Last Call for Spring Cider and Apples, and a New Page for News.

FARM FANS, your loyal shopping over the winter allowed us to stretch the season longer than ever.  The Cidermeister estimates that apples and cider will be sold out within 2 weeks.  This is LAST CALLLLL!

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You can tell things are wrapping up.  We made our last delivery of Mutsus to our friends at Greenstar Coop this week.

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And we pressed one last donation of cider for Loaves and Fishes.  Being served with lunch for a few days.

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You can still get fresh-pressed cider on sale here, just 5 bucks a gallon.  When it’s gone… it’s gone til next apple harvest.

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Same story with Rome Beauties.  Load up on local apples at 50¢ a pound. Get 10 pounds and a gallon of cider for $10!

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That will be all she wrote.  The farm stand will be quiet for a month while we tend the berry patches.  Strawberries in June!

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Thanks for being locavores this winter and spring.  We’ll send a quick note when everything is sold out.  Meanwhile, visit our new web page, The News from The ‘Creek.  It puts all the latest crop alerts in one place so you can check during the picking season.  You can also stroll down memory lane to 2013, 2012, and 2011—every newsletter we ever sent!  More web stuff coming soon.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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$3 Cider Jugs and Apples for 50¢ a Pound: More Spring Sale Stuff!

THIS IS LIKE one of those circulars you get in the mail with crazy prices that go BAM!  Usually you toss them right into your recycling bin or kindling pile, but please have a look at this one.  It is our 1st Annual Spring Cider & Apple Clearance Sale.

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The deep discounts will amaze you this week.  Mustus are just 50¢ per pound… Boo frickin’ yah!  Available in prepacked totes.

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Rome Beauties, same deal.  That means 10 pounds for 5 bucks, 4 pounds for 2 bucks, you get the idea.  Share with friends.

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The Cidermeister is pressing again this morning.  Stop by and see.  Half-gallons are only $3, gallons are $5.  Doggone cheap.
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The ‘Meister has gone insane with price-slashing.  Get your carboy filled for only $4 per gallon!  Call (607) 793-3560.
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Help us clear out for a new season.  Berry time is round the corner!  But who can make promises with this year’s nutso weather?

faithSpeaking of cider love and wild weather, one of our biggest Ambrosia fans is going to march 2,000 miles to raise awareness of global climate change.  Ithaca College student Faith Meckley is joining the Great March for Climate Action.  Here’s her blog and fundraising site.  Good luck, Faith, and thanks for supporting local food.

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Meanwhile, the great northern beast called Zorro will be raising awareness of climate change by lolling about as much as possible.  He is conserving energy.  We are giving him extra free time for this noble endeavor.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Big Spring Sale:  10 Pounds of Apples and a Gallon of Cider for $10!

IN CASE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN what civilized weather looks like, this Crayola masterpiece by a local kid will jog your memory.

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Doesn’t matter whether you are a good or bad appleeveryone is welcome at our SPRING CIDER & APPLE SALE.  Starting now!

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You can get MUTSU AND ROME BEAUTY apples for just 50¢ PER POUND while supplies last!  Which won’t be long!

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That means 10 POUNDS AND A GALLON OF CIDER for only $10!  Cider is on sale for $5/gallon and $3/half.

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HONEYCRISP is on sale, too!  Grab 5-pound totes of utilities for $5.  That’s a BUCK A POUND for you math-o-phobes.

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Spring sale prices are in effect UNTIL WE ARE SOLD OUT.  Don’t be late, or you gotta wait… a loooong time.

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These are our LAST LOCAL APPLES.  Help us clear out the coolers for the new season!  Call ahead for carboys, (607) 793-3560.

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Heartfelt thanks to the LOCAL KIDS of the 4-H Urban Outreach (“SIFE”) program at Belle Sherman Elementary School.  And to all you farm fans after a wicked winter, hope to see you at The ‘Creek!

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Guess What, Chicken Butt! The Apple Show Must Go On.

WHILE YOU FARM FANS have been cozy in your winter hideouts, we farmers have been breaking showbiz records.

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For the first time ever, we have kept the show going through February.  And guess what—We’ll be open through March!

openThe show runs 7 days a week.  Come inside and you will see the stars:  Premium LOCAL APPLES and FRESH CIDER.

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Let’s start with Honeycrisp, the current darling of the apple world.  You can get 5# totes of utility-grade Honeycrisps for only $5.

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Next we meet Spigold, the spritely cultivar that was released in 1962, the same year that Bob Dylan’s debut failed to make the charts.

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The Holiday apple variety was introduced in 1964, just as The Beatles were invading America and wanting to hold your hand.

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Mutsu is a perennial Indian Creek favorite.  You can get 5 pounds for 5 bucks, then bake a pie, and deliver it warm to us.

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Like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Sir Prize appeared in 1975.  It is a cross between Golden Delicious and the suspiciously named PRI 14-152.

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Rome Beauty is a pretty apple that goes all the way back to Ohio, 1816.  Pretty much the high point of Ohio history.

The Orchard Social.

{ Face-bock-bock, etc. }

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If even ONE of you visits the farm Facebook page and clicks “LIKE,” we will have 1000 likers.  Ready… Go!

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This is our most “liked” photo of the new year.  It is called, Farm Dog:  Profile View.  Happy Winter and hope to woof you at The ‘Creek.

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$50 Booty, 50 Years Fruity, and the Story of Two Appleseeds.

SINCE THE 1890s, fruit breeders up in Geneva, New York, have been tirelessly studying apples.  These days, Cornell scientists there operate the most extensive apple-breeding program in North America.

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The science has exploded over the years, but the geniuses of Geneva have always maintained order:  each seed and sapling has been carefully accounted for.

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Except one.  One special appleseed—let’s call him “Stephen”—came on the scene 50 years ago this week, promising to be the pride of Geneva’s orchards.

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He was a good specimen, mechanically sound, but in the haze of the 80s, Stephen Appleseed was plucked up in a finch’s beak and carried off the compound.

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He bounced hither and thither until taking root, as luck would have it, right here at Indian Creek Farm… where he has blossomed into a real apple of a farmer.

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He has even achieved some modest fame along the way.  You can find his name on page 63 of Frank Browning’s fascinating book, Apples.

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And very soon, in celebration of Farmer Stephen’s 50th birthday, we will award $50 in gift certificates for the best poems about Indian Creek Farm.  Write about the fruit, the dogs, the chickens, whatever you want.  Rhyme or don’t rhyme!  Send your pieces to indiancreekit@gmail.com by Friday, February 14.

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All ages welcome.  The top three contestants will win gift certificates worth $25, $15, and $10, respectively, which can be redeemed for fresh food at the farm this coming season.  And your work will be read by thousands of people who get our crop alerts!

The Buzz Don’t Stop There.

{ Owen Appleseed. }

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And now for the story of another appleseed.  Let’s call him “Owen.”  You’ve probably seen him around The ‘Creek.  Or at least you’ve seen his beard.

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There comes a time in every appleseed’s life when he must decide, “Do I want to toil out here in the country, or do I want to SERVE my country?”

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“Do I play the Navy SEAL game on X-Box, or do I just go FRICKIN’ TRY OUT FOR THE UNITED STATES NAVY SEALs?”

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That’s right, our Owen Appleseed is leaving the farm.  The young feller who brought us the wonderful phrase “crap-ton”—the only bad word we ever heard him say—is going for extreme training in sailor talk.

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We will miss Owen Appleseed and we thank him for his hardworking and easygoing manner.  We sing “Anchors Aweigh” and bid him fair winds and following seas.

What’s Fresh?

{ Orchard Ambrosia. }

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We are still open daily with fresh-pressed cider and 10+ varieties of premium apples.  The cider is unpasteurized and contains no junk—just apples and pears.  Cold-filtered on a cold-ass day.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

(Pictured in the very top photo:  Dr. James Cummins, dad of Stephen Appleseed and grandfather of Owen Appleseed, at the Cornell University Geneva Experiment Station back in the day.  You can read more Indian Creek family kind of stuff by scrolling down on our About page.)

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Breaking New Ground this Winter, and Apple Cider in the Polar Vortex.

WITH A NAME like Polar Vortex, it’s gotta be cold.  But with a name like Tundra, you just know she loves it.  Yes, the old girl knows how to handle winter:  she lounges around on the cold hard ground.

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As you can see, Tundra is not quite as pure and white as the driven snow, but who is?  Farmers talk like sailors which rules us out.

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Certainly not Zorro or Balto.  Those world-class loafers have hearts of coal—unless you’re holding a hunk of food, then it’s all kissy kissy.

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Even Katrina, despite her heart of Gold(en Delicious), can’t match the gleam of Indian Creek snow or Rembrandt-brand teeth.

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But our humble herd of mutts has inspired us all the same.  “Don’t cower in winter,” they seem to say.  “STAY OPEN!”

FoooooOoooood.

{ Farm stand = open. }

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So, we’re breaking new ground:  We’ll be open self-serve every day through February and maybe longer!  As long as the cider flows.

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This Saturday, the stand will be staffed 11 AM to 4 PM.  Come then to get 4 gallons of cider for just $5 each, and 5# totes of Honeycrisps for only $5!

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Also cash in on Saturday’s Mutsu special:  Only $20/bushel!  If you can’t make it Saturday, call the Cidermeister at (607) 793-3560.

Farm Buzz.

{ Community. }

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Round the nation, folks are tuning into the charms of cider.  See this nifty infographic about how hard cider is becoming the new beer.

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Right downtown, kids at New Roots Charter School are tuning into local food.  See how Indian Creek Mutsus beat grocery apples in a taste test!

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Soon after, the enterprising young locavores made apple butter from our Mutsus.  Bravo, lads and lasses, and bon appétit!

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This week’s final entry in the “Community” section pertains to YOU:  Please send us your ideas for how to improve the farm. Thanks and hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Winter Things to Do… Ideas from You… and the Year in Review.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ‘CREEKERS.  It has been cold and quiet here in Appleville.  We are still open, believe it or not.  If you want to help us make good use of the slow times, there are a few easy things you can do.  But first, let us thank you for making 2013 our best year ever.  They say, “No Farms, No Food.”  But to our minds it is, “No Locavores, No Farmstand.”  So, thanks.

Winter Things to Do.

{ Drink, Eat, Share. }

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DRINK ORCHARD AMBROSIA.  The Cidermeister is churning out FRESH presses of Indian Creek fruit.  Nothing but apples and pears.  We squeeze ‘em, you drink ‘em.  If you buy a jug each week during this slow season, you will be a real old-fashioned country-style hero.  Winter Special:  Get 4 gallons for only $5/gallon by calling the Cidermeister at (607) 793-3560.

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EAT APPLES.  The stand is open EVERY DAY in self-serve mode, and some days you’ll find a real human poking around.  We have Honeycrisp, Mutsu, Golden Russets, Newtown Pippins—the favorite of Thomas Jefferson—and other varieties from right here on the farm.  Every few bucks that slides into the self-serve slot is a help in the winter, plus it’s kind of fun using the honor system.

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SHARE YOUR IDEAS.  Winter affords us a few rare moments to act like civilized human beings—to LISTEN and THINK about how to make The ‘Creek even Creekier.  Come spring we’re full tilt, so now is your chance to weigh in.  Please use our special web form to share your thoughts.  And now let’s indulge in a little revery:  A buzz through the highlights of 2013.  Lights at the end of the tunnel.

The Year in Review.

{ Twenty Thirteen. }

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It all began with blossoms.  We invited everyone to bring their sneezes to The ‘Creek:  Please Come Smell the Farm at Your Earliest Convenience.

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There was a pregnant lull while everyone waited for the first crop of the year.  See Farm Kid Frolic, and Four Words About Strawberries.

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Soon enough, strawberries dominated the headlines with Find Your Thrill on Strawberry Hill… and 9 Rows of Strawberries… 1 Italian Wedding.

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By July we were singing Happy Berrythday, America, and Au Revoir, Les Strawbs.  We were swimming in raspberries, and raspberries were swimming.

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Only a few weeks later, we were blessed with A Big Eggplant Sale, a Rare Plum Batch, and a Morning Hasselhoff.

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Then pickers tuned into our tutorial, How to Pick a Peach, and How to Avert Another Cold War, at the outset of a bountiful peach season.

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Weeks had passed with a mysterious lack of news about tomatoes.  Then Eggder Furrow reported on How to Pick an Apple, and Something Kind of Amazing.

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By early September, having gorged ourselves in the peach orchards, we were Crossing Bartlett Bridge: Last Call for Peaches and Pears!

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High apple season kicked into gear, and we announced the event of the year:  A Profusion of Pickable Apples, and Particulars on the Pigs Party.

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In October, fall arrived with apple cider donuts and a treat for students:  Apple Picking, Pumpkin Patching, and a Special Deal for College Students.

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Next we shared photos of the Pigs-n-Apples Party, and some farmy new products, in Cider Sale, Honeycrisp Sale, Mini-Pies, and Apple Butter.

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By the turn of November, the sprouts were sprouting and we had late-season sales for the diehards:  Pear Sale, Extended Apple Sale, and November Farm Hours

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We found last-minute inspiration with New Local Apple Gift Boxes… And a Warm Farm Weekend.  Could this turn into an apple-of-the-month club?

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All too soon we were sliding into winter mode with our New Indoor Farm Stand…  And that brings us full circle.  Thanks for watching!  Let’s hope 2014 brings good times like these.  Please send us your ideas for next year.  Meanwhile, be well.

Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Winter Cider, Apple Sauce Trees, and a Fresh Crop of Books.

TREE HUGGERS and ecologists have a rule of thumb:  For every tree you cut down, you must plant 35,000 more.

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Zorro couldn’t care less about that rule or any other.  But Lewis Billy was contemplating the notion while brushing his teeth last week.

02-photo(2)“We have exactly 35,000 fruit trees ready to plant in the spring,” he mused.  “Can’t we apply that credit to one Xmas tree?”

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Brilliant work, LewBill!  You eased our Yuletide guilt.  So, the gang fanned out and went hunting for the perfect evergreen.

04-P1210665Just a homely troupe of farmers on the slow slog of democracy.  How many votes for that tree?  How many for this one?

05-P1210676Partisan bickering blinded the collective to the most perfect specimen of all.  But before long a Christmas compromise was in the works.

06-P1210688Nobody delights in a watered-down solution so much as The Reaper.  He will have his tree, and all parties will accept vanilla.

08-P1210813A few sparkles raised everyone’s spirits, though Balto fretted about pine needles mussing the rug.  You know the type.

09-P1210849Extra lights spilled onto the tractor and a new tradition was born.  The Tall Boy is lit for the winter and says, “We’re Open.”

Fooooooooood.

{ Apples, Cider. }

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That’s right, the farm stand is open daily in self-serve mode.  We’ll have fresh apple cider and assorted premium apples for the next few months.

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Order 4+ gallons at (607) 793-3560 for only $5 a gallon.  We even have apple sauce growing on trees—stick a spoon right into these old mushballs.

Farm Buzz

{ Books. }

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On slow news days, we like to feature the work of our friends.  Last time we reported on a fresh crop of paintings.  This week, a new book.

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Ithaca author Brad Edmondson has written “the riveting story of one of the world’s most iconic mission-driven companies” with ties to Ithaca.

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Ice Cream Social is available now on Amazon, and you can see Brad’s new site for supplemental material not found in the book.

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Ice Cream Social makes a great gift for friends interested in sustainability and social justice in food production and business management.  Happy New Year’s Eve from all of us at The ‘Creek.

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An Apple Cider Sale, and Sidelights on Farm Life in Oil.

AS THE DAYS GET SHORTER, so do these newscasts.  In today’s edition, we thank the several thousand (!) of you who tune in each week, and the handful of diehards who have been shopping at the stand this December.  That’s right, we’re still open every day with apples, cider, and sundry foodstuffs.

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We have to keep the show going, after all.  That’s what Farmer Sergei says.  He’s machining the winter mud with obvious urgency.

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Just a few more weeks before the ground is hard.  So Farmer Ducky is mucking, too, under a darkening sky in ice-cold slop.

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And Lewis Billy, he’s mucking around with a faroff stare.  His revery is evident: rhythmic daydreams of summer bounty.

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But there are bright spots.  Get 4 gallons of cider for only $5 each!  Please call the Cidermeister (607-793-3560) to arrange a pickup.

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We have mutsus, honeycrisps, and other apples for snacking, pies, and sauces.  Just come inside and use the self-serve thing.

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Last chance for the cutest Brussels sprouts ever.  As you can see, perfect size for packing in your holiday travel bags.

Farm Buzz

{ Paintings. }

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The Boston architect John Rufo, principal at Form+Place, is a friend of the farm.  He has never been here, but he reads the Crop Alerts.

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He has been painting Indian Creek tractors, inspired by photos on the blog.  John calls the paintings “Machine Motifs.”

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They are lovely, architectural pieces—especially to the eye of a tractor-lover.   The mechanical beasts are part of our farm family.

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They are rendered in oils and mixed media on 8- and 10-inch boards.  You can see these paintings and many others on John’s web site.

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You can contact John Rufo with inquiries about the paintings, purchases, and so on.  Many thanks, John, for taking a painterly view of the farm.  And to the rest of you, hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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New Indoor Farm Stand Open for Local Thanksgiving Supplies.

FOOD EXCITES the farm dogs, but snow makes them nutty.  They are winter animals through and through.  They run outside to gambol and snort when we hunker inside like… people.

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Yes, the ears go back and the eyes go crazy—just like kids in a bounce house.  Makes sense.  You know, all that fur and stuff.

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We farmers, not so furry.  We pack up our chattel and move the store indoors.  It’s not Neimann Marcus, but what do you expect?

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We have apples, anyway.  Honeycrisp, spigold, mutsu and more.  We’re open every day, self-serve.  Do drop in.

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We have Orchard Ambrosia, too, even a special pressing of Honeycrisp cider.  It’s all in the cooler under the front porch.

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And a few crates of Brussels sprouts.  These are the last sprouts of the year.  Take some to Thanskgiving with Piggery bacon.

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And a smattering of late season crops, like squash, spuds, onions, and garlic.  Just a couple bucks here and there.

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Make sure you read the signs, because we’ve triple-checked our spelling this year.  Oh, and please shoot outside.

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Have a warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving.  Be safe on the messy roads.  Don’t be strangers this winter.  We’re open daily til further notice.

Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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