a longstanding session at Kapplers Hotel Bar & Grill in Patchogue. Big Daddy’s Sizzlin’ Jams brought together local musicians for 528 nights of music and held their final farewell bash, a fundraiser for A New Beginning Animal Rescue, at Bobbique in March.
Amidst all of the music comes a man on a new journey of healthy living, and with it has come the growth of his organic garden, BD’s Farm, where he is welcoming anyone who would like to come help harvest and go home with their own fresh vegetables in return. While Reamer said he has always enjoyed gardening, it was after he had gastric bypass surgery in 2015 that he really started expanding his garden. Today he has countless vegetables, herbs and, for the first time ever, he is growing Russet potatoes and grapes this year.
“I am trying whatever I can so it’s all organic. I don’t spray any chemicals,” said Reamer. In lieu of chemicals, Reamer releases praying mantises and ladybugs as natural repellents in his organic garden. Reamer said he had two eggs and each egg carried approximately 200 praying mantises.
In 2006, Reamer had a defining moment, where he discovered he wanted to turn his passion for playing music into helping others when one of his beloved Yorkies passed away. He set out on a search for a companion for his other Yorkie, who he said was extremely lonely, and reached out to Save a Pet Animal Rescue. In return for their help, Reamer offered to donate his music to their fundraisers. The first event was a fundraiser called Hounds on the Sound and he said he felt it was a great success. He wanted to build on this and continue to do more. “I thought, ‘why do I just have to do it for them?’ Then it just exploded,” he said.
This resulted in the birth of his banding events, an extension of Reamer’s entertainment company, Act 1 Entertainment Inc., in which he partners with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to help raise funds for their cause. Some of Reamer’s most notable partnerships are with organizations such as Save a Pet, Contractors for Kids (advisory board member and supporter) and the Long Island Crisis Center.
CFK is a nonprofit based out of Islandia, which assists children and their families during times of hardship as a result of sickness, injury or death. In 2011, Reamer was named Volunteer of the Year and in 2013 was esteemed Man of the Decade by CFK.
Board of directors member Mary Byrnes described Reamer as a dedicated advisory board member with CFK. “With his never-ending support and warm heart, CFK knows he will be there,” said Byrnes.
In addition to spending his summer gardening and supporting local charities, you can find Reamer at the Northport VA Medical Center every Wednesday beginning June 19 through the end of August, where he has been performing with his band and is the exclusive organizer of bands since 2008 for the veterans’ summer music series there.
Reamer is passionate about serving the veterans through music in what he calls therapeutic entertainment. They currently serve nine VAs in the country, including the Bronx, N.J., upstate N.Y., Maryland and Chicago. Act 1 Entertainment Inc. is a registered U.S. government-approved contractor and Reamer said with 166 VAs in the country, they are trying to work with as many as possible. “I don’t know that I could have the courage (to serve), so if they’re doing it for me I am going to help them,” he said.
If you would like to learn more about BD’s Farm, you can message Karl BD Reamer directly through Facebook, and for more information about Act 1 Entertainment Inc., banding events and all other services, visit www.act1entertainment.net.
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