Get Your Halloween Pumpkins, Sweet Apple and Pear Deals, and Sprouts on the Stalk.

FARM FANS, a simple message this week:  Bundle up for blustery weather and come pick your October bounty.

1-IMG_3704Your dream pumpkins are dreaming about you.  Please take them home.  They live for Halloween.

2-P1070860The mutsu is legendary for snacks and pies.  It also stars in this postmodern still life masterpiece.

1-IMG_3762The pear sale continues!  Get a 10-lb bag of #2 Bartletts for only $5!  Perfect for canning, saucing, snacking.

3-P1130457Lop your own or find them at the stand.  Each stalk fills a wok with wonder… Mission: Nutrition & Delicion.

5-P1190927First we squeeze the apples into cider.  Then we convert the cider into donuts.  Agricultural alchemy.

— Farm Buzz —

{ ‘Creek Speak. }

1-IMG_3827At our Stumphenge Biomass Decomposition Preserve, the old apple trunks are rotting right on schedule.

2-IMG_3798Our stewardship scientific team is documenting a resurgence of the fungus, Crayola irisdescenticus.  Do not eat.

4-IMG_3821Nearby, kids can work on important problems like how to fly the Piper Cub in quixotic fall weather.

5-IMG_3850And how to fill their socks and pockets with local shale sand just in time for laundry day.

6-IMG_3844And the latest addition to the playground—this rock.  Some of you are going to think, “What is that?  What is it for?”  Let us farmers try to explain without dumbing down too much.  It’s a big rock.  For whatever.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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99¢ Apple Sale, 50¢ Pear Sale, Pumpkin Population Explosion, Sprouts, Cider, and Donuts!

SURELY YOU ALL REMEMBER the nursery rhyme, “Humpty Pumpty.”  We reproduce it here for your pleasure.

02-IMG_6672Humpty Pumpty is in a bad way,
But the pumpkin patch is packed today.
Come to The ‘Creek and join in the shouts,
“Three cheers for pumpkins, apples, and sprouts!”

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We grew our biggest pumpkin patch ever, and we have our best workers sorting and polishing for you.

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You can hunt for your dream gourd in the megapatch, or grab your favorite orb in the “E-Z” pile by the stand.

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Speaking of easy, you must come pick Mutsu apples.  They are a great confidence-builder.  Our beginning farmhands train on Mutsus.  Even a guy in a Piggery shirt can do it.  Only 99¢ a pound (10+ pounds).

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Mutsus are the eyeballs of autumn.  Keep YOUR peepers peeled for our FREE Mutsu coupon in the Ithaca Journal (Saturday), the Ithaca Times (this week!), and Greenleaf.  Also get our Facebook coupon.

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Brussels Sprouts are in peak form.  You can sautee them with Piggery bacon to achieve some kind of local food zenith.

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Newsflash!  Pear sale!  Get a 10-lb bag of #2 Bartletts for only $5!  That’s 50¢/lb.  Perfect for canning, saucing, snacking.

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This is your weekly donut reminder.  Cider donuts Saturday 10:30-3 and Sunday 10:30-4.  Fresh cider every day.

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Marketing gurus say, “Don’t just show pictures of your product; show pictures of people nom-nomming your product.”

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That’s the news for this week, folks.  We hope you can help us solve the pumpkin population problem—take some home!  Thanks for tuning in.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Fall + Farm + Food = New Apples, Giant Pumpkins, Cheap Pears, and Super Sprouts.

IT HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR, this burst of giant Mutsu apples and even gianter pumpkins.  Please come share it with us.  It is the Big Show, the Fall Fancy, the Autumn Awesome.

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Check it out:  Pumpkin-sized apples in the Mutsu Orchard.  Pay only 99¢ a pound when you pick 10 pounds!

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We know a guy in England.  Says “the women” over there call Mutsus “oven busters.”  Bake a big one for a small feast.

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Of course the Mutsu is legendary as a pie apple.  The wedges hold their shape for the full fruit experience.

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Folks, we have the biggest u-pick pumpkin patch in a thousand square miles and every pumpkin needs a home.

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It is like shooting fish in a barrel.  We can’t make it any easier.  You will trip over Grade A specimens everywhere.

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Pear sale!  Get a 10-lb bag of prepicked #2 Bartletts for only $5!  That’s 50¢/lb.  Perfect for canning, saucing, snacking.

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Brussels Sprouts are so fricking nutritious.  Young adults say, “Sprouts are stupid nutritious” and “hella good for you.”

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Fresh cider any day of the week.  Fresh cider donuts Saturday 10:30-3 and Sunday 10:30-4.

How You Can Help the Farm!

{ Easy stuff. }

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The proudest Farmketeers wear the farm colors around town.  The lads are picking fresh shirts off the trees.  Put ‘em on your kids.  If you don’t receive compliments on these, wear yours to the farm stand and we will compliment you roundly.

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Some sourpuss gave the farm a measly 2 stars on our Yelp page after attending the Pigs-n-Apples Party.  Harumph!  Two smelly stars?  Um, HELLO, there were truckloads of sweet little children enjoying at least a 3-star party for FREE.  Sheesh.  Loyal Farmies, you can go to Yelp now and write a decent review of the farm if you want.  Somebody has to dispel the dark cloud cast by Negative Nancy No Fun Nelly.

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If you have heard yourself complaining about the short summers here in the Finger Lakes, you better thank [insert your deity, if you have one] for this blessed spell we are having.  Time to turn off your computer and get outdoors while it’s halfway civilized.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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All Hail Breaks Loose in the Orchard, and the Farm Needs You Now!  Apple Storm Sale in Effect.

SIX MINUTES OF MARBLE-SIZED HAIL bombarded the orchard this week.  We’re talking about iceballs with a bad attitude toward apples.  The pumpkins are thick-skinned and the dogs are hard-headed, but some of the apples got dinged and dimpled.

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Farm fans, this is a teachable moment.  The apples that got hit by hail are PERFECT FOR EATING—the Goddess simply gave them dimples.  But they MUST BE PICKED NOW.  You can’t take the crop for granted.  Please come picking before these divinely dimpled apples fall off the trees, or another celestial tantrum cancels the season.

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Pick beautiful Cortland apples for only 99¢ a pound when you pick 10 pounds.  That will take you 10 minutes.  Easy picking.

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Now picking in the Dwarf Orchard:  “Beni Shogun” Fuji, Jonagold, Liberty, Empire, Sweet 16, and Sir Prize.

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Is it Apptober or Pumptober?  Both.  High apple season and high pumpkin season are RIGHT NOW.

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We have the biggest pumpkin patch ever, and a nifty coupon for pumpkins and apples on our Facebook page.  Claim it!

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The Cidermeister improves her blend with every wave of new apples, and you can get cider donuts Sat 10:30-3, Sun 10:30-4.

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Next to the pumpkins, a gorgeous field of sprouts.  Please lop the WHOLE STALK, do not pick single sprouts or you’ll wreck the plant!

Farm Buzz.

{ Back Page News. }

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If you want to become a full-fledged Farmketeer, try a sweet new shirt.  There are 6 sizes and 6 colors, and it’s all original artwork.

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The shirts are 100% cotton and made in USA.  The inks are non-toxic and made in USA.  The printing was done here in Ithaca.

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A very special THANKS to all you kids and grownups who came to the 3rd Annual Pigs-n-Apples Party.  It was kind of amazing.  A few folks have posted photos on the Facebook event.  We’ll post some, too.  Meanwhile, let’s keep the season going.  Get outside, pick some food.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Get Ready for the Pigs-n-Apples Party This Saturday! Rain or Shine!

HI, FARM FANS.  Today’s Fresh Crop Alert contains the latest update on Saturday’s harvest hootenany.  Please read, then tell us you’re coming on the Facebook event.  You can also consult the party page for details.  See IMPORTANT PARKING INFO below.

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On Saturday, September 27, from noon til 3 PM, there will be a party called Pigs-n-Apples III.  RAIN OR SHINE.  In other words, the rain date is Saturday, too.  We’ll be here no matter what.

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You will see a crap-ton of cars, people, and activities.  We don’t know how many people will show up, but we’ll do our best to make it smooth.  Hopefully everyone will GO WITH THE FLOW.  Kids will share nice on the playground.  Parents won’t fret about dirty kids.

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IMPORTANT:  DO NOT PARK ON THE HIGHWAY (RTE 96).  THE SHERIFF WILL TOW YOUR CAR.  After towing a bunch of cars, the sheriff will run us out of town like so many swine-rustlin’ scofflaws.  Then there won’t be any more pigs or apples congregating west of Cayuga’s waters.  Good ideas:  Consider (1) carpooling and (2) arriving early.  There will be traffic.

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We’ll help you find a parking spot on the farm.  Then you can wander to the party on the hilltop.  Admission is free.  Games are free.  YEP, IT’S A FREE PARTY.   You could even come out “cash-flow positive” if your kid finds the Golden Apple.

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There will be FOOD AND DRINK FOR SALE.  The Piggery will serve their famous local meats on the grill.  They will also have vegetarian and vegan calabacitas.  Our friends from Eve’s Cidery will be on the scene with their artisan hard ciders.  Of course there will be donuts and fresh cider from Indian Creek, and possibly other goodies.

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Feel free to supplement the food with your own picnic, and definitely bring your BEST APPLE PIE.  This contest is no joke—delicious pies showed up last year.  But there’s always room at the top:  Could you be the challenger who makes the reigning champs eat humble pie?

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Apple and pumpkin picking will work like a normal day, but there will be TWO PLACES TO PAY AND SHOP:  the farm stand down front and the party tent.  Your best option will be to pay at the party tent so you can hop in your car and leave—without trying to park temporarily at the farm stand on your way out, where the parking lot will be full.

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EVERYONE IS WELCOME.  The party is our chance to say thanks for another great year.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek!

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The 99¢ Big Mac Sale, Pumpkin Pop Explosion, Playground 3.0, and the Pigs Party in 9 Days.

THIS WEEKEND’S FARMCAST—Partly cidery with a 100% chance of donuts.  Abundant apples in the morning and afternoon.  Heavy pumpkins til dark.  Expect McIntosh flooding in some kitchens following a massive sale.  Dress for sunflowers and smiles.

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It’s time, folks.  It’s apple time.  Don’t mess around and miss it.  Pick McIntosh apples for only 99¢/lb when you pick 10 pounds!

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Come see the BIGGEST pumpkin patch around.  Practice carving for the Pigs-n-Apples Party.  Score a great coupon on Facebook.

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The cider tastes better every week because new apples ripen.  The donuts taste better every week because… they’re donuts.

Party Next Week!

{ Saturday, September 27. }

Pigs-n-Apples POSTER 2014Only 9 days away!  RAIN OR SHINE.  You’ll get a special update next week, but one thing to note now:  No parking on the highway or the sheriff will run us out of town.  We will find a spot for you on the farm.  Prepare for a crowd.  Breathe.  Smile.  It’s a FREE PARTY.

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There will be food and games.  There will be wet and dirty kids.  The Apples will beat the Pigs in tug-of-war, as usual.

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BRING YOUR BEST PIE.  Last year’s winner was some tasty sh*t.  You’ve watched enough cooking shows, now go big or go home!

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We’ll be unveiling the brand new FARM SHIRTS.  The kid shirts are cute as HECK.  Original doodles and unambiguous panache.

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These are American Apparel shirts, made in USA, silk-screened locally by our secret agent at Comet Skateboards.  They use non-toxic, water-based inks.  There are 2 designs—one for kid shirts and one for adults.  We’re stocking 6 sizes and 6 colors all told.  $14 kid, $16 adult.  Wear yours proudly, Farmketeer!

Playground 3.0!

{ It Just Keeps Growing. }

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Ithaca’s Orchard Playground started with the swings.  Even big kids are bumrushing the baby airplane.  Build it and they will come.

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Last week we snuck in Version 2.0:  A real farm tractor for kids to explore, with a lookout deck and a climbing ramp.

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Down the other side, a pokey old slide.  Supposedly for small humans, but it also works for fresh-picked apples.

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And it works for big “kids,” too.  Here’s 3 generations of Ohio’s best, playing on Version 2.  So what’s next?  Version 3.0!

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This weekend, we’ll have a new log-sandbox thing.  WE NEED YOUR TOYS!  If you have old sandbox toys like buckets or Tonkas, drop them off at the farm stand anytime.  We’ll make them available to all.

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Well, folks.  Lots happening at the farm.  Zorro came fresh out of the grooming salon and jammed his nose into some mud.  Just to teach us some twisted lesson.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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There’s an App(le) for That:  Pick Your Own Macs—Only 99¢ a Pound When You Pick 10 Pounds!

PEOPLE ALWAYS WANT new stuff.  This week, they’re buzzing about the Apple Watch and other gizmos.  But nothing brings us comfort like vintage objects or classic reruns.  So we’re rolling out an old favorite, a sentimental snack from the 80s… McIntosh apples!

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Here to launch Mac season is everybody’s #1 news hack.  “Hello, Local Food Lovers!  Pick your own Macs in the Vintage Orchard!”

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“That’s where plump old trees offer sweet treats like the McIntosh apple, first introduced in 1820 and beloved ever since.”

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“Yes, folks, we’re conducting an ‘apple watch’ of our own.  All signs say it is time to pick Macs.  Now not later!”

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“Pick 10 pounds or more and pay only 99¢ a pound!  You’ll save $4,000 compared to buying 10 pounds of Macs on apple.com!”

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“The crisp and refreshing McIntosh apple is a key ingredient in Orchard Ambrosia.  Nothing but cold-filtered fruit.”

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“Orchard Ambrosia is the key ingredient in apple cider donuts!  Served on Saturdays 10-3, Sundays 10-4.”

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“Speaking of donuts… Won’t you join us for the 3rd Annual Pigs-n-Apples Party?” [ FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE | web page ]

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“You can practice for the party by carving pumpkins NOW!  Pumpkin patch is already open and LOADED WITH BIG ONES.”

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“While you’re pumpkin hunting, cut your own sunflowers for a BUCK A PIECE!  Please cut some, we got a bazillion.”

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“In the next field over, you can pick hot peppers.  You will also find hots and sweets stocked at the farm stand.”

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“Plenty of beefsteak, cherry, and heirloom tomatoes to pick next to the pepper rows.  Romas are kicked!”

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“Peaches are kicked, too.  It’s a hard pill to swallow.  But, as they say, There’s an apple for that!  Pick a peck and sublimate your sorrows.”

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“If Mac Therapy doesn’t work, try jamming a bunch of $1 sunflowers into your psyche.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek!”

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Pick Your Own Pears for 99¢ a Pound! Tomato and Peach Sales Extended; Fresh Donuts on Saturday.

DEAR FARM FANS, you are an expressive bunch.  Over the past 2 weeks you have told us in so many ways, “We aren’t emotionally ready for apples.  It’s still summer.  We want peaches.”

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You’re not alone.  Even the chickens have their heads buried in the sand.  They will have no talk of apples.

02-P1230551Yet somebody picked last week’s featured apples.  The Sansas are gone.  BRAVO!  This week, pick Jonamacs.  (How to pick an apple.)

03-P1230563Now, about the peaches.  They are picked out for the moment.  One last wave of white peaches (pictured) will be ready NEXT week.

04-P1060785We are offering pre-picked peaches at the u-pick price, just so the inexorable wane of peach season doesn’t hurt so bad.

05-P1060581But we have something else—wonderful Bartlett pears!  (See recipes.)  Pick them for 99¢ A POUND.  Down to 75¢ if you pick a bushel!

06-P1180424Each year at this time, we “cross Bartlett Bridge” from peaches into apples.  The pears will not last long.  Pick pears, like, NOW!

08-P1180523Bonus prize for a lucky few—nectarines!  You will find only a handful of trees.  Score these “fuzz-free peaches” in the peach orchard.

09-P1190109Now let’s pause for a commercial break while Natasha does… whatever she does.  Okay, back to our scheduled broadcast…

10-P1180813Pick 4 pecks of Roma or Beefsteak tomatoes for the price of 3.  Folks, it is absolutely critical time to load up on tomatoes.

12-P1190927And apple cider donuts, Saturday 1-5 PM.  Just what Michelle Obama recommends for back-to-school lunches.  Donuts.

13-P1230568Our sunflower cup runneth over.  We got a million—you can get scissors at the farm stand and take home some living color.

Farm Buzz

{ Listen Up. }

14-P1180661These 2 lovebirds got married on the shores of our irrigation pond exactly 1 year ago today.  They transcended social barriers and their propinquity deepens with each passing day.  They’ve come back to our program to share an important message.

1-P1180662“You know that old joke—When someone gets a haircut, you ask them, ‘Did you get your ears lowered?'”

1-P1180664-001“Well that’s good old-fashioned fun as long as you don’t take it too far.  We’re here to say, DON’T BE A BULLY.”  See you at The ‘Creek.

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Peach, Pear, and Tomato Specials; More New Apples to Pick; Fresh Cider and Homemade Donuts!

LOYAL FARMKETEERS, we start this week’s program with a public service announcement.  Junk food junkies, please listen up.

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“Kids, this is what will happen if you don’t eat your fruits and vegetables every day of the year!”

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That’s why Farmer Bruno says, “If your great-grandma never heard of it, don’t eat it!”  And now for this week’s sweets and treats…

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PEAR season starts today.  Pick your own Bartletts for only $1.50/lb, and if you pick a bushel, pay only 99¢/lb!

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PEACH season continues.  Pick your own til the trees are clean.  Get gorgeous peaches at the stand for the u-pick price while they last!

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TOMATO time is here.  Pick 4 pecks of Romas or beefsteaks for the price of 3!  That’s like $30 per bushel.

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We’ve also picked tomatoes for you.  Get a peck of Romas for $10 or Field Runs for only $8.  Put up for winter sauce.

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APPLE season is warming up.  New this week, pick your own Sansa apples.  Last week’s Zestars and Gingergolds… all picked!

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To get ready for apple time, see our tutorial, “How to Pick an Apple.”  Pretty basic, but you might learn something.

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CIDER season rolls along.  Each week the blend gets better as new apples come online.  Experience the seasons through cider.

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It’s a slippery slope, but once you got cider, you got cider donuts.  We’ll serve them fresh on Saturday 1 til 5 PM!

13-P1160966It is a time of great bounty at the farm.  Still got plenty of peppers, melons, chard and squash to pick, and more treasures at the stand.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

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Some of you might remember Veggiestock here at the farm.  Recently, a terrific local news site, The Ithaca Voice, ran the story for the August anniversary of Woodstock.  Check out the Voice, “in-depth journalism that’s fun, fast and free.”

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It has been amazing to see you all enjoying Playground Version 1.0!  Kids swinging and grownups, too!

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It’s gonna get even better!  Version 2.0 will roll out next week.  What is Farmer Steve making?  Aren’t you insane with curiosity?  Well, you can see the work in progress this week.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Peaches, Apples, Donuts, Cider and Your New Orchard Playground!

HAVE YOU NOTICED that we are having a wee spell of Scottish weather?  Mucky and cool?  Cool and mucky?

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Let’s pretend it is still summer.  Come pick peaches.  We have tons of juicies at the stand if the orchard gets picked clean.

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Come pick summer apples, too.  The Zestars are the first reds of the year.  Eat them fresh.  They are crisp, delicious, and sweet-tart.

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Mom’s new signs are a huge help.  We will be hanging signs for all the varieties as they ripen.  The signs will match the brochure map.

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After Zestar, go up the row til you find the new Gingergold sign.  You can download the map onto your phone.

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Great news!  The Cidermeister is cranking out “Orchard Ambrosia.”  Nothing but cold-pressed, old-fashioned, unpasteurized cider.

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And what happens when you spill cider in the batter?  Apple cider DONUTS!  We will serve them fresh on SATURDAY 1 til 5 PM.

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And now for the vegetable portion of our show.  Come pick eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.  Check the far ends of the rows.

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We have hot peppers, sweet peppers, classic eggplant, Japanese eggplant, Fairytale eggplant, and tomatoes of many stripes.

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It is a time of great bounty.  It is a joy to see friends picking local food each week.  Please come help us enjoy the harvest.

Farm Buzz

{ Swings. }

In Scotland they say, “As ye waggle, so shall ye swing.”  It means:  Wiggle your hips to get power when you strike a golf ball.

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On the farm we say, “As ye swing, so shall ye pick.”  It means:  Warm up on the new swings, and you’ll pick better food!

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We have always called the farm “Ithaca’s Orchard Playground.”  But now there really is a playground—Version 1.0!

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Farmer Steve made a cute kid-plane.  The prop already fell off.  What the frack do you people want?!  Disney World?

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We wrapped the chains in old tractor tubes—should prevent pinchy-pinchy of little fingers.  (But supervise your kids.)

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The frame is solid locust wood from the farm.  The seats are cut from an old local oak that fell down.

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This year’s Stumphenge mystery is solved!  But we won’t stop there.  Stay tuned for the next free upgrade of “Ithaca’s Orchard Playground.”  Look for Version 1.5 in the next couple weeks.  Meanwhile, hope to see you (swinging) at The ‘Creek.

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