Monday, April 22, 2013

Help Breezy Hill Orchard Rebuild their Historic Cider House

Ten years ago, Greenmarket farm Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill lost its historic cider house in a devastating fire. Elizabeth Ryan, owner and producer, is now raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign to rebuild the cider house in order to expand the production of her popular hard cider. Your support for this campaign would be greatly appreciated!

Despite the setback of the fire, and other more recent challenges (crop loss and hurricanes) Ryan's cider-making studies in Europe a few years back have fueled her commitment to producing hard cider in the Hudson Valley. She recently launched her fresh artisanal cider line, Hudson Valley Farmhouse cider, at farmers markets and Whole Foods in New York City.

Ryan also hopes to buy Stone Ridge Orchard, which she has leased for 5 years, and where she holds her U-Pick every fall. Here she plans to create a ten-acre European-style cider orchard and a tasting room to support the Hudson Valley hard cider renewal.

Cider-making could be the answer to keeping orchardists in business, and in turn orchards from being developed. Elizabeth has been popularizing hard cider through participating in Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming's Cider Week and was even approached by Williams-Sonoma to create a make-your-own hard cider kit, which is now available in their spring catalogue.

Ryan's agricultural activism extends beyond the Hudson Valley and New York City. This past fall she was invited by the governor's office to represent hard cider for New York State at the alcohol summit, where she shared the challenges that small hard-cider producers face and offered suggestions to support local production and sales.

Breezy Hill is counting on the support of the community to help rebuild its historic cider house this spring in preparation for this year's production. Some wonderful rewards are being offered, including brew kits, t-shirts and note cards, a dinner on the farm, and tickets to Breezy Hill's spring festival. Please show your support by spreading the word and donating to the campaign at

Breezy Hill would also like to invite you to come out and sample its scrumptious hard cider at its Annual Wassail Festival on May 18th. Take part in celebrating the produce and community of the Hudson Valley through song, dance, food and drink! Tickets are available at Please contact the farm with any questions at 845-266-3979 or

And Come to the Spring Wassail Festival, MAY 18th