New This Week — First Apples, Eggplant Sale, Pepper Picking, and a Stumphenge Mystery.

IF YOUR REPUBLICAN FRIEND SAID, “I just picked ripe apples in July,” wouldn’t you jump on your soapbox and spout your climate change harangue?  Wouldn’t you give them the business?

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Just this once you can give it a rest.  Come pick our Yellow Transparent apples with an easy mind.  They were bred to ripen early.  They are already dropping from the trees.  Pick now, make sauce.

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Eggplant season rolls ahead.  You can pick a half-peck of purple Japanese eggplant for only $4.  That’s 33% off!

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In the eggplant field you’ll find the Fairytales.  They’re cute.  And they are delicious when sliced into coins and stir-fried.05-P1220698

Squash season bumbles along, too.  You can pick zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan A.K.A. Space Invader squash.

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If you only eat skinny-shaped foods (who are we to judge your cult?), these slinky cukes are for you.

07-P1220715U-pick pepper season starts TODAY.  Some of the hotties are ready.  Don’t rub your eyes after picking jalapeños and the rest.

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Sweet Italian Frying Peppers are sneaky.  They look like giant chili peppers but taste mild like sweet peppers.

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The First Church of Peppertown is ringing its bells.  The ecumenical “Green, Purple, and White” hymn is bonging away.

09-P1220625Persistent and/or lucky pickers have had a pretty good year picking raspberries.  You have to poke around a bit.

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Down at the stand—blueberries, tomatoes, peaches, onions, garlic, canteloupes and all of those vegetables we mentioned above.

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Do not pick the peaches—they are not ready for public picking.  We promise to shout “PICK PEACHES!” from the hilltops soon.

13-P1220607Tomatoes aren’t quite ready either.  Many of them are sized beautifully, and they will turn real soon.

Farm Buzz

{ Stumphenge News. }

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Up near Stumphenge, we invite you back to the Iron Age.  We are clanging and banging with primeval slag.

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We are hammering and yammering when we should be farming—but look at this pretty thing, bent and burnt and dubious.

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Aren’t you insane with curiosity about what is happening?  Tune in next week for the stunning conclusion to this special 2-part Crop Alert.  Happy July to you all.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Pick Your Own Veggies, Berries, and Herbs, and Shop at the Freshly Stocked Farm Stand.

DEAR ‘CREEKERS, the farm stand is officially open!  We will be staffed and stocked for the rest of the season—7 days a week.  Vegetable picking begins today, so help us ring in the summer!

Our Juilliard-trained, free-range bird will get you started with the Summer 2014 Theme Song.

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That little number was written in Poultrese.  It is hard to translate.  In English: “Come pick 3 kinds of squash and Armenian cukes.”

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The line repeats three times.  It is the pretty-sounding part that goes, BOK BOK BOK… BAHGOCCCKKKK!

04-P1160640Background chickens are off camera, but you can hear them crooning, “Also pick your own Japanese eggplant!”

05-P1220525The last line is about raspberries.  “Mornings are your best chance to find ripe ones—especially after a sunny day.”

1-P1220600After the tune ends, you can hear them say, “Cut your own fresh basil, too.  Adds a spark of summer to any dish.”

08-P1050731Meantime, down at the stand, we’ll be stocking blueberries, melons, onions, potatoes, and even a few peaches!

10-P1100349 You might remember that many melons are sensitive to light, while others prefer to muff their ears.

14-P1220583We have freshly cut flower bunches—with or without the glass jar—that make a nice surprise for friend or foe.

13-P1220578New this year, a few specialty items from our friends up in Geneva apple country.  Tart Cherry Sorbet and Crabapplesauce!

11-P1220588We also have new brochures, with updated crop locations on the map.  You can download a copy to keep on your phone.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

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In town, Farmer Dusky is building the fence for a new community garden with our friends at Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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In the virtual realm, we spruced up our video gallery and created a new YouTube Channel.  The movies are mostly pointless.

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Last—and definitely least—we have a Google+ Page.  We have attracted zero followers, compared to almost 2,000 on our Facebook.  We post daily news on both sites.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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A New Raspberry Field, and the First Vegetables of the Season.

WELL, GOSH, you have all been very patient.  It is summer and the weather is primo and you are being gracious about our quiet start.  So far, no tantrums or farmer-bashing.  Good stuff is coming soon.

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You can find light picking in the two raspberry fields.  The old field is in its final year.  The new field is just charging up.

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If you see gorgeous red berries on the same bush as dark purple ones… the reds are not the ripe ones!  They still need to turn purple.

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If you are a super lucky person—like Cristiano Ronaldo with the skills and the looks and the money—you’ll find a rare golden raz.

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One of our newly minted PhDs—Allie, Doyenne de Vegetables—has cast Latin spells to bring forth eggplant and zucchini!

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You can get these pre-picked at the stand (self-serve) for now.  Soon the stand will be staffed and veggie fields will be u-pick!

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Talk about food with wings.  These stir-fryable eggplants have been doing their best hummingbird act in the flower patch.

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Yeah, like we said, you can pick raspberries yourself, but please wait til we sound the horn for the other crops.

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For example, when tomatoes are ready to pick, this sign will be level with gravity.  Kind of amazing that it knows when to make X=0.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

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Thanks to everyone who has already been picking.  And thanks to you guys who are waiting patiently.  We plan to open the farm stand for real next Wednesday—might have blueberries and a few peaches.

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Stay tuned to next week’s Fresh Crop Alert, when you will hear the worldwide debut of the official Indian Creek theme song!  Til then, hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Raspberries In, Strawberries Out, and the Secret of the Crop Alerts.

DEAR FARM FAITHFUL, it is time to let you in on a secret.  As you know, we send out these weekly Crop Alerts to give you first crack at the best stuff.  And if you have been reading since the beginning—way back in 2011—you might remember this picture of raspberries playing footie during the Women’s World Cup.

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Well, that photo was sent to 33 people.  Our list was small back then.  Today, each Crop Alert reaches thousands of pickers.

09-IMG_2566Which brings us to the big reveal:  The best time to pick is the day BEFORE you get the email.  Yes, before the ensuing crop mob.

12-IMG_2570During the week, the farm is quiet.  You get the lovely scenery all to yourself.  And the fruit.  Clever pickers love weekday mornings.

04-10481619_823802720977834_2007905478045477571_nLike super-picker, Beth, who scored these juicy orbs 2 days ago!  She was kind enough to share her discovery on the farm’s Facebook.

05-IMG_2552That’s how it’s done, folks.  You can beat the crowds during the week, especially for small, specialty crops like strawbs and raspbs.

06-IMG_2555Speaking of which… Adios, Strawberries.  Hola, Raspberries.  Light raspberry picking has begun in the old field and the new one.

07-IMG_2557This is the new planting, and it is already bearing a crop.  It is not a huge crop, and not really ripe yet.  But you might find a few now.

08-IMG_2564There are stretches of red berries, and lots of unripe ones that will “come online” in the next couple weeks.

10-IMG_2568But don’t believe everything you read.  (For example, there is no cider yet, despite random signs you’ll see around the farm.)  We try to keep you apprised of the latest picking news, but the mailing list has grown big.  When a Crop Alert hits thousands of inboxes, pickers come swarming and that can change things fast.  You can always call the stand beforehand (607-227-8248), and you can see our daily updates on Facebook.  But your best bet is to stop in early and often.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

11-IMG_2547We are here this weekend.  Everything is self-serve.  It’s a rare chance for us farmers to hang with friends and family before summer work really kicks in after the 4th.

03-p1050601We’re gonna open the stand very soon.  Veggies are looking great.  Next week we’ll announce the opening date.  Til then, have a safe and happy holiday weekend.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Strawberries, Raspberries, and 100 Crops That Taste Like Rocks.

KIND OF SOGGY in farm town this week.  Strawberries get squooshed if you pick them in the rain, but pick them after a few hours of sun and you’ll do okay.  The “get muddy” experience is free at Indian Creek, and a fun chance to test your Mucks or Wellies.

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The strawberry crop is thin.  But these sweeties were picked in the time it took to sing 2 lines of “We All Live in a Yellow Submarine.”

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Raspberries!  We hope that next week’s crop alert will sound the start of raspberry picking.  They are “sugaring up” now.

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Everything else is growing nicely.  We planted more vegetables than ever before.  Tomatoes are coming round, and it’s only June.

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Eggplant will be coming out your ears this year.  Start thinking about how you are going to use them:  grilling, frying, pickling…

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You will find a plethora of peppers.  Hots and sweets.  Poblanos, Italians, habaneros, jalapeños, green, red, you name it.

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Everyone is asking when peaches will be ready to pick.  Peaches are an August thing.  Right now they taste like rocks.

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Nectarines are the fuzzless cousins.  They taste even more like rocks.  Soon enough we will announce nectarine season.

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Pears.  They taste good in late August and early September.  Right now they taste like, you guessed it, rocks.

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You can see the apples are off to a great start.  There are a few August varieties, followed by about 60 other types in high season!

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Pumpkins are invisible in June.  They taste like air.  In a couple months they will taste like rocks.  Then pumpkins in October.

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Finally sprouts in November.  All told you will find over 100 crops that ripen at different times.  Stay with us as the fun gets funner in the coming weeks.  You’ll start to see lots more action at the stand soon.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

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And now for a point of order:  Please do not pick, or otherwise mess with, the soy beans in the big field next to us.  It’s not ours.

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And your farm trivia for the week:  This invaluable contraption is called a “spinning jenny.”  True story.

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Last but not least, we have 2 freshly minted Doctors of Philosophy here at the farm.  An economist and a Latinist.  They will be giving free expert advice at the farm stand all summer.  Come pick fruit and get schooled.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Our Inspiring Underdog of a Strawberry Patch Has Outlasted the Spanish World Cup Team.

DEAR FARM FANS, these strawberry fields are not forever.  They get picked clean before noon each day.  Indeed the crop is thin, but it has lasted deeper into June than the reigning soccer champs, and lucky pickers have been surprised by the plucky berries’ pizzazz.

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Taking cues from Neymar, Messi, and other world football stars, a few prominent berries are using their fame for good.

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Just look beneath the leaves.  You might run into a celebri-berry.  There are 9,942 plants here.  Bound to find a few.

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We don’t want sad faces, so we are posting reality updates on Facebook, the chalkboards, and the phone:  (607) 227-8248.

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We recommend happy faces, because the rest of the crops look promising.  Raspberries are next, in a few weeks.

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Then peaches will arrive.  Everybody cries when peach season is over, so save your tears til then, and be of good cheer meanwhile.

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Vegetables should be a big deal this year.  We went coo-coo and planted tons.  When the tomato sign is level, the crops are ripe.

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Apples are the biggest deal of all.  Some are already blushing in anticipation of the love you will show them.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }

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The lads are building a trellis.  It will hold new raspberry plants for years.  We use strawberries to measure the chainsaw cuts.

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Maybe you are bummed about the strawberry crop.  For consolation, we are offering all the weeds you can pick.  Free.

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If anyone left a comb, sorry, we are using it to rake the basil patch.  Kinda weird, kinda perfect.

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Everyone is weird and perfect in their own way.  “FARMALL” means the farm is open to all.

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Yes, everyone is welcome here.  Even the green tomatoes are joining the movement.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Light Strawberry Picking Begins; Mornings Are Your Best Shot.

“The sun will come out tomorrow,” sang the apple-cheeked orphan diva.  Great old song.  But Ithacans have about as much faith in that promise as they do in Reaganomics.  Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow… it’ll be gray.

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It has been a soggy week on the farm — not much sun to bring out the strawberries.  But there ARE berries.  A few anyway.

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We’re trying to decide what message to post on the sign.  There ARE berries, but the crop is light.  Bitter winter packed a wallop.

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What does that mean for you?  Well, a diligent young lady came out Wednesday morning and picked 3 boxes like this.

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It is simply not like last year, when so many of you were finding your thrill on strawberry hill.  This year, it’s hit and miss.

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Mornings are your best shot.  Pick before everyone else!  Best of all is after a sunny day.  See Facebook for daily status.

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Get boxes and brochures at the stand, then wander up to the berry patch with modest expectations.

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At the very least you’ll get a sweeping vista of the squishy countryside.  See the farm before it’s all spruced for summer.

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Meanwhile, we’re setting up shop and posting signs… and cheering USA in the World Cup!  (Impossible odds.)

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Clearly this sign is not ready yet.  That is NOT the road to the tomatoes.  Do not believe everything you read.

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But this IS a real peach!  Although the strawberry crop is small, raspberries, peaches, and apples look pretty good.

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We’re pruning the peach rows, finishing vegetables, and fixing stuff.

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We have 3 baseball hats on this project.  Guaranteed fix.

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Finally, in dog news, Balto is almost rested from a busy winter.  He was quite the publicity hound – featured on the official Twitter page of Purina

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That’s it for this week.  Come hunt for berries.  You might find a few.  Or just hike around to start off the year.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Are the Strawberries Chirping Yet? When Can You Pick Them?

HELLO, FARM FANS.  Happy June.  Been busy this spring.  Planted more vegetables than ever.  You can pat us on the back.  Thanks, that felt good.  But we know you really want a report on the strawberries.

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Picking is slated to open NEXT WEEK.  It will be a SOFT LAUNCH and we will send a crop alert WHEN READY.  (Get it by email.)

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We are seeing lots of green ones.  They look like this.  Like strawberries without their summer makeup.

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And today, June 5, we are starting to see red ones mixed in.  Not tons and tons, but some.

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But, the wicked cold winter put a hurting on the crop.  The haul will be smaller than last year.  So, stay tuned to the crop alerts… Don’t miss the berry train!  Next week we’ll send out a crop alert email.

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On the bright side, the apple crop seems to have wintered okay.  Let’s get primed for a good season with this poem by a true sprout at Enfield Elementary, who submitted this to the I Heart NY Agriculture Contest.

“Indian Creek Farm”
by Reese Olivia Mount
Age 9

On a quiet countryside,
Where the sky is clear and blue,
The love of Mother Nature there,
Is very strong and true.

While the plants are swaying,
In the light summer breeze,
The apples are swaying on big apple trees.

The sun is shining so brightly,
And for so ever warm,
It seems like there never has been a single storm.

The place I am referring to,
The place I’ve talked about,
Is Indian Creek Farm,
Made of beauty, joy and sprouts.

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Beauty, joy, and sprouts… Got tears yet?  The poet reportedly enjoys digging for minerals, gems, and stones.  She hopes to be a geologist someday.  “Rock” on, Reese!  Hope to see you all at The ‘Creek.

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Plant Your Own Backyard Orchard with Trees from Our Sister.

DID YOU KNOW that Indian Creek Farm has a sister?  A sister business.  Her name is Cummins Nursery.  She is… us!

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Wearing our Cummins Nursery hats, we grow the fruit trees that get planted here on the farm—and all around the country.

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Each year, we ship thousands of baby fruit trees to enthusiasts nationwide.  Big orchards and back yards, alike.

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The 2014 shipping season has just about wrapped, but there are a few APPLE and PEAR trees left.  Now is your chance!

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Plant your own orchard with APPLE and PEAR trees grown here on the farm.  Time to order and time to plant!

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See our online inventory of APPLE and PEAR trees, then email us your wishlist at cumminsnursery@gmail.com.

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But before you order, check out our SECRET STASH OF SMALL TREES in these 2 PDF files:  APPLE PDF | PEAR PDF.  These files list all the trees remaining as of May 7, 2014—including the smallest grade called 5/16.  If all this tree mumbo-jumbo has you confused, call us at (607) 592-2801.

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For about $20 per tree you can start a family tradition of caring for a fruit tree in your yard—and snacking year after year.

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Trees can be shipped to you or picked up at Indian Creek by arrangement over the phone or email.  You can also sign up for the Cummins Nursery newsletter.  See the May 2014 newsletter here.

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In other farm news, the stand will be closed for a few weeks as we prep the summer crops.  Stay tuned and see you at The ‘Creek.

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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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