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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“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.”


“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.”


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.


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


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…


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


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!


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


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.


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


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


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


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. }


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.”


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


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?


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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!


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


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


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


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


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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Very Special Apples, a New Wave of Peaches, and Summer Bounty.

THIS JUST IN—The fruits and vegetables of Indian Creek have a message to share with you.  A message of inspiration amidst the cynicism of American politics.  You heard it here first.













Okay, But What’s the Food?

{ Picking and picked. }


Now picking:

  • Peaches—Red Havens turning ripe now.
  • Apples—Esmeralda. One tree!  First come, first git!
  • Peppers—Hot and sweet. Tons.  Lots.
  • Squash—Zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan.
  • Cukes—A few types bouncing back after heavy picking.
  • Tomatoes—More ripening with each passing day.
  • Eggplant—Japanese, classic, and fairytale.  Yum.
  • Flowers—Cut your own or take home a bouquet.
  • Basil—Fresh and smelly!

Now at the stand:

  • All that stuff in the picking list, plus…
  • Donut Peaches
  • Taters Red & Gold
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries
  • Canteloupe
  • Apple Pies while they last!
  • And more…


And now for the thrilling conclusion to the Stumphenge Mystery from July 25.  Sike!  It’s not quite ready.  Next week!  Promise!  This photo is your hint.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Summer Fruits and Vegetables Go Swinging into August; Lots to Pick and Find at Stand.

A SUDDEN SQUALL hit the farm this week.  All the customers went scampering off.   A few sneaky fruits and vegetables seized the moment to give the new porch swing a whirl.

You can swing, too.  There are 3 swings at the stand.  A gentle way to warm up your spirit for picking.  And now for the week’s goodies…


Peach Status:  Ask which rows are picking when you arrive.  If those rows get thin, you can find juicy peaches down at the stand.


Apple Status:  The Pristines have seen lots of pickers.  You can probably still find some on the trees.  Dwarf Orchard, Row 7.


Eggplant Status:  Pick a bunch.  Lots of classic, Japanese, and fairytales.  Plenty at the stand if you need more for baba ghanouj.


Pepper Status:  Peppers galore… 10 types or more.  Sweets, hots, and the mystical/magical pepper between—El Poblano Magnífico.


Tomato Status:  7+ varieties, all just starting.  Wave #1 gave us some beauties.  Wave #2 is on the way.  Plenty at the stand, too.


Raspberry Status:  The heavy fruiting days are waning, but clever pickers are still finding berries, especially low near the ground.


Flower Status:  Lots to pick around the farm.  The lads and lasses at the stand have also created farmy bouquets in glass jars.


Fruit Summary:  Lovely fruit this year.  Fall apple crop is looking good.  Meanwhile, berries, peaches, nectarines, melons, pears and more.

09-P1230085Veggie Summary:  Cukes are coming back.  Tomatoes are kicking in.  Buckets of squash and barrels of peppers.  Please pick and eat.

Farm Buzz

{ Signage Stories. }

sToot your horn when you pass our new signs.  We’ve installed an official DOT Destination Sign on each side of the farm to raise awareness of turning traffic at the blind curve and the crest of the hill.


Signage work continues apace.  Our visiting artist (and mom) is painting 70 marvelous new markers for the Dwarf Orchard.  Going to make it so much easier to pick apples.  Thanks, Mom!


This is Farmer Sign Language for, “Come get your hands dirty.  Let’s pick the crops clean!”  Thanks for all your picking so far this season.  Summer rolls on.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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Now Picking — Peaches, Apples, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Raspberries and More.

THE MOST AMAZING FAMILY came to the farm this week:  four persons in all, and each one picked 2 PECKS of vegetables.  More fiber than a freighter full of Twinkies.  Go, kids!


August brings the first true sense of bounty.  Tomatoes start to really turn, and we are swimming in vegetables.


By the way, do you work with someone prickly?  If you say the wrong thing, do you get an ouchy that makes you cry inside?


Remember, they have an inner life, too, and it might be tender and smoky like farm-fresh eggplant.  Get to know them.


We have an apple emergency.  The dogs can sense it.  They get all twitchy like before a hurricane.


The Yellow Transparent variety, first apples of the year, are DROPPING.  We absolutely need you pick some!


They are light and crisp summer apples.  Awesome for saucing.  “Put some up” now to get a head start.


Kids love them.  In child psychology, this phenomenon is known as NOM-NOM-NOM.  See the trance-like state.


The moment you have all been waiting for is kinda sorta here.  Peach picking has begun in multiple rows.


Some farms have no peaches this year.  We have peaches.  Remember how precious they are.  Take our tutorial flyer.


These savvy pickers—Chantelle, Rosie, and David—made a midweek sally to the plums.  There are only a few trees; nice haul.


Raspberries continue to impress.  The little first-year field gets pickers daily.  Embarrasingly big berries in some rows.

Farm Buzz

{ Side News. }


The thrilling conclusion to last week’s Stumphenge mystery will have to wait.  The thrill and the conclusion are not ready.


Cukes are picked out. But you can get product placement in our newsletter for $325,000/issue.  That’s what Kaley Cuoco makes for each episode of her sitcom.  And she’s on strike.


This week’s cover model appears without airbrushing.  At the farm, you can always “come as you are.”  So, get out here.  Summer is short as a mofo.  Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.

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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?


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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. }


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


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


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.


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


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. }


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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


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


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. }


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.


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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