Misty Bleu Farm Blog

About Misty Bleu Farm

Misty Bleu Farm is located in beautiful Washington County, New York at the head of the Black Creek ValleyMisty Bleu Farm produces hops for the R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.

Located on 50 acres in the heart of the Hebron Hills, Misty Bleu Farm is the home of R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.  The Brewery and Taproom are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 9:00 pm.  Come experience true field to glass farm-brewed beer at our farm, nestled among green hills and stunning natural beauty.  Our farm boasts over 600 feet of frontage on the West Branch of the Black Creek, with waterfalls and rushing cascades.  Tours of the brewery and grounds are available.  The Farm and Brewery are also available to be rented out for special events.  Please visit the brewery website, www.rstaylorbrewing.com for more details and directions.

Follow our journey as we create the Most Beautiful Farm Brewery in America!


Latest Project Updates

Big White Babies

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, May 02, 2015

Big White, our refugee rabbit from a backyard rabbitry gone awry had babies a few weeks ago.

They are pretty darn cute:

 

 

And yes, that's Trixie photobombing both photos.

 

The Suburbs are Crazy

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In Glenville, New York, Target is more important than Joshua Rockwood.  It's obvious after driving through the Town of Glenville last evening, on our way to show support for small farmer Joshua Rockwood at his court hearing, that the citizens of that town have made their wishes known loud and clear.  They have proudly welcomed big box stores and embraced suburban sprawl. They are clearly out to shed their rural sensibilities, trading pastoral scenes for parking lots and traffic snarls.  I doubted many of our fellow supporters there last night were Glenville locals. 

So who needs a small farm like West Wind Acres to muck up the pretty, sterile housing developments?  All the food that can possibly be got can be had at the local supermarket, all nicely and cleanly packaged in plastic.  Farming is messy, dirty, smelly business.  And it clearly doesn't mix well with Glenville's aspirations to be like their wealthier neighbors with more suburban sprawl.  Someone should tell them "the more the better" mantra is not necessarily a good strategy when it comes to welcoming suburban sprawl into your community. 

Someday they will be sorry.  The drought in California is a slow motion train wreck.  And with inland California producing a large percentage of our country's food supply, we should be embracing small Northeastern farmers like Mr. Rockwood, not trying to shut them down.  It has been estimated that less than 2% of our population is actively engaged in farming.  Do we want to piss off this very small minority of important people who feed us every day?  Farmers are some of the most vital people in this country.  It is simply insane that we do not recognize this fact.

Having a small family farm around like West Wind Acres raises uncomfortable questions for people who are clearly disconnected from the origins of the food they eat every day.  When you food comes all neatly packaged with the blood and guts and poo nowhere to be seen, why would anyone want to be reminded that animals sometimes live in uncomfortable conditions, both on factory farms and on sustainable farms?  Animals, including livestock, don't have perfect lives.  Just as we humans don't always have perfect or comfortable lives.  Although, truth be told, humans don't always like to see other humans living in uncomfortable circumstances, either.  Witness the number of communities that routinely shift homeless populations around to hide them from public view.  This is now what is happening to our family farms.  They don't fit in with the neat, tidy, clean suburban sensibilities, so let's do away with them in our communities, even as we embrace the "locally sourced" and "sustainable" lifestyle at the local Whole Foods.  Let farms go off to the "country", not to be seen except on rare excursions.

Were there instances of outright animal abuse at West Wind Acres?  By all accounts, including the accounts of two veterinarians, no.  Could things have been managed better?  I'm sure they could have, but that is not criminal.  Here's my philosophy on this debacle:  I would rather see Joshua Rockwood's pigs live a semblance of a more natural life in an outdoor habitat and get frostbite on their ears during one of the worst winters on record than see them live their days on a factory farm in a pen too small for them to turn around in.  The real crime here is that the powers that be in Glenville, New York don't understand the distinction between the two conditions.  Neither is a perfectly comfortable scenario for the pig, but one is far better than the other. 

Comments on Rifle Season 2014

Misty Bleu Farm - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The ricochets down the Black Creek Valley began 7:00 am sharp.  Once again, the North Country Holiday that is Rifle Season for Deer is upon us.  Time to slide on Blaze Orange to go out for a walk.  Time to be wary of pick-up trucks slowly cruising the back roads, with a driver or passenger scanning the fields for an illegal shot. 

The Department of Environmental Conservation had a road block on Saturday morning at the intersection of County Routes 30 and 31, just outside of town.  Looking for jacked deer.  The locals most likely stayed far from there.  If they were going to nab anyone, it would be an out-of-towner. 

I'm not sure how the deer respond to this particularly cold weather, one seasoned deer hunter I know insists it will keep them moving.  Warmer temperatures make them sluggish and sleepy, he says.  This weekend I'm sure I shall hear all about the opening weekend exploits and the legendary deer that were brought down.  The tales get taller in the telling, do they not?  And so, the ancient rite continues.....

Real Farm Tales The Bluebird Chronicles

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, May 05, 2014

The weather this weekend at the farm was chilly and blustery - not exactly May weather, but our bluebirds were back.  We spied one male and one female flitting from tree to tree.  Bluebirds are not generally ground feeders.  They like to perch in trees, find their food, zip down to retrieve it, and return to their perch.

I first spied the male in all his turquoise glory.  He likes to sit on the big white ash tree down by the stream.  It gives him a clear view up the main field.  He then flew from there to a lower branch on one of the small birch trees near the trailer.  There I spotted the female.  She was on the ground.  He flew down to her, picked up something in his beak and gave it to her.  Then they both flew back up to the low branch. 

From there they went about their business, triangulating around the field from tree to tree to tree.  The couple was very busy, most likely preparing for their coming offspring.

We've got bluebird fever around here.  We bought two nesting boxes to put up.  Can't wait to see their babies.

My Sister Bought Prison Eggs

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We have been lucky enough to have my sister staying with us on and off for the last few weeks.  She's in town finishing up some business matters.  So while she's staying with us, she's been doing the shopping and cooking for dinner - pretty nice!  I'm going to miss it when it's over. 

But we've discovered she has a little secret - oh, yes, she likes to buy what we call "prison eggs".  We're going to need to sit her down and have a grocery cart intervention.  We're into cage-free eggs around here, see.  I just can't stand to see all those chickens literally cooped up in tiny cages - so super sad!  Maybe we should buy her a chicken for Easter, but then how would she get it home on the plane? 

 

Real Farm Tales Once Told: What Remains

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

With the change in season, we see animals on the move, shifting their behavior to reflect what is going on around them.  This means that the fall is a busy, busy, busy time for most animals.  They are more active and sometimes more aggressive as they fulfill their instinctual desire to either gorge themselves or hoard food in preparation of the cold moths ahead.

Since early last summer we have suspected the presence of a big cat on our land - probably a bobcat of some sort.  I'm not really terribly familiar with the varieties of native cats in our area, but this one isn't exactly small if it's tracks are any indication.  On more than one occasion at the base of the mill falls we have found cat prints and yes, scat, too.  This one likes to poo in a spot right out on a flat rock in the middle of the creek at the base of the falls.  Go figure - an exhibitionist. 

Toby, our dog, seems to sense the cat's presence in that area.  He likes to carefully paw his way around down there in the leaf mold, around the edge of the creek, taking time to studiously sniff the humid air at the base of the falls.  I imagine the cat's scent lingers there, in the heavy air.  One night in midsummer, as Rich and I were sitting at the campfire, we could hear our neighbor's horses start to whinney and complain.  Something had spooked them and spooked them right good.  They kept it up for quite a while until the strains of our neighbor's voice could be heard soothing them.  I'll bet that cat had been slinking around them.  Their pasture borders the woods and the mill falls.

And now this.  Rich found a turkey carcass, mostly eaten except for the feathers and head and feet in the Soggy Bottom, mere feet above the mill falls.  Yep, our cat is getting hungry in preparation for winter.  I do hope he or she moves on soon, although the craggy rocks in that corner of the farm are a perfect place for a hunting cat such as this to call home.

I cannot like the idea of such a thing, however.  Not because of the turkey.  No, he served his purpose in the scheme of things, all right.  But because of the dogs running off leash or us wandering around down there.  It would be all too easy to inadvertently corner an animal in the closeness of the rocks near the falls. 

No, let's hope our cat moves on by next spring.  Because I can tell you that cat would be no match for a gun if it came down to us or him. 

Lake George Ducklings

Misty Bleu Farm - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We picnicked at Black Mountain point on Lake George.  Almost always, the ducks are friendly.  When they have ducklings, however, watch out. 

This time was different.  As you can see from the photo below, we had the mother duck's blessing to feed her little ducklings by hand.  In fact, one was bold enough to reach up and grab whole crackers right out of our fingers!

Farm Tales Once Told -The Tale of the Schitt Haus Rabbit

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A few weeks back, as I sat eating my cereal and looking out the dinette window in the trailer, I spied a rangy field rabbit nibbling grass around the, ahem, facilities.  In fact, he was getting kind of close.  Now, I can imagine that the grass MAY be a bit greener and perhaps taste a bit sweeter (to a bunny) around the ol' outhouse, but he was getting a little too close for me to be comfortable. 

You see, using an outhouse, for me, anyway, requires a bit of magical thinking.  I need to believe that there is nothing hiding underneath the outhouse when I lift up that lid - at least nothing that MOVES, anyway.  NO spiders, no snakes, no bugs, no nuthin'.  So the bunny was a problem.

And then sure enough, he did it.  Just like that, he went under the edge of the outhouse.  First of all, I don't know how he endured the stink.  And second of all, it may have seemed like a great hidey hole for him, as what other animal in their right mind makes a beeline for the outhouse, right? 

Okay.  Time to get rid of the crazy Schitt Haus rabbit.  Off I trudged in my pj's out to the outhouse.  I opened the door and stomped as hard as I could on the floor.  Bang!  And out the other side flew the Schitt Haus rabbit.

You'd think that would have been the end of it.  But no, just last weekend I found him munching on some grass very VERY close to the outhouse again.  I must be vigilant in keeping critters out from underneath my sanctum sanctorum.  Some things cannot be defiled.  Oh, he's crazy alright.

The Birds of Misty Bleu Farm

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, July 04, 2013

I have been amazed at the birds we have seen at the farm - birds I had never seen in my lifetime.  Here's just a few of what we've seen:

The scarlet tanager.  The color of this bird is like psychedelic it is so bright - fluorescent even.

The official bird of New York State, the bluebird:

 

And yes, they really ARE that color of blue.  Absolutely beautiful.

And the Eastern or Baltimore Oriole:

 

The skies at Misty Bleu Farm are full of color.

Can You Spot The...

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Frog in this picture?