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

Spring 2017 at the Farm

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, May 01, 2017

Finally, these tubby hills are greening up.  And while I love the bright yellow of the marsh marigolds, trout lilies and daffodils, I really can't stand the acid yellow of forsythia, so I'm glad that is past its' prime. 

The supermarket primrose I bought a few years ago and stuck in the ground:

And the trout lilies:

Soon, we'll be waiting on the wild phlox and yellow and blue flag irises.....

And now back to work on the arrival parterre garden.  This project has taken way, way more work than I could have imagined when I designed the garden the winter before last.  Straight lines and highly clipped edges are A LOT of work.  Dianthus went in the ground around each of the apple trees last week as a ground cover.  I love their spicy clove scent.  I have to get my order in to the mail order houses soon for perennials or I am sure they will be sold out of everything I want to order. 

Natives in Bloom Vol. 3

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, June 27, 2015

The yellow flag iris may not be native to this part of the country, but we certainly treat it as a native here at the farm.  We also have a few blue flags that have happily transported themselves from god-knows-where and gleefully co-mingle with the yellow flags, streamside grasses and ferns.  It makes for a delightful combination in the cool, filtered shade along Taylor Creek. 



Natives in Bloom Vol. 2

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Our native turk's cap lily is now in bloom.  We salvaged it from the field and placed it in one of our garden beds.  It IS slightly different from the photos of native turk's cap lilies I have seen.  The petals do not recurve nearly as much as other examples of the species, lilium superbum.  But it clearly is a turk's cap.

It may have cross pollinated with a garden variety at some point - I don't even know if that's possible.  Or it may have just mutated over the years in our little corner of the world into something a bit different.  Either way, it appears to be unique.  They seem to pop up in unusual places around the property.  Two years ago, there were a bunch that sprouted up by our neighbor's rickety footbridge over the creek.  The next year, they were all gone from there, and they haven't returned since.  They come and go at their own whim, like the wind, just as nature intended.  But the one we transplanted is still going strong. 

Turk's cap lily, I therefore christen you lilium superbum serendipitous. 

Streamside summer

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, June 11, 2015





It's Different Now

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, June 08, 2015

The wild phlox are in bloom along Washington County's roadsides.  Co-mingling with ostrich ferns and silky field grasses, it makes for a spectacular show, and it doesn't last long.

It used to be we spent the entire weekend outdoors at the farm.  We became attuned to the vagaries of the weather and intimately aware of the comings and goings of all the wildlife.  I find we have lost touch a bit with the outdoor world now that we spend more of our time indoors when we are there.  I can't say that I really like it.  It changes the whole perspective.  Everything used to be viewed through the lens of being outdoors and now it's not.  It will take some adjustment and balance.  Sunday was a good day.  We all spent time outdoors weeding and watering.  I spent the whole morning down by the creek weeding out some of the most invasive wetland grasses you've ever laid eyes on.  But it was glorious.  I had my water shoes on and my feet got numb from the cold spring water rushing up to my ankles and beyond.  I hadn't done anything like that in a while, and I've got to remember to do things like that more often. 

Natives in Bloom Volume 1

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Several springs ago at Gardenworks in Salem, I had the pleasure to run across an elderly woman who was there selling a small selection of native plants she had propagated herself from plants she had found on her property.  Apparently she had been coming each spring for many years and was an expert in gardening native area plants.

Oh how I wish I could have bought more native plants from her that spring.  Later that year, her husband had died and apparently she had to sell her home and garden.  When I came back the next spring, hoping to see her again, she was not there.  It was not just a loss for me of the opportunity to purchase more plants, but it was the loss of such a great local gardening resource.  I don't even know her name. 

I consider myself fortunate in that I did purchase quite a few plants from her that year, including Twinleaf, Sanguinaria (bloodroot), Jeffersonia and Mayapples.  When you come to visit us at the farm, please ask about our native plants.  I will be happy to show you how we are working to incorporate them into the landscape according to the precepts laid down by the great Irish plantsman and father of the classic English country garden, William Robinson.

I had never heard of the umbrella-like Mayapples before, but I love them now, and they are a great taller ground cover for the verges between woods and meadows.  They produce a simple, pretty white flower in mid-May, which then becomes a small seed pod that looks like a miniature Granny Smith Apple - charming!  They seem to be loving their spot on the bank of the old dam.  They have multiplied since I planted them two springs ago. 

Here is a photo of one in bloom this spring:



Spring 2015 Farm Dispatch

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, April 23, 2015

It is actually snowing as I write this - yes, snowing!  But spring has, indeed, sprung at the farm.  Even though today is a bit unseasonable, there's no stopping the warm weather now.  We're rushing toward the sun as we speak.  It is inevitable.

The sun is warm and the days are longer:


And the snowdrops are out:



Ode to a Ditch Lily

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, August 22, 2014

If my memory serves me correctly, the ploughman's poet Robbie Burns wrote an Ode to a Louse.  So, here's an ode to the common ditch lily - making roadsides brighter since who knows when.


Elements of Garden Design

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, June 16, 2014

Two years ago, desperately trying to find gardening and design books to address the sheer scale of the farm property, I ran across Joe Eck's book, Elements of Garden Design.  Mr. Eck certainly knows his stuff as one of the co-owners of the famous Vermont garden, North Hill.  In fact, I have owned a copy of his other book, A Year at North Hill, co-written with Wayne Winteroud, for many years. 

While the book certainly would be valuable for most novice gardeners working out their first design schemes, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.  I agreed with much of what he has put forth in the book, which is really more of a series of essays.  The essays originally appeared as a series of articles in Horticulture magazine.

However, I strongly disagreed with his overbearing tone.  I know, I know, this is what one expects when asking someone else's advice on the principles of design.  Some of it is just going to be subjective.  But he had a lot of rules.  Hmph.  If you know me, you know I don't like rules, don't like them one bit.  So, this clearly wasn't the book for me.

I actually found what I was looking for in a contemporary landscape design book, a gardening book written in the 1800's by William Robinson, the writings of Alexander Pope, and the work of England's great Capability Brown.  What I discovered was there is a difference between design edicts to be slavishly followed and design principles, which are applied.  Therein lies the difference between good design and great design. 

I see now the paths of  Alexander Pope and William Robinson and Capability Brown are the ones to follow.

Alexander Pope's principle of Genius Loci:

"Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs. "

We shall find the spirit of this place, too, I am sure.

Woodland Idyll

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, June 04, 2014